Letter from the USAC Chair

September, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

After four busy and gratifying years serving on the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) – including two as chair – this letter will be my last contribution to this column. I have greatly enjoyed serving on behalf of the U.S. scientific ocean drilling community and working with a wide cross-section of dedicated scientists to plan for the next program. For me it has been an honor and pleasure to represent such a vibrant science community.

I highly recommend serving on an IODP committee. It introduces you to new colleagues whose dedication to the collaborative nature of the program is inspiring. It also forces you to broaden your viewpoint from your own scientific questions to community-wide research directions. Engaging with the community in program planning has been a highlight of my service, particularly at last year’s Building U.S. Strategies workshop in Denver, Colorado, where we determined our priorities within the context of the 2013-2023 IODP Science Plan and discussed new mechanisms to efficiently plan expeditions. Furthermore, we engaged a large group of early-career researchers, who I see as the vanguard of the new program.

During my time on USAC, I saw the program transition from the early expeditions of the Chikyu and the retrofitted JOIDES Resolution to the final expedition of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. On October 1, IODP will become the International Ocean Discovery Program, and John Jaeger from the University of Florida will take over as USAC Chair. John is a sedimentologist who recently sailed as a Co-Chief Scientist on Expedition 341 (Southern Alaska Margin Tectonics, Climate and Sedimentation). I wish him a productive tenure at the helm of USAC with IODP on the cusp of exciting times and new challenges. Looking at the IODP community of today, I hold high hopes for the success of the new program and the future of scientific ocean drilling.

All the best,

Anthony Koppers
Chair, U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling