Program Update: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program – June 2012
The spring 2012 issue of Core Discoveries, the newsletter for U.S. scientific ocean drilling, is now available. This issue includes articles about the Chikyu breaking the scientific record at the Japan Trench, the JOIDES Resolution targeting climate records in the North Atlantic, and education and diversity news. Also, leadership from the U.S. Implementing Organization, the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) share news and perspectives about ongoing planning efforts. If you are interested in subscribing to the print edition of the newsletter, please send an email with your preferred mailing address to Matthew Wright.
On June 2, the JOIDES Resolution set sail on Expedition 342 (Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts). Here, near the final resting place of the ill-fated RMS Titanic, large sediment drifts contain detailed records of the Paleogene, when Earth’s climate experienced dramatic fluctuations. During the third week, the team retrieved new evidence of two major events in Earth’s history: the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (or PETM) and the Cretaceous/Paleogene (or K/Pg) boundary. The PETM, which hit a peak about 56 million years ago, is notable for extraordinarily high average temperatures – warm enough to have kept nearby Greenland completely free of ice. The K/Pg boundary, about 65 million years ago, is marked by evidence of the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs. In week four, the team retrieved evidence of another major event in Earth’s history: the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. This interval, about 33 million years ago, marks the division between the “greenhouse” conditions of the late Eocene and the “icehouse” conditions of the Oligocene. For the latest updates on Expedition 342, see the JOIDES Resolution blog. For more information on the expedition’s science goals, see the Expedition 342 website.
The U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) held its June 2012 meeting in Washington, D.C. at Ocean Leadership’s offices. During the three-day meeting, USAC nominated new members to USAC and the IODP Science Advisory Structure, and provided Ocean Leadership staff with new perspectives on current education and outreach challenges. Coinciding with the USAC meeting, the 2011-2012 Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellows visited Washington, D.C. to present their research results and meet with program managers at NSF to discuss proposal writing. The Schlanger Fellows also learned about scientific outreach at the Smithsonian’s Ocean Hall and discussed how science contributes to public policy at the U.S. Capitol.
Also in June, the steering committee for the Building U.S. Strategies for 2013-2023 Scientific Ocean Drilling workshop completed and published the final workshop report. The meeting served to prioritize the 14 scientific challenges outlined in the 2013-2023 Science Plan for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and to identify new approaches for more efficient planning of scientific ocean drilling expeditions. The workshop results and pre-meeting community input confirmed the U.S. community’s strong support for the 2013-2023 Science Plan, international collaboration, and collaborations across research themes. The U.S. scientific ocean drilling community supports continued flexibility in the program, allowing for the development and implementation of novel, high-quality science proposals and innovative new technological developments. The report is available on the USSSP website.
On June 20, Ocean Leadership welcomed Hazel Tesoro as the latest U.S. Implementing Organization (USIO) Diversity Intern. Tesoro will work closely with Matthew Wright (IODP Communications Manager) until early September 2012 to develop and implement initiatives that effectively communicate science news and information related to IODP expeditions, publications, and other activities. The USIO Diversity Internship is designed to expose minority students to careers in scientific ocean drilling by providing them with a 10-12 week educational and career-building experience at an IODP-USIO member institution. Tesoro is originally from Oakland, California and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Mills College. Her professional experience includes informal education at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, California and at a regional park in Berkeley, California.