Friday, July 29, 2011

ASU is running "most epic big science project in the universe"

Popular Science magazine has declared the EarthScope [top right, credit EarthScope] project to be the most epic big science project in the universe. And Arizona State University's School of Earth & Space Exploration (SESE) took over on July 1 as the host university for the EarthScope National Office.

Popular Science took into account four objective factors: the construction costs, operating budget, the size of the staff and the physical size of the project itself. Three subjective factors were also added in: the project’s scientific utility, its utility to the average person (“what will it do for me”) and the “wow” factor.

[bottom right, Beginning July 1, 2011, the EarthScope National Office is being hosted at Arizona State University. Ramon Arrowsmith is the Director of the ESNO@ASU, and Steve Semken is the Deputy Director for Education and Outreach. Wendy Taylor is the E&O Coordinator, and Ed Garnero and Matt Fouch are heavily involved as Principal Investigators. Photo credit, EarthScope]

The USArray component of EarthScope deployed 58 broadband seismometers across Arizona in the early stages of the project before rolling them eastward as part of the nationwide experiment to characterize the North American crust in 3D. AZGS in partnership with ASU, NAU, and UA and funding from FEMA, acquired 8 of those stations, which now form Arizona's first statwide seismic monitoring network.

SESE says that "landing a spot on Popular Science's Big Science list served as reminder to look back and recognize the School of Earth and Space Exploration participation in several other monumental projects. Over the next few days, you can send in your suggestions for projects that should be considered for SESE’s “Top 10 Epic Projects” list. Please send your suggestions to Nikki Cassis either via email or on Facebook. Check back early next week to view SESE’s “big science” list."

And in another linkage, I was on the external panel that reviewed and recommended funding of EarthScope to the National Science Foundation.

[parts of this post are taken from the EarthScope newsletter and ASU SESE website]

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