Monday, May 09, 2011

ASU to run EarthScope program

Late this afternoon, we got the news that "Arizona State University has been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the new host university for the EarthScope National Office." This is a flagship program not only for the geosciences but for NSF overall. The selection of ASU to host the national office carries prestige and impacts well beyond the monetary value of the contract.

A press release describes:

The EarthScope program centers on exploration and discovery of the 4-D structure and evolution of the North American continent, but also encompasses studies of Earth structure and dynamics throughout the planet. The rotating, university-based national office, established through a four-year nearly $2.4 million grant, facilitates scientific planning and coordinates education and outreach efforts for the EarthScope community.

EarthScope is an NSF program that deploys thousands of seismic, GPS, and other geophysical instruments to contribute to our understanding of our dynamic Earth, North America specifically, and the processes that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These instruments installed across the United States measure the motion of Earth’s surface, record seismic waves, and recover rock samples from depths at which earthquakes originate. These instruments along with EarthScope’s high resolution topography and geochronology efforts provide an unprecedented amount of geophysical and geological data to address the processes that formed and continue to shape North America. Their analysis is conducted by the EarthScope community in remarkably interdisciplinary ways.

A team of ASU geoscientists from the School of Earth & Space Exploration (SESE) will manage this huge national program, with Ramon Arrowsmith as Director. "Steve Semken will be the deputy director in charge of leading new education and outreach activity for EarthScope. SESE professors Ed Garnero and Matt Fouch will serve as EarthScope principal investigators. Wendy Taylor is also a principal investigator and will be the education and outreach (E&O) program coordinator. Several other ASU researchers with geoscience backgrounds also will be involved, as will undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars."

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