EarthScope Geochronology Graduate Student Award Program

By Sarah Robinson |
EarthScope Geochronology Graduate Student Award Program

The EarthScope Geochronology Graduate Student Award Program is a new initiative program designed to provide funds for high-impact research and to facilitate training, education, and interaction between graduate students and experts in geochronology.

Graduate students can apply for up to $10,000 to fund analytical costs, sample preparation, travel to the host lab, lodging, and other expenses. These funds will allow the students to visit the lab for a week or more, participate in the analysis and sample preparation, and learn fundamental aspects of the methods, techniques, and theory used in modern analytical facilities. This experience will help to equip the next generation of Earth scientists with an understanding of modern geochronology tools that are profoundly important for conducting modern geoscience research, in particular for examining the history and processes of lithospheric deformation. Students can apply for funds to use whichever method is most appropriate for their proposed research project, including, but not limited to, U-Pb, 40Ar/39Ar, Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd, Rb-Sr, U-series, fission-track, (U-Th)/He, 14C, cosmogenic exposure, and luminescence dating.

The projects and new collaborations enabled by this program provide excellent foundations for future proposals and the kinds of multidisciplinary research efforts that lead to great science. The program will be launched by an EarthScope short course bringing together experts in the geochronology community for a series of lectures and discussions covering the fundamentals behind both the theory and practical uses of different geochronology tools.

Explicit goals of this initiative include:

·       The fostering of new relationships and interdisciplinary, innovative science between student researchers and laboratories at different institutions.

·       The generation of new opportunities for students to learn fundamental aspects of the techniques, theory, and interpretational methods associated with data acquisition in modern analytical facilities.

·       The implementation of a low-cost mechanism for students to generate key, high-quality datasets for projects and publications of mutual benefit to students, advisors, and labs, while laying the foundation for future collaborative proposals.

·       The promotion of science that provides an important contribution to EarthScope's core science goal to investigate the geologic history of the North American continent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

Graduate students that are currently enrolled in a research-focused graduate degree program at an accredited college or university in the United States or its territories are encouraged to submit a proposal.

What types of projects will be considered?

Projects must support the overall goals of EarthScope, and therefore focus on advancing some aspect of our understanding of the structure, dynamics, or evolution of the North American continent (http://www.earthscope.org/information/publications/science-plan/).

What should applications include?

Applications must include a project description, detailed budget and budget justification, a letter of support from the EarthScope geochronology lab where the applicant proposes to work (see below), student educational outline provided by the lab, and a letter of support from the project supervisor at the student’s institution.

Students who are writing proposals are responsible for initiating contact with geochronology lab staff to discuss their project, timelines, and why this particular technique will help address the fundamental questions in their research proposal. If the lab director feels that this is a mutually beneficial opportunity, they provide a support letter and help the student refine and clarify their proposed research. For more information about applying, visit http://www.earthscope.org/science/geochronology/applicant-information

The 2015 application deadline is Monday, March 16th, 2015. Application materials should be submitted to http://www.earthscope.org/science/geochronology

How many projects will be funded? How often can I apply?

Students may submit one proposal per funding cycle (per year), and a maximum of two proposals during their academic career. Presently, there are funds to support 7-8 projects each year for the 2015 and 2016 application cycles.

Which labs are included as participating labs?

A list of labs that have expressed interest in this program and in fostering new collaborations with students are available on the program website (http://www.earthscope.org/science/geochronology/lab-database). Because one of the goals of this program is to foster new research collaborations, students may not request funds to work in labs they are already associated with, including labs managed or directed by their project supervisor(s). Students may request funds to work in labs at their home institution, provided that they can demonstrate that the collaboration is new.

Additionally, any lab in the United States or its territories can become a participating lab. Laboratories wishing to participate in the EarthScope Student Geochronology Research and Training Program must provide a brief (1-2 page) written summary that describes how a student will use the facility. Labs should try to provide a realistic overview of what sort of research and learning experiences a student can expect when visiting their lab. This program is not meant to fund contract work, but instead provide a meaningful learning and training experience for the student. Example summaries from the University of Colorado Boulder (UTh)/He lab, the Princeton University U-Pb TIMS lab, and the Utah State University OSL lab are available on the program webpage.

What is the review process?

An external panel of 4-5 geoscientists that are familiar with the application of geochronologic techniques and/or have experience with EarthScope related science will review the proposals. Nominations for the review panel will be sought from the EarthScope Steering Committee, and will not include scientists who run facilities that participate as EarthScope labs. The weighted merit system used to evaluate the proposals will be available on the program website at http://www.earthscope.org/science/geochronology/applicant-information

When will awards be announced?

We anticipate that the first award announcements will be made in May of 2015.

Who can I contact with questions or concerns?

Jim Metcalf or Becky Flowers.

This new educational initiative is supported by NSF EarthScope EAR-1358514 to Becky Flowers (CU-Boulder), Jim Metcalf (CU-Boulder), Ramon Arrowsmith (ASU), Blair Schoene (Princeton), Tammy Rittenour (USU).

2015 EarthScope National Meeting

By Sarah Robinson |
2015 EarthScope National Meeting

The 2015 EarthScope National Meeting will be held June 8-10, 2015. Please save the date! Location and other details will be posted here soon.

USArray Stories from the Field

By Sarah Robinson |
USArray Stories from the Field
A USArray station install team in the Pacific Northwest uses green tarp shelters the vault from the rain while the station was being worked on.

Read stories about USArray scientists, engineers and students out in the field installing USArray stations on the USArray website.

New EarthScope National Office Solicitation

By Sarah Robinson |
New EarthScope National Office Solicitation
Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB4) at Arizona State University, where the current EarthScope National Office is located. Photo credit, ASU.

Hello all,

The NSF is now accepting applications from institutions interested in becoming the new location for the EarthScope National Office. This blog contains some helpful information for those interested in applying.

The EarthScope National Office solicitation (NSF 14-553) is available for viewing from the NSF website.

The main changes for this one are:

  • An explicit expectation that the EarthScope National Office will promote significant synthesis and integration of EarthScope science and broader impacts.
  • An explicit requirement that an office management plan be included in the proposal as a Supplementary Document.

>>> Continue reading "New EarthScope National Office Solicitation"

New EarthScope Science Program & New EarthScope National Office Solicitation Are Live on NSF website

By Ramon Arrowsmith |
New EarthScope Science Program & New EarthScope National Office Solicitation Are Live on NSF website
EarthScope stations map

Hi everyone,

New documents from NSF are live on the NSF Web site:

  1. The new EarthScope solicitation is SF 14-552, and is available from both of the links below:

    http://www.nsf.gov/earthscope

    http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14552/nsf14552.htm

    The main changes from the prior solicitation are:

    • Proposals must explicitly state which of the EarthScope science targets, as outlined in the 2010 EarthScope Science Plan, the project is intended to address. 
    • All resubmitted proposals must contain a separate section of the Project Description explicitly describing what changes have been made to the proposal in response to previous NSF review comments and concerns.
    • PI must contact an EarthScope Program Director prior to submitting any proposal with an annual project budget exceeding $300,000, or the proposal may be returned without review.
    • Proposals must contain a Supplementary Document containing a list of all the conflicts of interest of all Senior Personnel.
  2. The EarthScope National Office solicitation is NSF 14-553, and is available from this link:

    http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14553/nsf14553.htm

    The main changes for this one are:

    • An explicit expectation that the EarthScope National Office will promote significant synthesis and integration of EarthScope science and broader impacts.
    • An explicit requirement that an office management plan be included in the proposal as a Supplementary Document.
  3. There is a new NSF Dear Colleague Letter posted that describes NSF plans for SAFOD and is available from this link:

    http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14058/nsf14058.jsp?org=NSF

  4. For the last solicitation, in case there is interest, here are the excerpted elements of the ESNO proposal that we (Arrowsmith, Fouch, Garnero, Semken, W. Taylor) wrote.

Propose away!
Ramon

Professor Ramon Arrowsmith
Director EarthScope National Office
Chair EarthScope Steering Committee
School of Earth and Space Exploration
Arizona State University

50th Anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake

By Ramon Arrowsmith |
50th Anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake
At 5:36 pm on March 27, 1964, the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America, and the second largest in history, rattled coastal Alaska for close to 4 minutes.

The commemorations of the 1964 great Alaska earthquake provide an important opportunity to reflect on earth processes and hazards. EarthScope is an important asset and community increasing our knowledge of the processes. This knowledge is useful for decreasing hazards.

>>> Continue reading "50th Anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake"

Where is EarthScope?

By Sarah Robinson |
Where is EarthScope?
IRIS 3d EQ browser, Alaska earthquakes

Find out where EarthScope stations are now! Check out our current status page, or look at our maps page for past and present instrument maps.

EarthScope Highlighted in Physics Today

By Sarah Robinson |
EarthScope Highlighted in Physics Today
The thickness of Earth’s crust beneath the continental US as mapped using ambient noise tomography. The thickest portion, in the high Rocky

Physics Today author Toni Feder gives the EarthScope project a well-rounded overview/update in her article "Scoping out the North American continent, 10 years on". The article covers all three observatories (US Array, PBO, and SAFOD) and includes interviews with Bob Busby, Ramón Arrowsmith, Meghan Miller, Stephen Hickman, David Simpson, and others.

Check out the 3D Earthquake Browser Released from IRIS

By Sarah Robinson |
Check out the 3D Earthquake Browser Released from IRIS
Image shows 3D view of IRIS earthquake browser, with the Aleutian Islands in Alaska being the selected region of interest.

The IRIS Education and Public Outreach team has recently released a new 3D earthquake browser, which allows users to select a region anywhere in the world and access real earthquake data. After selecting a region, viewers can select "3D view" and see the location, depth, and magnitude of the events selected in that region. Each "sphere" represents an earthquake event. The larger the sphere, the larger the reported earthquake magnitude. Color coding indicates depth of the event.

This new tool by IRIS has vast educational applications besides just being fun to play around with. It is visually pleasing and easy to use. You can read the IRIS newsletter article on their website to find out more about it.