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Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 723.74K | Year: 2013

The Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN) is a broadband, multi-use seismological network, enhanced by selected geodetic observations, designed with the capability to allow researchers to understand the changes currently occurring in the Arctic, and with the operational characteristics necessary to enable response to those changes as understanding improves. GLISN was established through an international collaboration, with 10 nations coordinating their efforts to develop the current 32-station observing network during the last four years. This project will continue operations of six key stations of the network, as well as data quality control and data-management for the network. It will also improve the telemetry capability at remote stations to maximize the scientific utility of the data, reduce data latency, and reduce logistics costs. Continued leadership by IRIS in the management and coordination of the International GLISN effort will ensure continued return of high-quality data from the full 32-station network. Observations from the GLISN network will allow improved estimation of the Earth structure under Greenland, critical for reliable estimation, interpretation, and prediction of changes in ice mass, sea level, and the crustal stress state. These observations will also allow greatly improved analysis of deformation within the ice sheet and at its calving margins due to processes including discrete ice-loss events, melt-water drainage, crevassing, and basal sliding. Seismic analysis provides unique information about glacier dynamics and sub-glacial geology, complementing other remote-sensing and in-situ observations. GLISN science and outreach will leverage and enhance outreach and education programs undertaken by the IRIS Consortium and its community.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: INTERNATIONAL COORDINATION ACT | Award Amount: 186.01K | Year: 2013

Title: Collaborative Research: SAVI- Building a framework between the EU and the USA to harmonize data products relevant to global research infrastructures in the environmental field.

This award is designated as a Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) award and is being co-funded by NSF?s Office of International Science and Engineering. Four US environmental observatories (National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR) and collectively EarthScope, comprising USArray and the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), operated respectively by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and UNAVCO) are working together with their respective counterparts from the European Union on developing common data policies and standards relevant to global research infrastructures in the environment field.

The project goals include developing new understanding through broad harmonization of data and constructing multi- discipline, synergistic data products that have wider societal importance. In addition, these activities will help the scientific community to better develop coupled models that better capture critical feedbacks and interactions of the earth system. These models are needed to help make these types of data more accessible to decision-makers at many levels.

Linking these existing programs provides a unique opportunity for early career researchers and students to learn in a multi-disciplinary environment and to benefit not only from the US participants but also their European counterparts. The observatories will be developing graduate and post-graduate courses and the workshops will seek to include early career scientists and students.

The proposed activities will focus on addressing societally relevant challenges. Through case studies, ways of harmonizing data will be investigated with the goal of making the data from these observatories easier to include in effective decision-making. Disasters, carbon and water will likely be the first set of issues addressed.

This program is creating opportunities for enhancing the career trajectories of a new generation of researchers in Europe and the U.S. The virtual institute is providing mechanisms for exposing early-career scientists to interdisciplinary, multi-institutional activities focused on environmental data and cyberinfrastructure; arming them with new scientific tools to address challenging questions in harmonizing environmental data to help in effective decision making; and showing them how international partnerships can help to solve global problems. It is recruiting a diverse set of US and European students to create collaborative networks of environmental data and cyberinfrastructure experts across these countries.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 636.43K | Year: 2013

Intellectual Merit:
The ice dynamics and tectonic history of Ice-covered regions are poorly understood. Scientific investigations of these regions are hindered by extreme weather and complex logistical support. The PIs propose development of a new, rapid deployment, dense footprint, seismic observatory for ice-covered regions, the Geophysical Earth Observatory for Ice-Covered Environments (GEOICE). This seismic array will provide increased observational capabilities and logistical efficiencies needed to seismically image the structures and dynamic behavior of both the solid Earth and overlying ice in remote ice-covered regions. Instruments developed for GEOICE will be designed to withstand icy and/or wet environments and require minimal logistics. Research enabled by GEOICE includes: ice mass and sea level changes, solid earth structure, tectonics and ice sheet stability, and deep Earth structure and processes.

Broader impacts:
GEOICE will provide a community tool for achieving a better understanding of the Earths rapidly changing polar and ice-covered regions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes 2007 report concluded that poor understanding of glacial dynamics prohibits robust estimates of future sea-level. GEOICE will enable research that helps address this societally relevant issue. Simplified logistics enabled by GEOICE could lower the technical and logistical barriers that hinder young investigators in the polar regions.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 73.80K | Year: 2014

This award will support a 2-day workshop for 40 participants to catalyze relationships between early career disciplinary researchers in the earth, atmospheric, ocean, and polar sciences and discipline-based education researchers (DBERs) in the geosciences. These relationships are critical for two reasons: (1) to address the foundational research needed on how people learn geoscience content and develop into expert geoscientists and (2) to facilitate early career geoscientists in enhancing the broader impacts of their research. The workshop will be convened to grow mutually beneficial research collaborations amongst early career investigators that will build upon the extant literature. This workshop will promote networking amongst geoscience investigators and DBERs to broaden perspectives, develop connections, and nurture a community of future leaders for the geoscience community. The participants at this workshop will establish professional relationships that are likely to inform research and educational practices for the community at large. Moreover, it is expected that through these interactions the teaching practices of both groups would be better informed and training of future geoscientists will be well informed by research results. The workshop will take place in the Washington DC area in August 2014.

This Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI) award, jointly supported by the NSF and the Department of Energy (DOE), will take place in July 2013 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The organizing committee for this PASI includes the Principal Investigator, David W. Simpson (Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology IRIS), as well as Jay Pulliam (Baylor University, USA), John Louie (University of Nevada, Reno, USA), Olga Cabello (IRIS), Morgan Moschetti (U.S. Geological Survey), Michael Schmitz (FUNVISIS, Venezuela), Lyndon Brown (University of the West Indies, Mona,Jamaica), Carlos Valdes Gonzalez (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Walter Salazer (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago), Eugenio Polanco (Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), Marino Protti (Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica), Victor Huerfano (University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, USA), and Mauricio Mora (Universidad de Costa Rica).

The institute will address modern strategies for earthquake hazard analysis with a focus on techniques for seismic site characterization, which is a critical component of lessening earthquake hazards. The basic methodology is comprised of source modeling, wave propagation, and local site characterization, which consists of measuring the local geological and geotechnical factors that potentially affect earthquake shaking at a particular site. This PASI will discuss all three components of earthquake hazard analysis but will focus on site characterization because it has been undergoing rapid development in response to new technologies and new datasets. The institute offers an opportunity to spread awareness of the new techniques to researchers and practitioners in Middle America. A small field experiment, will serve as an evaluation of a subset of techniques, and demonstrate practical data acquisition, field logistics, and analysis strategies. Simple and effective seismic site characterization is a vital component of hazard mitigation in earthquake prone areas throughout the developing world. This PASI will disseminate knowledge of earthquake hazard analysis strategies to a group of junior seismologists, which they can put to use immediately in their own countries. By so doing, it will also help to promote international research collaborations. All data acquired during the PASI will be contributed to the NSF-supported IRIS Data Management Center in Seattle, WA.

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