An NSF-supported Workshop on Aleutian Field Logistics, on 8 December 2013, before the Fall AGU Meeting in San Francisco, will address coordination of logistical resources for fieldwork in the oceanic Aleutian arc and along the Alaska Peninsula.
Please feel free to direct questions about the Workshop to Peter Kelemen or other members of the organizing committee. Please direct questions about proposals for Aleutian fieldwork to NSF GeoPRISMS Program Directors Bilal Haq, and Jennifer Wade, and Jim Beard.
Central goals of the workshop to include:
(1) Assessing the level of community interest in one or more shared logistical platforms. Specifically, how many potential PI's will submit proposals to GeoPRISMS for fieldwork in the Aleutian arc? Will there be enough participation to justify NSF support for shared logistics? Alternatively, will there be "too much" interest, necessitating a mechanism for prioritizing potential users, and/or deployment of supplementary, alternative logistical platforms?
(2) Assessing the logistical requirements. How many likely projects will require helicopter access? What will be the payloads? For example, for broadband seismometer installation, how many kg of cement, etc, will be needed? What will be the flying times, and associated fuel consumption? How many projects will require multi-day stays on islands or other remote locations? How will drop off and pickup be coordinated? Will other vessels be required? Will other vessels be available when needed? Is dredging an option? Is deployment of ocean bottom seismometers an option?
(3) Seeking partnerships with other groups who might be able to contribute resources to support a shared facility, and/or who might be interested in using such a facility. If potential GeoPRISMS use is not overwhelming, would other groups (IRIS, Alaska Volcano Observatory, NOAA, biological oceanographers, Š) be interested in co-sponsoring a shared ship and helicopter? If IRIS, Alaska Volcano Observatory and/or NOAA plan to support other logistical platforms in the region, to what extent might they be willing to share use of these platforms for GeoPRISMS projects? Could NSF provide partial support of these other platforms?
(4) Discussing different funding options with NSF personnel. Will NSF support the ship and some helicopter related costs separately from individual project budgets, as is done for ship costs in marine geology and geophysics projects? What proportion of costs - for example hourly helicopter charges and associated fuel costs - should appear in individual project budgets?
IF the December workshop is deemed a success by NSF, then an NSF supported, shared ship and helicopter would be available for Aleutians field work in the summers of 2015 and 2016. In addition, we can anticipate broad interest from other agencies in sharing resources in the 2015 and 2016 field seasons. The workshop will establish structures for coordinating these interests, working out the details of scheduling, funding and necessary infrastructure.
The NSF GeoPRISMS Program has previously announced a window of opportunity for proposals in the Alaska Primary Site in July 2013 (FY 2014) and 2014 (FY 2015). NSF GeoPRISMS Program Directors have assured us that proposals for Aleutian fieldwork, submitted in 2014 but not accepted, may be revised and resubmitted in July 2015. Proposals for field work in the Aleutians will still be accepted this year for fieldwork in summer 2014. It is up to individual PI's to decide whether to wait and see if the shared field platform is funded for 2015-16 before submitting a proposal. However, until a shared platform has been funded, every proposal will be reviewed as though each project will shoulder the full logistical burden of fieldwork, even for 2015 and 2016 fieldwork.
Coordinating Committee for the Workshop on Shared Support for Aleutian Fieldwork:
Peter van Keken, incoming GeoPRISMS Chair <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Julia Morgan, GeoPRISMS Chair <email@example.com>
Geoff Abers, past MARGINS Chair <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jeff Freymueller <email@example.com>
Peter Haeussler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Steve Holbrook <email@example.com>
Brian Jicha <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Peter Kelemen <email@example.com>
John Power <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gene Yogodzinski <email@example.com>