DCO Early Career Scientist Network


The Deep Carbon Observatory is dedicated to engaging early career scientists in all aspects of the program and supporting the professional and scientific development of early career scientists, who embody the future of deep carbon science. Early career scientists are invited to all DCO events and serve on most DCO committees, including the DCO Executive Committee. In addition, DCO offers a number of opportunities exclusively for early career scientists, including events, awards, and funding opportunities.

Early career scientists gather for a group photo in Italy
Participants in the 2017 Early Career Scientist Workshop at Mt Etna, Italy

DCO Early Career Scientist Events

More than 150 participants from 26 countries have attended DCO’s Early Career Scientist Workshops and Summer Schools. They leave with new skills, knowledge, and connections to help advance their careers and their research. Past participants in Summer Schools and Early Career Scientist Workshops have gone on to assume leadership roles within DCO, including as project organizers and members of DCO’s governance structure.

DCO Early Career Scientist Workshops

DCO has conducted three Early Career Scientist Workshops. These workshops—hosted by and for early career scientists—bring together approximately 45 graduate students, postdocs, and new assistant professors for a week of scientific discussions, oral presentations, and poster sessions, along with exciting fieldwork experiences.

Read more about previous workshops:

Costa Rica 2014
Azores 2015
Etna 2017

ECS Summer School Yellowstone National Park
Participants in the 2016 DCO Summer School.

DCO Summer Schools

Two DCO Summer Schools were held in Yellowstone National Park in 2014 and 2016. The Summer Schools brought together approximately 35 early career scientists and 10 instructors for a week of classroom lectures, discussions, field trips, poster sessions, and hands-on data collection and analysis. 

Read more about previous Summer Schools:

Yellowstone 2014
Yellowstone 2016


Grants, Awards, Fellowships, and Initiatives

Research Grants

DCO’s four Science Communities occasionally initiate open calls for small research proposals, which are advertised to the community through DCO’s website, newsletter, and social media accounts. Early career scientists are encouraged to apply for these awards either individually or with collaborators.

DCO/AGI Diversity Grants

DCO recently partnered with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) to recruit and engage geoscientists from traditionally underrepresented groups in the United States (read more about the initiative in this Deeper View essay by AGI’s Pat Leahy and DCO’s Craig Schiffries). The selected early career scientists were awarded grants that could fund travel to DCO-related conferences, workshops, and events, support lab or fieldwork aligned with DCO research, and/or defray costs associated with instrument time at DCO-affiliated facilities.

Read more about DCO/AGI diversity grant recipients

Synthesis Grants and Opportunities

ECS Summer School Yellowstone National Park, USAIn preparation for the end of the program in 2019, DCO is developing products and activities that synthesize and integrate DCO’s far-reaching scientific discoveries into a coherent whole. The term “synthesis” includes scientific synthesis, scientific research that unites two previously disparate fields or subfields, and engagement synthesis, which focuses on tangible public-outreach products such as books, films, and academic curricula. To coordinate the synthesis effort, DCO launched Synthesis Group 2019 (SG2019) in April 2016. If you have suggestions, questions, or comments about DCO’s synthesis process, please contact the SG2019 members.

DCO Emerging Leader Awards

DCO Emerging Leader Awards are bestowed annually on several DCO early career scientists who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication, passion, and leadership. Award recipients receive a certificate and a small gift, and are featured on the DCO website.

Read more about Emerging Leader Awards

DCO Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Fellowships

Throughout the decadal program, DCO’s Science Communities have provided full or partial support for selected graduate students and postdocs working with DCO researchers. To learn more about future opportunities within your community, please contact your community chair and co-chair.

Professional Service and Leadership Opportunities

Early career scientists have been appointed to nearly all DCO committees and leadership groups, including the DCO Executive Committee and the Scientific Steering Committees of the four DCO Science Communities. DCO early career scientists have also been invited to serve in leadership positions for other international scientific organizations.

DCO Sessions at International Conferences

DCO early career scientists have taken the initiative to propose, organize, and chair technical sessions on deep carbon science at international conferences, including the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Goldschmidt Conference, and Second European Mineralogical Conference.

Read more about conferences:

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2015
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2016
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2017
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2018
Goldschmidt Conference 2015
Goldschmidt Conference 2016
Goldschmidt Conference 2017
Goldschmidt Conference 2018


Staying in Touch

The DCO Science Network

ECS Summer School Yellowstone National ParkDCO continues to seek the collaboration and contributions of scientists interested in the unfolding story of carbon in Earth. Please join the DCO Science Network to link your research and interests more closely with one or more of DCO’s four Communities. Learn more about joining the network here.

DCO Monthly Newsletter

The DCO newsletter is a monthly electronic publication that reaches an audience of more than 2000 scientists, industry professionals, and journalists. The newsletter features stories about DCO research, as well as information about DCO events, new publications, job openings, and funding opportunities. The newsletter is a great way to increase awareness of your research within the DCO community and beyond. Early career scientists interested in seeing their work published in the newsletter should contact Katie Pratt. If you don’t already receive the newsletter, you can sign up here.

DCO Social Media

DCO maintains a presence on Twitter and Facebook, and many DCO early career scientists are active on one or both of these networks. DCO also manages a Twitter list focused on early career scientists. These accounts are a great way to learn what other early career scientists are doing and to connect directly with your peers.


Further Reading

Studying Yellowstone by Integrating Deep Carbon Science, EOS, Morrison, Pistone, and Kohl. 23 June 2017.

Early-Career Scientists Tackle Deep Carbon, EOS, Giovannelli, Pratt, and Viveiros. 24 February 2016.

All photos by Katie Pratt.


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