3

Findings and Recommendations

Basic research in the Earth sciences has numerous frontiers, with significant progress being made in both subdisciplinary arenas and interdisciplinary coordinated efforts. It is essential to sustain both types of activities, as individual-investigator research remains the most effective and innovative mechanism by which the field advances, even while the complexity and intrinsic interdisciplinarity of complex, dynamic geosystems demand coordination of multiple subdisciplinary efforts. Chapter 2 reviewed the status and prospects of basic research advancing in the next decade in seven important dynamic geosystems spanning a wide range of future research activity in the Earth sciences: (1) the early Earth; (2) thermo-chemical internal dynamics and volatile distribution; (3) faulting and deformation processes; (4) interactions among climate, surface processes, tectonics, and deeper Earth processes; (5) co-evolution of life, environment, and climate; (6) coupled hydrogeomorphic-ecosystem response to natural and anthropogenic environmental change; and (7) interactions of biogeochemical and water cycles in terrestrial environments. Chapter 2 also outlined exciting advancements in geochronology and isotope geochemistry. How to position research facilities for geochronology to better service the diverse needs of these interdisciplinary efforts while sustaining the advances of technical approaches in isotope geochemistry warrants detailed consideration.

This chapter presents the findings and recommendations of the committee regarding promising research opportunities over the next decade as relevant to the responsibilities of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Earth Sciences (EAR). Suggestions for new and enhanced instrumentation and facilities to support these research opportunities are outlined, and important partnerships and coordination between EAR and other programs and agencies engaged in Earth science research that will help pursue these opportunities are also discussed. This chapter also summarizes the committee’s findings and suggestions with regard to sustaining and diversifying the Earth science research community and education in the discipline.

LONG-TERM INVESTIGATOR-DRIVEN SCIENCE

EAR funding of research projects initiated and conducted by individual investigators and small groups of investigators is the single most important mechanism for maintaining and enhancing disciplinary strength in the Earth sciences. EAR is the almost exclusive source of support for a full spectrum of basic research, not all of which is directly linked to immediate societal priorities. With all other federal support for the Earth sciences being strongly mission driven, advancing fundamental understanding of the Earth sciences falls squarely on EAR. Some basic Earth science research involves curiosity-driven inquiry into the fundamental nature of our planet and our existence as its inhabitants, but Earth research directions enhance core understanding, develop new analytic approaches, and ultimately reveal complex dynamical geosystems behavior that frequently impacts our understanding of mission-driven research efforts. It is a combination



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3 Findings and Recommendations B asic research in the Earth sciences has numerous (NSF) Division of Earth Sciences (EAR). Suggestions frontiers, with significant progress being made for new and enhanced instrumentation and facilities to in both subdisciplinary arenas and interdisci- support these research opportunities are outlined, and plinary coordinated efforts. It is essential to sustain both important partnerships and coordination between EAR types of activities, as individual-investigator research and other programs and agencies engaged in Earth sci- remains the most effective and innovative mechanism ence research that will help pursue these opportunities by which the field advances, even while the complexity are also discussed. This chapter also summarizes the and intrinsic interdisciplinarity of complex, dynamic committee’s findings and suggestions with regard to geosystems demand coordination of multiple sub- sustaining and diversifying the Earth science research disciplinary efforts. Chapter 2 reviewed the status and community and education in the discipline. prospects of basic research advancing in the next decade in seven important dynamic geosystems spanning a LONG-TERM INVESTIGATOR-DRIVEN wide range of future research activity in the Earth sci- SCIENCE ences: (1) the early Earth; (2) thermo-chemical internal dynamics and volatile distribution; (3) faulting and EAR funding of research projects initiated and deformation processes; (4) interactions among climate, conducted by individual investigators and small groups surface processes, tectonics, and deeper Earth processes; of investigators is the single most important mecha- (5) co-evolution of life, environment, and climate; nism for maintaining and enhancing disciplinary (6) coupled hydrogeomorphic-ecosystem response to strength in the Earth sciences. EAR is the almost natural and anthropogenic environmental change; and exclusive source of support for a full spectrum of basic (7) interactions of biogeochemical and water cycles research, not all of which is directly linked to immedi- in terrestrial environments. Chapter 2 also outlined ate societal priorities. With all other federal support exciting advancements in geochronology and isotope for the Earth sciences being strongly mission driven, geochemistry. How to position research facilities for advancing fundamental understanding of the Earth geochronology to better service the diverse needs of sciences falls squarely on EAR. Some basic Earth sci- these interdisciplinary efforts while sustaining the ence research involves curiosity-driven inquiry into the advances of technical approaches in isotope geochem- fundamental nature of our planet and our existence as istry warrants detailed consideration. its inhabitants, but Earth research directions enhance This chapter presents the findings and recommen- core understanding, develop new analytic approaches, dations of the committee regarding promising research and ultimately reveal complex dynamical geosystems opportunities over the next decade as relevant to the behavior that frequently impacts our understanding responsibilities of the National Science Foundation’s of mission-driven research efforts. It is a combination 71

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72 NEW RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EARTH SCIENCES of exciting intellectual challenges as well as societal disciplinary research to make major advances in the relevance that draws the best and brightest students to Earth sciences in the next decade. the field, and this is critical to bolstering Earth science expertise in the population throughout the upcoming THE EARLY EARTH century. A decade ago, the Basic Research Opportunities in A large number of critical processes and events Earth Science (BROES) report (NRC, 2001) outlined formed Earth and guided its evolution to the pres- many examples of the synergism between a diverse, ent state. Unique to the Hadean Eon (the first 500 healthy basic research program and the advances of million years of Earth history) were the formation of directed research efforts. That report presented examples planetesimals, planetary embryos, and the moon; the of how advances in basic Earth science research areas mineralogy, petrology, and dynamics of magma oceans; intersect with five national imperatives and, as exempli- the dynamics and chemistry of core formation and fied in Chapter 2 of this report, significant progress has initiation of the geodynamo; formation of the earliest been made toward each of these imperatives: crust, atmosphere, and ocean; acquisition of surface vol- atiles; transition from an impact-dominated surface to 1. Discovery, use, and conservation of natural one shaped by plate tectonics; and the terrestrial conse- resources continue to benefit from improved quences of the young sun. The 2008 NRC report Origin theory, data collection strategies, and methods and Evolution of Earth identified the question “What developed in seismology, volcanology, magneto- happened during Earth’s dark age?” as a research grand tellurics, geodesy, low-temperature geochemis- challenge in the Earth sciences. try, geomorphology, and hydrology. There are multiple avenues for new insights into the 2. Characterization and mitigation of natural haz- early Earth. A primary objective is to increase the inven- ards are directly impacted by basic research on tory of early Earth samples by expanding the search for earthquake faulting, hydrology, geochemistry, yet older rocks and minerals. Still another is to quantify geodesy, geomorphology, and surface evolution. early Earth history using novel combinations of isotope 3. Geotechnical support of commercial and infra- systems and new micro- and nanotechnologies. Sus- structure development is strongly influenced by tained progress will require synthesizing geochronology basic understanding of soil science, geomorphol- and geochemical data with dynamical models that ogy, hydrology, seismology, and geodynamics. bridge the gap between planet formation and plate 4. Stewardship of the environment is informed by tectonics by incorporating the highly energetic condi- historical climate change, separation of secular tions of the early Earth. Advances in high-performance and anthropogenic contributions, soil science, computing hardware and parallel advances in software v olatile fluxes, geomorphology, and coastal will make it possible to model processes such as giant science. impacts, magma oceans, crust, and core formation using 5. Terrestrial surveillance for global security and realistic Earth parameters. The challenges of early Earth national defense is advanced by basic research history argue for strengthening links with astronomy on Earth’s interior; global geosystems; global and astrophysics, planetary science, molecular biol- seismic, geodetic, and meteorological measure- ogy, and biochemistry. ments; and other remote-sensing approaches. Finding 1: Organizing the diverse expertise within Further documentation of the role of basic science EAR and beyond would address major questions about in contributing to these national priorities is provided the early Earth. Advances can come from collabora- by the many research community strategic plans and tions with astronomy, astrophysics, planetary science, research summaries (see Appendix A), and full details exoplanet detection and characterization, and astro- are not repeated here. The emphasis of this report is biology. EAR coordination with the research efforts on identifying key areas of research opportunity that of the National Aeronautics and Space Administra- can build on the foundations of sustained core sub- tion (NASA) is particularly relevant, because NASA

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73 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS supports research on detection and comparison with resolution of small scales, and increased throughput, exoplanetary systems; origins of life and biological allowing geochemical measurements for extracting materials in our solar system; meteorite, asteroid, and information from the limited number and size of early solar system dust sampling; and large-scale modeling Earth samples. Modern synchrotron facilities open of planetary system formation. the possibility of doing mineral physics experiments at pressures and temperatures relevant for the full Finding 2: Expanding searches for and characteriza- range of early Earth conditions. Continued access and tion of the oldest rocks and minerals can provide new training support for these community facilities will be constraints on the earliest surface environments and important. Earth differentiation processes. Finding 3: Databases for compiling and disseminating Finding 3: Refinements in early Earth chronology and data relevant to the early Earth will be important. If rates of early Earth processes can be enabled through supported by NSF, they will need to be continuously novel applications of short- and long-lived isotope evaluated as to timeliness, effectiveness, and usefulness. systems. Finding 4: Continued access to labs that provide Finding 4: Education of graduate students in venues experimental capabilities at extreme pressures and tem- such as the Center for Interdisciplinary Deep Earth peratures under the dynamical conditions experienced Research (CIDER) program can be an effective strat- during energetic collisions early in Earth’s history will egy to foster the interdisciplinary collaborations and remain important. advanced training needed to solve early Earth problems. THERMO-CHEMICAL Recommendation: EAR should take appropriate steps to INTERNAL DYNAMICS AND encourage work on the history and fundamental physical VOLATILE DISTRIBUTION and chemical processes that governed the evolution of Earth f rom the time of its accretion through the end of late heavy The most compelling problems associated with bombardment and into the early Archaen, perhaps by estab- the deep Earth, of which three have been summarized lishing a specific initiative on early Earth. Specific program in Chapter 2, are on the scale of Grand Challenges. objectives and scope may be developed through community R esearch frontiers and opportunities in studying workshops that prepare a science plan preceding a separate t he deep Earth system are explicitly highlighted call for proposals. in recent community research plans, such as those f or geodynamics (Olson, 2010), seismology (Lay, 2009), high-pressure mineral physics (Williams, 2010), Instrument and Facilities Needs for the GeoPRISMS (MARGINS Office, 2010), Cooperative Early Earth Initiative Studies of the Earth’s Deep Interior (CSEDI) (Kellogg Finding 1: The computation challenges of studying et al., 2004), and EarthScope (Williams et al., 2010). planet formation, the impacts that influence this stage The NRC (2008) report, Origin and Evolution of Earth, of Earth history, magma ocean dynamics, and the also identifies corresponding Grand Challenges in coupled early Earth systems are formidable: these are how Earth’s interior works, why it has plate tectonics peta-scale applications. Activities and software devel- and continents, and how the processes are controlled opment similar to those currently done by the Com- by material properties. Addressing these big-picture putational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG) will problems generally demands capabilities and resources be necessary. This includes developing systems that are beyond what is normally accorded a single investigator, optimized for data-intensive computations. yet “small grants”-style research remains the source of most innovation. Programs for larger-scale interdisci- Finding 2: The new generation of high-resolution plinary collaborations, such as GeoPRISMs, CSEDI, analytical facilities provide a combination of precision, CIG, and Continental Dynamics, along with commu-

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74 NEW RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EARTH SCIENCES nity interdisciplinary activities such as CIDER will play tive research is increasingly difficult to provide at increasingly important roles in future synthesis, but core single research institutions; thus, community efforts individual investigator programs will remain important for focused graduate training such as provided by to foster the innovation found in more individualized CIDER summer institutes can be valuable in this research. Productive synergistic collaborations are often area. CIDER could continue to serve a function as serendipitous, and specific funding mechanisms to a synthesis center for focused effort on the problems prompt them, such as required menus of expertise on identified above. proposals, can be ineffective or at least compromised. A sounder strategy is to provide mechanisms for com- Recommendation: EAR should pursue the development munity cross-fertilization and communication, with of facilities and capabilities that will improve spatial intermittent bona fide collaborative undertakings being resolution of deep structures in the mantle and core, such recognized and supported. as dense seismic arrays that can be deployed in various W ith increasing resolution of contributing meth- favorable locations around Earth, enhanced computational odologies and expanding data sets and modeling software and hardware to enable increased resolution of capabilities, there are opportunities to advance our three-dimensional geodynamical models, and improved understanding of fundamental questions such as the high-resolution experimental and theoretical mineral configuration of mantle convection, quantities and dis- physics investigations. This will provide definitive tests of tribution of volatiles in the mantle, evolution of the core many hypotheses for deep Earth structure and evolution thermal regime, and growth of the inner core. These key advanced over the past decade. The large scope of such facili- questions lie at the heart of understanding how Earth ties will require a lengthy development and review process, evolves as a planet. and building the framework for such an initiative needs to commence soon. Finding 1: S ustaining progress in studies of the thermo-chemical dynamic system in Earth’s interior Instrument and Facilities Needs for Deep Earth requires continued data collection—archival and open D ynamics and Volatile Distribution distribution of seismic, geodetic, mineral physics, geo- magnetic, and geochemical information on a global Finding 1: Disciplinary-based facilities provide criti- scale. Community-vetted open software for seismology cal data for these major undertakings. This includes and geodynamics calculations is very valuable for this the seismological facilities of IRIS, the mineral physics research effort. These functions within current NSF facilities of COMPRES, the computational efforts of facilities and community organizations (e.g., Incor- CIG, and maintenance of geochemical and petrological porated Research Institutions for Seismology [IRIS], laboratories and databases. Sustained access to resources UNAVCO, EarthScope, Consortium for Materials such as synchrotron radiation and large-volume presses Properties Research in Earth Sciences [COMPRES], along with emerging experimental technologies is also CIG) can be evaluated regularly to ensure they are of great importance for mineral physics efforts. optimized and effective. Finding 2: For major deep Earth challenges, under- Finding 2: Focused research programs that support standing follows discovery, and discovery requires new integrative interdisciplinary coordination on deep technology and improved data. For example, dense seis- Earth dynamic systems (e.g., CSEDI, GeoPRISMS) mic and geodetic arrays such as the EarthScope facili- are valuable for testing hypotheses and creating the ties provide enhanced spatial resolution of mantle and synergies needed to answer long-standing questions core structure, but more extensive global coverage with as a supplement to innovative individual investigator fine-scale resolution remains a major goal. Advances in programs. high-performance computing hardware and software will allow construction of more realistic models with Finding 3: Graduate student training across the range improved assimilation of expanded Earth data. Current of interdisciplinary perspectives critical to integra- capabilities are not adequate to achieve the resolution

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75 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS that is needed to solve the deep Earth problems of communities that address the geosystem perspective dynamical structures and volatile distribution. by bringing together researchers with expertise span- ning laboratory friction experiments, observational Finding 3: Strong coordination with efforts to develop and theoretical seismology, geodesy, structural geology, and make accessible supercomputing resources such as earthquake engineering, field geology, volcanology, TERRAgrid, synchrotron, neutron, and nano-probe magnetotellurics, and deep drilling. These approaches facilities for mineral physics experiments in national are flourishing, and in the next decade integrative laboratories, and deployments of additional seismic efforts built around natural fault zone and subduction and geodetic sensors in oceanic and polar environ- z one laboratories hold promise of greatly advanc- ments, can enhance the EAR research programs. This ing our understanding of faulting and deformation involves a coordination and cooperation across NSF processes and associated roles of fluid, volatile, and structural entities as well as interagency coordination material fluxes. Large data collection and integrated with the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, and the analysis efforts are intrinsic to these natural laboratory U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). investigations. Finding 1: Completion of the envisioned Earthscope FAULTING AND DEFORMATION project through 2018, with the Transportable Array PROCESSES being deployed across Alaska and continued opera- Rapid discoveries are being made regarding the tion of the Plate Boundary Observatory, will provide nature of fault slip and associated deformation processes major advances in our understanding of the North in active tectonics environments, with a huge spectrum American continent and deformation processes along of fault slip velocities being revealed by concerted the plate boundaries in the Aleutians, Alaska, and the geodetic and seismic data collection. Tremendously western United States. Full realization of the goals of damaging recent earthquakes in Haiti (2010), Chile EarthScope will be a major achievement for EAR and (2010), and Japan (2011) are only harbingers of the will position the Earth sciences for future large facilities huge societal toll that could be exacted by earthquakes development. in the upcoming century, with burgeoning populations in seismically active areas being at risk. The combina- Finding 2: I ntegrative multidisciplinary activities tion of rapid scientific advancements and great societal such as MARGINS, GeoPRISMS, and the Southern relevance motivates enhanced EAR attention to the California Earthquake Center (SCEC) are particularly processes of faulting and deformation in active tectonic valuable for investigating fault zone and plate bound- regions. Understanding the behavior of faulting and ary environments. The SCEC has successfully bridged earthquake occurrence has also been deemed a Grand the earthquake science and earthquake engineering Challenge in the science plans of geodynamics (Olson, communities, including strong public outreach. The 2010), seismology (Lay, 2009), GeoPRISMS (Margins GeoPRISMS1 community has identified three key Office, 2010), EarthScope (UNAVCO, 2009; Williams regions to explore in the next decade: Cascadia; the et al., 2010), and the NRC (2008) report Origin and Alaskan subduction zone; and the North Island, New Evolution of Earth. Zealand, subduction zone. The faulting and deforma- The field of earthquake science is now recognized tion systems and material fluxes within these regions to involve a complex geosystem with multiscale pro- can best be addressed with interdisciplinary programs. cesses from the microscale controls on surface friction up to the regional-scale processes of sedimentary basin F inding 3: EAR research on the multiscale nonlinear reverberation and excitation of tsunamis by ocean water problem of earthquake faulting, seismic wave genera- displacements. While single-investigator contributions tion, and ground shaking in complex three-dimensional remain paramount to the discovery and disciplinary media is establishing understanding that can transform advances underlying the surge of progress in earthquake science, there has been profound value in developing GeoPRISMS science plan. 1

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76 NEW RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EARTH SCIENCES earthquake hazard assessment into a fully physics- for NASA to deploy an InSAR satellite as part of the based approach with potential to more effectively guide EarthScope project remains a high priority. earthquake engineering decision making. INTERACTIONS AMONG CLIMATE, F inding 4: Understanding fault zone and plate bound- SURFACE PROCESSES, TECTONICS, AND ary processes is strongly linked to understanding and DEEP EARTH PROCESSES mitigating natural hazards; thus, there is great societal relevance to understanding faulting and deformation The broad interactions among climate, Earth sur- processes as well as volcanic processes in these environ- face processes, and tectonics are an area of growing ments. Industry, insurance, and municipal partnerships interest and compelling research opportunities. The and strong coordination with the USGS are relevant to NRC (2010a) report Landscapes on the Edge identified help EAR connect science to the end user. as particularly intriguing those research questions that center on interactions among climate, topography, Recommendation: EAR should pursue integrated inter- hydrology and hydrogeology, physical and chemical disciplinary quantification of the spectrum of fault slip denudation, sedimentary deposition, and deformation behavior and its relation to fluxes of sediments, fluids, and in tectonically active mountain belts. Strong feedbacks volatiles in the fault zone. The successful approach of fault among precipitation and erosion induced by orogenic zone and subduction zone observatories should be sustained, effects play an important role in the distribution of because these provide an integrative geosystems framework deformation in mountain belts, whereas size and dis- for understanding faulting and associated deformation tribution of high-elevation topography in turn influ- processes. The related EarthScope project is exploring the ence global, regional, and local climates. The recent structure and evolution of the North American continent recognition of close coupling among surficial processes using thousands of coordinated geophysical instruments. of erosion and sedimentation and deeper tectonic and There is great scientific value to be gained in completing structural deformation creates new opportunities for this project, as envisioned, through 2018. interdisciplinary research questions that bridge climate science, geomorphology, structural geology, and geo- physics. New understanding of the dynamic interac- Instrument and Facilities Needs for tions among climate, Earth’s surface, and the planet’s Faulting and Deformation Research tectonics over geomorphic to geological timescales Finding 1: EAR is currently supporting numerous will require increased access to—and new develop- disciplinary facilities that are gathering essential data ments in—thermochronometry, methods for dating for understanding faulting processes and associated geomorphological surfaces, LiDAR, satellite imagery, d eformations. Facilities such as UNAVCO, IRIS, modeling capabilities, experimental methods, and field the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping instrumentation and studies. (NCALM), SCEC, CIG, and high-speed computing Understanding the interplay among climatic, geo- are important to advancing understanding of faulting morphic, and geological/tectonic processes in govern- processes. ing Earth surface processes and landscape evolution requires integrating processes across a wide range of Finding 2: Advances in fault rupture studies will temporal and spatial domains. Addressing the most require support for theoretical developments, new compelling problems and Grand Challenges under observations (combining accelerometers and global this theme will involve studies of the evolution and positioning systems), and high-speed computational dynamics of particular physiographic regions over resources. orogenic timescales and studies to address how to scale-up mechanistic, process-based understanding Finding 3: InSAR data are proving to be of great of short-term processes to quantitatively characterize value for research on faulting and associated deforma- and constrain system behavior and interactions over tion processes as well as volcanic processes. The plan longer timescales. Developing theory for the interac-

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77 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS tions among climate, topography, land cover, and the interior at geological scales and is a highly desired deeper Earth interior at global, regional, and local scales capability for addressing many deep Earth to surface represents a major research opportunity. Integrating research questions. However, the capabilities for reflec- surface processes and deep Earth studies, including tion imaging are diminishing in the academic com- petrological and seismological studies, and the record munity. Maintaining and enhancing reflection imaging of past surface environments are needed to explore capability, perhaps through new industry-academic connections between deep Earth processes and Earth partnerships to acquire new data sets or to obtain access surface dynamics. Developing geomorphic transport to existing industry data sets for academic study, are also laws that account for climate and the role of biota to highly relevant for research goals in fault studies and describe and quantify river and glacial incision, land- for continental drilling. slides, and the production, transport, and deposition of sediment are needed to address how to integrate the Recommendation: EAR should take appropriate steps to effects of event-based processes into long-term system encourage work on interactions among climate, surface pro- behavior. Measuring and modeling landscape evolution cesses, tectonics, and deeper Earth processes either through under diverse and varying climatic conditions, with an a new interdisciplinary program or perhaps by expanding emphasis on identification of physiographic signatures the focus of the EAR Continental Dynamics program to of climate and climate variability, will allow for the accommodate the broader research agenda of these inter- identification of thresholds of landscape response and disciplinary subthemes. the limits of landscape resilience. Instrument and Facilities Needs for Advancing Finding 1: Significant opportunities exist to encourage Research on Interactions Among Climate, Surface coordination and communication within the communi- Processes, Tectonics, and Deep Earth Processes ties engaged in research on linkages between climate, tectonics, surface processes, and deeper Earth processes Finding 1: Important existing facilities that support such as workshops that promote community interac- research in this area include NCALM (LiDAR data), tions around this theme. the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS), unique lab facilities (e.g., National Center Finding 2: New opportunities for studies of cli- for Earth-surface Dynamics [NCED]), UNAVCO mate, tectonics, and surface processes exist within the permanent and portable geodetic facilities, and IRIS GeoPRISMS program for research that spans the shore- permanent and portable seismic facilities. line within focus areas that include Cascadia, the Aleutians, and eastern North American margin. Devel- Finding 2: Access to geochronometric and cosmogenic opment of closer linkages between EAR and the Divi- dating to support analysis of the large sample collec- sion of Ocean Sciences (OCE) within GeoPRISMS tions intrinsic to this field-intensive research remains can leverage and optimize these research opportunities. important. Finding 3: The acquisition of high-resolution topo- CO-EVOLUTION OF LIFE, graphic data, such as through the NCALM, is essential ENVIRONMENT, AND CLIMATE for continued progress in surface process studies. Main- tenance of this capability and expansion to support The deep-time geological record has provided a acquisition of wider areal coverage and to provide more compelling narrative of changes in Earth’s climate, comprehensive distribution of these data are highly environment, and evolving life, many of which provide relevant for studies of climate, tectonics, and erosion analogs, insight, and context for understanding human’s processes. place in the Earth system and current anthropogenic change. Deep-time studies document a range in vari- Finding 4: Seismic reflection techniques provide the ability and impact of climate phenomena far broader primary tools for imaging structure in the crustal than archived in more recent records revealing how

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78 NEW RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EARTH SCIENCES physical, chemical, and biological feedbacks have oper- tially and temporally resolved multiproxy paleoclimate ated differently during past warmer and transitional and paleoecological time series with high precision and climate states (NRC, 2011a). In turn, the deep-time chronological constraints. There is an associated need record captures the importance of life as an agent of for improved dynamic models and expanded data- change in the environment affecting the composition model comparisons. and properties of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. The complexity of this bio-geosystem Finding 3: Major advancements in rapid and rela- is only now being fully realized, with new analytic tively inexpensive sequencing techniques and equally tools from geochemistry, paleontology, and biology impressive progress in numerical analysis of the results enabling unprecedented exploration of the coupled are allowing the genome of living, and in some cases time-evolution of past Earth surface conditions, includ- extinct, organisms to be mined for historical informa- ing temperature, atmospheric chemistry, hydroclimates, tion of evolutionary relationships and gene products chemical composition of the ocean, and the inter- extending from the present to the origin of life itself. relationship and physiologies of ancient life forms. C oupled with geologically derived environmental Concerted application of interdisciplinary capabilities information, this new source of deep-time information to the deep-time record will provide breakthroughs is bringing about profound changes in our understand- i n understanding of this profound and nonlinear ing of the history of life on Earth and its origin and bio-geosystem. biogeochemical consequences. Enabling further appli- Real or virtual paleoclimate/deep-time initiatives cation of genomic and proteomics methods that address can be pursued that draw together a broad community deep-time origins of environmentally important clades of researchers asking critical questions about key inter- and physiologies in conjunction with studies of envi- vals in time or key processes through time that could ronmental and climate proxies in deep time is a major be evaluated using cutting-edge environmental proxies, opportunity for future research. paleobiological methods, and numerical models. Such initiatives should bridge our understanding of the geo- F inding 4: Sampling at appropriate spatial and tem- logical record of past global “states” with those antici- poral scales will require new continental coring and pated in the Anthropocene stemming from changing continued ocean drilling. This is a limiting factor in fully climate, growing water demand, energy exploitation, developing the deep-time archive of past climates and land use, habitat change, and extinction. the co-evolution mechanisms operating through time. Drilling availability is limiting progress. Finding 1: Understanding the dynamics of past warm periods and major climate transitions that have pre- Recommendation: EAR should develop a mechanism to vailed throughout most of Earth’s history provides enable team-based interdisciplinary science-driven projects a valuable mechanism for assessing anthropogenic involving stratigraphy, sedimentology, paleontology, proxy changes in the climate system associated with green- development, calibration, application, geochronology, and house gas emissions. climate modeling at highly resolved scales of time and space to understand the major linked events of environmental, F inding 2: High-precision and accuracy geochrono- climate, and biotic change at a mechanistic level. Such logical tools (both radio-isotopic and astrochronologi- projects could be expected to be cross program and cross cal), environmental proxies, and molecular (genomic directorate. and proteomics) methods have placed the community on the cusp of a major advance in our understanding Instrument and Facilities Needs for Research on of the influence of major externally driven climate Co-evolution of Life, Environment, and Climate and environmental change on life and the feedbacks on climate caused by the evolution of new life forms. Finding 1: Scientific advances could come from enhanc- Proxy development and calibration studies need to be ing drilling activities ranging from small-scale drilling matched by complementary efforts to build more spa- with transportable rigs to the drilling scale facilitated

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79 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS through Drilling, Observation and Sampling of the understanding of Earth surface processes. Recogni- Earths Continental Crust (DOSECC) and the Interna- tion of the degree to which hydrogeomorphological tional Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). processes influence ecological systems, and ecosystems Current practice is complicated and inefficient, leading in turn influence hydrogeomorphological processes to a discouragingly long process. and dynamics, has opened up exciting new areas in the emerging fields of ecohydrology, ecogeomorphology, F inding 2: There is high value in developing mecha- and geobiology. It is now widely recognized that cli- nisms for coordinated sampling (e.g., multiproxy sam- mate change and disturbance, both natural and human, pling of the same materials), analysis, and archiving of can have far-reaching consequences for landscapes drill core. Integrated efforts on the development of dig- and ecosystems. Landscape-ecosystem response to ital databases (e.g., SedDB, Macrostrat, GeoStratSys) environmental change and disturbance can, in turn, to store proxy and genomic data and to facilitate data affect climate and human populations. The full scope integration and comparison across all spatial and tem- and breadth of these interactions are only beginning poral scales are also necessary to support advances. to be understood, in part because of the bi-directional Such an effort might incorporate a strategy to integrate nature of such feedbacks. Landscapes and ecosystems databases where relevant and with paleoclimate model in relatively rapidly changing, marginal environments archives so as to make them fully interactive. like coastal systems, wetlands, and permafrost regions are particularly vulnerable to changes in climate and Finding 3: Progress can be made through strategic land use. planning by NSF for expanded and coordinated efforts Our ability to anticipate the response of landscapes to make both high-precision geochronology and spe- and ecosystems to disturbance and climate change cialized analytical facilities available to all interested requires greater mechanistic understanding of the scientific parties. The current structure for access to interactions and feedbacks among hydrological drivers, high-precision geochronology labs creates a scientific landscape morphology, and biotic processes. Advancing bottleneck for obtaining geochronological constraints the science requires better theory, observations, and and can be cost prohibitive. models relating spatial patterns and temporal variability of landscape drivers (topography, hydrology, geology) to Finding 4: Dedicated computational resources for the dynamics of biotic communities, including iden- paleoclimate modeling focused on past warm periods tification of hydrological and morphological leading and extreme and abrupt climate events are required for indicators of landscape and ecosystem state change. improved parameterization, development of higher- Model development can continue to work toward resolution regional-scale models to capture climate bringing the influence of biotic processes into formal variability, and the integration of innovative paleo- representations of geomorphological and hydrological climate intercomparison models and data-model com- processes and to couple these with models of climate parisons consistent with Intergovernmental Panel on and human-landscape dynamics. Climate Change (IPCC)–style assessments. Similarly, additional computational resources are needed for F inding 1: There is a particularly critical need to better genomic analyses. understand the impact of natural and anthropogenic environmental changes in coastal environments, where these changes can be expected to have profound soci- COUPLED HYDROGEOMORPHIC- etal and economic consequences globally. Advances in ECOSYSTEM RESPONSE TO NATURAL coastal sciences could be accelerated by dedicated NSF AND ANTHROPOGENIC CHANGE initiatives and programs. The ways in which ecosystems and landscapes have co-evolved through time and the nature of their Finding 2: Critical zone research contributes under- coupled response to human activity and climate change standing essential to addressing larger-scale questions present tremendous opportunities for advancing our concerning co-evolution of landscapes and ecosystems

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80 NEW RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EARTH SCIENCES and landscape response to disturbances (natural or BIOGEOCHEMICAL AND WATER CYCLES anthropogenic). IN TERRESTRIAL ENVIRONMENTS AND IMPACTS OF GLOBAL CHANGE Finding 3: Integrated monitoring of hydrogeomorphic- Humans are altering the physical, chemical, and ecosystem processes will require development of new biological states and feedbacks among essential com- instrumentation, data archives, and models that can ponents of the Earth surface system. At the same time, take advantage of large-scale environmental restoration atmospheric temperature and carbon dioxide levels efforts and documented historical change as controlled have increased and are impacting carbon storage in the experiments. terrestrial environment, the water cycle, and a range of intertwined biogeochemical cycles and atmospheric Finding 4: The research required to address many of the properties that feed back on climate and ecosystems. priorities and opportunities related to landscape change Advancing our understanding of integrated soil, water, cuts across divisional and directorate boundaries within and biogeochemical dynamics in the critical zone and the NSF. In cases where other federal agencies such as the responses and feedbacks of carbon, nitrogen, and water USGS are addressing related questions, it would be cycles to climate change and human impacts requires advantageous to coordinate plans, facilities, and activities. new theory, coupled systems models, and new data. Several reports and science plans underscore the need Recommendation: EAR should facilitate research on for integrated studies of biogeochemical and water cycles coupled hydrogeomorphic-ecosystem response to climate in terrestrial environments, particularly in the critical change and disturbance. In particular, the committee recom- zone, and their response to climate and land use change, mends that EAR target interdisciplinary research on coastal including Landscapes on the Edge (NRC, 2010a), Chal- environments. This initiative would lay the groundwork lenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences (NRC, for understanding and forecasting the response of coastal in preparation), Frontiers in Exploration of the Critical landscapes to sea-level rise, climate change, and human Zone (Brantley et al., 2006), A Plan for a New Science and natural disturbance, which will fill an existing gap at Initiative on the Global Water Cycle (USGCRP, 2001), NSF and should involve coordination with OCE, USGS, and the BROES report (NRC, 2001). and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Among the key research opportunities is develop- (NOAA). ment of a theoretical framework for the interactions among hydrological, geochemical, geomorphic, and Instrument and Facility Needs for Coupled biological processes in the critical zone, including the Hydrogeomorphic-Ecosystem Response to Natural roles of climate and geological setting that have here- and Anthropogenic Change tofore been only loosely constrained. New advances in our ability to understand and quantitatively simulate Finding 1: Advancing our understanding of landscape carbon, nutrient, water, and rock cycling will depend on response to natural and anthropogenic environmental new measurement approaches and instrumentation that change requires infrastructure and support for commu- capture spatial and temporal variability in atmospheric nity modeling efforts, data archiving, and instrument and land use inputs superimposed on complex vegeta- facilities. These functions of current NSF facilities, tion patterns and underlying anisotropic subsurface centers, and community organizations (e.g., NCALM, geomedia. This will require a substantial investment UNAVCO, NCED, CSDMS, and the Consortium in in situ environmental sensors, field instruments, of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic geochemical and microbiological tools, remote sens- S cience, Inc. [CUAHSI]) are valuable and can be ing, surface and subsurface imaging, and development evaluated regularly to ensure they are optimized and of new technologies. There is also a critical need for effective. Centralizing and disseminating a variety development of coupled systems models to explore how of data related to landscape processes (hydrological, these systems respond to anthropogenic and climatic geomorphological, geological, biogeochemical, biotic, forcing. climate) would be valuable.

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81 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Finding 1: EAR is poised to play a leadership role ments and the atmosphere and its feedbacks with climate, in comprehensive, uniquely integrated studies of the biogeochemical processes, and ecosystems. terrestrial environment in the face of human activity and climate change. New efforts could coordinate with Instrument and Facilities Needs for complementary NSF programs in hydrology, geo- Biogeochemical and Water Cycles in Terrestrial morphology, sedimentology, climatology, atmospheric Environments and Impacts of Global Change science, geodesy, geophysics, geochemistry, geobiology, and terrestrial ecology, as well as the National Eco- Finding 1: Advancing this research priority will require logical Observatory Network (NEON). Extending this a substantial focus on in situ environmental sensors, coordination to related programs outside NSF could field instruments, geochemical and microbiological be valuable. tools, remote sensing, surface and subsurface imaging, and development of new technologies. There is also Finding 2: The Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) a need for computational facilities and community model provides a fruitful template for evaluation and modeling efforts like the CSDMS and the Community possible expansion of integrated studies of the critical Hydrologic Modeling Platform (CHyMP). zone in complex terrestrial settings. These observato- ries and other integrated approaches are most valuable FACILITIES FOR GEOCHRONOLOGY if they capture a broad, but differentiated, array of settings, processes, and controls (natural and anthro- A strong theme developed in many of the previous pogenic) and are effectively coordinated. Critically sections of this report is the pressing need to enhance evaluating the success of the CZO program at regular the community’s capacity to produce high-quality dates. intervals will ensure its long-term success. The recent pace of innovation of new methods, rang- ing from radiometric dating to thermochronometry to Finding 3: To advance our understanding of the surface exposure dating, has generated exciting new cycling of water, carbon, nutrients, and geological mate- scientific opportunities and a large unmet demand for rials in terrestrial environments, it will be valuable to measurements. New mechanisms for supporting geo- have measurements at single points on the landscape chronology laboratories will be required to efficiently integrated smoothly with more broadly distributed esti- develop these opportunities and to promote continued mates derived from remote sensing. All of these mea- technical advances in the coming decade. In this regard, surements will have to be coordinated with new theory this aspect of EAR-funded facilities requires the spe- and models appropriate for landscape and regional cial attention given in this report to how to service the scales to resolve spatial and temporal trends caused by expanding needs of the community relative to other core climate change, land use, and other human impacts. facilities noted above that underlie opportunity areas. Traditionally, age determinations have been made Finding 4: There is a major role for modern criti- in single principal investigator (PI) laboratories. These cal zone science as a bridge between ancient analogs laboratories are usually funded by a combination of archived in the geological record and the anticipated grants directly to the laboratory PI and to investiga- consequence of future changing climate, growing water tors with which the PI collaborates. However, as the demand, and greater and evolving land use. technical complexity of the measurements and the cost of instrumentation rise, this model is becoming finan- Recommendation: EAR should continue to support pro- cially unsustainable. In addition, there is a sense among grams and initiatives focused on integrated studies of the potential users that this model does not serve the com- cycling of water, carbon, nutrients, and geological materials munity as broadly and effectively as it could. One way in the terrestrial environment, including mechanisms forward is for EAR to entertain proposals that seek and reactions of soil formation; hydrological and nutrient funding for major new facilities capable of meeting cycling; perturbations related to human activities; and more these challenges. The committee prefers to avoid being generally the cycling of carbon between surface environ- overly prescriptive of what such a facility should look

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82 NEW RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EARTH SCIENCES like—whether it be a single laboratory or an alliance of substantially more support and more commitment to multiple laboratories, whether it be focused on a single serving community needs than if implemented through method or a range of methods, and so forth. However, current EAR programs. a collection of important objectives for such facilities is offered: Recommendation: EAR should explore new mecha- nisms for geochronology laboratories that will service the 1. The best science outcomes occur when strong geochronology requirements of the broad suite of research i ntellectual engagement exists between the o pportunities while sustaining technical advances in i nvestigators who make the measurements methodologies. The approaches may involve coordination of and those who use them. This extends all the multiple facilities and investment in service facilities and way from the inception of a project, through may differ for distinct geochronology systems. sampling strategy and sample selection, to the collection and interpretation of results. The com- At present there is no mechanism within EAR for mittee believes that a simple analysis-for-hire proposals of the large scale the committee envisions; scheme is unlikely to yield results of consistent therefore, a bold new program with appropriate goals high quality. and guidelines would need to be created. 2. It will be useful to identify mechanisms that will encourage broad community access to the INTERAGENCY AND INTERNATIONAL facilities. PARTNERSHIPS AND COORDINATION 3. It would be useful if facilities were encouraged or required to routinely demonstrate that the qual- All of the research opportunity areas and associ- ity of their results meet the standard expected by ated facilities identified above intersect interests and the community they serve. Such a demonstration capabilities of other Federal agencies and international would eliminate any questions regarding the programs. EAR can enhance the impact of its research integrity of ages produced. portfolio by encouraging and supporting interagency 4. The education of investigators, especially stu- and international coordination of facilities, community dents and post-docs, is an essential goal of these consortia, and individual investigations. Each activity is facilities. The education of geochronologists distinctive, and in some cases a formal Memorandum and that of users of geochronology are equally of Understanding (MoU) between agencies may clarify important. Intellectual isolation of measure- relationships, and in other cases direct EAR represen- ments from applications is best avoided. tation in international programs may be appropriate. 5. A component of the support given to facilities The early Earth opportunity area overlaps with could be used to innovate new or better methods. mission objectives of NASA and research activities sup- 6. Traditional single-PI laboratories doing high- ported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Large-scale quality, innovative research will remain essential modeling capabilities of U.S. National Laboratories to the vitality of the field. offer potential points of coordination as well. Investiga- tion of global thermo-chemical dynamics of the mantle The facilities envisioned here could be quite expen- directly engages the global seismological communities sive, and the committee does not prescribe a specific loosely organized under the Federation of Digital Seis- funding mechanism. In its boldest implementation the mic Networks, the in situ Global Earth Observation committee can envision creating one or more national System of Systems, and the Comprehensive Nuclear geochronology centers that would require capitalization Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) International and operating costs that exceed the capacity of existing Monitoring System (IMS). EAR can coordinate with NSF-EAR programs, including the Major Research these international activities best through univer - Instrumentation (MRI) program. Alternatively, single sity consortia efforts such as IRIS. Development of PI laboratories or networks of such laboratories could increased resolution capabilities for global imaging will potentially fulfill the same objectives but would require require international coordination on data acquisition,

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83 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS and EAR could work together with the USGS to sup- puter science and information technology. The special- port that international effort. Expanding data collection ized skills in these areas are not typically developed to oceanic and cryosphere environments remains a key in Earth science curricula and a possible approach is challenge for global investigations, and EAR coordina- to foster attraction of more students with good com- tion with OCE and Office of Polar Programs (OPP) putational skills into Earth science research through in instrument development and data acquisition in outreach to those programs and students. EAR might these challenging locations needs to be sustained and help this process by creating incentives for computer expanded. science participation in key research areas rather than Pursuing the advances in understanding fault - the current focus on cyberinfrastructure, which often ing processes requires continued operation of GPS has Earth scientists trying to find ways to collaborate networks, and EAR can advocate for sustaining and with computer science initiatives. upgrading these capabilities of NASA and U.S. Depart- Most university curricula in the Earth sciences ment of Defense–supported satellites. The broad have moved toward some level of geosystems perspec- infrastructure required for EAR science applications tive for developing the cross-disciplinary foundations of geodetic data is often not appreciated, and EAR needed for research in opportunity areas like those can play a valuable role in sustaining this infrastructure described above. EAR can build on the successful in other agencies by communicating and, as appropri- example of internship programs (notably those for ate engaging in MoU to sustain data flow. Research IRIS, UNAVCO, and SCEC), along with interdisci- opportunity topics involving surficial processes and plinary educational workshops like CIDER, to foster coastal dynamics address problems that are at the core broad cross-disciplinary training in other areas. The of the missions of the USGS, NOAA, and U.S. Forest model of summer graduate training workshops, with Service. Continued efforts to develop and maintain several weeks of lectures by diverse experts addressing these partnerships are key to maximizing the impact a cross-disciplinary topic, developed by CIDER and of EAR research programs. several European-based organizations holds potential for all of the opportunity areas. Few, if any, university programs are now able to provide in-house expertise TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION across the relevant areas for many of the geosystems of AND DIVERSIFYING THE RESEARCHER interest and immersive training in short-courses can be COMMUNITY an effective way of developing awareness, understand- Capitalizing on the research opportunities set out ing and competency for cross-discplinary research for in the preceding sections will require researchers with undergraduates, graduates, and faculty alike. the skills and knowledge to advance the science. As Increasing the participation of historically under- several high-profile reports have recently laid out (e.g., represented groups is an equally important and directly CGS, 2007; NRC, 2010d), providing the appropriate related challenge. There remains an uneven minority training remains a major challenge in the United States, exposure to science and math (NRC, 2010c), as well as both within the Earth sciences specifically and STEM a significant science knowledge disparity between poor (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and affluent students (National Center for Education disciplines in general. Earth science K–12 education Statistics, 2011). A gender gap persists in the Earth standards are still inconsistent from state to state sciences and, although the Earth sciences are doing (Hoffman and Barstow, 2007), and The Global Com- better than other math and physical sciences in terms petitiveness Report 2010-2011 by the World Economic of gender equity, there remains substantial room for Forum ranks the United States 52nd in the quality of improvement. The female share of Earth science stu- math and science education (Schwab, 2010), continuing dents at all levels has steadily increased over the past a downward trend that presents a significant challenge decade, but still only 35 percent of Earth science post- to the nation’s ability to draw on domestic sources of docs are women (NSF, 2011). As in other sciences, at expertise in the Earth sciences. Many of the research each career step through graduate school to professor- areas discussed above require advanced skills in com- ship, the number of women relative to men declines

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84 NEW RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EARTH SCIENCES (NRC, 2006), a condition that increases women’s emphasis would build on existing NSF programmatic isolation as they advance in the discipline. The com- infrastructure. mittee agrees that including ideas and perspectives of underrepresented groups serves both underrepresented Finding 2: Promoting early awareness of the Earth groups and the discipline itself. sciences on college campuses is key. One of the best To some extent, the disparities in training and inclu- times to capture students’ interest is as they are enter- sion are driven by larger social issues that are beyond ing college. Earth science gap-year internships would the capacity of the EAR division or this committee to incentivize early exposure to the Earth sciences for address. However, NSF is making progress on many students who defer college entry for a year. Deferring of these challenges (see, e.g., NSF, 2008, 2010), and college entry is becoming increasingly common, and EAR is working to enhance diversity, education, and students who take a gap year may perform better as knowledge transfer through the outreach efforts of undergraduates (Birch and Miller, 2007). Gap-year EAR-funded groups, such as IRIS and NCED, and internships could be incorporated into research pro- the committee encourages EAR to continue these posals as a supplement to encourage this specific type efforts. There are several areas in which the committee of pre-undergraduate outreach. An initiative to target believes EAR could benefit from focusing its resources, the parents of freshmen with a kiosk and brochures and the following suggestions are meant to guide those during “Parents Day” events could help parents real- efforts. The committee mentions several specific NSF ize that the Earth sciences offer a legitimate career initiatives as examples but does not mean to imply that path for their children. Outreach to computer science these initiatives are the best vehicles for EAR efforts majors could highlight the exciting applications of going forward. The EAR division will know best how high-performance computing available in the Earth to implement these suggestions, including the specific sciences. The EAR-funded Louis Stokes Alliances initiatives that could be expanded or developed. for Minority Participation is a valuable mechanism to attract Earth science majors as they transition from Finding 1: Bringing the Earth sciences into the high high school to undergraduate institutions. The NSF school curriculum at the same level as chemistry, biol- Research Experiences for Undergraduates program has ogy, and physics would pay large dividends to the also been successful and could be further geared toward discipline in the next generation. As an integrative underrepresented groups. discipline, the Earth sciences can be used as an umbrella course to bring together core math and science knowl- Finding 3: P lace-based research that incorporates edge and, while other integrative disciplines such as indigenous landscapes and ways of thinking is one way “environmental science” and “human geography,” have to attract indigenous students. Indigenous peoples are Advanced Placement (AP) courses available to high underrepresented in the Earth sciences despite these school students, the Earth sciences remain notably cultures having a rich sense of place when it comes to absent from the AP course list. The EAR division may the natural world (Palmer et al., 2009). Incorporating also consider both laboratory and deployable scientific concepts like ethnogeology (how geological features are instruments for high school classrooms. Much of the interpreted by cultures) into lessons can increase the exciting and relevant work in the Earth sciences is accessibility of the Earth sciences. Presenting the Earth done using unique instrumentation, and some under- sciences in a way that is commensurate with, rather than represented minorities may prefer a laboratory setting in opposition to, native perspectives of Earth systems to fieldwork (O’Connell and Holmes, 2011). Exposing has had some success and is worthy of EAR education students to the types of instruments they would use resources. An initiative such as NASA’s Earth Science in a career in the Earth sciences, with an emphasis on Division’s Tribal Earth Science and Technology Educa- laboratory instrumentation, could boost interest and tion Program could be partnered with or emulated. The understanding. A schoolyard version of the Long Term lessons learned in developing place-based Earth science Ecological Research program with an Earth science education for native cultures may also be transferable

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85 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS to other groups, such as teaching watershed hydrology Earth sciences to laypeople is diminished, and there is to urban students (Endreny, 2009). a danger that U.S. citizens’ understanding of the Earth sciences will be further challenged. One solution is to Finding 4: The decline in traditional science journalism provide training and support for scientists interested may be partly offset by fostering the scientist commu- in popular science writing such as online science blog- nicator. Support for the Earth sciences depends on citi- ging, short videos, or nonfiction book writing. Assist- zens and policy makers understanding the high social ing scientists in developing a narrative that explains a and economic value of the Earth sciences to the nation. new science concept will enhance communication with Traditionally, the most effective way of communicating laypeople as well as interdisciplinary communication. the results of jargon-laden Earth science articles to Writing fellowships, media training, workshops, and laypeople has been through science journalism. With courses that address science communication skills in the decline in the number of science journalists nation- today’s media climate are several mechanisms for sup- wide (Brumfiel, 2009), the capacity to communicate the porting science communication.

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