(Society for Sedimentary Geology), the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the Society of Economic Geologists, the American Institute of Hydrology, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Paleontological Society.

On an international scale, there are analogous organizations, such as the International Association of Sedimentologists. Currently, the International Lithosphere Program of the Inter-Union Commission on the Lithosphere coordinates some of these activities through its task force on "The Origin of Sedimentary Basins." This project is focused on strengthening international collaborations between industry and academic scientists in an effort to develop multidisciplinary models of sedimentary basins. Since 1990, the project has sponsored five workshops at scientific meetings in Europe and the Middle East (e.g., Cloetingh et al., 1994).

In the effort to develop a comprehensive set of models for sedimentary basins, the panel believes that scientific societies and unions will play an important role. For example, through their meetings and special workshops, societies can shape and focus the research agenda on sedimentary basins. To this end, collaborative efforts between particular societies (e.g., between AAPG and GSA) can facilitate new research strategies. Because societies represent a wide range of scientists from university, government, and industry, they are in an ideal position to coordinate many of the difficult issues in developing collaborative research programs. These include facilitating access to proprietary data, developing industry-academic-government research consortia, developing innovative mechanisms for joint industry-government funding of basin research, and encouraging increased research efforts by the environmental remediation industry.

The panel recommends that the broad range of geoscience societies take an active role in facilitating progress toward the development of a comprehensive set of models for sedimentary basins. For this effort, both special sessions at regular meetings and cosponsored symposia or research conferences could be particularly effective. The panel believes it would also be useful for scientific societies to convene joint industry-academic-government roundtable discussions on critical organizational issues for strengthening multidisciplinary research on sedimentary basins. Finally, the panel stresses that it is important for U.S. scientific societies to strengthen their collaborations with ongoing international programs regarding the origin and evolution of sedimentary basins.

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