National Academies Press: OpenBook

Review of EarthScope Integrated Science (2001)

Chapter: 3 Implementation and Management

« Previous: 2 Scientific Rationale and Science Questions
Suggested Citation:"3 Implementation and Management." National Research Council. 2001. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10271.
×

3
Implementation and Management

EarthScope is a complex endeavor that will require a coherent management scheme that emphasizes integration across its many aspects. The EarthScope Working Group pointed out that EarthScope will require management and coordination at several intersecting levels:

  • As a facilities program—the various components of EarthScope will need to build on the strengths of the individual communities that they represent, but be undertaken in a manner that closely coordinates decision making and implementation during all phases of development—project planning, instrument definition, site selection, data collection, data management, and project review.

  • As a scientific endeavor—the breadth of EarthScope’s disciplinary and geographic reach will influence many aspects of earth science research in the United States for the next decade and beyond. There must be close coordination among the facilities, their management, the user community, and funding agencies.1

The challenge to have an effective, integrated management structure applies both to the implementation and operations of the facilities program, and to the scientific and educational endeavors that are based on the data and information acquired. In planning the management, coordination, and advisory studies of both aspects of EarthScope, incentives and strategies to ensure and encourage inte-

1  

EarthScope Working Group, 2001, EarthScope—A New View into Earth; draft EarthScope Project Plan.

Suggested Citation:"3 Implementation and Management." National Research Council. 2001. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10271.
×

gration must be incorporated at the earliest stages and continually reinforced. In supporting EarthScope science, those making decisions on funding will have to recognize a wide spectrum of contributions from disciplines and activities both inside and outside the confines of the institutional earth science budgeting process. Innovation and creativity in both management and funding should match the innovation and creativity of the program goals. The overall management scheme for EarthScope will require a number of elements. These include effective mechanisms for integrating component parts of the program, for soliciting advice on science directions, for making effective decisions enabling rapid response to selected opportunities, and for accomplishing educational and outreach activities.

The current proposal of the EarthScope Working Group for a management structure has several components (Figure 5). Interagency coordination is to be accomplished by the Interagency Coordinating Group. An EarthScope Coordinating Committee is proposed to perform the “day-to-day” oversight and planning, and a Community Science Council will provide high-level advice to the agencies and coordination for the overall program. This design for the management structure is little more than a “cartoon” in the documentation available to the committee and begs questions about how it will work. Will the EarthScope Coordinating Committee have a high-level role in resource allocation and setting science priorities, or will this be undertaken only by interaction between the Interagency Coordinating Group and the individual EarthScope facility management teams (Figure 5)? The effective functioning of the EarthScope management structure, to achieve the required integration, will depend on details still to be developed. From presentations made to the committee, it is clear that members of the science community and the NSF staff have devoted a good deal of thought to the issue. It is critically important that this activity continue to ensure the evolution of a structure that will achieve the ambitious program goals.

Although it is clear that the community is aware of the challenges of managing an earth science program of this unprecedented scope, individual components of the EarthScope enterprise will also require innovative management. For example, new ways to integrate large and complex data streams to elucidate dynamic earth phenomena will be needed. One example of an innovative approach for integrating data streams involves establishing a “Community Modeling Environ-

Suggested Citation:"3 Implementation and Management." National Research Council. 2001. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10271.
×

Figure 5. Proposed structure for oversight and management of EarthScope facilities (from EarthScope Working Group, 2001; EarthScope— A New View into Earth).

ment” (Figure 6), an idea that stems from a workshop2 convened by IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology). The committee encourages continued exploration of innovative structures to stimulate and provide for integration. In a similar vein, the committee encourages exploration of ways to optimize the education and outreach efforts of EarthScope.

In conclusion, the committee stresses that management and coordination must be highly effective at several levels, and furthermore, that careful attention must be paid to the selection of an overall structure and its component parts as EarthScope moves toward implementation. In particular, the scientific advisory structure must encompass all elements

2  

13th Annual IRIS Workshop, Jackson Lake Lodge, Moran, Wyoming, June 6–9, 2001.

Suggested Citation:"3 Implementation and Management." National Research Council. 2001. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10271.
×

Figure 6. Schematic showing coordinated and integrated data management structure for all EarthScope elements (from EarthScope Working Group, 2001; EarthScope—A New View into Earth).

of EarthScope to provide oversight and advice on the scientific directions of the program. The committee believes that the advisory structure also should include liaisons to other programs that can complement or extend EarthScope (discussed in next chapter).

Suggested Citation:"3 Implementation and Management." National Research Council. 2001. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10271.
×
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"3 Implementation and Management." National Research Council. 2001. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10271.
×
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"3 Implementation and Management." National Research Council. 2001. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10271.
×
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"3 Implementation and Management." National Research Council. 2001. Review of EarthScope Integrated Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10271.
×
Page 36
Next: 4 Appropriate Partnerships »
Review of EarthScope Integrated Science Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $29.00 Buy Ebook | $23.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

EarthScope is a major science initiative in the solid-earth sciences and has been described as "a new earth science initiative that will dramatically advance our physical understanding of the North American continent by exploring its three-dimensional structure through time". The initiative proposes to cover the United States with an array of instruments created to reveal how the continent was put together, how the continent is moving now, and what lies beneath the continent. The initiative is made of four components, three of which are funded by the Major Research Equipment program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and one of which is mostly associated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

In response to a request by the NSF, the National Research Council (NRC) established a committee to review the science objectives and implementation planning of the three NSF components, United States Seismic Array (USArray), the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), and the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD). The committee was charged with answered four specific questions: Is the scientific rationale for EarthScope sound, and are the scientific questions to be addressed of significant importance?, Is there any additional component that should be added to the EarthScope initiative to ensure that it will achieve its objective of a vastly increased understanding of the structure, dynamics, and evolution of the continental crust of North America?, Are the implementation and management plans for the three elements of EarthScope reviewed here appropriate to achieve their objectives?, and Have the appropriate partnerships required to maximize the scientific outcomes from EarthScope been identified in the planning documents?

Review of EarthScope Integrated Science presents the committee's findings and recommendations. To reach its conclusions the committee reviewed extensive written material and listened to presentations by members of the EarthScope Working Group and other interested scientists. The recommendations encompass science questions, management, education and outreach, and partnerships. Overall the committee was impressed by the EarthScope initiative.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!