A Proposal to Manage the U.S. Science Support Program Office associated with the International Ocean Discovery Program (USSSP-IODP)

Lead PI: Mr. Carl Brenner , Dr. David S. Goldberg , Dr. Maureen E. Raymo , Rosamond J Kinzler

Unit Affiliation: Marine/Large Programs, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

December 2014 - February 2025
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) will manage the U.S. Science Support Program associated with the International Ocean Discovery Program (USSSP-IODP). Judicious management of the U.S. Science Support program will enable the U.S. scientific community to maximize the scientific return from the IODP drilling platforms and address the major themes outlined in the IODP Science Plan for 2013-2023. These include monitoring past climate and ocean change; pursuing greater understanding of subseafloor organisms and ecosystems; examining connections between Earth's surface environment and deep processes; and increasing our understanding of geohazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. Scientific ocean drilling remains one of the preeminent tools for reconstructing Earth's history and improving predictive models for its future. IODP also provides a means whereby young investigators and graduate students can work alongside experienced scientists who will serve as mentors and leaders. The results obtained from IODP will constitute an important data set that should inform social policy in the coming decades. In addition, USSSP-IODP will pursue a comprehensive outreach program with the goal of increasing the public's awareness of IODP's accomplishments. Outreach efforts will include family learning opportunities and the use of traditional media and Internet-based initiatives such as social media. As much as possible, LDEO will bring IODP scientists into direct contact with the public through the use of ship-to-shore video, online interviews and Q&A sessions, and special outreach events at museums and other informal learning centers. Through collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, an estimated 15,000 family visitors over five years will attend IODP-related lectures as part of the Millstein Science Series, after which they will interact with IODP researchers and museum-based educators on IODP-specific activities. In addition, the multidisciplinary nature of IODP makes it an ideal platform for STEM education development and initiatives. USSSP-IODP will promote STEM learning by engaging teachers at all levels in IODP-related professional development programs and providing them with the opportunity to sail on the JOIDES Resolution as part of the School of Rock or the new Onboard Program.

LDEO has a long involvement with scientific ocean drilling and the collective experience of the PI and co-PIs provide a strong foundation that will ensure the office is managed efficiently and with an eye toward providing superior service to the U.S scientific community. USSSP-IODP will support numerous components of the U.S. IODP effort, including travel costs for program development and planning, expedition participation and pre-and post-drilling activities. Salary support for U.S. scientific party members on both the JOIDES Resolution and non-U.S. drilling vessels will also be provided. The LDEO and Columbia administration groups have extensive experience with establishing subawards and are well positioned to provide these services on behalf of the USSSP-IODP. The reorganized U.S. Science Advisory Committee (USAC) will coordinate or provide reviews of proposals and applications from the U.S. IODP community and will provide the implementing organizations with recommendations for shipboard staffing. USAC will also advise USSSP-IODP in establishing goals for U.S activities in IODP, promote the development of working groups and individual drilling proposals, and provide oversight of the USSSP Office.


National Science Foundation




Alix Cotumaccio, Melanie Cohen, Dionne Norton


American Museum Natural History