Washington, DC, 29 March 2016—The Deep Carbon Observatory Executive Committee met on 1-2 March 2016 to discuss overarching themes for DCO’s final years—including modeling and visualization, synthesis and integration, field studies, and instrumentation—as well as plans beyond the end of the decadal program in 2019.

The meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., included a strategic discussion with Carnegie president Matthew Scott.

The Executive Committee recently expanded its ranks to accommodate growing leadership needs, and members Marie Edmonds (University of Cambridge, UK), Claude Jaupart (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France), and Louise Kellogg (University of California Davis, USA) attended the meeting in their capacity as head of DCO’s synthesis effort, DCO Task Force 2020, and the Modeling and Visualization Forum for Deep Carbon, respectively. The Executive Committee further expanded its membership during the meeting by appointing two early career scientists, Karen Lloyd (University of Tennessee, USA) and Vincenzo Stagno (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy). These appointments are part of a larger effort to involve early career scientists in all leadership bodies and groups during the remainder of DCO’s decadal program.

The meeting included a session on modeling and visualization, a key DCO priority for the coming years. Louise Kellogg inspired participants by showcasing opportunities for visualizations in the solid earth sciences and providing updates about progress on DCO’s Modeling and Visualization Forum. Elizabeth Cottrell (Smithsonian Institution, USA) reported on outcomes from the 2015 Modeling, Visualization, and Communication Workshop at the Smithsonian and launched a discussion oninitiatives from the workshop’s call for commissioned activities.

A separate session discussed DCO’s global suite of field studies, including engagement opportunities arising from existing field studies (Katie Pratt, DCO Engagement Team, University of Rhode Island, USA) and a proposed DCO Field Focus Site (Karen Lloyd, University of Tennessee, USA). A presentation by Henry Dick (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA), Co-Chief Scientist on IODP Expedition 360, helped the Executive Committee consider opportunities for deep carbon science associated with current and future mantle drilling projects.

Another meeting theme focused on the DCO instrumentation portfolio, with presentations on DCO’s new PUSH50 sample transporters (Isabelle Daniel, University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France), the DCO Computer Cluster (Peter Fox, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA), and the Panorama Mass Spectrometer at UCLA (Edward Young, University of California Los Angeles, USA). Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution for Science, USA) gave a presentation highlighting other DCO supported and leveraged instrumentation activity. DCO aims to raise awareness within the community about its instrumentation initiatives in order to promote access, collaboration, and use – maximizing scientific progress achieved with these custom instruments.

Meeting participants attended a special screening of “Life’s Rocky Start,” a PBS NOVA documentary featuring DCO Executive Director Robert Hazen. This film—which synthesizes laboratory experiments, fieldwork, and computational simulations—inspired a broader consideration of synthesis themes, opportunities, and goals for DCO’s final years.

Overall, the meeting engendered a focused discussion of DCO outcomes, strategy, and leadership, which will guide the program towards its 2019 finale.

More photos from the meeting are available here. Photo credit: Katie Pratt.

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