Support for the U.S. GEOTRACES Project Office
The International GEOTRACES Program is a worldwide effort to study the global marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes in the global ocean. The cycling of chemical substances between organisms and the environment is intimately associated with such diverse phenomena as the carbon cycle, climate change, ocean ecosystems, and the distribution and fate of environmental contaminants. This award provides funding to continue operation of the US Project Office, established in 2006 to manage the US national component of GEOTRACES. The US GEOTRACES Project Office provides coordination and communication support for the teams US marine scientists who are funded by the National Science Foundation to carry out the American contribution to this difficult but important multi-national effort. Community building is a cornerstone of the GEOTRACES program and will constitute a major broader impact of Project Office activities. For example, young investigators involved in GEOTRACES will be offered an excellent professional networking and educational opportunity by being involved in cruises and workshops. GEOTRACES findings, including information about micronutrients essential to marine life and the distribution of contaminants, will certainly be of interest to a broad spectrum of society. A new education and outreach initiative proposed here, coordinated by the US GEOTRACES Project Office, will begin by building on these aspects of the program. This award will provide three years of renewal funding for the US GEOTRACES Project Office at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Under the direction of the US GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee, the Project Office will provide planning and coordination services for all aspects of the US national GEOTRACES program. Specifically, the Project Office will be responsible for (1) arranging workshops to facilitate the planning and implementation of field programs as well as the interpretation and synthesis of results of those expeditions, while also communicating information about international GEOTRACES and providing logistics support for enabling activities (intercalibration, data management, modeling); (2) serving as a point of contact for communication among international and regional efforts involving US scientists;(3) communication, outreach and community-building activities; and (4) supporting the US GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee by facilitating its deliberations, arranging its meetings and implementing its decisions.