Dear Ocean Drilling Community,
The recent news from NSF highlights the financial difficulties that are faced in funding the full operation of the JOIDES Resolution. J-DESC recognizes that these financial difficulties are very serious, and that added with the news from USAC, understands that the present plan is to remove JR from the previously agreed upon operation planning framework with the view of enhancing the chances of achieving the scientific goals of the 2013-2023 IODP Science Plan.
However, to further develop the future drilling program, some international framework towards the operation of drilling research vessels, and devoted to the international science community, is strongly desired by all J-DESC members, participants, and collaborators.
In particular, we consider following items as essential elements to be maintained in a post-2013 scientific ocean drilling program:
1) The recently released “New Science Plan -Illuminating Earth’s Past, Present, and Future” remains the over-arching vision for the next decade.
2) All three present funders of the drilling platforms (JOIDES Resolution, Chikyu, and Mission Specific Platforms) will open access to these facilities and expeditions to the international scientific community through sharing platform boarding to maximize the implementation of New Science Plan.
3) Access to a variety of programmatic resources, such as platform facilities, legacy and future drilling cores, legacy and future data, and facilities in the repositories will remain open to, and for, international collaboration of the science community.
4) The international scientific community will participate in the new Science Advisory Structure in implementing the next phase of scientific ocean drilling. Expertise from throughout the international community will be required to achieve the strongest possible scientific outcomes.
We hope that continued strong collaboration with the international ocean-drilling science community, with regard to implementation planning, boarding, and post-cruise activities, remains an integral part of any future scientific ocean drilling program. We also look forward to, and appreciate, the main funding agencies’ continued efforts and dedication in pursuit of a successful post-2013 scientific ocean drilling program.
Chair and vice-chair of the IODP section
Japan Drilling Earth Science Consortium (J-DESC)