Executive Committee (EXCOM)
Included here are notes submitted by the PacRim Consortium representatives. These are not the complete, official JOIDES minutes but reflect our Consortium's interests.
Report on EXCOM and Council Meetings
June 28 - July 1, 1999
Minutes submitted by David Feary, Pacific Rim Consortium Lead Representative to EXCOM
Australian Geological Survey Organization
Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006 AUSTRALIA
As required as a result of the June 1998 EXCOM review of the membership rights for members contributing at less than full membership levels, an EXCOM Subcommittee reviewed efforts undertaken by the PacRim Consortium to achieve full membership status. After reviewing the February 1999 PacRim letter to the EXCOM Chair (circulated separately by Feary), the EXCOM Subcommittee recommended that the PacRim Consortium should be permitted to continue with full SCICOM and EXCOM voting rights for the next year. EXCOM accepted this recommendation.
The next review will be undertaken in 12 months time, and following Chinese Taipeiās recent advice that it will be reducing its 1/6th contribution to 1/12th for FY2000, the Consortium is at great risk of losing its SCICOM and EXCOM voting rights. There was considerable surprise and consternation at the news of Chinese Taipeiās decision, with members commenting both on the perceived buoyancy and strength of the Chinese Taipei economy, and on the high international visibility and respect for ocean science work based on ODP drilling carried out by Chinese Taipei scientists. EXCOM members noted that several of the Science and Nature articles presented to the meeting by the SCICOM Chair as reflecting the value of DSDP- and ODP-related research had been authored or co-authored by Chinese Taipei marine geoscientists.
EXCOM noted that although efforts continue to attract Brazil, Russia, and South Africa into the program, it appears unlikely that any additional countries will sign up during the next 12 months.
NSF advised that the budget for FY2000 had been resolved at $US46.1m, with NSF contributing the additional funding above the standard $US44.6m. This extra funding is in addition to the additional $US6m provided by NSF for the 1999 drydocking. NSF noted the difficulties in developing a budget with the continuing uncertainty concerning the PacRim membership level.
EXCOM approved the FY2000 Program Plan.
Integrated ODP (post-2003)
EXCOM congratulated JOI and the organisers of the May 1999 COMPLEX meeting held at the University of British Columbia for co-ordinating the diverse range of scientific interests into a successful meeting. EXCOM noted that this meeting constituted a significant milestone towards the goal of establishing the scientific basis for a post-2003 scientific drilling program.
EXCOM endorsed the IPSC recommendation to form Industry Liaison, Technology, and Science Planning Working Groups to plan for post-2003 ocean drilling. EXCOM emphasised that the Science Planning Working Group should be constituted to consider science goals in the broadest possible context, noting that its members will not be appointed to represent their own particular specialist interests. EXCOM endorsed the multi-stage process proposed by IPSC for reviewing the various drafts of the post-2003 Science Plan to be produced by this working group, and noted the requirement that the final Science Plan must be designed to satisfy funding body imperatives as well as science requirements.
The IPSC Chair advised that the operating and science costing models for the post 2003 multi-ship program will be developed by consultants, once the riser vessel operating costs and scope of the non-riser vessel activities are known. EXCOM members were provided with an extensive briefing on IPSC activities, together with an anticipated timeline for future activities.
JAMSTEC/STA representatives advised that detailed planning for the OD21 riser vessel is continuing, with the latest design having an increased size from 190 to 210 m overall length and 32-38 m breadth. The minimum operational water depth will be 500 m. The release of the vessel to the international community following the thorough testing of all shipboard systems is planned for the end of the 1st quarter in 2006.
NSF advised EXCOM that the recently released "US-Japan Common Agenda", included a specific mention of the jointly promoted Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.
NSF advised that it will endeavour to ensure that there is no hiatus in programmatic activities during the transition from ODP to the post-2003 program; however, it is unable to provide any guarantees that there will not be any hiatus in actual drilling, as it is likely that it will be necessary to provide budgetary support for capital works associated with the deployment of a non-riser vessel.
EXCOM were advised that the US Science Support Program had established a Conceptual Design Committee, chaired by Peggy Delaney of University of California at Santa Cruz, to compile a set of design parameters for the non-riser vessel. There was some concern expressed that this was being run as a US-only effort, as there existed the stated intention that the ĪJR-IIā vessel will be operated as a fully international facility. NSF is working towards 1st quarter 2002 as the most likely timing for a series of "Requests for Proposals" for vessel and science support bids.
International Working Group (IWG) Participation
A requirement for further participation in the IWG, co-chaired by the US and Japan to plan for international participation in the multi-platform post-2003 IODP program, is that countries submit a "Letter of Intent" by 1st October 1999 indicating their continued intention to participate in IODP. So far, three letters of intent have been received, on behalf of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. As the US and Japan are already committed to IODP, these letters reflect a strong European commitment to collaborate with the US and Japan for future participation in scientific ocean drilling. PacRim countries are urged to give urgent consideration to submitting Letters of Intent to the co-chairs, in order to continue to participate in the planning process.
Council was advised that there is likely to be a number of additional steps, after the submission of a Letter of Intent and prior to signing a MOU, to affirm support for participation in post-2003 drilling activities. NSF recognises the reality that funding can only really be guaranteed a year in advance, so there will not be any requirement for MOUās to be signed an excessive time in advance of the new program being initiated.
Council was also informed that after including Rutgers University earlier this year, the JOI Board of Governors has approved the expansion of JOI to include the University of Michigan, University of Florida, and University of California at Santa Cruz. US JOI participation on EXCOM will remain at 10 members, with a Rutgers University representative replacing the University of Washington representative.
Multi-Program Integration Initiative
EXCOM approved formation of a Subcommittee charged with developing a plan for increased integration with other drilling programs. Specific mention was made of ICDP, Margins and InterMargins, InterRidge, and Antostrat. EXCOM is hopeful that contacts with other drilling programs will enable a degree of integration of activities that will appeal to funding agencies.
- The contract for drydocking the JOIDES Resolution in August 1999 has now been let, with the work to be done by a yard in Singapore. EXCOM were advised that the bid submitted by this yard was extremely cost-competitive.
- EXCOM thanked Dr Don Heinrichs, due to retire from NSF prior to the next EXCOM meeting, for his many years of service to Ocean Sciences in general and ODP in particular.
- EXCOM was informed of the budget for ODP-related activities in Germany, and it is clear that there is a continuing extremely high level of support for shore-based German ODP research. Another gratifying aspect reported to the meeting was the continuing development of links between ODP and ICDP (the International Continental Drilling Program). The present Performance Evaluation Committee (PEC-V) reiterated the importance of these and other links to drilling-related programs.
- ODP-related activities in the United Kingdom have been enhanced by the institution of a mini-fellowship program to provide additional support to post-doctoral scientists engaged in ODP research. This program was instituted in recognition of the critically important role that post-docs play in ODP research because of the very focussed nature of their studies.
- The UK also hosted a European industry-science workshop (the ĪSunbury Workshopā) that provides an excellent model for developing increased industry-academic collaboration. This workshop showed that there is industry recognition of the importance of past DSDP and ODP research for industry decision-making, and industry anticipation that ODP research results will continue to be important for industry in the future.
- EXCOM was pleased to note the significant advances in the ĪDeep Biosphereā initiative, with the presence of several microbiologists in a recent shipboard science party; the outfitting of the new microbiology / gas hydrate lab; and the recent drilling tests that prove that the APC system provides a clean, uncontaminated core.
- The replacements for the non-US OPCOM members due to rotate off (from PacRim and Japan) will be drawn from the UK and ECOD.
The next EXCOM meeting will be in Washington DC on 14-16th February 2000, to coincide with a Public Affairs event targeting Congressional and embassy/diplomatic people. The following meeting will be in College Station in mid-2000.
Minutes submitted to CanadaODP on August 3, 1999
You can also find up-to-date information on JOIDES meetings at the JOIDES site.
Canadian Secretariat, Ocean Drilling Program
Department of Earth Sciences
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3J5
Telephone: (902) 494-2866
FAX: (902) 494-2838