The growth in size and scope of the CZO program is such that NSF formalized a National office (CZONO) in 2014 to:
The increase from six to nine observatories necessitated the formalization of a CZO National Office (CZONO). All nine observatories are intensively studied interdisciplinary research and education sites that focus on the Critical Zone.
The CZO National Office is led by Dr. Lou Derry (Director), Dr. Tim White (Coordinator), and Dr. Justin Richardson (Post-Doctoral fellow). The overall goal of the office is to help advance network-level Critical Zone science, education and outreach as a tool for sustainability. Some of the office's routine tasks are to establish regular communication among CZO PIs, organize two national meetings annually, offer graduate/young scientists workshops, develop electronic delivery of educational resources for Critical Zone science, and:
1. Enhance communication among CZO researchers and students. Organization of monthly teleconferences, circulation of agendas, note taking and archiving on will bd a fundamental task of the national office along with the initiation and development of cross-CZO working groups.
2. Promote common measurements and data protocols. The CZONO views engagement with other U.S. networks as he best opportunity for fully developing environmental-gradient science and common measurements. An NSF-funded Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) grant to the National Office (2014-2019) will focus on common measurments through regular meetings, workshops and field schools, as well as international scholarships for graduate students.
3. Provide a single point of contact for the program. The National Office will serve as the contact for the national program. The website criticalzone.org will remain the primary outreach venue for the program.
The overall goal of the National Office is to help advance Critical Zone science as a tool for sustainability.
4. Develop new educational and outreach initiatives. A discussion of existing and ongoing education and outreach initiatives developed by the national coordiinator may be viewed. The National Office will aim to continue these activities and to develop additional programs for: graduate training, especially focused on the broader community; educational modules based on CZ science activities and data that can be adapted for undergraduate and secondary education curricula; and, teacher’s workshops at either National Science Teacher Association or North American Association for Environmental Educators meetings.
5. Increase interaction of the CZO program with a broad range of scientists. A visible presence at AGU is considered a fundamental assignment of the CZONO, as is the development of brochures that accurately represent the newly expanded network. An important function of the CZONO will be to integrate scientists and students currently outside the CZO community to take advantage of the CZOs as a community resource. The CZONO will act as a liaison between the CZO program and related U.S. programs including CUAHSI, NEON, and LTER, and to international programs such as SoilTrec, the EU CZO program, and the French RBC (Network of River Basins), and other evolving networks for example in China, Australia and other European nations. Improved integration with other science programs that have overlapping goals will extend the Critical Zone network concept over a wider range of environments and processes than the U.S. CZO program can achieve on its own.
The National Office began publishing CZNews, a quarterly newsletter, in 2015. A monthly newsletter started in late 2016. For links to issues, see National News.
David Lubinski (INSTAAR, CU-Boulder) leads the maintenance and further development of the criticalzone.org website, a key resource for the CZOs and the broader scientific community.
Justin Richardson - (CZO, Cornell University) leads cross-CZO research, generates communication of science with public and educators, and enhances community among undergraduate, graduate students, and investigators.
Rob Ross (Paleontological Research Institution/Museum of the Earth) will help lead outreach and education efforts.
Don Duggan-Haas (Paleontological Research Institution/Museum of the Earth) will help lead outreach and education efforts.
Sarah Sharkey (CZO, Penn State University) facilitates communication and cross-site science using common measurements within the U.S. CZOs and internationally.
About the US NSF CZO Program (including main components, introductory video, history, printed materials)
Research overview (including goals, questions, approach, news, publications)
About the SAVI project (including awards, workshops, international collaboration)