Grant et al., 2011

Report/Proposal

Report of the Steering Committee

Grant, G., Bales, J., Derry, L., Driscoll, C., Kendall, C., and Firestone, M. (2011)
Critical Zone Observatory All Hands Meeting, May 8-12, 2011, Tucson, AZ   National

Plain English Summary

The CZO Steering Committee met in conjunction with the All-Hands meeting on May 8-12, 2011 in Tucson, AZ. The venue of the meeting – Biosphere 2 – was an inspired choice: the site of an audacious experiment in integrating complex natural systems. The Critical Zone Observatory network can be viewed as a similarly complex, interdisciplinary experiment, but one that promises to yield far more wideFranging and vital scientific progress and insights.

Unlike previous national CZO meetings, which emphasized site-based science and largely featured site PIs in speaking roles, the All Hands meeting was organized to focus on cross-site themes, included a mix of invited outside speakers and CZO-based talks, and gave a prominent role to students and post-docs engaged in both intra- and inter-site research. The Committee members and other attendees gave high marks to this mix; without exception everyone felt that this format encouraged cross-site thinking and fostered a sense that exciting science was being done, with more to come. In particular the Committee felt that the All-Hands meeting provided a great opportunity for students and post-docs to see and experience the breadth of CZO science and enable them to place their research in the context of larger research questions. As noted in our Committee recommendations, we suggest that this type of All-Hands format be followed in the future, at least every other year.

We took the charge for our discussions and organized our comments from Jon Chorover's three goals for the meeting:

  1. Advance cross-site science
  2. Promote cross-site network integration
  3. Improve linkage and involvement of broader scientific community with CZOs; enhance national prominence and profile

Our comments are intended to highlight progress in each of these areas, identify issues and concerns, and make recommendations where appropriate.

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Citation

Grant, G., Bales, J., Derry, L., Driscoll, C., Kendall, C., and Firestone, M. (2011): Report of the Steering Committee. Critical Zone Observatory All Hands Meeting, May 8-12, 2011, Tucson, AZ.

This Paper/Book acknowledges NSF CZO grant support.


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