Greetings from the incoming Chair Peter van Keken, University of Michigan

Dear GeoPRISMS Community,

It is a pleasure to use this opportunity to announce the opening of the GeoPRISMS office at the University of Michigan. The transfer is taking place over a somewhat extended period due to budgetary and logistical issues. The office effectively drove up from Houston in early November with Anaïs Férot and is now open and running in parallel with the Rice office. We are in the process of hiring the Administrative Coordinator which will finalize the staffing of the office.

It’s been a privilege working with Juli and her staff during the Michigan office start up. I’d like to extend a very grateful “Thank You!” to Juli. She has completed the Herculean task in getting GeoPRISMS up and running. I cannot describe the true appreciation I have for the enormous effort she has made together with her Office and the GSOC in the last three years. With three years of workshops and the establishment of a strong science plan and implementation plans for the focus sites we’ve started our community effort on very solid footing. While she has been looking forward to October 1 as the date to hand over the responsibilities she has been extremely generous and gracious in allowing for the somewhat drawn out Office transition that is dictated by outside circumstances. I was delighted to hear that Juli’s strong effort has also been highly appreciated by the broader community and that she will receive the Paul Silver award for outstanding service to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics. I hope you will all be available to help celebrate this award at the upcoming AGU meeting.

During the Office transition the work by Susi Haveman, August Costa and Anaïs Férot has been invaluable. I’m am delighted that Anaïs has been willing to accept to move to Michigan and continue as the GeoPRISMS Science Coordinator in the far and distant North. It is hard to imagine how we could have worked towards all AGU activities without the current and ongoing work by the Rice office and the continuity that Anaïs provides. The longish time period of the transition is dictated in part by the Fall activities of Congress which has delayed the initiation of the office budget at Michigan.

I would like to welcome several new members on the Steering and Oversight Committee. Some have been pretty active in the planning for GeoPRISMS focus areas and research directions and your commitment to our community effort is greatly appreciated. The new members are Tyrone Rooney (Michigan State University), Liz Hajek (Penn State), Harm van Avendonk (University of Texas), Estella Atekwana (Oklahoma State University), and Sarah Penniston-Dorland (University of Maryland). All bring a diverse set of interests, backgrounds, and expertise to the table. Sarah will do double duty by also serving on the Education Advisory Committee.  I look very much forward working with all of you.

I will use the Spring newsletter to provide a more detailed view of how the office and GSOC are working with our community to move the GeoPRISMS science objectives forward. Now that the planning workshops are completed we will turn to future workshops such as the Theoretical and Experimental Institutes that will provide a mid-term evaluation of the Initiatives. The phased funding scheme, where the large data collection proposals can be submitted for each focus site for only a limited period, remains an important topic of discussion. We will also continue to highlight related funding opportunities through the core programs and new initiatives such as IES and Coastal SEES.  I look forward to meet you all at the Fall AGU Townhall meeting or any of the mini-workshops that will take place in December.


Peter van Keken, GeoPRISMS Incoming Chair


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