The ECORD Science Operator (ESO) is a consortium of European scientific institutions formed to undertake mission-specific platform (MSP) expeditions for ECORD on behalf of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (2003-2013) and the International Ocean Discovery Program launched in October 2013. ESO comprises the British Geological Survey (BGS), the MARUM, University of Bremen and the European Petrophysics Consortium (EPC). BGS acts as consortium coordinator responsible for overall ESO management under a contract from EMA as designated by the ECORD Council. The EPC is contracted to carry out logging and petrophysical activities. The University of Bremen is contracted to carry out curation and data management tasks.
To date, ESO has completed six MSP operations. The current MSP expedition, Chicxulub K-Pg Impact Crater expedition, will end when the Onshore Science Party is completed at the Bremen Core Repository at the MARUM, Germany. ESO is preparing two MSP expeditions to the polar regions in 2017-2018 (see above MSP schedule).
- As an Implementing Organization for MSPs, ESO has the task of operational and scientific planning; engineering development, platform and equipment procurement; contracting; essential training of personnel; safety surveys; data management; core curation; onshore science parties (OSP); publications; outreach and other related pre-, intra- and post-operational activities.
- ESO also undertakes the staffing of MSP science parties in consultation with USSSP, J-DESC and ESSAC.
- It is ESO’s responsibility to ensure that MSPs comply with international and national regulations and obligations.
- ESO provides facilities and staff to ensure the maintenance of capability in science operations for ECORD on a year-by-year basis.
Past ESO members
- Timothy Brewer, University of Leicester – EPC Manager 2003-2007
- Alister Skinner, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Operations Manager 2003-2008
- Dan Evans, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Science Manager 2003-2010
- Colin Graham, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Data Manager 2003-2011
- Albert Gerdes, MARUM, Bremen – ESO Media Relations 2003-2015
- Alan Stevenson, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Outreach Manager 2005-2016
To date, ESO has completed seven scientific expeditions of mission-specific platforms (MSPs). Four expeditions in the first phase of IODP (2003 to 2012), which are the Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX), the Tahiti Sea-Level Expedition, the New Jersey Shallow Shelf Expedition and the Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes Expedition. Three expeditions in the second phase of IODP (2013-2023), which are the Baltic Sea Paleoenvironment Expedition, the Atlantis Massif Serpentinization and Life Expedition and the Chicxulub K-Pg Impact Crater Expedition.
ESO is preparing three MSP expeditions for the next three years: to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea in 2017 (Exp 381) and to the polar regions, in the Arctic in 2018 (Exp 377) and the Antarctica (Exp 373) in 2019-2020.
- Expedition 373 Antarctic Cenozoic Paleoclimate – postponed to 2019-2020 Antarctic season
Co-chiefs Scientists: Trevor Williams and Carlota Escutia
- Expedition 377 Arctic Ocean Paleoceanography (ACEX-2) – summer 2018
- Expedition 381 Corinth Active Rift Development – autumn-winter 2017
- Expedition 364 Chicxulub K-Pg Impact Crater – 5 April to 31 May 2016 (from/to Progreso, Mexico)
Co-chiefs Scientists: Joanna Morgan and Sean Gulick
- Expedition 357 Atlantis Massif Serpentinization and Life Expedition. 26 October to 11 December 2015 (from/to Southampton, UK)
Co-chiefs Scientists: Gretchen Früh-Green and Beth Orcutt
- Expedition 347 Baltic Sea Paleoenvironment – 12 September to 1 November 2013 (from/to Kiel, Germany)
Co-chiefs Scientists: Thomas Andrén and Bo Barker Jörgensen
- Expedition 325 Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes – 11 February to 6 April 2006 (from/to Townsville, Australia)
Co-chiefs Scientists: Jody Webster and Yusuke Yokoyama
- Expedition 313 New Jersey Shallow Shelf – 30 April to 17 July 2009 (from/to Atlantic City, NJ, USA)
Co-chiefs Scientists: Gregory Mountain and Jean-Noël Proust
- Expedition 310 Tahiti Sea Level – 6 October to 21 November 2005 (from/to Papeete, Tahiti, France)
Co-chiefs Scientists: Gilbert Camoin and Yasufumi Iryu
- Expedition 302 Arctic Coring (ACEX) – August-September 2004 (from/to Tromsö, Norway)
Co-chiefs Scientists: Jan Backman and Kate Moran