The meeting was hosted by Chris Franklin at Central Hall Westminster in London.
ECORD Council thanked Marcel Kullin and Rikke Pedersen who have served on the Council and have now moved to new responsibilities. In particular, Marcel Kullin was involved from the start of ECORD and served as ECORD chair from April to September 2006. He worked tirelessly to build the programme. The Council wish them well in their new activities.
Sören Dürr was elected incoming vice-chair as of 1 April 2009 and Nigel Wardell as member of the Executive. The ECORD Executive as of 1 April 2009 will consist of F. Barriga (chair), C. Franklin (vice chair), S. Dürr (vice chair), C. Mével (EMA), Reinhard Belocky (Austria), and N. Wardell (Italy).
John Ludden reported on the activities of the Board of Governors. A Search Committee has been established to find the successor of the current IODP-MI President and the position has been advertised. At the request of the BoG, an Ad-Hoc Committee has been set up by IODP-MI. It is tackling two main questions: 1) How scientific ocean drilling can be most efficiently organized and operated given anticipated levels of funding and available infrastructure with emphasis on the period post 2013, 2) What are the options for developing additional funding for ocean drilling from other government agencies, industry and private sources. This committee met at the end of October and a report should be out soon.
Nicholas Arndt reported on the last SASEC meeting held in Beijing in June 2008. Several action items were decided by the ECORD council. To maximize riser drilling with Chikyu, SASEC encourages acquisition of 3-D site survey data for projects. ECORD Council will consider this item at the next Council meeting and asked ESSAC to prepare the discussion from the European perspective. Focusing on program renewal, SASEC is actively involved in preparing the INVEST (IODP New Ventures in Exploring Scientific Targets) Conference which is an international scientific meeting being organised in Bremen in September 2009. INVEST will focus on defining the scientific research goals for the second phase of IODP. SASEC also discussed the importance of thematic balance within IODP. ECORD Council is concerned that IODP has not yet made significant progress in the biosphere initiative, which was one of the underpinning drivers of IODP. Therefore ECORD Council strongly encourages IODP to make a sustained approach to the study of the deep biosphere.
Deborah Smith from NSF participated at the open session of the Council. She presented the structure and functioning of the Ocean Division within the Geosciences Directorate at NSF. D. Smith updated Council on the current situation of the JOIDES Resolution (JR). After a new delay the expected delivery from the shipyard is November 2008 and JR will start operations at the end of January 2009, with a test cruise. Scientific expeditions will start in March 2009. The JR will operate twelve consecutive calendar months for IODP in FY09 FY10. D. Smith reaffirmed NSF commitment to reduce operational and management costswithin IODP.
ESO informed Council that following postponement of the New Jersey Shallow Shelf Expedition in April, the expedition is now planned to start in May 2009. A new ‘fast-tracked’ OJEU notice was issued and as a result a preferred bidder has been chosen and contractual discussions are ongoing. Toensure contract completion for New Jersey, ECORD Council gave approval to ESO to include in the contract the possibility of making an early stage payment when the platform leaves the Gulf port. Dan Evans raised the problem of Logging While Drilling (LWD) which cannot be operated from the rig currently under negotiation with the contractor. The Council authorized Dan Evans to continue contract discussions to ensure the platform for the New Jersey Expedition. The contract could be modified later to include LWD if required.
Addressing the Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes Expedition (GBREC), Dan Evans reported that last September ESO held a very positive meeting with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). Jody Webster (Australia) as co-chief of this expedition participated at the meeting. The GBRMPA requested that the benefits of the expedition be highlighted to the reef management, as a result the name of the expedition was changed and ESO has submitted a new permit application to give 45 holes at 5 locations and to extend the permit to the end of December 2010. The OJEU notice for this contract was issued and tenders receipt closed August 8th. ESO is in contract discussions with one potential contractor, who is proving to be very responsive. D. Evans informed Council that ESO was requested by the Operations Task Force (OTF) to consider including APL#728 « Latest Pleistocene Early Deglacial Drowned Coralgal Barrier Reef Along the Gulf of Papua » in the expedition. The ECORD Council recognizes the benefit of the APL system that allows the implementation of exciting science at short notice. However, the Council was concerned that adding this project, in different national waters, may jeopardize the negotiations with the contractor. Therefore, Council recommended that to ensure the implementation of the GBREC, ESO should if necessary not include the APL in the overall project.
ESO staff had the opportunity to visit the JR in Singapore (24th September). D. Evans informed the Council that although a lot has already been accomplished, much work remained to be done, especially electrics. He was keen to signal the hard work of the US team to get the job completed under difficult circumstances.
ESSAC Gilbert Camoin informed Council on the platform schedules for FY09 and FY10, as discussed at SPC. ESSAC informed Council that SPC is requesting: the IOs to provide guidance about expedition flexibility; the funding agencies and PMOs to provide information about the financial impact that the above mentioned flexibility may have; and the SSEP to consider how proposals might include additional information about objectives achieved with respect to the overall proposal objectives with streamlined drilling plans.
ESSAC informed Council that ECORD, with 63% of proposals is leading the submissions as of October 1st 2008. Counting all active proposals, ECORD maintains a healthy presence with 38%.
ESSAC Office has issued two calls for applications concerning: Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes Expedition and NanTroSEIZE 1B Expedition. The staffing is complete for the GBREC Expedition. Gilbert Camoin presented the status of sailing applications and the quota balance.
ECORD Council endorsed ESSAC recommendations for replacements in the following SAS panels:
- SPC: R. Stein, Germany, to replace J. Behrmann after the August 09 SPC meeting.
- STP: Marc K. Reishow, Leicester, U.K. to replace M. Lowell, who has rotated off, subject to checking that there is no conflict of interest.
ECORD Council approved the extension of Gilbert Camoin’s mandate at SPC for one more meeting.
Concerning outreach activities, ESSAC informed Council that the 2008 summer schools were very successful. Two summer schools are scheduled in 2009. A call for the 2010 round of ECORD Summer Schools was issued in October 2008 with a deadline of April 4th, 2009. The call for the ECORD Distinguished Lecturer Programme FY09-10 closed on September 30th 2008. 34 applications were received from 14 countries. ESSAC is preparing a new edition of the ECORD Teachers Workshop. The event will be held during the EGU meeting in 2010. ESSAC has aproject to establish ECORD Grants from 2010. This programme would involve awards for outstanding graduate students to conduct research related to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. The ECORD Council supports in principle this programme and will oversee the budget allocation for these grants at the appropriate time.
ESSAC is actively preparing the EGU 09 session and Workshop: ‘Beyond 2013: The Future of the European Scientific Drilling Research’. ESSAC will seek to include Council views on structure into this workshop.
EMA informed Council that the ECORD-Net project came to end on August 31st. EMA is preparing all the final reports; all deliverables will be available to the public by request to EMA.
EMA ESO ESSAC meetings are being organised on a regular basis to coordinate outreach activities.
Catherine Mével informed the Council about the outreach activities developed by EMA. New releases include Newsletter #11 and a new image brochure to highlight ECORD achievements produced by DFG through ECORD-Net. A new brochure on MSPs is being prepared. EMA organised together with IODP-Norway the IODP booth at the IGC meeting in Oslo last August. EMA received from IODP-MI, as a permanent loan, five core replicas (K/T boundary, PETM, ACEX, Tahiti, Hole 1256 transition basalts/gabbros in the ocean crust) for outreach activities. They are available upon request. EMA was presenting ECORD at a major public scientific event in Paris on November 14-16th.
EMA presented the EC calls for 2009 under FP7. ECORD Council was keen to keep relations with existing initiatives to promote marine and maritime sciences at the European level. ECORD is actively involved in responding to the 2009 call for a coordination action to support the Deep Sea Frontier initiative. ECORD Council is committed to maintaining its relationships with the Aurora Borealis Project.
EMA presented the ECORD budget situation for FY08, FY09 and beyond. Most ECORD member countries have paid their contributions for FY08; a few are still missing for FY07 and FY08. The Council approved the FY08 budget statement presented by ESO. EMA informed Council that, despite the delay in the New Jersey Shallow Shelf expedition to FY09, ICDP has agreed to maintain its financial participation. The ECORD Council is grateful to ICDP for its renewed commitment.
EMA informed Council on the ongoing discussions with the Lead Agencies regarding ECORD contributions to IODP, following the significant reduction in ship activities.
EMA informed that EMAESOESSAC meetings are being organised on a regular basis to coordinate activities.
Catherine Mével informed on the outreach activities developed by EMA. New releases include Newsletter #10, a new ESSAC brochure and a new image brochure to highlight ECORD achievements. This brochure is being developed by DFG through ECORD-Net. ECORD participated in the IODP booth at AGU Fall meeting 2007 and organised the IODP booth at the EGU meeting in Vienna, last April. Together with IODP-Norway, EMA is organising the IODP booth at the IGC meeting in Oslo next August.
EMA presented the ECORD budget situation for FY09 and beyond. Except for Italy and Portugal all the uncertainties have been solved and most ECORD member countries have already paid their contributions for FY08.
ECORD Council discussed the future of ocean drilling, post 2013. The Council tasked S. Dürr to establish a working group including members outside of the council to finalize the ECORD Vision document for discussion at the next Council meeting. All Council members are invited to nominate potential participants to the working group. The Aurora Borealis vessel and the possibility of Artic Drilling should be included in the ECORD Vision document. The Council is also keen to maintain good relationships with ESF and to engage ESF in the Council discussions about the future.
Next Council meeting: Lisbon, Portugal, 9-10 June, 2009
|ECORD Council members
|Anne de Vernal
|Sören Dürr (Executive)
|Severino Falcón Morales (vice-chair)
|Chris J. Franklin (chair)