2012 MLSOC Meeting
June 20 - 21, 2012
Executive Summary- The Marcus Langseth Science Oversight Committee, (MLSOC) met at Rice University for the summer MLSOC meeting. The committee was present as well as NSF.
Jim Holik/ NSF National Science Foundation
Program Director/Ocean Instrumentation and Technical Services
Jim reported that the tech services budget was cut 10 % in 2012 and we expect a 5% cut in 2013. The NSF Assistant Director for Geosciences will be leaving NSF the end of June and Deputy Assistant Director Marge Cavanaugh will be the interim in this office.
The principal investigators in NSF/MG & G programs were given the option this spring to withdraw their proposals and then resubmit in August. Several PI’s took this offer and NSF expects many to resubmit for the August 15th, 2012 deadline.
The 2013 NSF/ONR Fleet recommendation letter was shared with the committee and slides from the UNOLS Council meeting on utilization trends were shown.
Jon Alberts provided an overview of the UNOLS office and current UNOLS news and ongoing efforts. The UNOLS staffing was reviewed with news that we have proposed that the UNOL Technician Recruitment and Retention pilot program be transitioned from a pilot program to a full time UNOLS effort.
The fleet make-up was discussed and recommendations for vessel retirements were reviewed.
The UNOLS office is working on setting up a sea grant student to research the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as they relate to the fleet and export control of equipment around the world. Many institutions are working on this issue, including LDEO. There is a process which is manageable; we just need to work within these regulations. The technical specifications on ITAR/EAR equipment is closely controlled.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Operators Report
Sean Higgins/LDEO provided an extensive Power Point overview of the Marcus Langseth and touched on many topics.
The Langseth Long Core and Dynamic Positioning reports can be shared with MLSOC and an electronic copy was distributed.
Sean discussed the NSF Business Systems Review, (BSR) was completed in December 2011. A new 5 year cooperative agreement was signed in April 2012.
LDEO is currently involved in maritime union negotiations and working on developing a new contract now.
The contracting and 3rd party permitting is taking a lot of time now for the marine staff.
The 2012 scheduled now has 195 days with cruises for the following PI’s. Wiens, Korenaga. Lynch-Stieglitz, Carbotte/Carton/Trehu and Holbrook. There is pending work for the late summer and fall which will determine where the ship spends the fall and winter. This is work for PG & E/Central California for 60-80 days and So. Calif. Edison for 25-30 days in 2012. Nothing has been approved yet and is currently with the state of California regulators. The Langseth is going through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission documentation process to certify how the data will be collected. LDEO has the NSF approvals to move forward and to pursue permits from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the State of California.
The Line Islands Coring cruise for Dr. Jean Lynch-Stieglitz was very successful with good coring results. Many vessel upgrades were completed prior to the cruise. They are still some safety concerns with the wet deck on the starboard side, although LDEO is looking at remedies for this. The range of motion for the A-frame was an issue in trying to work with the CTD and the piston core.
An NSF ship Inspection is scheduled for July 31 to August 1 in Astoria, Oregon.
2013 Schedule Outlook
In 2013 the Langseth will operate in the North Atlantic with a cruise for Dr. Dale Sawyer/Rice University with a 3 D in the North Atlantic, then a cruise for Dr. Pablo Canales/WHOI, off the Azores. The Canadian Geologic Survey has requested 25-30 days in the Hudson Bay and this is currently in discussion.
In 2014 there may be an extended continental shelf program for USGS on the Atlantic East Coast. Also potential work with Infremer for a site survey for IODP in the Western Mediterranean and a GeoPrism cruise off the New Jersey margin.
Other Langseth news
The Glosten winch plan moves along. The new blocks have been installed. Structural modifications to the A-frame will be completed. Two winches from the R/V Wecoma, (CTD winch and a coring winch) will be installed in January 2013. Also a new winch control house is planned for January 2013.
Long Coring Study-
LDEO is continuing to work with Glosten and Cushing Naval Architects as the original architect. A Stability Profile evaluation is being completed and the dynamic positioning system performance summary report was completed on the Line Islands cruise. This documentation was sent to the MLSOC.
The 2013 SSSE and Instrumentation list of equipment requests is being developed now. It will be sent to the MLSOC for input this fall. The EM 122 Water Column logging module was funded. In 2013 we are considering a network retrofit.
Vessel Home Port Update
Various options for a home port for the Langseth are currently being research. Possibilities include Hawaii, various Gulf of Mexico ports, and the US east coast ports.
Discussion by the MLSOC centered on questions on whether a home port is required as some UNOLS global ships don’t return to their homeport for years at a time. The possibility of sharing a home port with another UNOLS vessel is being considered as well.
Industry contacts- LDEO continues to develop industry relationships to be able to acquire streamers, new lead-ins and possible new and used equipment. A path will need to be developed in the future to acquire new streamers.
LDEO is working with Ion, a research and development company to be able to use the Langseth as a “test platform” for at-sea testing of new equipment. This may provide opportunities to test new prototypes of equipment. The MLSOC recognized the importance of the Langseth staying at the cutting edge of new technologies. A white paper is being written on how to keep vessel equipment relevant. The MLSOC endorses this effort.
LDEO will continue to work on this. There may also be an education angle here to be able to provide engineering students with a platform for testing new seismic gear.
MLSOC Committee Report
The new glossy brochure “Marine Seismic Imaging” Illuminating Earth’s Structure, Climate, Oceans and Hazards, compiled and edited by Dr. W. Steven Holbrook/ University of Wyoming was reviewed. The committee felt this was an excellent document and will be helpful in educating the public and policy makers on the importance of this critical national facility. Discussion followed on how best to use this tool, where has it been distributed so far and can it be used in the classroom as slide presentation.
The area of marine geo-hazards is one area which resonates with everyone and needs to be considered. An upcoming conference in Russia with NSF/NASA/FEMA and the Russian counterparts will be addressing some of these hazards. The geo-hazards of the North Pacific Rim will be the focus of the conference and MLSOC committee member, Dave Scholl will be attending.
Upcoming Data Sets- The Extended Continental Shelf cruise data set will be released very soon.
GeoPrism Talk/ Julie Morgan- Chair of the GeoPrisms steering committee.
Julie provided an extensive Power Point presentation, (see slides) on the GeoPrisms program which is a successor to Margins. The regions which will be the focus were presented. These include the Alaskan Aleutian Arc, Cascadia, and Eastern North America.
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Bill Lang reported that the BOEM has issued a draft PEIS, Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the area from Delaware to Florida. Comments are due by July 2, 2012. BOEM is focused on industry while NSF and USGS are focused on research.
Holly Smith/NSF has offered to prepare a presentation for the MLSOC meeting in December at AGU.
Preliminary Costa Rica 3D Data
Nathan Bangs shared his early findings from the CRISP 3D data set.
The CRISP-3D cruise was April 8 to May 12, 2011 and additional results will be shared at the MLSOC/AGU meeting in December 2012.
Thursday 21 June, 2012
We started the Thursday session with a continuation of the discussion on the “Elements of Success”. The importance of distributing the glossy brochure to a broad audience was reinforced. We need to get this to InterRidge, GeoPrisms, EarthScope, etc.
Plans for the MLSOC at AGU in San Francisco in December 2012 .
The committee discussed the December 2012 AGU meeting and options on how best to organize the meeting. The past several years the meeting has been held from 2-5 pm and the focus has been on operations and the facilities. We discussed the idea of having a morning session for the committee business starting at 10 am and then an afternoon session for a guest speaker, science talks, a pre-cruise planning session, student poster sessions, a presentation by an industry expert on processing software, and equipment development. One idea would be to have a large room with workstations set up to allow attendees to move from different stations. Format ideas were to run the meeting from 10 am to 5 pm, possibly hosting a lunch?
Elements of Success-
The committee reviewed and discussed the MLSOC recommendations letter, dated 12 November 2010 which was approved by UNOLS Council for submittal the federal agencies.
Investigate the possibility of holding a separate panel to review and judge the Lansgeth proposal NSF offered that the Lansgeth proposals are not the only large facility proposals that NSF panels review. NSF works to have the most knowledgeable people on the panels. NSF has considered putting similar scale projects in a block, but a separate panel is unlikely. Having a separate panel may be viewed as unfair and could help divide he community. The MLSOC stated that they are okay with the current process.
Advanced Planning Cycles
A lot of discussion was given to how the MLSOC committee can help plan for particular ocean regions years in advance. It is recognized that long transits contribute to inefficient schedules. By informing the community at various workshops such as IODP, Margins, GeoPrisms, Cascadia, perhaps we can build community consensus on where to work in different regions of the world. If each of these scientific groups could articulate their list of priorities it would assist in out year planning. It was suggested that if a PI knew the Langseth would be working in an ocean region in a particular year, it would help to encourage submission of proposals.
Open Access, Community and PI-driven programs
The release of data has been sped up. With limited resources, there may be a tendency to stay with PI-driven programs. On data processing, the 3 D data is not a turn-key process yet. We have had good success with commercial processing, but it may not always be available at the reasonable costs we have been receiving. Approximately 15 % of the acquisition cost is what commercial processing costs. We need to decide what data we can offer to the community and what is the derivative product is.
Data management statements are required now and the MLSOC can contribute to this. A specified policy needs to be developed.
MLSOC could help develop a best practice on this with a description of what the workflow should be and how the processing should work. Determining what your intellectual property here is an important factor.
Training the Next Generation- we need to strive to continue to identify science bunks on the Langseth cruises which can be used by students.
Post Cruise Debriefs- LDEO is holding post cruise follow-up calls with each PI and LDEO can share this with the MLSOC.
Adjourn- The meeting adjourned at noon on Thursday 21 June 2012.