Collaborative Research: EarthScope Geochronology: A Student Research and Training Program and EarthScope Institute

Project: Research project

Project Details


Collaborative Research: EarthScope Geochronology: A Student Research and Training Program and EarthScope Institute Collaborative Research: EarthScope Geochronology: A Student Research and Training Program and EarthScope Institute PROJECT SUMMARY Overview: Page A Geochronology and geology are profoundly important for deciphering the four-dimensional evolution of North America. However, despite the extraordinary successes arising from Earthscope research, this core EarthScope objective has arguably received far less attention. A student research and training program and EarthScope Institute (workshop and educational short course) geared at PhD students is proposed to promote the acquisition of geochronologic data for EarthScope-motivated projects while equipping the next generation of geoscientists with this critical tool for understanding lithospheric evolution. Intellectual Merit : Geochronologic data are vital for resolving the timing, duration, and rates of processes in nearly every Earth science field. But the mounting demand for geochronologic data by a wide array of Earth scientists and the associated need for training in its acquisition and interpretation are not being met, owing to the cost of subcontracting geochronologic data, the limited support available for existing labs to maintain their facilities, and the lack of straightforward mechanisms to link single-PI driven labs with those in need of their services. For this reason, the National Academy of Sciences 2012 NROES report recommends exploring new mechanisms for supporting the geochronology needs of a broad array of research efforts. In this proposal a strategy is outlined to address this issue by capitalizing on the particular opportunities available within EarthScope to: 1) develop a student geochronology research and training program to promote studies aimed at constraining North American continent evolution, 2) hold an EarthScope Institute at the outset of the program to bring together experts in the geochronology community for a series of lectures and discussions covering the fundamentals behind both the theory and practical uses of different geochronologic tools, which will further promote program participation, and 3) convene an EarthScope session focused on North American continent evolution at the end of the program to synthesize its results and allow evaluation of its overall success. Broader Impacts : A number of transformative outcomes are anticipated from the program proposed here. First, a key impact will be the fostering of new relationships and innovative science between researchers and labs at different institutions, thereby increasing access to geochronology data that is in high-demand by the broader Earth science community. Second, the program will afford new opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience with geochronologic data acquisition and interpretation while being mentored by geochronology experts, thereby also aligning with EarthScopes goal to offer a centralized forum for relevant earth science education at all levels. Third, the program will provide a low-cost mechanism for students to generate key, but otherwise unobtainable, data for publications while laying the foundation for future proposals and collaborations. Finally, the science conducted will provide an important contribution to EarthScopes core science goal to investigate the history of the North American continent.
Effective start/end date8/1/141/31/18


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $285,823.00


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