EarthScope is a community of scientists conducting multidisciplinary research across the earth sciences utilizing the freely accessible data collected and maintained by EarthScope facilities. Support for science projects is primarily awarded via a rigorous process of peer review of proposals submitted to the NSF EarthScope Program.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) EarthScope program receives input from the geoscience community through advisory committees whose members are drawn from the geoscience, cyberinfrastructure and education communities.

EarthScope needs broad participation from the geoscience research community to fulfill its promise. Nomiminations for EarthScope Committees and Thematic Working Groups are accepted annually for positions that will be filled as they become available. Contact Us to nominate individuals for membership on these committees. Please include contact information and a brief biographical summary with nominations. Self-nominations are welcomed. Please do your part!

Current ESSC Members

  • Jeff Freymueller (ESSC Chair and ESNO PI 2015-2018)
  • Kelin Wang (2014-2016)
  • Matt Pritchard (2015-2017)
  • Laura Webb  (2015-2017)
  • Sarah Roeske (2015-2017)
  • Carla McAuliffe (2016-2018)
  • Mike Brudzinski (2016-2018)
  • Donna Shillington (2016-2018)
  • Meghan S. Miller (2016-2018)


  • Maite Agopian (ESNO)
  • Elisabeth Nadin (ESNO)
  • Judi Chester (SAFOD)
  • Meghan Miller (UNAVCO)
  • Glen Mattioli (UNAVCO)
  • Bob Detrick (IRIS)
  • Bob Woodward (IRIS)
  • Greg Anderson (NSF)
  • Dennis Geist (NSF)

Former ESSC Members

  • John Hole (2013-2015)
  • Brandon Schmandt (2013-2015)
  • Clifford Thurber (2014-2016)
  • Ramón Arrowsmith (ESNO PI and ESSC Chair and 2011-2015)
  • Goran Ekstrom (ESSC Chair 2008-2011)
  • Anne Trehu (ESNO PI 2007-2011)
  • Bill Holt (2007-2010)
  • Randy Keller (ECISC chair, 2007-2010)
  • Michael Williams (2007-2011)
  • Howard Zebker (2007-2011)
  • Terry Plank (2007-2011)
  • Jim Davis (EEOSC chair, 2008-2010)
  • Steven J. Whitmeyer (EEOSC chair 2011-2013)
  • Ken Dueker (2011-2013)
  • Cin-Ty A. Lee (2011-2013)
  • Michael Gurnis (ECISC chair 2011-2013)
  • Chris Andronicos (2011-2013)
  • Rowena Lohman (2012-2014)
  • Rebecca Flowers (2012-2014)
  • Terry Pavlis (2012-2014)
  • Susan Owen (ECISC chair, 2013-2015)
  • Katherine (Kathy) Ellins (EEOSC chair 2013-2015)



To foster and facilitate integrated research, education, and outreach activities and to motivate broad community participation, the EarthScope planning and implementation structure includes an EarthScope Steering Committee (ESSC) and an EarthScope National Office (ESNO) that migrates from one university to another every 3-4 years. The ESNO is guided by and provides support for the ESSC, which is comprised of representatives of the EarthScope community. Technical capabilities (staff and funds) to assist in the implementation of many of the ESSC/ESNO activities reside in the facilities (PBO, USArray, SAFOD) in order to provide continuity as the ESNO moves.

The ESSC is currently comprised of 8 members, including the ESNO Principal Investigator and the chairs of the EarthScope Education and Outreach Subcommittee (EEOSC) and the EarthScope Cyberinfrastructure Subcommittee (ECISC). The PBO and USArray Directors also participate ex-officio. The committee meets twice/year and has monthly conference calls.

The ESSC was initiated in 2007 with the transition from the EarthScope construction phase to the operations and maintenance phase and the initiation of the first ESNO. A process is currently underway to achieve a rolling membership in which 3 new members are added/year. We urge the community to nominate new candidates; self-nominations are welcome (EarthScope Committee Nominations).


EarthScope Steering Committee Activities

  • Facilitate program planning, coordination, and implementation
    • Recommend updates/changes to the EarthScope Science Plan
    • Recommend updates/changes to the EarthScope Program Solicitation
  • Meet with NSF officials routinely and on specific topics as necessary
  • Host open forums, town hall meetings, etc.
  • Establish subcommittees and/or working groups as needed
  • Foster the development of community consensus concerning
    • Communications
    • Workshops/meetings
    • Special volumes or other publications with the EarthScope imprint
    • Videos, web content, and other developing technologies for EarthScope communication
    • Cyberinfrastructure
    • Data, metadata, and products
    • Data/products dissemination
  • Maintain liaisons with organizations and industry as needed
  • Foster the development of a strong and diverse EarthScope Education and Outreach program (via the EEOSC)
  • Recommend appropriate procedures to create or update news and review items, fact sheets, non-technical components of the Web site, press releases, booth materials, and all other types of communications

Note 1: Nomination Process: A three person nominating committee will be formed annually. The Chair of the nominating committee is a member of the EarthScope Steering Committee. Two additional members of the nominating committee will be chosen from the EarthScope science community. The charge to the committee is to come up with a slate of two to three names for each open position. Nominations will be submitted to the NSF. The NSF EarthScope Program Manager in consultation with other relevant EAR program managers will make the final decision.

ESSC Reports
2013 PBO/SAFOD ESSC Report
2013 USArray ESSC Report
2012 PBO/SAFOD ESSC Report
2012 USArray ESSC Report

Current Education and Outreach Members

  • Carla McAuliffe (Chair 2016-2018))
  • Frederik Simons (term expires 2017)
  • Beth Pratt-Sitaula (2016-2018)
  • Mike Brudzinski (2016-2018)
  • Maite Agopian, EarthScope National Office - ex officio
  • Elisabeth Nadin, EarthScope National Office - ex officio
  • Donna Charlevoix, UNAVCO - ex officio
  • John Taber, IRIS - ex officio

Former Education and Outreach Members

  • Rhonda Spidell-Whitley (term expires 2017)
  • Bob Lillie (term expired 2011)
  • Michael Hamburger (term expired 2011)
  • Ramón Arrowsmith (2008-2011)
  • James L. Davis (Chair)
  • Steven J. Whitmeyer, EEOSC Chair (term expired 2013)
  • Shelley Olds, UNAVCO - (term expired 2012)
  • Carol Engelmann (term expired 2014)
  • Bridget Smith-Konter (term expired 2014)
  • Michael Wysession (term expires 2015)
  • Allyson Mathis (term expires 2015)
  • Katherine (Kathy) Ellins (EEOSC chair 2013-2015)
  • Steven Semken, EarthScope National Office - ex officice
  • Sarah Robinson, EarthScope National Office - ex officio


Charge to the EarthScope Education and Outreach Subcommittee (EEOSC)

The EarthScope Education and Outreach Subcommittee, a subcommittee of the EarthScope Steering Committee (ESSC), will review and oversee the Education and Outreach activities and formulate recommendations for the ESSC and the EarthScope National Office. In addition, the EEOSC may receive suggestions from and offer recommendations to NSF and other EarthScope committees as requested.

In addition to providing review and oversight, the EEOSC will gather information from the community on program needs and identify new directions for educational efforts. It will also make recommendations and set priorities with regard to quality assurance and program assessment. The EEOSC will bring to the attention of the EarthScope Education and Outreach Manager the needs of local and regional partners throughout the country, and ensure that these needs are properly addressed.

For the EEOSC to provide proper oversight and guidance, it shall meet in person once a year and have at least 6 phone conferences per year. The objective of the meetings will be for the EEOSC members to receive updates on the program and to formulate recommendations. The meetings shall be coordinated by the Education and Outreach Manager.

The EEOSC shall include representation from the EarthScope scientific and education community and target audiences, with a membership period of 3-years. The Chair of the EEOSC will be a member of the EarthScope Steering Committee. Thus, EEOSC may nominate candidates for EEOSC Chair to the ESSC. The Chair shall set the agenda of the meetings and be the official representative of the committee. The members of EEOSC will be nominated by process outlined in the charge for the EarthScope Steering Committee (ESSC).

EarthScope Education and Outreach Subcommittee Activities

  • Facilitate education and outreach planning, coordination, and implementation
    • Implement processes to recommend updates/changes to the EarthScope Education and Outreach Implementation Plan
    • Develop shorter range plans matched to resources
  • Strengthen existing programs by providing EarthScope content
  • Create opportunities for participation in EarthScope
  • Coordinate with the many educational and outreach programs currently existing within the Earth sciences and related communities
  • Facilitate connections and coordination of E&O efforts for funded EarthScope projects
  • Identify highlights for incorporation into appropriate news and review items, fact sheets, non-technical components of the Web site, booth materials, press releases, and all other types of communications

As of 2015, PBO WG is part of UNVACO Geodetic Infrastructure Advisory Committee (GI AC). Please visit UNAVCO website for more information.


Former PBO Members

  • Mike Brudzinski (term expires 2013)
  • Jeff Freymueller (term expires 2014)
  • Tom Heaton (term expires 2014)
  • Rowena Lohman (term expires 2013)
  • Tony Lowry (term expires 2013)
  • Jessica Murray (term expires 2015)
  • Evelyn Roeloffs (term expires 2013)


The UNAVCO Board of Directors establishes working groups to inform governance and advise management on issues related to setting direction, implementation, and management of specific projects or emerging technologies. These groups work directly with relevant program advisory committees and UNAVCO staff. In some cases the group may also also include a board liaison.

Establishment of the PBO Working Group is guided by article 3C of the Award Specific Programmatic Terms and Conditions specified in UNAVCO’s 2008 - 2013 EarthScope Cooperative Agreement: Each of the EarthScope facilities may appoint an advisory committee and/or working groups to address specific issues. The recommendations, of these advisory committees and/or working groups will be transmitted both to the Principal Investigator of the respective EarthScope components and to the NSF Program Director(s). The purpose of the advisory committees and/or working groups will be both to franchise the broader community and to bring ideas, suggestions, concerns, and criticisms from the broad EarthScope community to the attention of the Program Director(s) and the PIs. The NSF Program Director(s) may participate in all meetings at his/her discretion. Representatives of federal agencies or other organizations may be invited to participate as non-voting liaisons. It is further noted that USGS representation is established in an interagency agreement.

The Plate Boundary Observatory is one of three EarthScope Observatories (PBO, SAFOD, USArray) and is operated by the UNAVCO consortium to support PI-led investigations in a scientific research program and an investigator community, coordinated by an academic EarthScope National Office (ESNO), which actively participates in science planning, research, and facility governance.


The UNAVCO PBO Working Group develops policies and plans for the EarthScope geodetic component. It reviews UNAVCO’s effectiveness in meeting commitments to its sponsor, user community and in achieving the goals of the project. While the working group reports to UNAVCO’s programmatic advisory committees, a UNAVCO board liaison will ensure coordinated oversight of PBO’s diverse activities. In accord with the sponsor agreement, the purpose of the PBO Working Group is both to enfranchise the broader community and to bring ideas, suggestions, concerns, and criticisms from the broad EarthScope community to the attention of the NSF program officer(s) and the PIs.

Working Group Charge

The PBO Working Group (PBO WG) is approved by the UNAVCO Board of Directors, and provides recommendations to UNAVCO management, advisory committees or the board as appropriate, on issues pertaining to PBO operations and planning. The PBO Working Group will meet at least once a year to review PBO operations and planning, and make an annual report to the board. The PBO Working Group interacts closely with the program director and the president.

For more information about the PBO Working Group visit

Current SAFOD Core Sample Working Group Members

  • John Logan (Chair)
  • Judith Chester
  • John Firth
  • Steve Hickman
  • Andreas Kronenberg
  • Demian Saffer


SAFOD physical samples are curated at the Gulf Coast Repository (GCR) at Texas

A&M University, under the supervision of John Firth. UNAVCO is the NSF awardee responsible for management of SAFOD and oversees SAFOD activities at GCR. At NSF's recommendation, UNAVCO established the SAFOD Core Sample Working Group (CoSWoG) to provide oversight of curation of SAFOD samples, methods used to take and distribute samples, etc. These groups work together to ensure that all physical samples are properly curated and that samples are distributed as directed.

Because of the unique nature of the SAFOD core, new procedures have been developed for both distribution decisions and sampling. The SAFOD Sample Committee began an effort, which continues under CoSWoG, to investigate and develop sampling procedures for particularly friable material, such as those in core runs G-2-7 and G-2-8.


Previous SAFOD Advisory Commitee Members

Chris Marone (SAFODAC chair, term expires 2013)
Brian Evans (term expires 2013)
Michael Gross (term expires 2013)
Steve Hickman (term expires 2013)
Elizabeth Screaton (term expires 2013)
Jamie Steidl (term expires 2014)


The UNAVCO SAFOD Advisory Committee reviews policies and effectiveness of SAFOD in meeting commitments to its user community and in achieving the goals set in the UNAVCO Strategic Plan. While the advisory committee’s formal reporting line is to the UNAVCO Board, in accord with the sponsor agreement, its purpose is both to franchise the broader community and to bring ideas, suggestions, concerns, and criticisms from the broad EarthScope community to the attention of the NSF program officer(s) and the PIs.

Charge to the SAFOD Advisory Committee

The SAFOD Advisory Committee (SAFOD AC) is appointed by and reports to the UNAVCO Board of Directors, and provides recommendations (1) to the Board, on issues of governance, policy, oversight, resource allocation, or strategic direction and (2) to UNAVCO Management, on issues pertaining to SAFOD management. Recommendations to management are conveyed to the board by the board liaison and through distribution of the minutes. The SAFOD Advisory Committee reviews the policies and effectiveness of the UNAVCO SAFOD in meeting its commitments to its user community and in achieving the goals set in the UNAVCO Strategic Plan. The SAFOD Advisory Committee will meet at least once a year, review SAFOD operations every year prior to the Annual Meeting, and make a report to the Board at least once a year, no later than the Board meeting prior to the UNAVCO Annual Meeting. The SAFOD Advisory Committee interacts closely with the SAFOD Director and the UNAVCO President.

SAFOD Advisory Committee responsibilities included:

Reviewing the accordance of SAFOD resource allocation with the priorities established by the UNAVCO Strategic Plan.
Advising on the performance of SAFOD with respect to program planning, yearly budgets and resource allocation
Recommending guidelines for the use of SAFOD resources, including both equipment and engineering resources as set out in the Cooperative Agreement
Developing new initiatives to enhance the effectiveness of SAFOD in meeting the demands of the UNAVCO Members

As part of the 2009 Stimulus or ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) spending, NSF’s Earth Sciences (EAR) and Ocean Sciences (OCE) divisions each received $5M in facility-related investment. The funds were targeted toward the creation of an Amphibious Array Facility to support EarthScope and MARGINS science objectives. The initial emphasis and deployment site was onshore/offshore studies of the Cascadia margin, with an expectation that the facility would later move to other locations.

Please visit geoPRISMS website for updates information about AASC.

In 2012, A two-day workshop assessed the current state and future provisions of the cyberinfrastructure that facilitates scientific discovery and the realization of EarthScope’s science objectives (see the EarthScope Science Plan). In so doing, the workshop provided timely and necessary guidance in the planning of EarthCube, a broader geoscience initiative in cyberinfrastructure.

Read more on EarthCube website: EarthCube Lessons, Opportunities and Challenges from EarthScope