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  • richardmitnick 11:43 am on May 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cal Teach, NSF,   

    From UC Santa Cruz: “NSF grant supports training of math and science teachers at UC Santa Cruz” 

    UC Santa Cruz

    From UC Santa Cruz

    May 13, 2019
    Tim Stephens
    stephens@ucsc.edu

    $1.45 million grant continues NSF support for UCSC’s Cal Teach program, funding an integrated pathway to recruit and train new teachers for the Central Coast region.

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    Cal Teach participants at a workshop on active learning strategies.

    UC Santa Cruz has received a $1.45 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program to recruit and prepare new math and science teachers in partnership with regional school districts and community colleges.

    This is the third in a series of five-year NSF grants supporting the UC Santa Cruz Cal Teach program and Education Department in their efforts to increase the number and retention of new, highly qualified science and math teachers in high-need California public schools.

    “The goal for this project is to strengthen the regional pipeline that supports students who are interested in math and science teaching careers,” said Cal Teach Program Director Gretchen Andreasen.

    The Cal Teach program serves UCSC undergraduates in science, mathematics, or engineering majors, as well as prospective transfer students from regional community colleges, who are interested in teaching careers. The program offers a sequence of internship placements in schools during the academic year, as well as summer teaching internships.

    Cal Teach workshops and seminars help to support students and prepare them for teaching careers. The program also provides academic and career advising, enrichment opportunities, and financial support for prospective or novice science and math teachers. In addition to serving undergraduates, the program welcomes STEM professionals who want to explore teaching careers.

    Much of the funding from the Noyce program grant will go toward scholarships for Cal Teach participants to enter the combined M.A./teaching credential program offered by the UC Santa Cruz Education Department.

    “The Noyce Scholarships make a big difference for the credential program in terms of maintaining the size and strength of the math and science cohorts,” Andreasen said.

    The NSF grant also funds stipends for interns and their mentors in partner schools and for early-career professional development for graduates of the program. About 30 percent of Cal Teach participants go on to careers in teaching, Andreasen said.

    “Cal Teach provided me the opportunity to see myself in multiple classroom settings as I considered a career in education,” said Noyce Scholar Madeleine Swift. “From my internships, I knew I wanted to be an educator.”

    UCSC’s community college partners in this project are Hartnell College, Cabrillo College, and San Jose City College. The five school district partners are Gonzales Unified, Salinas Union High School, Pajaro Valley Unified, Santa Cruz City Schools, and East Side Union High School District.

    By recruiting participants from regional community colleges, the Cal Teach program aims to support prospective math and science teachers who are likely to remain in the area and teach in the partner school districts. Dozens of the program’s graduates are now teaching at schools in the Monterey Bay, Salinas Valley, and San Jose regions.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    UCSC Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California, Altitude 1,283 m (4,209 ft)

    .

    UCO Lick Shane Telescope
    UCO Lick Shane Telescope interior
    Shane Telescope at UCO Lick Observatory, UCSC

    Lick Automated Planet Finder telescope, Mount Hamilton, CA, USA

    Lick Automated Planet Finder telescope, Mount Hamilton, CA, USA

    UC Santa Cruz campus
    The University of California, Santa Cruz, opened in 1965 and grew, one college at a time, to its current (2008-09) enrollment of more than 16,000 students. Undergraduates pursue more than 60 majors supervised by divisional deans of humanities, physical & biological sciences, social sciences, and arts. Graduate students work toward graduate certificates, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees in more than 30 academic fields under the supervision of the divisional and graduate deans. The dean of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering oversees the campus’s undergraduate and graduate engineering programs.

    UCSC is the home base for the Lick Observatory.

    Lick Observatory's Great Lick 91-centimeter (36-inch) telescope housed in the South (large) Dome of main building
    Lick Observatory’s Great Lick 91-centimeter (36-inch) telescope housed in the South (large) Dome of main building

    Search for extraterrestrial intelligence expands at Lick Observatory
    New instrument scans the sky for pulses of infrared light
    March 23, 2015
    By Hilary Lebow
    1
    The NIROSETI instrument saw first light on the Nickel 1-meter Telescope at Lick Observatory on March 15, 2015. (Photo by Laurie Hatch) UCSC Lick Nickel telescope

    Astronomers are expanding the search for extraterrestrial intelligence into a new realm with detectors tuned to infrared light at UC’s Lick Observatory. A new instrument, called NIROSETI, will soon scour the sky for messages from other worlds.

    “Infrared light would be an excellent means of interstellar communication,” said Shelley Wright, an assistant professor of physics at UC San Diego who led the development of the new instrument while at the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics.

    Wright worked on an earlier SETI project at Lick Observatory as a UC Santa Cruz undergraduate, when she built an optical instrument designed by UC Berkeley researchers. The infrared project takes advantage of new technology not available for that first optical search.

    Infrared light would be a good way for extraterrestrials to get our attention here on Earth, since pulses from a powerful infrared laser could outshine a star, if only for a billionth of a second. Interstellar gas and dust is almost transparent to near infrared, so these signals can be seen from great distances. It also takes less energy to send information using infrared signals than with visible light.

    Frank Drake, professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and director emeritus of the SETI Institute, said there are several additional advantages to a search in the infrared realm.

    “The signals are so strong that we only need a small telescope to receive them. Smaller telescopes can offer more observational time, and that is good because we need to search many stars for a chance of success,” said Drake.

    The only downside is that extraterrestrials would need to be transmitting their signals in our direction, Drake said, though he sees this as a positive side to that limitation. “If we get a signal from someone who’s aiming for us, it could mean there’s altruism in the universe. I like that idea. If they want to be friendly, that’s who we will find.”

    Scientists have searched the skies for radio signals for more than 50 years and expanded their search into the optical realm more than a decade ago. The idea of searching in the infrared is not a new one, but instruments capable of capturing pulses of infrared light only recently became available.

    “We had to wait,” Wright said. “I spent eight years waiting and watching as new technology emerged.”

    Now that technology has caught up, the search will extend to stars thousands of light years away, rather than just hundreds. NIROSETI, or Near-Infrared Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, could also uncover new information about the physical universe.

    “This is the first time Earthlings have looked at the universe at infrared wavelengths with nanosecond time scales,” said Dan Werthimer, UC Berkeley SETI Project Director. “The instrument could discover new astrophysical phenomena, or perhaps answer the question of whether we are alone.”

    NIROSETI will also gather more information than previous optical detectors by recording levels of light over time so that patterns can be analyzed for potential signs of other civilizations.

    “Searching for intelligent life in the universe is both thrilling and somewhat unorthodox,” said Claire Max, director of UC Observatories and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. “Lick Observatory has already been the site of several previous SETI searches, so this is a very exciting addition to the current research taking place.”

    NIROSETI will be fully operational by early summer and will scan the skies several times a week on the Nickel 1-meter telescope at Lick Observatory, located on Mt. Hamilton east of San Jose.

    The NIROSETI team also includes Geoffrey Marcy and Andrew Siemion from UC Berkeley; Patrick Dorval, a Dunlap undergraduate, and Elliot Meyer, a Dunlap graduate student; and Richard Treffers of Starman Systems. Funding for the project comes from the generous support of Bill and Susan Bloomfield.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:41 pm on November 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NSF, , R/V Taani,   

    From National Science Foundation: “Construction begins on research ship funded by NSF, operated by Oregon State University” 

    From National Science Foundation

    November 7, 2018

    Cheryl Dybas, NSF
    (703) 292-7734
    cdybas@nsf.gov

    Sean Nealon, OSU
    (541) 737-0787
    sean.nealon@oregonstate.edu

    1
    R/V Taani,

    Construction begins on a new research ship that will advance understanding of coastal environments.

    Construction began today in Houma, Louisiana, on the R/V Taani, a new research ship that will advance the scientific understanding of coastal environments by supporting studies of ocean acidification, hypoxia, sea level rise and other topics.

    Operated by Oregon State University (OSU), Taani (pronounced “tahnee”), a word that means “offshore” in the language of the Siletz people of the Pacific Northwest, will be the first in a series of Regional Class Research Vessels funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    Officials from NSF, OSU and Gulf Island Shipyards, LLC gathered for the keel-laying ceremony, marking the start of fabrication of this state-of-the-art ship.

    “NSF is proud that Taani will be the flagship for a new class of research vessels, and we eagerly anticipate decades of productive oceanography from Taani to support the nation’s science, engineering and education needs,” says Terrence Quinn, director of NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences.

    During the ceremony, former OSU president John Byrne and his wife Shirley, the ship’s ceremonial sponsors, inscribed their initials into the ship’s keel.

    Research missions aboard Taani will focus on the U.S. West Coast. NSF has funded OSU to build a second, similar research vessel, which will be operated by a consortium led by the University of Rhode Island.

    “This new class of modern vessels will support future research on the physical, chemical, biological and geologic processes in coastal waters,” says Roberta Marinelli, dean of OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. “The research is critical to informing strategies for coastal resilience, food security and hazard mitigation not only in the Pacific Northwest but around the world.”

    For example, the ship will be equipped to conduct detailed seafloor mapping to reveal geologic structures important in subduction zone earthquakes that may trigger tsunamis.

    The 199-foot Taani will have a range of more than 5,000 nautical miles, with berths for 16 scientists and 13 crew members; a cruising speed of 11.5 knots; and a maximum speed of 13 knots. The ship will be able to stay at sea for about 21 days before returning to port and will routinely send streams of data to shore via satellite.

    NSF selected OSU to lead the design, shipyard selection, construction and transition to operations for as many as three new Regional Class Research Vessels for the U.S. Academic Research Fleet. The National Science Board — NSF’s oversight body — authorized as much as $365 million for the project as part of NSF’s Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction portfolio.

    NSF awarded OSU $121.88 million to launch the construction of the first ship. This past summer, the funding was supplemented with an additional $88 million, allowing Gulf Island Shipyards, LLC to proceed with the second vessel.

    Taani is scheduled for delivery to OSU in the spring of 2021. After a year of outfitting and testing, the ship will be fully operational.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:08 am on September 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , NSF, , , Rutgers Receives NSF Award to Continue Pioneering Ocean Initiative, , ,   

    From Rutgers University: “Rutgers Receives NSF Award to Continue Pioneering Ocean Initiative” 

    Rutgers smaller
    Our Great Seal.

    From Rutgers University

    September 25, 2018

    Dalya Ewais
    848-445-3153
    dalya.ewais@rutgers.edu

    The project delivers insight to researchers, policymakers and the public worldwide.

    The National Science Foundation this week announced it has awarded a five-year, $220 million contract to a coalition of academic and oceanographic research organizations, including Rutgers University–New Brunswick, to operate and maintain the Ocean Observatories Initiative [OOI].

    The coalition, led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with direction from the NSF, includes Rutgers, the University of Washington and Oregon State University.

    1

    The initiative includes platforms and sensors that measure physical, chemical, geological and biological properties and processes from the seafloor to the sea surface in key coastal and open-ocean sites of the Atlantic and Pacific. It was designed to address critical questions about the Earth-ocean system, including climate change, ecosystem variability, ocean acidification plate-scale seismicity and submarine volcanoes, and carbon cycling. The goal is to better understand the ocean and our planet.

    3
    The seafloor cable extends off the coast of Oregon and allows real-time communication with the deep sea. University of Washington

    Each institution will continue to operate and maintain the portion of project’s assets for which it is currently responsible. Rutgers will operate the cyberinfrastructure system that ingests and delivers data for the initiative.

    The initiative supports more than 500 autonomous instruments on the seafloor and on moored and free-swimming platforms that are serviced during regular, ship-based expeditions to the array sites. Data from each instrument is transmitted to shore, where it is freely available to users worldwide, including scientists, policy experts, decision-makers, educators and the general public.

    “Rutgers is proud to be a part of this transformative project that provides scientists and educators across the globe access to the richest source of real-time, in-water oceanographic data,” said David Kimball, interim senior vice president for research and economic development at Rutgers.

    Over the last three years, the Rutgers team led by Manish Parashar, director of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute and Distinguished Professor of computer science, designed, built and operated the OOI’s cyberinfrastructure. The team also included Scott Glenn and Oscar Schofield, Distinguished Professors in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and co-founders of Rutgers’ Center for Ocean Observing Leadership, who led the Rutgers data team.

    3
    From left to right: Manish Parashar, director of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute and Distinguished Professor of computer science; Peggy Brennan-Tonetta, associate vice president for economic development at Rutgers’ Office of Research and Economic Development; and Ivan Rodero, project manager.
    Photo: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University

    For the second phase of the OOI project, which begins on October 1 and runs for five years, Rutgers will receive about $6.6 million and will be responsible for maintaining the cyberinfrastructure and providing a network that allows 24/7 connectivity, ensuring sustained, reliable worldwide ocean observing data any time, any place, on any computer or mobile device. Peggy Brennan-Tonetta, associate vice president for economic development at Rutgers’ Office of Research and Economic Development, will serve as acting principal investigator.

    “Greater awareness and knowledge of the state of our oceans and the effects of their interrelated systems today is critical to a deeper understanding of our changing climate, marine and coastal ecosystems, atmospheric exchanges, and geodynamics. We are pleased to continue our involvement with this project that enables researchers to better understand the state of our oceans,” Brennan-Tonetta said.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    rutgers-campus

    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live.

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate; postdoctoral fellowships to residencies; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement.

    As a ’67 graduate of University college, second in my class, I am proud to be a member of

    Alpha Sigma Lamda, National Honor Society of non-tradional students.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:43 am on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cornell’s Center for Advanced Computing (CAC) was named a training partner on a $60 million National Science Foundation-funded project to build the fastest supercomputer at any U.S. university and o, , NSF,   

    From Cornell Chronicle: “Cornell writing the (how-to) book on new supercomputer” 

    Cornell Bloc

    From Cornell Chronicle

    September 18, 2018
    Melanie Lefkowitz
    mll9@cornell.edu

    Cornell’s Center for Advanced Computing (CAC) was named a training partner on a $60 million, National Science Foundation-funded project to build the fastest supercomputer at any U.S. university and one of the most powerful in the world.

    1
    3

    CAC will develop training materials to help users get the most out of the Frontera supercomputer, to be deployed in summer 2019 at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

    Texas Advanced Computer Center

    “Computers don’t do great work unless you have people ready to use them for great research. Being able to be the on-ramp for a system like this is really valuable,” said Rich Knepper, CAC’s deputy director. “This represents the next step in leadership computing, and it’s an opportunity for Cornell to be a very integral part of that.”

    CAC, which provides high-performance computing and cloud computing services to the Cornell community and beyond, will receive $1 million from the NSF over the next five years to create Cornell Virtual Workshops – online content explaining how to use Frontera.

    The Texas Advanced Computing Center will build the supercomputer, with the primary computing system provided by Dell EMC and powered by Intel processors. Other partners in the project are the California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Utah, the University of California, Davis, Ohio State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Once called “the first American university” by educational historian Frederick Rudolph, Cornell University represents a distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. Adding practical subjects to the classics and admitting qualified students regardless of nationality, race, social circumstance, gender, or religion was quite a departure when Cornell was founded in 1865.

    Today’s Cornell reflects this heritage of egalitarian excellence. It is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Both a private university and the land-grant institution of New York State, Cornell University is the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

    On the Ithaca campus alone nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Many undergraduates participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City, and the world over.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:34 pm on September 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Asteroid named Palma, , , , , In a process called diffraction waves bent around the asteroid and interacted to form a pattern of bright and dark circles, , NSF, , VLBA Measures Asteroid’s Characteristics   

    From Astrobiology Magazine: “VLBA Measures Asteroid’s Characteristics” 

    Astrobiology Magazine

    From Astrobiology Magazine

    Sep 14, 2018
    No writer credit

    In an unusual observation, astronomers used the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) to study the effects on radio waves coming from a distant radio galaxy when an asteroid in our Solar System passed in front of the galaxy.

    NRAO/VLBA


    NRAO/VLBA

    The observation allowed them to measure the size of the asteroid, gain new information about its shape, and greatly improve the accuracy with which its orbital path can be calculated.

    1
    Radio waves from a distant galaxy were blocked from view by an asteroid in our Solar System. However, in a process called diffraction, waves bent around the asteroid and interacted to form a pattern of bright and dark circles. Astronomers analyzed this pattern to learn new details about the asteroid’s. size, shape, and orbit. Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

    When the asteroid passed in front of the galaxy, radio waves coming from the galaxy were slightly bent around the asteroid’s edge, in a process called diffraction. As these waves interacted with each other, they produced a circular pattern of stronger and weaker waves, similar to the patterns of bright and dark circles produced in terrestrial laboratory experiments with light waves.

    “By analyzing the patterns of the diffracted radio waves during this event, we were able to learn much about the asteroid, including its size and precise position, and to get some valuable clues about its shape,” said Jorma Harju, of the University of Helsinki in Finland.

    The asteroid, named Palma, is in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Discovered in 1893 by French astronomer Auguste Charlois, Palma completes an orbit around the Sun every 5.59 years. On May 15, 2017, it obscured the radio waves from a galaxy called 0141+268 with the radio shadow tracing a path running roughly southwest to northeast, crossing the VLBA station at Brewster, Washington. The shadow sped across the Earth’s surface at 32 miles per second.

    In addition to the VLBA’s Brewster antenna, the astronomers also used VLBA antennas in California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. The passage of the asteroid in front of the radio galaxy, an event called an occultation, affected the characteristics of the signals received at Brewster when combined with those from each of the other antennas.

    Extensive analysis of these effects allowed the astronomers to draw conclusions about the nature of the asteroid. In close agreement with earlier observations, they measured the diameter of the asteroid as 192 kilometers. They also learned that Palma, like most other asteroids, differs significantly from a perfect circle, with one edge probably hollowed out. The shape determination, the astronomers said, can be further improved by combining the radio data with previous optical observations of the asteroid.

    Astronomers, both amateur and professional, commonly observe asteroid occultations of stars, and record the change in brightness, or intensity, of the star’s light as the asteroid passes in front of it. The VLBA observation is unique because it also allowed the astronomers to measure the amount by which the peaks of the waves were displaced by the diffraction, an effect called a phase shift.

    “This allowed us to constrain the shape of Palma with a single, short measurement,” said Leonid Petrov, affiliated with the Geodesy and Geophysics Lab, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

    “Observing an asteroid occultation using the VLBA turned out to be an extremely powerful method for asteroid sizing. In addition, such radio data would immediately reveal peculiar shapes or binary companions. That means that these techniques will undoubtedly be used for future asteroid studies,” said Kimmo Lehtinen, of the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, in Masala, Finland.

    One major result from the observation was to improve the precision with which the asteroid’s orbit can be calculated.

    “Although Palma’s position has been measured more than 1,600 times over the past 120 years, this one VLBA measurement reduced the uncertainty in the calculated orbit by a factor of 10,” said Mikael Granvik, of Lulea University of Technology in Sweden and the University of Helsinki, Finland.

    “This is a rather unusual use for the VLBA, and it demonstrates that the VLBA’s excellent technical capabilities, along with its great flexibility as a research tool, can contribute in even some unexpected ways to many fields of astronomy,” said Jonathan Romney of the Long Baseline Observatory, which operates the VLBA.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 12:47 pm on September 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , CISE-NSF's Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, , IRIS-HEP-Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High-Energy Physics, Molecular Sciences Software Institute and the Science Gateways Community Institute, MPS-NSF Division of Physics in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, NSF, SCAILFIN-Scalable Cyberinfrastructure for Artificial Intelligence and Likelihood-Free Inference   

    From University of Illinois Physics: “University of Illinois part of $25 million software institute to enable discoveries in high-energy physics” 

    U Illinois bloc

    From University of Illinois Physics

    U Illinois Physics bloc

    9/4/2018
    Siv Schwink

    1
    A data visualization from a simulation of collision between two protons that will occur at the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC). On average, up to 200 collisions will be visible in the collider’s detectors at the same time. Shown here is a design for the Inner Tracker of the ATLAS detector, one of the hardware upgrades planned for the HL-LHC. Image courtesy of the ATLAS Experiment © 2018 CERN

    CERN/ATLAS detector

    Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its launch of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High-Energy Physics (IRIS-HEP).

    The $25 million software-focused institute will tackle the unprecedented torrent of data that will come from the high-luminosity running of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator located at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland.

    LHC

    CERN map


    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    The High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) will provide scientists with a unique window into the subatomic world to search for new phenomena and to study the properties of the Higgs boson in great detail.

    CERN CMS Higgs Event


    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event

    The 2012 discovery at the LHC of the Higgs boson—a particle central to our fundamental theory of nature—led to the Nobel Prize in physics a year later and has provided scientists with a new tool for further discovery.

    The HL-LHC will begin operations around 2026, continuing into the 2030s. It will produce more than 1 billion particle collisions every second, from which only a tiny fraction will reveal new science, because the phenomena that physicists want to study have a very low probability per collision of occurring. The HL-LHC’s tenfold increase in luminosity—a measure of the number of particle collisions occurring in a given amount of time—will enable physicists to study familiar processes at an unprecedented level of detail and observe rare new phenomena present in nature.

    But the increased luminosity also leads to more complex collision data. A tenfold increase in the required data processing and storage can not be achieved without new software tools for intelligent data filtering that record only the most interesting collision events, to enable scientists to analyze the data more efficiently.

    Over the next five years, IRIS-HEP will focus on developing innovative software for use in particle physics research with the HL-LHC as the key science driver. It will also create opportunities for training and education in related areas of computational and data science and outreach to the general public. The institute will also work to increase participation from women and minorities who are underrepresented in high-energy physics research.

    IRIS-HEP brings together multidisciplinary teams of researchers and educators from 17 universities, including Mark Neubauer, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a faculty affiliate with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Urbana.

    2

    Neubauer is a member of the ATLAS Experiment, which generates and analyzes data from particle collisions at the LHC. Neubauer will serve on the IRIS-HEP Executive Committee and coordinate the institute’s activities to develop and evolve the strategic vision of the institute.

    Neubauer, along with colleagues Peter Elmer (Princeton) and Michael Sokoloff (Cincinnati), led a community-wide effort to conceptualize the institute with funding from the NSF and was a key member of the group that developed the IRIS-HEP proposal. Through a process to conceptualize the institute involving 18 workshops over the last two years, key national and international partners from high-energy physics, computer science, industry, and data-science communities were brought together to generate more than eight community position papers, most notably a strategic plan for the institute and a roadmap for HEP software and computing R&D over the next decade. They reviewed two decades of approaches to LHC data processing and analysis and developed strategies to address the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. IRIS-HEP emerged from that effort.

    “IRIS-HEP will serve as a new intellectual hub of software development for the international high-energy physics community,” comments Neubauer. “The founding of this Institute will do much more than fund software development to support the HL-LHC science; it will provide fertile ground for new ideas and innovation, empower early-career researchers interested in software and computing aspects of data-enabled science through mentoring and training to support their professional development, and will redefine the traditional boundaries of the high-energy physics community.”

    Neubauer will receive NSF funding through IRIS-HEP to contribute to the institute’s efforts in software research and innovation. He plans to collaborate with Daniel S. Katz, NCSA’s assistant director for scientific software and applications, to put together a team to research new approaches and systems for data analysis and innovative algorithms that apply machine learning and other approaches to accelerate computation on modern computing architectures.

    In related research also beginning in the current Fall semester, Neubauer and Katz through a separate NSF award with Kyle Cranmer (NYU), Heiko Mueller (NYU) and Michael Hildreth (Notre Dame) will be collaborating on the Scalable Cyberinfrastructure for Artificial Intelligence and Likelihood-Free Inference (SCAILFIN) Project. SCAILFIN aims to maximize the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve new physics searches at the LHC, while addressing current issues in software and data sustainability by making data analyses more reusable and reproducible.

    Katz says he is looking forward to delving into these projects: “How to build tools that make more sense of the data, how to make the software more sustainable so there is less rewriting, how to write software that is portable across different systems and compatible with future hardware changes—these are tremendous challenges. And these questions really are timely. They fit into the greater dialogue that is ongoing in both the computer science and the information science communities. I’m excited for this opportunity to meld the most recent work from these complementary fields together with work in physics.”

    Neubauer concludes, “The quest to understand the fundamental building blocks of nature and their interactions is one of the oldest and most ambitious of human scientific endeavors. The HL-LHC will represent a big step forward in this quest and is a top priority for the US particle physics community. As is common in frontier-science experiments pushing at the boundaries of knowledge, it comes with daunting challenges. The LHC experiments are making large investments to upgrade their detectors to be able to operate in the challenging HL-LHC environment.

    “A significant investment in R&D for software used to acquire, manage, process and analyze the huge volume of data that will be generated during the HL-LHC era will be critical to maximize the scientific return on investment in the accelerator and detectors. This is not a problem that could be solved by gains from hardware technology evolution or computing resources alone. The institute will support early-career scientists to develop innovative software over the next five to ten years, to get us where we need to be to do our science during the HL-LHC era. I am elated to see such a large investment by the NSF in this area for high-energy physics.”

    IRIS-HEP is co-funded by NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and the NSF Division of Physics in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS). IRIS-HEP is the latest NSF contribution to the 40-nation LHC effort. It is the third OAC software institute, following the Molecular Sciences Software Institute and the Science Gateways Community Institute.

    See the full University of Illinois article on this subject here .
    See the full Cornell University article on the subject here.
    See the full Princeton University article on this subject here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Illinois campus

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community of students, scholars, and alumni is changing the world.

    With our land-grant heritage as a foundation, we pioneer innovative research that tackles global problems and expands the human experience. Our transformative learning experiences, in and out of the classroom, are designed to produce alumni who desire to make a significant, societal impact.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:03 am on August 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , NSF,   

    From National Science Foundation: “NSF launches effort to create first practical quantum computer” 

    From National Science Foundation

    8.7.18

    Joshua Chamot, NSF
    703-292-4489
    jchamot@nsf.gov

    Ken Kingery, Duke University
    (919) 660-8414
    ken.kingery@duke.edu

    $15 million grant will support multi-institution quantum research collaboration.

    1
    A fabricated trap that researchers use to capture and control atomic ion qubits (quantum bits). Credit: K. Hudek, Ion Q&E / E. Edwards, JQI

    From codebreaking to aircraft design, complex problems in a wide range of fields exist that even today’s best computers cannot solve.

    To accelerate the development of a practical quantum computer that will one day answer currently unsolvable research questions, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $15 million over five years to the multi-institution Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design (STAQ) project.

    “Quantum computers will change everything about the technology we use and how we use it, and we are still taking the initial steps toward realizing this goal,” said NSF Director France Córdova. “Developing the first practical quantum computer would be a major milestone. By bringing together experts who have outlined a path to a practical quantum computer and supporting its development, NSF is working to take the quantum revolution from theory to reality.”

    Today’s quantum computers are mostly proofs of concept, demonstrating the feasibility of certain principles. While they have grown in complexity as researchers’ ability to control and construct quantum systems has improved, they have not yet solved a computational problem for which the answer was unknown.

    The project’s integrated approach to developing a practical quantum computer relies on finding new algorithms based on optimization and scientific computing problems, improving quantum computer hardware, and developing software tools that optimize algorithm performance for the specific machine in development.

    STAQ emerged from an NSF Ideas Lab, one of a series of week-long, free-form exchanges among researchers from a wide range of fields that aim to generate creative, collaborative proposals to address a given research challenge. This particular NSF Ideas Lab focused on the Practical Fully-Connected Quantum Computer challenge. STAQ will involve physicists, computer scientists and engineers from Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Maryland and University of New Mexico.

    The STAQ researchers will focus on four primary goals:

    Develop a quantum computer with a sufficiently large number of quantum bits (qubits) to solve a challenging calculation.
    Ensure that every qubit interacts with all other qubits in the system, critical for solving fundamental problems in physics.
    Integrate software, algorithms, devices and systems engineering.
    Involve equal input from experimentalists, theorists, engineers and computer scientists.

    “The first truly effective quantum computer will not emerge from one researcher working in a single discipline,” said NSF Chief Operating Officer Fleming Crim. “Quantum computing requires experts from a range of fields, with individuals applying complementary insights to solve some of the most challenging problems in science and engineering. NSF’s STAQ project uniquely addresses that need, providing a cutting-edge approach that promises to dramatically advance U.S. leadership in quantum computing.”

    As a cross-disciplinary project, STAQ encourages convergence across research fields and aligns with The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution, one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments. It is funded through NSF’s Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorates.

    About The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution

    One of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas, The Quantum Leap initiative aims to accelerate innovative research and provide a path forward for science and engineering to help solve one of the most critical, competitive and challenging issues of our time. Researchers will design, construct and analyze new approaches to quantum computing and test algorithms at a scale beyond the reach of simulations run on classical computers. Quantum research is essential for preparing future scientists and engineers to implement the discoveries of the next quantum revolution into technologies that will benefit the nation.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:16 am on July 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , National Ocean Month: NSF's role in ocean science spans the globe, NSF,   

    From National Science Foundation- “National Ocean Month: NSF’s role in ocean science spans the globe” 


    From National Science Foundation

    Media Contacts
    Rob Margetta, NSF
    (703) 292-2663
    rmargett@nsf.gov

    Foundation works with public, private partners to harness ocean resources

    1
    Credit: Nicole R. Fuller, NSF

    June 29, 2018

    This month marks the annual celebration of oceans and all that they contribute to our planet, the surface of which is more than 70 percent water. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a long history of support for ocean-related fundamental research, and so joins with public and private partners in marking new frontiers in exploring this critical global resource.

    “Ocean research, infrastructure and education advance our understanding of oceans and ocean basins and their interactions with people and the planet,” said NSF Director France Córdova. “Whether it’s embedding instruments on the ocean sea floor, studying the impact of ocean acidification, or understanding changes in ocean currents and sea level rise, NSF support will continue to shed light on this critically important part of our global ecosystem.”

    This month, the White House announced their new executive order, Streamlining Federal Ocean Policy and established the Ocean Policy Committee to grow the ocean economy, prioritize scientific research, coordinate resources and data sharing, and engage with stakeholders. A new White House report highlights oceans science research supported by federal agencies.

    The following are just a few examples of the wide range of ocean research that NSF supports.

    The following are just a few examples of the wide range of ocean research that NSF supports.

    Enhancing Security

    Unmanned vehicles, on and under water

    Unmanned vehicles, whether autonomous or human-guided, offer new opportunities for search and rescue, offshore supply and support operations, ocean sensing and exploration. Deploying a human-robot team can significantly reduce costs, improve safety and increase efficiency. Fundamental research will enable unmanned vehicles to safely perform complex tasks under marine navigation rules, in variable and unforgiving environments, and with intermittent communication.

    Coastal resilience from floods, storm surges, and tsunamis

    Inundations from storms and tsunamis have caused catastrophic damage to coastal communities and will continue to threaten growing coastal populations and trillions of dollars of infrastructure. With data collected from experiments and post-storm reconnaissance, researchers can understand and model potential damage from ocean forces, designing more resilient structures and coasts. NSF has begun a nearly $60 million investment in Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI), a network of shared, state-of-the-art research facilities and tools located at universities around the country.

    Helping drive the U.S. economy

    Energy from waves

    Ocean waves, tides and currents hold enormous promise as a source of renewable energy. To harvest efficient, reliable and economical ocean energy requires research in fluid dynamics, communications and control systems, as well as the technology to convert the mechanical energy into electricity. Fundamental research can also illuminate system design, site and environmental considerations.

    Desalination

    To help meet growing demands on limited freshwater supplies, NSF invests in fundamental research for desalination of ocean and brackish waters. Research on a variety of membrane and solar technologies, anti-fouling and anti-scaling methods, as well as low-energy and low-pressure systems will help desalination become more efficient, sustainable and affordable.

    Living ocean resources

    Better understanding of ocean biology and sustainable fisheries practices will help ensure healthy marine environments and abundant food. Researchers are just beginning to explore the engineering of ocean microbes and algae for food and energy. Marine animals, ranging from sea lions to shrimp, inspire researchers to create stronger materials, more efficient robot motions, more sensitive sensor and imaging systems, and numerous other innovations.

    Advancing knowledge to sustain global leadership

    Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) Big Idea

    NSF is advancing understanding of the Arctic environment, supporting research that will predict rapid, complex environmental and social changes in this region and enable resilience for our world. NSF seeks to help members of the public and the next generation of polar scientists understand these changes. In this way, NSF will enhance the nation’s strategic and economic advantages in an international context while safeguarding human welfare and environmental sustainability in the Arctic.

    Seafloor science and engineering

    Despite its relevance to geohazards, mineral resources and biological diversity, the harsh and dynamic environment of the seafloor and sub-seafloor remain largely unexplored and poorly understood. Research in sensing and communications systems combined with studies of geological, physical, chemical and biological processes will enable new understanding, modeling and prediction of the seafloor environment. NSF is working to chart the future for instrumenting the seafloor for real-time data collection.

    Fluid dynamics

    Fundamental research in fluid dynamics (the flow of fluids) explores many areas, including turbulent flows and biological flow processes. New knowledge in fluid dynamics has implications for ocean energy harvesting, understanding ocean currents and convection, and dispersing oil spills at sea.

    Exploring the ocean floor and beyond

    At the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigation (C-DEBI), researchers use advanced tools and infrastructure to study life under the ocean floor, using specialized technologies like sensor arrays, deep-sea submersibles, scientific drilling ships, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous deep-sea laboratories. Recent analyses by C-DEBI teams suggest that deep-sea microbes play an important role in some of Earth’s most basic geochemical processes such as petroleum degradation and methane cycling.

    Remote sensing

    Equipped with advanced underwater robotics and an array of analytical instrumentation, a team of scientists will set sail for the northeastern Pacific Ocean this August. The researchers’ mission – funded jointly by NSF and NASA — is to study the life and death of microscopic plankton, tiny plant and animal organisms. More than 100 scientists and crew members will embark on the Export Processes in the Ocean from Remote Sensing (EXPORTS) oceanographic campaign.

    Voyage to the seafloor

    A team of 32 scientists aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution affiliated with the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) have mounted an expedition to explore Zealandia, Earth’s eighth continent. IODP is a collaboration of scientists from 23 countries; the NSF-supported organization coordinates voyages to study the history of the Earth recorded in sediments and rocks beneath the seafloor.

    Unlocking climate mysteries

    The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project is an NSF-sponsored program focused on unlocking the mysteries of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean and determining its influence on climate. In addition to being an enormously biologically proactive body of water, the Southern Ocean drives global ocean circulation, which helps regulate ocean temperatures.

    Providing educational resources today for tomorrow’s workforce

    NSF’s support for innovative STEM education, student research experiences and learning technologies keeps the nation’s workforce competitive and prepared for future challenges and opportunities involving the oceans. Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) offer hands-on work to develop ocean current-based electricity. Additionally, NSF has supported access to ocean science education for rural communities and opportunities for students to operate a million-dollar business that makes and sells underwater ROVs at California’s Monterey Peninsula College (an outgrowth of the NSF-funded Marine Advanced Technology Education center) and an innovative University of Hawaii teacher training that incorporates authentic science and engineering practices.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:59 pm on May 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics, , , NSF, , U.S. Extremely Large Telescope (US-ELT) Program   

    From NOAO: U S EXTREMELY LARGE TELESCOPE PROGRAM 

    NOAO Banner

    From NOAO

    U.S. EXTREMELY LARGE TELESCOPE PROGRAM
    21 May 2018
    U.S. national observatory and two extremely large telescope projects team up to enhance U.S. scientific leadership in astronomy and astrophysics
    A new research frontier in astronomy and astrophysics will open in the mid-2020s with the advent of ground-based extremely large optical-infrared telescopes (ELTs) with primary mirrors in the 20-m – 40-m range. U.S. scientific leadership in astronomy and astrophysics will be significantly enhanced if the broad U.S. community can take advantage of the power of these new ELTs.
    In that context, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO), and the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO) have embarked on the development of a U.S. Extremely Large Telescope (US-ELT) Program.
    Our shared mission is to strengthen scientific leadership by the U.S. community-at-large through access to extremely large telescopes in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This two-hemisphere model will provide the U.S. science community with greater and more diverse research opportunities than can be achieved with a single telescope, and hence more opportunities for leadership.
    Our immediate task is advocacy for frontier research programs led by U.S community scientists that can achieve exceptional advancements in humanity’s understanding of the cosmos.
    Our audience is the U.S. research community as represented by the upcoming Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics (an enterprise of the U.S. National Academies).
    As an essential part of that immediate task, we will work with the U.S. research community to develop exemplar Key Science Programs (KSPs) within major research areas including the dark universe, first stars & first galaxies, exoplanet atmospheres, the surfaces of satellites and other small bodies throughout Solar System, and/or other topics to be proposed and prioritized by community-based working groups.
    Key Science Programs are envisioned to be open collaborations that gather observers, theorists, and data scientists together to exploit significant investments of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) observing time, from tens to hundreds of nights.

    TMT-Thirty Meter Telescope, proposed and now approved for Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level

    Giant Magellan Telescope, to be at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Las Campanas Observatory, to be built some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high

    Some of these collaborations are expected to be international in nature. If well-justified by KSP plans, we envisage that at least 25% of the observing time at each international observatory will be available for the U.S. community.
    The KSPs chosen for presentation to the Decadal Survey will not be the final programs. Astronomy and astrophysics will continue to evolve rapidly during construction of GMT and TMT, thanks to previous investments in ground– and space-based observatories, such as the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), the NASA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Actual KSPs will be selected by peer-review before the start of GMT and TMT science operations.

    NASA/MIT TESS

    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated

    LSST


    LSST Camera, built at SLAC



    LSST telescope, currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    NOAO, TIO, and GMTO are committed to enabling diversity within KSP collaborations. We seek to empower the best minds, no matter their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or institutional affiliation.
    More information about the U.S. ELT Program and how community scientists can join KSP development groups will be available after mid-June 2018.
    Issued by the National Science Foundation’s National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), with concurrence of the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO) and Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO)
    CONTACT: Dr. David Silva, Director, NOAO, dsilva@noao.edu


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    stem

    Stem Education Coalition

    NOAO News
    NOAO is the US national research & development center for ground-based night time astronomy. In particular, NOAO is enabling the development of the US optical-infrared (O/IR) System, an alliance of public and private observatories allied for excellence in scientific research, education and public outreach.

    Our core mission is to provide public access to qualified professional researchers via peer-review to forefront scientific capabilities on telescopes operated by NOAO as well as other telescopes throughout the O/IR System. Today, these telescopes range in aperture size from 2-m to 10-m. NOAO is participating in the development of telescopes with aperture sizes of 20-m and larger as well as a unique 8-m telescope that will make a 10-year movie of the Southern sky.

    In support of this mission, NOAO is engaged in programs to develop the next generation of telescopes, instruments, and software tools necessary to enable exploration and investigation through the observable Universe, from planets orbiting other stars to the most distant galaxies in the Universe.

    To communicate the excitement of such world-class scientific research and technology development, NOAO has developed a nationally recognized Education and Public Outreach program. The main goals of the NOAO EPO program are to inspire young people to become explorers in science and research-based technology, and to reach out to groups and individuals who have been historically under-represented in the physics and astronomy science enterprise.

    The National Optical Astronomy Observatory is proud to be a US National Node in the International Year of Astronomy, 2009.

    About Our Observatories:
    Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO)

    Kitt Peak

    Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) has its headquarters in Tucson and operates the Mayall 4-meter, the 3.5-meter WIYN , the 2.1-meter and Coudé Feed, and the 0.9-meter telescopes on Kitt Peak Mountain, about 55 miles southwest of the city.

    Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO)

    NOAO Cerro Tolo

    The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) is located in northern Chile. CTIO operates the 4-meter, 1.5-meter, 0.9-meter, and Curtis Schmidt telescopes at this site.

    The NOAO System Science Center (NSSC)

    Gemini North
    Gemini North

    Gemini South telescope
    Gemini South

    The NOAO System Science Center (NSSC) at NOAO is the gateway for the U.S. astronomical community to the International Gemini Project: twin 8.1 meter telescopes in Hawaii and Chile that provide unprecendented coverage (northern and southern skies) and details of our universe.

    NOAO is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under a Cooperative Agreement with the National Science Foundation.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:29 am on March 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , New Zealand's Hikurangi subduction zone, NSF, Seabed earthquakes   

    From National Science Foundation: “Deep-sea observatories to offer new view of seabed earthquakes” 

    nsf
    National Science Foundation

    March 8, 2018

    Cheryl Dybas,
    NSF
    (703) 292-7734
    cdybas@nsf.gov

    John Callan,
    GNS Science New Zealand
    04-570-4732
    J.Callan@gns.cri.nz

    1
    On its current expedition, the drilling ship JOIDES Resolution is working off the coast of New Zealand. Credit: International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).

    A mission to study New Zealand’s largest fault by lowering two sub-seafloor observatories into the Hikurangi subduction zone is underway this week.

    The expedition is led by scientists from The Pennsylvania State University (PennState) and GNS Science in New Zealand, and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).

    “This expedition will yield information that’s key to understanding why destructive tsunamis happen after shallow earthquakes and after underwater landslides,” says James Allan, a program director in NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences, which funds IODP.

    This is the second of two related expeditions aboard the scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution, and is aimed at studying the Hikurangi subduction zone to find out more about New Zealand’s largest earthquake and tsunami hazard.

    Studying an undersea earthquake zone

    The Hikurangi subduction zone, off the east coast of the North Island, is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the Pacific tectonic plate dives beneath the Australian plate.

    Scientists believe the Hikurangi subduction zone is capable of generating earthquakes greater than magnitude 8. Subduction zone earthquakes can produce major tsunamis because there are large and rapid displacements of the seafloor during these quakes.

    The voyage’s international science team will sample and analyze cores from below the seabed to understand the rock properties and conditions where these events occur.

    “We don’t yet understand the slow-slip processes that cause faults to behave in this way, and we don’t know very much about their relationship to large subduction zone earthquakes,” says expedition co-leader Demian Saffer of PennState.

    Expedition co-leader Laura Wallace of GNS Science adds, “slow-slip earthquakes are similar to other earthquakes in that they involve more rapid than normal movement along a fault. However, during a slow-slip event, it takes weeks to months for this fault movement to occur. That’s very different from an earthquake where fault movement happens in a matter of seconds, suddenly releasing energy.”

    2
    Instruments are lowered to the ocean floor on an IODP expedition. Credit: IODP.

    3
    IODP scientists and engineers ready instruments for an expedition. Credit: IODP.

    4
    Scientists on an IODP expedition work on instruments before lowering them to the sea floor. Credit: IODP.

    Best place for slow-slip quake research

    Slow-slip events occur at intervals of 12 to 24 months in the study area, and at a relatively shallow depths beneath the seabed — making this region one of the best places in the world for scientists to study them.

    Last year’s Kaikôura earthquake triggered a large slow-slip event off New Zealand’s east coast that covered an area of more than 15,000 square kilometers (5,792 square miles). The event started near the current planned IODP expedition; results from this research should shed new light on why it occurred.

    Investigating why and where slow-slip events happen is a key missing link in understanding how faults work. Wallace believes that “slow-slip events have great potential to improve our ability to forecast earthquakes.”

    Sub-seafloor observatories offer new view of quakes

    A major aim of the voyage is installing two borehole observatories into pre-drilled holes 500 meters (1,641 feet) below the seafloor. This will be the first time such observatories have been installed in New Zealand waters.

    They will bring new monitoring capabilities to New Zealand, which may help pave the way for offshore instrumentation needed for earthquake and tsunami early warning systems.

    The observatories contain high-tech measuring and monitoring equipment inside their steel casings, and will remain beneath the seafloor for five to 10 years. They will collect data on how rocks are strained during slow-slip events, as well as on changes in temperature and the flow of fluids through fault zones.

    The information will give scientists important new insights into the behavior of slow-slip events and their relationship to earthquakes along a subduction plate boundary.

    Understanding the links between slow-slip events and devastating earthquakes and tsunamis will allow for better risk modeling, say the researchers, and ultimately, better hazard preparation for coastal communities.

    -NSF-

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

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