Survey – A National Facility for Near-Surface and Critical Zone Geophysics

Dear Colleagues:

(Apologies for any cross-postings…)

We would like your input in a short survey on the demand, rationale, and needs for a potential national facility for near-surface and “critical zone” geophysics. The survey should only take ~10-15 minutes to complete. You can do so anonymously, or identify yourself if you’d like to be included in future discussions. NOTE: this survey is not just for geophysicists! We are especially interested in hearing from those students and researchers who are not expert geophysicists but would like to have access to near-surface geophysical instrumentation, software, and expertise. Some context on the survey is included below, but if you prefer to just go straight to the survey, you can find it here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfXd6oxkKTTZ8OB7XoB5oarvHERBKLVLaVF5W6xkvtK8fpnfg/viewform

The University of Wyoming/WyCEHG (http://www.uwyo.edu/epscor/wycehg/) will be part of the IRIS (http://www.iris.edu) team that is writing a proposal in response to NSF’s solicitation for Management and Operation of the National Geophysical Observatory for Geoscience (NGEO) (see solicitation at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16546/nsf16546.htm). The solicitation specifically mentions “near-surface and critical zone geophysics” as a “frontier capability” of interest. We believe that this solicitation, and the partnership with IRIS, represent a major opportunity to expand access to, and use of, near-surface geophysics in a broad range of Earth science disciplines. A partnership between UWyo and IRIS can leverage an existing facility of near-surface geophysical instrumentation recently established by a Research Infrastructure Improvement grant from NSF-EPSCoR. A list of the current instrumentation in the WyCEHG facility can be found here: http://www.uwyo.edu/epscor/wycehg/research-facilities/finse/index.html

If a national facility comes to fruition, our goals are to make it widely available and responsive to the needs of the user community, including both near-surface geophysicists but also, importantly, users in allied disciplines, from soil science to hydrology. Though many details remain to be worked out, we expect that the facility will be governed by a steering committee drawn from representatives of these fields.

With this survey we hope to assess demand for the instrumentation and services that might be provided by a national facility for near-surface geophysics. Your answers will help guide planning efforts for such a facility. Thanks for taking a few minutes to share your ideas – and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

Thanks,
Steve Holbrook