|15 October 2002|
To: The UNAVCO Community
From: Will Prescott, President, UNAVCO, Inc.
Subject: News and Information
We have received many comments on the draft PBO proposal. Rather than try to respond to all of the individual comments, I would like to provide a summary response to some of the overarching themes in the comments. The absence of adequate science justification was the strongest comment we received. The existing PBO draft is intended to describe the implementation plan. The current draft of the PBO proposal is not the complete Earthscope proposal. The justification will be present in the complete proposal. The goal of this proposal is a little different than a typical science proposal. The decision to fund Earthscope will likely to be made by Congress before this proposal is evaluated. The purpose of the proposal is to convince readers that a) we understand the goals of Earthscope, b) have a sound plan for constructing the facility, and c) our proposal is the best among any competing proposals for building it. But having said that, I agree it is absolutely necessary to present a case for how the proposed PBO facility will address PBO science goals. There was much discussion of the Regional Scientist concept. These comments convinced me that this was a fatally flawed idea. I have replaced it with a series of Advisory groups (one each for: Volcanoes, Transform boundaries, Subduction boundaries, and Intraplate regions). We are discussing how these groups will interact with Earthscope as a whole. Commenters were concerned that we didn't fully appreciate the difficulties in permitting sites. The current plan is to have a consulting company do bulk permitting for BLM, Forest Service, Park Service and scientifically critical sites particularly in Northern and Southern California (due to strict environmental compliance) as identified by advisory groups. Regional Engineers will be responsible for all reconnaissance and other permitting activities utilizing scientific contacts and state county and city governments with a primary focus on getting their survey groups behind this. A permitting coordinator will track and manage the entire process. We have budgeted $5K per site for permitting activities. Commenters found the monumenting plans confusing and at variance with previous discussions. We have changed the plan. We now propose to: a) use the deep-drilled-braced (Wyatt) monument as the default everywhere; b) use a short-drilled-braced monument in locations where there is good rock and access is difficult; and, c) for locations where it is not possible to bring in a drill rig (for a Wyatt mark), and where rock is not adequate for a short-drilled-braced mark, decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis (either abandon or use another mark type). There was much discussion about the absence of Canada and Mexico in the plan. NSF is suggesting that areas in Canada and Mexico should be filled in through cooperative programs with our neighbors. We will include language in the proposal to recognize that. Advisory groups should work to facilitate this cooperation and to identify resources for it. There was concern that not enough information has been provided to evaluate the budget. We are continuing to work on refining the budget and on presenting it in more meaningful ways. Inevitably, this process will continue beyond the proposal preparation stage and into the implementation stage, should the proposal be funded. Much more detail is available on the web now than was available when we first released the draft proposal. We received many other comments on issues large and small. We are working to refine the PBO proposal and to merge it with USArray and SAFOD proposals. I look forward to your comments on future versions. Regards, Will Prescott
Last modified: Wednesday, 08-Jul-2015 16:00:45 UTC