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GeoEarthScope Support

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

GeoEarthScope Geochronology Credits for Potential Users

(Updated July 2009)

In order to meet the goals of EarthScope, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), UNAVCO issued awards to laboratories to provide geochronology analysis services. Geochronology labs will provide services on the basis of available “credits” that will be made available to investigators identified by NSF via the merit review proposal process. This FAQ has been prepared to address the most common questions raised by investigators interested in geochronology analyses for EarthScope.

Q: I am preparing a proposal to submit to NSF. How do I request access to GeoEarthScope geochronology facilities/credits?

A: NSF will award geochronology credits based on proposals submitted via the merit review proposal process. Proposals may include specific requests to access geochronology credits (but such requests will have no direct influence on NSF award decisions). On the other hand, successful proposals may have geochronology credits issued to them even if the proposals did not request this. NSF award decisions will be science-based, not credit-based.

Q: What geochronology analysis techniques are available via GeoEarthScope facilities/credits?

A: A predetermined number of credits have been assigned for each of the following analysis techniques:

  • 14C
  • Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL)
  • Cosmogenic
  • (U-Th)/He
  • Apatite Fission Track
  • 40Ar/39Ar
  • U-Pb

Q: Which labs will be available as GeoEarthScope geochronology facilities?

A: Technique, Lab (Lab Manager), Award Amount:

  • 14C, LLNL (Guilderson), $50,000
  • 14C, UC Irvine (Southon), $50,000
  • OSL, Utah State (Rittenour), $50,000
  • OSL, U. of Washington (Feathers), $50,000
  • Cosomogenic, PRIME Lab (Caffee), $150,000
  • Cosomogenic, U. of Kansas (Walker), $52,000
  • (U-TH)/He, U. of Arizona (Reiners), $120,000
  • Fission Track, AtoZ (Donelick), $60,000
  • 40Ar/39Ar, New Mexico Tech (Heizler), $40,000
  • 40Ar/39Ar, Berkeley Geochron Ctr (Renne), $40,000
  • 40Ar/39Ar, U. of Florida (Foster), $40,000
  • U-Pb, MIT (Bowring), $100,000

Q: Are there guidelines that should be followed if I would like to specifically request access to geochronology credits in my proposal?

A: No. NSF award decisions will be science-based, not credit-based.

Q: Would it be detrimental to my proposal if I requested support for geochronology analyses not available from GeoEarthScope facilities?

A: No. NSF award decisions will be science-based, not credit-based.

Q: Can GeoEarthScope credits be used to support geochronology field work and sample collection?

A: No. Credits can only be used for “analysis”.

Q: Can GeoEarthScope credits be used to support sample preparation?

A: No. Credits can only be used for “analysis”.

Q: A GeoEarthScope geochronology award was issued to a lab at my institution. If my proposal is successful, can I receive an “on campus” analysis rate versus an “off campus” rate?

A: Yes. On-campus vs. off-campus rates will be available.

Q: GeoEarthScope geochronology credits are not mentioned in NSF Solicitation 09-535. Will these credits be available for proposals submitted in response to this solicitation?

A: Yes.

Q: I still have questions regarding geochronology credits and my proposal. Who should I contact for additional information?

A: Investigators preparing NSF proposals should contact Dr. Greg Anderson, Program Director, GEO/EAR/EarthScope and SCEC, National Science Foundation, by email at or by telephone at (703) 292-4693.


Last modified: 2020-04-25  17:13:49  America/Denver