IODP-MI Task Forces

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IODP-MI is responsible for overseeing the implementation of a large number of tasks, including operational planning, engineering development, database management, education and outreach, publications, and repository oversight. IODP-MI utilizes task forces to assist in implementation where necessary. The purpose of task forces is to focus the advice obtained from SAS and provide concrete advice on policy, so that IODP-MI can proceed with implementation. All task forces in general, will be appointed on an ad hoc basis and usually will include SAS members, representatives from the IOs, and other experts. The members of the task forces will not be nominated by outside bodies but will be chosen by IODP-MI. Task forces will not be asked to write RFPs. The policy formulations by the task forces, however, will often guide IODP-MI personnel in writing RFPs.

 IODP-MI Task Forces

Past Organized Task Forces

Operations Task Force (OTF)

The OTF is a hybrid committee between SAS, the CMO and the IOs. It works as an integrated part of the SAS on expedition implementation. In particular it assists SIPCOM in its work to determine annual and long-range drilling schedules. Its prime mission is to formulate the most efficient expedition schedules, including details of science operations, and the required budgets. It will address drilling schedules on an annual basis as well as on a multi-year, long-range planning basis. It conducts its work in this regard on the: (1) basis of the long-range and overall programmatic priorities determined by SIPCOM; (2) science assessment made by PEP; (3) site characterization readiness as reported by SCP; (4) technical feasibility as reported by the STP; and (5) within the fiscal and operational constraints provided by the funding agencies (NSF, on behalf of the lead agencies). Its recommendations for annual expedition schedules are reported to SIPCOM along with a safety evaluation by the EPSP for final selection (if multiple scenarios) and approval of the science plan to be included in the Annual Program Plan (APP). It also prepares background material on long-range drilling plans to be developed by SIPCOM on an annual basis.


The OTF is hosted by the CMO, but differs from other SAS entities by CMO and IO membership. Members from SAS are the PEP chair and its four thematic sub-chairs. Members from IOs are one senior manager from each IO appointed by the IO Executive Manager. The CMO chairs the OTF and has two members (including the chair) representing science planning and operations.

Current Members

Member from PEP:
  • Dick Kroon (PEP Chair)
  • Richard Arculus
  • Timothy Bralower
  • Michael Strasser
  • Yoshinori Takano 
Member from IOs:
  • USIO: David Divins
  • CDEX: Wataru Azuma
  • ESO: Bob Gatliff

Liaison from SIPCOM, LA and EMA:

  • SIPCOM: Jan de Leeuw
  • NSF: Jamie Allan
  • MEXT: Shingo Shibata
  • EMA: Gilbert Camoin
  • Yoshi Kawamura (Chair)

Meeting Frequency

At least one physical meeting per year to prepare expedition schedule scenarios prior to SIPCOM review of science plans and draft APPs. Additional meetings may be held as convenient or required, or be conducted electronically. The OTF keeps minutes of all its activities.

Meeting Reports


Project Scoping Groups/Project Management Teams

The OTF determines the level of scoping/planning-support/oversight needed for complex proposals and designates a formal Project Scoping Group (PSG). If after initial scoping the proposal/project is placed on the IODP operational schedule by the OTF, the PSG will then become a formal Project Management Team (PMT). Or when an IO considers a proposal at the OTF to be implemented in the operational schedule, the IO may recognize complexity of the proposal and feel necessity of PMT. In such case, the IO may request the OTF/IODP-MI to form PMT.

The Project Management Team (PMT) plans and coordinates the project through its preparations, operations to the end of expedition. The PMT reports to the OTF on planning and implementation issues addressed by the team. Reports/actions items of this PSG/PMT are on the IODP website. 


Each PMT will have "core membership" of IODP-MI representative, project PI (proponent)/Co-chiefs and IO representatives. SAS representatives, E&O representation and outside engineers/expertise may become the member as requested.


NanTroSEIZE Project Management Team Members

Yoshi Kawamura, Chair IODP-MI
Harold Tobin (Co-Chief Project Scientist) IFREE, JAMSTEC
Masa Kinoshita (Co-chief Project Scientist) University of Wisconsin
Gaku Kimura University of Tokyo
Greg Moore University of Hawaii
Mike Underwood University of Missouri
Ryota Hino Tohoku University
Nobu Eguchi CDEX
Masaoki Yamao CDEX
Ikuo Sawada CDEX
Adam Klaus USIO
IO technical representatives as required
SAS representatives if applicable
Specialty Coordinators
   Physical properties / hydrogeology Demian Saffer
   Lithostratigraphy Mike Underwood
   Structural Geology Gaku Kimura
   CLSI Greg Moore
   Paleontology / Paleomagnetics Toshi Kanamatsu
   Geochemistry Geoff Wheat

J-FAST Project Management Team Members

Jim Mori Kyoto University
Shuichi Kodaira IFREE, JAMSTEC
Fred Chester TAMU
Ryota Hino Tohoku University
Masaoki Yamao CDEX
Ikuo Sawada CDEX
Nori Kyo CDEX
Nobu Eguchi CDEX
Yoshi Kawamura IODP-MI

Atlantis Massif Project Management Team Members

Gretchen Früh-Green                      ETH Zurich
Christopher MacLeod Cardiff University
Javier Escartin Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris
David McInroy ESO
Robert Gatliff ESO
Dave Smith ESO
Carol Cotterill ESO
Sarah Davies ESO
Sally Morgan ESO
Ursula Röhl ESO
Yoshi Kawamura IODP-MI

Baltic Sea Project Management Team Members

Thomas Andrén                           Södertörn University
Bo Baker Jörgensen Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
David McInroy                             ESO
Robert Gatliff ESO
Dave Smith ESO
Carol Cotterill ESO
Graham Tulloch ESO
Sarah Davies ESO
Sally Morgan ESO
Ursula Röhl ESO
Yoshi Kawamura IODP-MI

Chicxulub K-T Impact Crater Project Management Team Members

Joanna Morgan                           Imperial College London    
Sean Gulick University of Texas at Austin
David McInroy ESO
Robert Gatliff ESO
Dave Smith ESO
Carol Cotterill ESO
Sarah Davies ESO
Sally Morgan ESO
Ursula Röhl ESO
Yoshi Kawamura IODP-MI

Hawaii Drowned Reefs Project Management Team Members

Jody Webster University of Sydney
David Clague Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
David McInroy ESO
Robert Gatliff ESO
Dave Smith ESO
Sarah Davies ESO
Annick Fehr ESO
Ursula Röhl ESO
Alister Skinner Consultant, ACS Coring Services
Yoshi Kawamura IODP-MI

Meeting Reports

Operations Review Task Force (ORTF)

IODP-MI Operations Review Task Force conducts operational reviews of IODP Expeditions. The Task Force review is based upon confidential reports submitted by the IO and expedition co-chief scientists. These operational reviews focus on "lessons learned" and "how do we do things better in the future?" Areas of discussion include pre-expedition planning, expedition drilling operations, communications between scientists and operators, roles and responsibilities of scientists and operators, general procedures and policies (e.g., curation, communications), laboratory operations, etc. Each of these operational reviews results in recommendations that are compiled into a short summary report that is posted on the IODP website.


ORTF members comprises the IODP-MI Manager of Engineering and Operations (Chair), IODP-MI President, 3-5 representatives from the IO under review, 1 representative from each IO not under review, the Co-Chief Scientists for the expedition under review, 3 scientists with knowledge about IODP and the expedition under review, and 3 industry representatives.

Current Membership

Yoshi Kawamura, Chair IODP-MI
Kiyoshi Suyehiro IODP-MI
3-5 representatives from IO under review ESO, CDEX. or USIO
1 representative from each IO not under review ESO, CDEX, USIO
Co-Chief Scientists for expedition under review Science Community
3 scientists Science Community
3 industry representatives Private Sector

Meeting Frequency

The ORTF convenes two-to-four months post-expedition. In the case of MSP operations, 2-4 months following the shore-based portion of the expedition.

Meeting Reports

Subsurface Life Task Force (SLTF)

IODP-MI Subsurface Life Task Force's primary function is to provide advices on the deep biosphere and subseafloor ocean related issues to IODP-MI. Especially the task force provides advices to IODP-MI on various policy/strategic issues in order to take advantage of the full range of IODP expedition possibilities to meet the multiple challenges of (1) describing deep subsurface microbial diversity, (2) accurately constraining microbial biomass and activity, and (3) mapping habitable space within the subseafloor ocean. 


SLTF members comprise one STP liaison, nine scientists with knowledge about subsurface life research and one IODP-MI representative

Current Members

Steven D'Hondt, Chair U. Rhode Island, USA
Timothy Ferdelman Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany
Ken Takai JAMSTEC, Japan
Wolfgang Bach U. Bremen, Germany
Katrina Edwards Southern California, USA
Jun-ichiro Ishibashi KyusyuU., Japan
Takuro Nunouro JAMSTEC, Japan
Yuki Morono KCC JAMSTEC, Japan
Victoria Orphan Caltech, USA
Michiko Yamamoto IODP-MI
Jamus Collier IODP-MI

Meeting Frequency

The SLTF conducts all business via email. Members may meet on an ad hoc basis at meetings of opportunity.

Meeting Reports


Data Management Task Force

The objective of the Data Management Task Force is to develop a user-friendly data portal to access and display data generated by the program. The Task Force is also charged with issuing RFPs related to the data portal, associated search engines or visualization tools, and existing or emerging technologies relevant to the program.

The Data Management Task Force is chaired by the IODP-MI Data Manager and is populated by the IODP-MI Publications Manager, IO liaisons, and community specialists within the field of digital library technology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geo-referenced data, Web services, data visualization and cyber-infra structure. The (DMTF) is composed of external experts in the following fields:

  • Central Web Portal for distributed databases
  • Metadata standard for geographic scientific data (ISO 19115)
  • Data integration, mining and access in a distributed environment
  • GIS, data visualization, mapping and web services
  • Scientific data exchange format and standard
  • IODP data users

Current Members

Jamus Collier , Chair IODP-MI
Yoshiaki Aita Utsunomiya University
Warner Brückmann IFM-GEOMAR
Patrick Diver Consultant
David Divins USIO
Colin Graham ESO
Jens Klump GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam Data Centre
Yohta Kumaki Geographical Survey Institute
Shigemi Matsuda CDEX
Larry Mayer University of New Hampshire
Reagan Moore San Diego Supercomputer Center
Lola Olsen Global Change Master Directory
Dawn Wright Oregon State University

Meeting Frequency

The Data Management Task Force works by e-mail and may meet 1-2 times per year.

Meeting Reports

Publications Task Force (PTF)

Active from 2004-2005, this task force was formed to make recommendations on IODP Publications, all of which were accepted by SPPOC--the Science Advisory Structure Executive Committee's predecessor--early in 2005.

Outreach Task Force

This Task Force has its roots in planning workshops that took place in February and May of 2004 with a group of advisors convened by the IODP-MI President to construct a fundamental framework of duties and responsibilities to be carried out in an integrated IODP Education and Outreach program. The Task Force has since evolved into a group with two-fold responsibilities: devising and implementing creative education and outreach strategies meant to raise IODP visibility while heightening understanding of scientific ocean drilling; and providing effective counsel to the IODP community in relation to program policies and practices that impact outreach efforts.


The Outreach Task Force is chaired by the IODP-MI Director of Communications. Members comprise outreach specialists from each of the IOs.


Miyuki Otomo IODP-MI
Jamus Collier IODP-MI
Alan Stevenson ESO
Albert Gerdes ESO
Tadashi Yoshizawa CDEX/JAMSTEC
Patricia Maruejol EMA
Matthew Wright USIO

Meeting Frequency.

The Task Force meets once per year, with its primary forms to produce an Integrated Annual Outreach Program Plan.

Meeting Reports


Engineering Task Force (ETF) [currently deactivated]

The Engineering Task Force assists IODP-MI in its effort to bring appropriate technology to the program that is required to meet the science objectives detailed in the IODP Initial Science Plan. In particular, the ETF helps IODP-MI establish a long-term engineering vision for the program, evaluate and use advice provided by the IODP Science Advisory Structure to prioritize and implement engineering initiatives, assist IODP-MI identify potential vendors and additional engineering experts as required, and help IODP-MI review on-going engineering development projects. Major agenda topics and areas of interest include:

  • Determining high-level IODP engineering goals
  • Review of SAS advice and prioritization
  • Implementation of engineering initiatives
  • Evaluate engineering development proposals
  • Progress reviews of funded developments
  • Review IODP technology road map
  • Assist IODP-MI determine how best to procure services
  • Thematic meetings such as observatory technology, heave compensation, deep drilling and/or coring techniques


ETF is chaired by the IODP-MI Engineering and Operations Manager and comprises 8 industry, academic, and government experts on instrument design, drilling techniques, and emerging technologies, as well as one liaison from each IO.

Meeting Frequency

The Engineering Task Force holds one to two meetings per year, primarily after the SAS Engineering Development Panel (EDP) prioritizes proposals at its summer meeting for the FY+2 Annual Program Plan.

Meeting Reports


Expeditions Science Communication Task Force

The IODP-MI Expedition Science Communication Task Force (ESC-TF) was a short-term task force created to address issues related to: (1) publication during the expedition moratorium period of IODP findings in high impact, fast-tracking journals imposing temporary publication embargos on the program; (2) how to maximize the distribution and impact of scientific discoveries on the science community as well as on the broader public; and (3) integration of the scientists in the news release process. The ESC-TF made recommendations to streamline the communications process during and following IODP expeditions.

The Task Force's business was conducted exclusively through e-mail until it concluded with a report and recommendations.


The Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC)Task Force

The Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) Taskforce established the framework for QA/QC procedures for measurements made on all IODP platforms and shore-based facilities and monitors the success of the implemented QA/QC framework. The Task Force was concluded; QA/QC procedures established can be found in the


Curatorial Advisory Board

The Curatorial Advisory Board represents a variety of scientific disciplines and has several main roles including:

  • Acting as an appeals board vested with the authority to make final decisions regarding sample distribution, if and when conflicts or differences of opinion arise among any combination of the sample requester, an IODP Curator at the repository of interest, or the Sample Allocation Committee (SAC)
  • Reviewing and approving requests to sample the permanent archive and requests for loans of core material
The Curatorial Advisory Board is chaired by the IODP-MI Vice President of Science Planning. Members also include the IODP-MI Vice President of Science Operations and three members of the scientific community. The latter serve overlapping four-year terms and are nominated by the Scientific Technology Panel.

Current Members

Hans Christian Larsen, Chair  IODP-MI
Clive Neal   University of Notre Dame
David C. Smith University of Rhode Island 
Noritoshi Suzuki Tohoku University
Heinrich Villinger   University of Bremen
Masnobu Yamamoto  Hokkaido University

Meeting Frequency
The Curatorial Advisory Board conducts all business via email. Members may meet on an ad hoc basis at meetings of opportunity (e.g., SAS Panel meetings).