Thread: Community update regarding EarthScope's primary instrument facility

Started: 2022-03-08 14:06:33
Last activity: 2022-03-08 14:06:33
Dear IRIS and UNAVCO Community:

On March 1, 2022 the Joint Boards of UNAVCO and IRIS voted to approve the location of the EarthScope’s primary instrument facility. After a thorough search and review, the instrument facility will be located in Socorro, NM, at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech). The transition will begin in 2023 or before and will proceed carefully and deliberately, minimizing any disruption to the user community.

IRIS and New Mexico Tech have a long and successful working relationship through the IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center. While honoring that long collaboration, we also explored the feasibility and impacts of other locations for the EarthScope instrument center. Through our search and negotiations it became clear that locating the primary EarthScope instrument facility in Socorro was the superior choice.

By consolidating our facility instrumentation activities into a single primary instrument facility, EarthScope will gain a number of benefits, including enhanced sharing and coordination of technology and expertise across all EarthScope programs and will improve efficiency for PI and experimental support by managing logistics from a single primary depot. As part of this transition we will relocate some of our existing activities and restructure some of our business relationships with our existing subaward institutions, including NMT. We expect to continue to operate smaller satellite facilities proximal to ongoing projects and networks.

One of the EarthScope principles is a commitment to remote and hybrid work options, which will be important as we maintain a capable and flexible workforce, while reducing our physical footprint and costs. We will charge IRIS and UNAVCO management to work with staff to develop work strategies that build on the principle of remote and hybrid work options while allowing us to consolidate physical instrument facilities in Socorro, while minimizing staff relocation.

Our remarkable geophysical facilities have always been committed to providing the geophysical community with the highest quality of instrumentation support. We reaffirm this commitment to quality as we plan and execute the transition to the exciting new combined instrumentation facility. Our goal is that our community will experience no disruptions to service during this transition as we begin to realize the benefits of a combined EarthScope consortium built on the long history and high standards of UNAVCO and IRIS.

All the best,

Ronni Grapenthin Chair, UNAVCO Board of Directors
Rick Aster, Chair, IRIS Board of Directors
Becks Bendick, President, UNAVCO
Bob Woodward, President, IRIS




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