Standing Committee Meeting Report Education and Public Outreach

March 2021 - EPO

EPO Standing Committee Spring Meeting

March 11, 12, Virtual

Action Items

  • IRIS EPO to reach out to GeoASCEND leadership to request a more detailed plan and timeline.  
  • Continue to develop “pitch” for new venues for current Distinguished Lecturers and the new planned science communication ambassadors (e.g. Science Friday). 
  • Committee Members are requested to continue to offer feedback and ideas for next steps toward revamping the sunsetting Distinguished Lectureship program as we transition to different outreach types of activities.  Of particular interest are ideas which include our younger scientists who can be role models and cast a wider net.
  • Place IRIS EPO project items and activities into priority tiers -- to bring back to the committee for feedback at a future meeting.
  • IRIS is collecting white papers that were submitted in response to NSF’s future facility Dear Colleague Letter.  If you have a white paper to share, or know who could be contacted, please email Andy Frassetto ( 
  • Explore the options for starting an IRIS Slack space with various channels.

Meeting Summary

The EPO Standing Committee met virtually on March 11 and 12, 2021. The attendees for part or all of the meeting included: Committee Members: Kathy Ellins (chair), Tadesse Alemu, Wesley Brown, Alex Nikulin, Jascha Polet, Mike Brudzinski, Debi Kilb
IRIS Board of Directors liaison: Jackie Caplan-Auerbach 
IRIS staff: John Taber, Wendy Bohon, Perle Dorr, Tammy Bravo, Michael Hubenthal, Danielle Sumy and Mladen Dordevic, Bob Woodward
UNAVCO staff: Donna Charlevoix

The meeting began with a review of the minutes and action items from the previous meeting, followed by a presentation and discussion on EPO program highlights over the past 6 months and the staff priorities for the next 6 months.  An update was then provided on the planning for the 2022 SAGE/GAGE workshop, for which UNAVCO is the lead organizer.  The IRIS Board guidance to the committees was reviewed, and then the committee was asked to individually review the current charge to the EPOSC to determine if it needs to be updated.  This was followed by a discussion of proposed modifications to the Simpson Fund RFP.   Then a strategic planning session was initiated, starting first with a prioritization of capabilities, products, and services within the SAGE II award, which was followed a discussion of community EPO/ECE priorities for the future facility, first in smaller breakout groups, and then with the full committee and EPO staff.  

The 2nd day began with a discussion on the status and planning for the IRIS/UNAVCO merger and the importance of community guidance.  This led into a presentation and discussion on how to improve bi-directional communication with the IRIS community. This was followed by an update on UNAVCO ECE activities and a discussion on how to expand on EPO/ECE synergies. Then there was an update and discussion about the status of the 2021 REU program, focusing particularly on how the program will adapt to covid restrictions using a hybrid approach where students may work either remotely or in person.  Next was the usual committee-only executive session.  After the end of the executive session, there was a presentation and review of the proposed SAGE II Y4 EPO budget. The meeting concluded with the creation of a list of cross-program issues and information items for the Board that the EPOSC desired to be brought to the upcoming CoCom meeting.