Standing Committee Meeting Report PASSCAL

September 2020

Committee Members Present: Beatrice Magnani (chair), Lee Liberty, Marianne Karplus, Zach Eilon, Wes Thelen, Rob Evans, Paul Winberry (also Polar ex-officio), Eric Sandvol, Andy Parsekian
Ex Officio Members:   Ninfa Bennington (ex-officio EMAC chair)
Board Liaisons:  Susan Schwartz (PASSCAL Board Liaison)

IRIS Staff and Observers:  Kent Anderson (IRIS-Portable Program Manager), Bob Woodward (IRIS President), Jerry Carter (IRIS-DS Director), Justin Sweet (IRIS- scribe), Bruce Beaudoin (PASSCAL-NMT), Sue Bilek (NMT), Galen Kaip (SSF-UTEP), Andy Frassetto (IRIS-MT Program Manager)

Action Items

  1. (Sweet/Anderson/Beaudoin/Eilon): Redraft PIQQA project charter for phased approach (v1, v2) and work on fleshing out what the v2 could contain.
  2. (Sweet): Share a copy of finalized rapid response white paper with the PASC for review, and recommend to the Board that they endorse the document
  3. (Anderson): Start sketching out the elements you plan to propose for the upcoming MSRI solicitation
  4. (Anderson): Revise the SMP based on input from the group edits as well as PASC discussion today and plan for the PASC to review the document at our next meeting. - models for realistic decreases/increases we may expect
  5. (Anderson): Procure pairs of broadband sensors and acquisition systems with available instrumentation funds
  6. (Magnani): Seek input for nominations for committee rotations from PASC members not present during final day of the meeting
  7. (Sweet): Send out a doodle for our spring meeting in late Feb or early March


  1. PASC requests CoCom convene members of IRIS/UNAVCO governance to have a community dialogue/meeting with NSF to discuss the panel review and any outstanding questions and concerns.
  2. PASC submits a list of nominees to replace members who are rotating off this year
  3. PASC provides a list of priorities for any remaining carryover funds
    • Broadband and DAS spending
    • MT replenishment


  1. PASC votes to approve the Spring 2020 PASC meeting minutes and summary

Meeting Objectives

  1.  Review SAGE-II year 2 budget status

PASC received program status and related updates from the Program Manager, MT Manager, DS Director and subawardees.  Final budget status for yr-2 was reviewed and the committee was briefed on external funding efforts, including the MSRI proposal submitted last spring.  Current spending plans for the MT instruments were also presented.

  1. Review NSF IS Panel Review topics pertinent to PASSCAL

IRIS President Woodward provided an update on the recent NSF Instrumentation Services joint review with UNAVCO.  Both programs were given excellent ratings.  The PASC reviewed IRIS’ written responses to follow-up questions from NSF, and suggested that a small virtual meeting between several governance members and NSF might be a good way to follow up on the points expressed in IRIS’ response.  Woodward also provided the PASC with an update on the pending merger with UNAVCO.

  1. Provide Input on PASSCAL Strategic Plan

Several members of the PASC provided input from their recent review and edits to the current scope management plan.  The committee discussed how to best improve the plan in order to be prepared to respond to future funding increases or decreases.  Based on the group’s edits and the ensuing discussion, PM Anderson was tasked with revising the scope management plan for PASC review next spring.   Revision will include modeling for various potential reductions to scope.

  1. Provide Recommendations for Mid-Period Sensor Procurement

  The PASC provided input on how best to spend current and upcoming funds for procurement of mid-period sensors as part of the Wavefields frontier task.  Based on PASSCAL testing and evaluation as well as usage by other members of the community, the PASC decided on a preferred broadband sensor and datalogger that they recommended the facility purchase.

  1. Provide Recommendations for PASC Member Rotations

Three PASC members (Eilon, Winberry, and Sandvol) are due to rotate off at the end of 2020.  The PASC discussed several possible replacements for each, being careful to try and suggest individuals with similar expertise (e.g. OBS, broadbands, polar) in order to preserve the breadth of knowledge on the committee.  A list of names was drafted for distribution to the full committee and final recommendation to the IRIS CoCom and then on to the Board ahead of their fall meeting in November.

  1. Provide Input on Potential MSRI Resubmission

PM Anderson provided a detailed update on the MSRI proposal that was submitted to NSF last spring and which would have provided additional funding for nodes, broadbands, DAS, and near-surface geophysics instrumentation.  The proposal reviewed well, but unfortunately just missed the cutoff for funding.  The PASC provided input on what elements might go into a revised MSRI proposal that NSF will likely call for early in 2021.  After discussing several pressing instrumentation needs, the PASC tasked PM Anderson with drawing up a plan for the upcoming MSRI proposal for them to review.

Other Business

  • Subcommittee reports from EMAC, PSTC, SSFAC and QAAC
  • Updates on SAGE-II frontier activities—Wavefields and Rapid Response
  • Discussion around recent broadband pool report from PASSCAL
  • Review of action items and plans for next meeting with calls this fall/winter, as necessary.