On January 28, the joint IRIS/UNAVCO Negotiation Committee held its second meeting. UNAVCO’s new president, Dr. Rebecca Bendick, joined the committee, as did IRIS’ Director of Instrumentation Services, Bob Woodward. The meeting was positive and productive, reaffirming our shared values and the complementary strengths of our two consortia. Topics included:
- Recent meetings between IRIS and UNAVCO and NSF staff in the Large Facilities Office, as well as the newly released NSF Dear Colleague Letter on the future of the GAGE and SAGE facilities (also see the February 5 email communication and web post of February 5, 2020). We examined the implications of NSF guidance on the merger process, timing, and funding of the potential integration.
- The mission of an integrated geophysical consortium was discussed together with our shared vision of the desired impact to science and society.
- The similarities and differences in the current IRIS and UNAVCO bylaws and corporate practices were reviewed. We agreed upon the key elements of bylaws for a combined organization that would serve the needs of our broad community and advance the expansive fields of geodesy and seismology in the future.
- We began to discuss functional organizational structures aimed at ensuring effective alignment between geodetic and seismologic instrumentation services, data services, education and outreach, advocacy, and the infrastructure undergirding them.
- We identified issues to be addressed in preparation for the next meeting of the Negotiation Team, including exploring the legal options for integrating our corporate entities, as well as options for financial and facility structures.
- The next meeting of the Negotiation Team will take place on April 7, 2020, in Chicago.
Throughout the day, it was once more abundantly clear how important the unique capabilities of the respective staff and communities of each organization are to the committee members, and how much each organization respects the other. We are excited about our progress, but there is much work yet to be done.