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 Management & procedures

The CSA aims at a comprehensive effort to coordinate all aspects of subseafloor biosphere, subseafloor records that document paleo-environments and paleo-ecosystems, and also geoprocesses controlling the fate of present-day ecosystems. Each group of experts holds a workshop on WP-level during year 1, which will be followed by a series of overarching workshops which tie together disciplines and their technological and infrastructural needs during year 2. A big conference towards the end of year 2 presents the results of the CSA to a wider community, stakeholders from industry and NGOs, and policymakers, who are also involved beforehand on the workshop level. One outcome of the conference will be a draft “white paper”, which then will be presented at a hearing, followed by peer-review and editorial measures overseen by Commission Services. The remaining time the 30 month-project will be dedicated to summarise the outcome of the meeting and the workshop reports and condense everything to a “white paper” for publication and distribution.

The overall scheme is illustrated in the Gannt diagram, which also lists the key deliverables to the EC.

The work plan involves nested groups of individuals with increasing numbers in each level. The number of partners is small due to the need to keep administrative effort to a minimum. Ultimately though the project will reach out to a very wide cross section of the community.

Level 1 participants (consortium partners = 1st WP leaders)
There are six scientific work packages that will cover all aspects of the science. These follow loosely the structure of the chapters in the DSF Position paper, but have a strong focus on ecosystems in extreme environments, i.e. on and beneath the deep seafloor (WPs 1-3). Each of the WPs has a leader of international renown who is very closely involved with the wider community. These WP leaders are also very familiar with EU projects and have each been involved in a number of previous projects. Although they will represent their own subject areas, each of these leaders has been chosen because they also take a much wider view of marine science. They will therefore work together as a team to produce an integrated roadmap that is fully comprehensive. There are two cross-cutting work packages. Technology is clearly critical to successfully sample the subseafloor in various environments, and – more generally – in future deep-sea research. Emerging technology developments will lead scientific discovery and scientists will need to specify what state-of-the-art sampling techniques, platforms and other infrastructure is necessary to achieve this. Again we have chosen international leaders who will represent the whole of the EU community, including the current ECORD Managing Director for the subseafloor sampling work package (WP7). The MARUM Research Centre, University Bremen, will manage the project. This organisation is one of the largest oceanographic laboratories in Europe, hosts one of three IODP core repositories worldwide, and has a long history of successfully managing international projects. Bremen researchers are members of the highest IODP commities in their science advisory structure, and further host the Graduate school of excellence GLOMAR (Global Change in the Marine Realm) for young scientists. MARUM is closely affiliated with the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research (see second WP9 leader) and other leading observatories in the field. WP9 also comprises experts from science, industry and policymaking so that aspects concerning the sustainable marine exploitation and science-policy interfacing will guarantee the success of this project. This is where the demands of the policymakers meet the capabilities of the scientists, who will help identify the highest priority science for managing the marine environment. Each of the work package leaders will become a core member of the DS3F consortium, and their institutions are the main partners in the EU CSA. We have chosen the WP leaders based on international standing with a strong background in the area of scientific ocean drilling and with a multi-disciplinary background in marine science.

Level 2 participants (2nd WP leaders)
The second level in DS3F participants, which has been already deeply involved into the writing of this CSA proposal, is a group experts that second the WP leaders over the course of the project. They serve as alternates during the steering committee meetings, help organising the workshops, play a key role in wrapping up results and provide reports, etc. Their names are given in Italics in the individual chapters for each WP (see above).

Level 3 participants (working group members)
The idea is that a wide cross section of the community is involved in the decision making and thus each WP leader will set up a team of about 6-10 individuals who will act as a working group and also serve as the planning committee for the workshops on WP-level. This is the third level of involvement. A number of the individuals who will be involved in these working groups are listed in this proposal though we have deliberately left some spaces for other individuals to join to fill gaps that may arise. These individuals will not be limited to scientists, since we will also involve employees from industry, NGOs and policymaking bodies where appropriate. The working groups will also seek the views from wider ranges of individuals when and where necessary.

Level 4 participants (temporary working group members)
The fourth level of participation will be persons who are called on to provide input to the working groups for specific tasks. We will call on these key experts as and when needed, most likely as participants to the workshops within the initial 18 months of the project. Here, we also incorporate key experts from outside Europe if this seems appropriate.

Level 5 participants (open meeting attendees)
The main meeting of the project is envisaged to have 200-300 participants. Some of these will be invited and others will be able to apply to attend, including young researchers. We will invite a number of International (non-European) participants to stimulate discussion and cross connect our research with what is going on elsewhere. Some of these key experts have already been identified in the list of contributors to the individual WPs.