The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP）examines the mechanisms of 1) Climate Change, 2) Subseafloor Biosphere, 3) Geodynamics, and 4) Natural Hazards through a scientific ocean drilling research program. The JAMSTEC research vessel Chikyu is one of several drilling platforms operating in support of IODP, and the Chikyu IODP Board (CIB) advises JAMSTEC Executive Management on the adoption of drilling proposals and plans for this role.
The other platforms operated in support of IODP include the US's JOIDES Resolution and Europe's Mission Specific Platform (commercial vessels leased according to an expedition’s specific science targets). Each of these platforms have their own facility board, similar to Chikyu’s’ CIB for reviewing and implementing scientific ocean drilling proposals.
What is the CIB?
The CIB is an advisory body to the JAMSTEC President, and provides advice on the following topics related to IODP scientific drilling on Chikyu.
- Annual and medium- to long-term plans for Chikyu IODP scientific drilling
- Sample/data management, publication of papers, public relations activities, technical enhancements
- Selection and adoption of IODP drilling proposals
- Recommendation for holding IODP Drilling Proposal Workshops
- Other issues
CIB membership is comprised of six researchers representing the scientific community (three from Japan and three from overseas research institutes), an IODP official from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) who is in charge of the Japan IODP budget, and MarE3, the group at JAMSTEC in charge of operations. There are also representatives of regular members and project members who provide funding for Chikyu IODP scientific drilling.
In addition to the CIB members, representatives from other IODP-affiliated organizations attend the meeting, and other observers participate in CIB meetings, held once yearly.
IODP drilling proposal review and CIB
IODP scientific drilling projects begin with researchers submitting a pre-proposal to the Science Evaluation Panel (SEP). Here, various initial reviews such as scientific importance, technical feasibility, environmental impact & safety are conducted by the SEP; often extensive revisions and re-writes are recommended. Excellent proposals are recommended to the Facility Boards for possible implementation. At the respective FB, the CIB in this case, proposals are reviewed and then some are selected for implementation; then work to bring the proposal to life as a drilling expedition can begin.
During the proposal review process, the CIB selects highly-rated proposals from SEP, that match the drilling capabilities of Chikyu. In certain cases, the CIB will recommend holding a workshop to create a proposal's final version. The CIB can also recommend the creation of a Proposal Advisory Team (PAT) to coordinate the implementation of a workshop to advise proposal proponents on the creation of a specific proposal.
Ultimately, CIB will advise on proposals suitable for implementation by Chikyu, and recommend adoption by JAMSTEC of the full version of the proposal.
Chikyu IODP scientific drilling project and CIB
Once a project has been selected for implementation, the next step is to draft and publish a Scientific Prospectus; this defines the research background and scientific purposes, the location of the drill sites, samples/data to be collected and analyzed on board, items to be analyzed on board, and drilling plans. The CIB will select a Project Coordination Team (PCT) consisting of experts in each relevant scientific field, including the proposal proponents and representatives of MarE3's scientific support and drilling department. The PCT will work to create the actual operation plan to achieve the expedition’s scientific success. A PCT is formed for each project to cover all the steps in an expedition from initial preparation, implementation, to post-expedition follow-up.