The upcoming Millennium Year has motivated many organizations to review their mission. The United States Congress, National Science Foundation, and the US Geological Survey have all issued long-range science plans; and almost all of us have become involved in reviews, reassessments, and reorganizations.
Against this national backdrop of reports and review panels, we must now begin to develop IRIS's next 5-year proposal and program plan, which will be submitted to the National Science Foundation in mid-2000. Although we are unanimous in our first priority of maintaining a strong commitment towards the facilities that we have already developed, we also recognize that the needs and interests of the seismological community have evolved. It is therefore the time to discuss new opportunities and new directions.
This Newsletter is intended to advance our discussions by beginning with two initiatives that are emerging from the seismological community: the USArray and the Plate Boundary Observatory. We present these projects as a sampling of the types of experiments that the Earth science community should consider for support over the next decade. As we explore new directions, we urge all of you to participate in the proposal development process, and to provide us with your ideas and suggestions.
Future experiments that seek to use seismology to explore the structure and formation of the North American continent will require significant enhancements to the current coverage and instrumentation depicted above.
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