C-DEBI Newsletter – July 3, 2017
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Current: The Journal of Marine Education
Incorporating Deep Sea Science and Underwater Robotics in Low-Income Schools
Dieuwertje Kast*
*C-DEBI Contribution 372

The USC Young Scientists Program (YSP) Director, and the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) Expanded Audience Committee Chair Dieuwertje Kast, hosted a deep sea science workshop for 50 fourth and fifth grade students at Vermont Elementary on November 15, 2016. The event was a collaboration between YSP, Ocean Exploration Trust/Nautilus, Deezmaker, OpenROV, and the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI, a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center) and NMEA. C-DEBI provided YSP with an Educator Small Grant to make the event possible. C-DEBI research focuses on the discovery of the microbial life below the ocean floor, in rocks, and sediments (the deep biosphere). C-DEBI welcomed the proposal that engaged diverse and underserved populations and brought in scientists from ethnic minority backgrounds. 

Current: The Journal of Marine Education, is a journal produced by NMEA, the National Marine Educators Association.

Environmental Microbiology Reports
High occurrence of Bathyarchaeota (MCG) in the deep-sea sediments of South China Sea quantified using newly designed PCR primers NEW!
Tiantian Yu, Qianyong Liang, Mingyang Niu, Fengping Wang

The archaeal phylum Bathyarchaeota, which is composed of a large number of diverse lineages, is widespread and abundant in marine sediments. Environmental factors that control the distribution, abundance and evolution of this largely diversified archaeal phylum are currently unclear. In this study, a new pair of specific primers that target the major marine subgroups of bathyarchaeotal 16S rRNA genes was designed and evaluated to investigate the distribution and abundance of Bathyarchaeota in marine sediments. The abundance of Bathyarchaeota along two sediment cores from the deep-sea sediments of South China Sea (SCS, each from the Dongsha and Shenhu area) was determined. A strong correlation was found between the bathyarchaeotal abundance and the content of total organic carbon (TOC), suggesting an important role of Bathyarchaeota in organic matter remineralisation in the sediments of SCS. Furthermore, diversity analysis revealed that subgroups Bathy-2, Bathy-8 and Bathy-10 were dominant bathyarchaeotal members of the deep-sea sediments in the SCS. Bathy-8 was found predominantly within the reducing and deeper sediment layers, while Bathy-10 occurred preferentially in the oxidizing and shallower sediment layers. Our study lays a foundation for the further understanding of the ecological functions and niche differentiation of the important but not well-understood sedimentary archaeal group.


Meetings & Activities

Indian Ocean community workshop, September 11-13, 2017, La Jolla, CA
Abstract submission deadline: July 14, 2017

IODP-USSSP: Nominate an Ocean Discovery Lecturer! NEW!
The U.S. Science Support Program is seeking dynamic speakers to convey the excitement of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) to geoscience communities and the public across the United States. Since 1991, more than 800 presentations have been made to audiences at U.S. colleges, universities, and informal learning centers. Your help is requested to identify scientists interested in participating as lecturers in the Ocean Discovery Lecture Series Program during the 2018-2019 academic year. Lectures focus on the discoveries and results of scientific ocean drilling and are primarily aimed at undergraduate and graduate students, museums, science departments, and the scientifically literate public. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming an Ocean Discovery Lecturer, email their name, institution, and potential lecture topic to the USSSP Outreach Coordinator, Nicole Kurtz (, by the nomination deadline of July 21, 2017.

IODP-USSSP: Volunteer for an IODP Board, Committee, or Panel
The deadline to apply is July 21, 2017.

AGU: 2017 Fall Meeting Deep Biosphere Sessions of Interest NEW!
Abstract submissions for the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting are due August 2, 2017 (Early submissions due July 26, 2017). Please consider submitting your abstracts to these deep-biosphere related sessions:

  • B012. Bioenergetics as a Driver of Biogeochemical Processes and Cycling
    Convenors: Alain F Plante (U Penn), Anke Herrmann, (Swedish U of Agr Sci Uppsala) and Douglas LaRowe (USC)

    Energy is continuously transformed in the environment through the metabolic activities of organisms. These transformations of energy, i.e. bioenergetics, underpin most biogeochemical cycles on Earth, allow the delivery of a wide range of life-supporting ecosystem services, and may represent a common currency for multi-elemental analyses. Recent bioenergetics analyses of natural systems represent significant progress in the field of biogeochemistry, and there is increasing interest in using bioenergetics tools to better characterize biogeochemical cycling in water, soils and sediments in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. We seek submissions that demonstrate the environmental breadth of bioenergetics at various spatial and temporal scales in a variety of different environments, and foster understanding between different scientific communities who may not always be aware of one another’s work.
  • B077. Unearthing the Metabolic Potential of Microorganisms in the Deep Subsurface Biosphere
    Convenors: Benjamin J Tully (USC), Rose Jones (Bigelow), Magdalena R Osburn, (Northwestern) and Yiran Dong (UIUC)

    The marine and terrestrial subsurface biospheres represent large reservoirs for life, which have directly impacted surface processes and global cycles throughout Earth’s history. Deep biosphere ecosystems are partially or fully closed to photosynthetically derived energy and carbon and include environments such as hydrothermal systems, ocean sediments and crust, hot and cold springs, aquifers, deep fracture fluids, cave and mine systems, and sub-ice habitats. Recent technological advancements in the field of geobiology have greatly enhanced the curation of microbial functionality in these environments. However the study of uses of energy and carbon, and biogeochemical cycling can be challenging, making it difficult to link microbial function with phylogeny. This session seeks contributions from diverse disciplines that elucidate microbial functionality in subsurface environments, with methods such as isotope geochemistry, biomarker analysis, cultivation-dependent studies and ‘-omics’ analyses. 
  • B080. Using “Omics”-based Approaches to Link Biotic and Abiotic Processes in Subsurface Environments
    Convenors: Lauren Marie Seyler (MSU) and Kristin M. Woycheese (MIT)

    The development of “omics” tools has revolutionized geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry, greatly enhancing our ability to study ecosystem processes in natural environments. As omics techniques preclude the need for culturing, they are especially pertinent to the study of the deep subsurface, where microbial turnover rates may be on the order of thousands of years, and the natural environment is difficult if not impossible to replicate in the laboratory. Furthermore, overlapping biochemical and geochemical processes in the deep biosphere result in an intriguing but confounding boundary between the living and nonliving world. Understanding the relationship between microbial metabolism and geochemistry is vital to our understanding of microbial and systems ecology, and the transition from abiotic to biotic chemistry bears astrobiological significance as well. This session will explore the use of omics-based emergent technologies (including metagenomics, metatransciptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) to map the intersection between biotic and abiotic processes in the deep subsurface. 
  • ED015. Diversity in the Geoscience Community: Expansion is Necessary
    Convenors: Jonathan C Lewis (Indiana U of Penn), Sharon K Cooper (LDEO) and Brandon Jones (NSF)

    The geosciences continue to lag other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in the engagement, recruitment and retention of traditionally underrepresented and underserved minorities. Diversity is a vital priority because it promotes innovation, strengthens the community’s ability to tackle complex geoscience problems, and engenders widespread Earth science literacy. Recent attention and funding have been dedicated to improving undergraduate and graduate STEM education, including an emphasis on diversifying the geoscience community. NSF’s INCLUDES, GOLD and IUSE:GEOPATHS solicitations attest to the commitment. Nonetheless recent studies suggest there is room for progress; in 2014 African Americans and Hispanics earned fewer than 4% of all of the PhD in the geosciences (Sidder, Eos, 2017). The lack of diversity in the professoriate likely contributes to comparable shortfalls in the geosciences overall. This session aims to provide a platform to share experiences, best practices and challenges in approaches to diversifying the geosciences. 
  • H077. Interfacing Hydrology and Microbiology: Combining Hydrologic Tools with Microbiological Methods to Study Subsurface Ecosystems
    Convenors: Tess S Weathers (UCSC), Stephanie A Carr (CO School of Mines), Douglas LaRowe (USC) and Charles Geoffrey Wheat (UAF)

    Traditional hydrological tools can be used with microbiological analyses to better understand the fluxes of energy and nutrients that make life possible in Earth’s subsurface. This interface enhances the study of subsurface environments, ranging from the deep marine biosphere to terrestrial bioremediation efforts. This session capitalizes on an interdisciplinary approach of microbiological studies that are informed and supplemented by hydrologic experimentation. Appropriate studies may include innovative methods for incorporating microbial processes into reactive transport models, or how other hydrologic techniques such as tracer tests, borehole geochemical analyses, or heatflow measurements are used to inform microbiological experimentation across scales; from laboratory culturing, in situ microbial sampling schemes, ‘omic analyses (metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics), and field-scale engineering applications. Presentations ranging from microbially induced changes in chemical or physical subsurface processes to the exploration of deep life that bridge the interface between hydrology and microbiology are encouraged. 
  • OS022. Serpentinite Materials: From Mantle to Microbes and Everything In Between
    Convenors: Jeffrey G Ryan (U of South FL Tampa), Brandi Kiel Reese (TAMU-CC), Catriona Dorothy Menzies, (U of Southampton) and Charles Geoffrey Wheat (UAF)

    Serpentinite materials, which form from the hydration of ultramafic rocks, are found globally in a variety of provenances within oceanic and continental lithosphere. Typical products of serpentinization include serpentine, brucite, talc, various metal alloys, and the release of hydrogen, which can react with carbon dioxide to form methane and other carbon compounds. Within the last decade, several deep-sea scientific drilling expeditions, land-based borehole studies, and other oceanic and continental research expeditions have focused on serpentinite deposits to elucidate crustal fracturing and hydration prior to subduction, subduction and seisomogenic processes, lithospheric recycling and exchange, CO2 sequestration, metamorphic processes and transport, microbial activity and metabolic processes, potential pathways for the evolution of life on Earth, and the means to search for and detect life on other planetary bodies. This session will span the breadth of geological to microbiological studies to provide an interactive exchange of ideas at the center of multidisciplinary research centered on serpentinization. 
  • V014. Geological Reactive Systems from the Mantle to the Abyssal Sub-seafloor
    Convenors: Marguerite Godard (U of Montpellier), Wolfgang Bach (U of Bremen) and Suzanne A McEnroe, (Norwegian U of Sci and Tech)

    Understanding the processes controlling the transport of magmas and hydrothermal fluids through the oceanic lithosphere, and their feedbacks on its physical, rheological, magnetic and chemical properties, and habitability is crucial to comprehend the Earth system over time. This session focusses on the physical, hydrodynamic and geochemical mechanisms controlling mass and energy transfers during the formation and cooling of the lithosphere, from mid-oceanic spreading ridges to subduction zones with linkages and feedbacks between processes and the implications for Earth’s geodynamics, global geochemical cycle (including carbon and other volatile elements), life and marine mineral resources in the deep-sea. We encourage contributions on geological, geochemical and biological processes active at mid-oceanic ridge spreading centers and, more generally, in the oceanic lithosphere, from the observation of natural systems (e.g., ophiolitic complexes, dredged and drilled material from the oceanic mantle and crust), geophysics, flow and thermodynamic modeling and experimental works.
Missing a session of interest? Let us know! See also the AGU 2017 Fall Meeting Sessions of Interest to the DCO Community.

ICDP: Training Course on Continental Scientific Drilling NEW!
The International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, ICDP invites scientists from upcoming scientific drilling projects to apply for the ICDP Training Course on Continental Scientific Drilling to be held from November 5-10, 2017 either at Caernarfon (UK) nearby the ICDP-sponsored JET drilling project or at the Geocenter KTB in Windischeschenbach (Germany). This training course will touch upon all relevant aspects of continental scientific drilling, including project planning and management, pre-site surveys, drilling engineering, sample handling and storage, on-site studies, downhole logging, data management, and post-drilling measures. The training course is recommended for PhD students, post-docs and scientists involved in scientific drilling. Preference will be given to applicants involved in ICDP drilling projects, applicants from ICDP member countries, developing countries, and those from countries considering ICDP membership. For the successful candidates, expenses for travel, visa, meals and accommodation will be covered by ICDP. Deadline for application is August 18, 2017.

IODP: Updated JOIDES Resolution Expedition Schedule Through 2020 NEW!

C-DEBI: Rolling call for Community Workshop support
The NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) invites proposals for $15,000 on average (and up to $20,000) in direct funds for community workshops that will help to advance C-DEBI’s central research agenda: to investigate the subseafloor biosphere deep in marine sediment and oceanic crust, and to conduct multi-disciplinary studies to develop an integrated understanding of subseafloor microbial life at the molecular, cellular, and ecosystem scales. C-DEBI’s research agenda balances exploration-based discovery, hypothesis testing, data integration and synthesis, and systems-based modeling. C-DEBI welcomes proposals from applicants who would enhance diversity in C-DEBI and STEM fields.


Education & Outreach

COL MGLS / C-DEBI: Professional Development Webinar on Proposal Writing, Management, and Budget Planning Now ONLINE! NEW!
C-DEBI teamed up with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium (MGLS) for this comprehensive webinar on proposal preparation June 15, 2017. The webinar focused on topics related to preparing research proposals by providing advice on writing, constructing planning timelines, managing a team through the process, and preparing a budget. In addition to the 1 hour 20 minute video, PDFs are available of the presentation slides and a supplemental question answered from the extensive Questions and Discussion at the end of the webinar.

DCO Webinar Wednesdays
Next up: "Studying Deep Earth Reactive Transport Using ENKI: A Modeling Primer," July 26, 2017. Missed the last webinar on "Visual Tools for Big Data Network Analysis"? Watch it on YouTube.

Risk Innovation Lab: 2017 Science Showcase Video Contest!
Submissions close August 31, 2017.

Proposal Calls

NSF: Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Program Solicitation NEW!
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from early-career faculty at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply. Proposal deadlines due July 19-21, 2017 depending on directorate.

Beckman Young Investigator Program NEW!
The Beckman Young Investigator (BYI) Program provides research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of their academic careers in the chemical and life sciences, particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science. Projects proposed for the BYI program should be truly innovative, high-risk, and show promise for contributing to significant advances in chemistry and the life sciences. They should represent a departure from current research directions rather than an extension or expansion of existing programs. Proposed research that cuts across traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines is encouraged. Proposals that open new avenues of research in chemistry and life sciences by fostering the invention of methods, instruments, and materials will be given additional consideration. Application deadline: August 14, 2017

NSF: Provision of Marine Seismic Capabilities to the U. S. Research Community
Full proposal deadline: August 21, 2017.

NSF: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program Solicitation 
Full proposal deadline: August 23, 2017.

IODP-USSSP: Proposals for Pre-Drilling Activities and Workshops
The U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) accepts proposals on a rolling basis for pre-drilling activities and semi-annually for workshops, related to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). Next workshop submission deadline: December 1, 2017.

NSF: Management and Operation of a National Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrument Pool

NSF: Using JOIDES Resolution to Collect Cores with Advanced Piston Coring (APC) System

DCO: Deep Life Cultivation Internship Program

NSF: Arctic Sciences Program Solicitation
Proposals accepted anytime.

NSF: Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) Program Solicitation
Preparing for TCUP Implementation proposals accepted anytime.

C-DEBI: Rolling call for Research Exchange proposals
C-DEBI facilitates scientific coordination and collaborations by supporting student, postdoctoral, and faculty exchanges to build, educate and train the deep subseafloor biosphere community. We award small research exchange grants for Center participants. These grants may be used to support research, travel for presenting C-DEBI research at meetings, or travel exchanges to other partner institutions or institutions that have new tools and techniques that can be applied to C-DEBI research. We anticipate ~10 awards of $500-5000 with additional matched funds to be granted annually.



Nature Geoscience: Associate or Senior Editor, Nature Geoscience: London or Berlin NEW!
Do you love science but feel that a career as a scientist isn’t enough to sate your desire to learn more about the natural world? Do you enjoy reading papers outside your chosen area of research? If your answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, you could be the person we are looking for to join the editorial team of Nature Geoscience. We seek an associate or senior editor to represent the biogeochemistry research community at the prestigious journal Nature Geoscience. The editor will promote the journal’s coverage of the various fields within this broad discipline in the primary research, reviews and opinion sections of the journal. The successful candidate will ideally have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in a discipline that falls broadly within the field of biogeochemistry. However, strong candidates from all areas of the geosciences will be considered. Postdoctoral experience and broad training will be an advantage. Key elements of the job include the selection of manuscripts for publication, as well as commissioning, editing and writing for the journal. Close contact with related research communities, through conferences and laboratory visits, will be an essential component of the work. The role is demanding and intellectually stimulating, and it calls for a keen interest in the practice and communication of science. The successful candidate will be highly motivated and outgoing, and must possess excellent interpersonal skills. The salary and benefits are competitive, reflecting the critical importance and responsibilities of the role. The position will ideally be based in our London or Berlin office, but exceptions can be considered for strong candidates. Closing Date: July 11, 2017.

TAMU: Research Scientist, Texas A&M International Ocean Discovery Program NEW!
The JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (JRSO) at Texas A&M University invites applications for a Research Scientist [Manager of Technical and Analytical Services (TAS)] to lead our Department of Technical and Analytical Sciences. The Manager of Technical and Analytical Services is responsible for the scientific laboratories aboard the R/V JOIDES Resolution, the JRSO staff who support those facilities, and serves as a member of the JRSO management team. Texas A&M is seeking an individual with the vision and knowledge to provide and support state of the art analytical facilities in a challenging, seagoing environment. The successful candidate will be a proven leader, who will oversee thirty-two staff who support directly the shipboard laboratories on IODP expeditions. The successful applicant will have demonstrated the ability to cooperate and work harmoniously with others, to foster collaboration among diverse scientific participants, and to engage the broader scientific ocean drilling community in setting priorities for shipboard scientific measurements and methods. A Ph.D. in geosciences or related field, 6 years’ of relevant professional experience, and demonstrated proficiency in directing a research laboratory(s) is required. Experience in project management and/or seagoing scientist, especially in scientific ocean drilling, is preferred. We will begin reviewing applications on August 1, 2017, but will continue to accept applications until candidates are selected for interviews.

TAMU: Research Specialist II, Texas A&M International Ocean Discovery Program NEW!
The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) at Texas A&M University is seeking a qualified individual who strong organizational skills, excellent ability to multi-task and work cooperatively with others to fill the full-time Research Specialist II position. The position oversees the supervision of IODP repository facilities and curating all core, samples, residues, and special collections to ensure scientific utility and integrity, according to guidelines established by IODP. Enforce IODP sampling policy, fill sample requests, prepare budgets and support IODP education and public relations initiatives. Minimum qualifications is a Bachelor’s degree and six years’ of relevant experience. Three years’ in core processing, curation, sampling techniques in scientific, and supervisory experience are preferred. The ideal candidate will have a background in oceanographic sciences, scientific ocean drilling and research cruise participation experience, and database management system usage. We will begin reviewing applications on August 1, 2017, but will continue to accept applications until candidates are selected for interviews.

Microbiology Oceanography/Ecology – Postdoctoral Associate to develop tools for exploration of carbon flow through the planktonic viral stunt
Application due July 2, 2017, but will be accepted until filled.

Bigelow: Postdoctoral Scientist in Horizontal Gene Transfer in Marine Bacterioplankton

University of Pennsylvania: Postdoctoral Scholar Position

NSF: Marine Geology & Geophysics Science Assistant Position

Don’t forget to email me with any items you'd like to share in future newsletters! We will also broadcast this information on our social media outlets, Twitter and Facebook. You are what makes our deep biosphere community!

Matthew Janicak
Data Manager
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI)
University of Southern California
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, AHF 209, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371
Phone: 708-691-9563, Fax: 213-740-2437

Exploring life beneath the seafloor and making transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins.

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