C-DEBI Newsletter – October 3, 2013
This newsletter is also accessible via our website.

Dear C-DEBI,

Thanks to everyone who responded to our Fall 2013 calls for research proposals! Find out the variety of proposals we funded from our Spring and Special Biomolecular calls and see below for information about new publications, proposal calls, activities and a new C-DEBI / College of Exploration online, teacher workshop!

Proposal Calls

IODP: Apply Today: Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship
The Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship program offers merit-based awards for outstanding graduate students to conduct research related to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and/or its successor, the International Ocean Discovery Program. Research may be directed toward the objectives of upcoming or past expeditions or may address broader themes. Selected fellows will received an award of $30,000 to be used for stipend, research, or other approved costs. Applicants can be enrolled in either a Ph.D. or M.S. program at any U.S. institution, including those that have had little or no previous involvement in IODP. The application deadline is November 15, 2013.

IODP: Organic Geochemists Needed: Expedition 351 (IBM Arc Origins)
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program is seeking an experienced U.S.-affiliated researcher with expertise in organic geochemistry for science and hydrocarbon safety for Expedition 351 (Izu Bonin Mariana: Arc Origins) aboard the JOIDES Resolution.  This expedition plans to fully core a 1300m thick sedimentary sequence spanning the present to the early Cretaceous that provides an important archive for NW Pacific climate evolution, changes in oceanographic conditions and terrestrial vegetation changes on the Asian continent. The potential intervals to be recovered, including Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs) and Cenozoic hyperthermals and climate transitions, are rare in this region and an unique opportunity to compare this Pacific record with better studied sections elsewhere. This expedition is scheduled for 30 May to 30 July 2014.  The full scientific plan for this expedition is presented in the Scientific Prospectus, available at The application deadline closes on Thursday, October 10. To apply, please visit:

NSF: Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (OCE-PRF)
The Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) offers postdoctoral research fellowships to provide opportunities for scientists early in their careers to work within and across traditional disciplinary lines, develop partnerships, and avail themselves of unique resources, sites and facilities. Full proposal target date: January 13, 2014.

C-DEBI K-12 Teacher Small Grants
C-DEBI invites K-12 teachers who have who have attended a C-DEBI teacher-training program to submit proposals for support up to $2,500 to incorporate C-DEBI content into their classrooms or share with their colleagues. Please see the PDF for qualifying training programs and further details.  For additional questions, contact Diversity Director, Cynthia Joseph at We look forward to your proposals! Fall Call: due October 15th.

NSF: Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12)
The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools (RMTs). Full proposal deadline: December 06, 2013.

Hot Off the Press: Oxygen consumption rates in subseafloor basaltic crust derived from a reaction transport model (C-DEBI Contribution 166) in Nature Communications
Oceanic crust is the largest potential habitat for life on Earth and may contain a significant fraction of Earth’s total microbial biomass; yet, empirical analysis of reaction rates in basaltic crust is lacking. Here C-DEBI Theme Team Leader Beth Orcutt et al report the first assessment of oxygen consumption in young (~8 Ma) and cool (<25 °C) basaltic crust, which they calculate from modelling dissolved oxygen and strontium pore water gradients in basal sediments collected during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 336 to ‘North Pond’ on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Dissolved oxygen is completely consumed within the upper to middle section of the sediment column, with an increase in concentration towards the sediment–basement interface, indicating an upward supply from oxic fluids circulating within the crust. A parametric reaction transport model of oxygen behaviour in upper basement suggests oxygen consumption rates of 1 nmol cm−3ROCK d−1 or less in young and cool basaltic crust.

In the news:

MBL’s Julie Huber to Lead Research Expedition to Deep-Sea Volcano
MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) microbial oceanographer and C-DEBI Executive Committee Member Julie Huber will lead a national team of scientists on a deep-sea expedition to Axial Seamount, an active volcano 300 miles off the Oregon coast. The researchers are seeking to better understand the vast diversity of marine microbial communities that dominate the oceans and how they mediate the cycles, particularly the carbon cycle, that shape Earth’s habitability. Working aboard the research vessel R/V Falkor, operated by Schmidt Ocean Institute, Huber and her colleagues will study how the viral and microbial communities that live in the rocky outer layer of the mile-deep submarine volcano interact and alter the flow of carbon and other nutrients in the subseafloor crustal ecosystem.

Activities and Workshops

C-DEBI and the College of Exploration: Microbes down below! Exploring life beneath the ocean floor. FREE on-line workshop for community college instructors and high school teachers
The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) and the College of Exploration invite you to explore “life on the dark side” in a free online workshop: “Microbes down below! Exploring life beneath the ocean floor.” Materials and content will be especially selected for use in community college classes, with many additional materials for high school classes. Participation is free and open to all. C-DEBI scientists have drilled deep into the ocean floor to study how microbial life survives and thrives in sediments and rock below the bottom of the ocean, in the dark world far below the sunlit photic zone. In the workshop, we will investigate life in extreme environments, chemosynthesis, identifying microbes, microbial evolution, marine technology and engineering, and many other topics. The workshop will be presented Monday, November 4 – Friday, November 15, 2013. During the workshop you will meet and interact personally with C-DEBI scientists and find resources and lessons to help you share this exciting research with your students. Teaching resources in the workshop will be provided in topic themed collections, for use in community college classes in biology, health sciences, Earth science, chemistry, and technology. In addition, materials will be available that are especially suitable for high school science classes in biology, chemistry, Earth science, general science, technology, and engineering. Participants may choose to earn graduate credit from Framingham State University for this workshop. Please contact Pat Harcourt or Lynn Whitley for more information and share this with other interested community college and high school instructor colleagues.

IODP: Decadal Survey for Ocean Sciences (DSOS)
There is a 20-day public comment period on the roster for the committee that will carry out the Decadal Survey for Ocean Sciences (DSOS) in the U.S. This committee of scientists will develop a list of the top ocean science priorities for the next decade in the context of the current state of knowledge, ongoing research activities, and resource availability. The DSOS committee’s report will present a compelling research strategy for increased understanding of the oceans over the decade 2015-2025. This is an important survey as it will guide future funding priorities at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and thus it concerns IODP’s future as well. It is critical that this committee covers a wide range of research priorities and is well-represented by all the fields that are concerned with the ocean sciences, from physical oceanography to biological oceanography to marine geology, geochemistry, and geophysics. Please use the following link to provide your feedback and feel free to pass along to your colleagues.

IODP: Education & Outreach Opportunities
Deep Earth Academy is compiling a list of enthusiastic IODP scientists and graduate students interested in sharing their science and career history with audiences of all kinds at one of the many events in which we participate or host. Opportunities may include:
  • Working at booths and co-facilitating teacher workshops at conferences, such as the National Science Teacher’s Association annual events (,
  • Engaging families in interactive activities at the USA Science & Engineering Festival (,
  • Submitting a workshop proposal to present at the National Marine Educators Association Meeting (,
  • Serving as an instructor for one of our professional development programs such as the School of Rock ( or Regional Rocks,
  • Helping out at our informal events at museums, and
  • More!
Please email a CV to Jennifer Collins ( if you would like to join the team or if you have questions. We will let you know when there is an opportunity in your region. Thank you in advance for your time and commitment!

DeSSC: Applications for the Student/Early Career Scientist DeSSC Program Now Being Accepted
Applications for travel and lodging support are being accepted through October 13th, 2013.

ISSM 2014: Ninth International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology
Early registration opens in August, and more information is available at

Review of applications will begin on receipt with a deadline of November 10th for full consideration.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences: Two Principal Investigator Positions
For full consideration, the application should be received by 25 October 2013.

Don’t forget to email me with any items you'd like to share in future newsletters! You are what makes our deep biosphere community!
Matthew Janicak
Administrative Assistant
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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