Community Vision Document Released!

We are pleased to share the final professionally formatted PDF (and citation with doi) of the community vision document on the future of tectonics research and societal impact:

Huntington, K.W., and Klepeis, K.A., with 66 community contributors, 2018, Challenges and opportunities for research in tectonics: Understanding deformation and the processes that link Earth systems, from geologic time to human time. A community vision document submitted to the U.S. National Science Foundation. University of Washington, 84 pp.,

Both lower and high-resolution versions are available for download at the doi link. All figures are available for community use in presentations and teaching with attribution (see Figure Credits in the back of the proposal), and can also be downloaded at the doi link.

The document is based on over a year and a half of community discussion and data gathering, funded by the National Science Foundation Tectonics program (EAR-1542001). This effort included contributions of ~90 scientists at a 3-day workshop and idea papers contributed by both participants and 43 scientists who did not attend the workshop. Extensive community input was gathered before, during, and after that workshop, at town hall meetings at the national GSA and AGU meetings, through online surveys, and through focus group discussions. The draft document was circulated for community comment in September 2017. Feedback and discussion continued through the Future of Tectonics Initiative at the GSA annual meeting in October 2017, which involved 13 sessions and nearly 270 abstracts related to the vision document themes. The  result is a community document that incorporates the opinions of hundreds of scientists and includes direct contributions from nearly 70 people.

This community effort has been received with enthusiasm by the NSF, and many opportunities still exist to advance portions of this vision. What pieces resonate with YOU? This is a great time to champion a cause – and we hope this document serves as a platform to help you advance the causes you care about. Let’s not let the conversation stop here!

Thanks again,

Writing co-chairs Kate Huntington and Keith Klepeis, and workshop PIs Basil Tikoff, Laurel Goodwin and Yvette Kuiper

UPDATE: Community Vision Document Open for Comment (until October 1, 2017)

You are invited to provide feedback on a community vision document on Challenges and Opportunities for Research in Tectonics that has been prepared for the National Science Foundation. Feedback is welcome during a three-week comment period ending October 1, 2017.

The document is based on a year and a half of community discussion and data gathering. This included contributions of ~90 scientists at a 3-day workshop on the Future of Tectonics in Madison, WI, in May 2016. Extensive community input was gathered before, during, and after that workshop, including at town hall meetings at the national GSA and AGU meetings, through online surveys, and through focus group discussions. The result is a community vision document that incorporates the opinions of hundreds of scientists and includes direct contributions from over 65 people.

This vision document is organized around five scientific grand challenge themes that emerged from the large pool of data collected from the community. In addition to highlighting new research frontiers and opportunities, the document identifies critical gaps/needs that are holding back research progress. It also expresses the importance of interdisciplinary research and societal engagement, and defines promising paths – including infrastructure – that can enable major advances in the next decade and beyond.

The document is available here:

Note that the document pdf is relatively low resolution for accessibility. The final product will be available as both a higher resolution pdf and hard copy.

The feedback form can be accessed at:

On this form, you will be asked three specific questions:

Q1: Are there any factual errors or better examples that can be used to illustrate the Grand Challenges?

Q2: Are there any important needs and requirements to make progress that you think are missing?

Q3: What elements do you think are most important in the “Achieving the vision” section (Chapter 6)?

Public comment by any interested scientist is open through October 1. After that deadline, the writing committee will address the comments and finalize the document by early November. If you have any other feedback or overarching comments, you can also contact the Writing Committee Co-chairs Kate Huntington ( and Keith Klepeis ( via email.

AGU Town Hall – Future of Tectonics Report

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us for a town hall at AGU to learn about and participate in a community effort to draft a report on “Future Directions in Tectonics”. All members and fans of the tectonics community, broadly defined, are welcome.

The town hall is on Thursday December 15 in Moscone West 2011, 12:30-1:30 pm. Please join for as much of it as you can.

The goal of the town hall is to share the status, timeline, process, and goals of a community-wide effort to draft a report that will describe research opportunities and needs in the broad field of Tectonics. The report, which will be completed by May in 2017, will communicate the goals, needs, and relevance of Tectonics research to funding agencies, colleagues, and non-specialist audiences. It’s overarching goal will be to benefit the entire community while avoiding being prescriptive of any particular branch of Tectonics. To do this it will: (1) identify some key challenges and opportunities for significant advances in this broad field; (2) define and prioritize the resources, technologies, partnerships, and infrastructure our community needs to make scientific progress; and (3) develop a vision to build and strengthen our community, including finding new ways to maximize the educational and societal benefits of our work and to communicate and enhance our impact.

The AGU town hall is one of several public forums and opportunities that will continue the conversation over the next few months (another Town Hall was held at GSA in September, followed by an online survey). After a summary of the process and our progress to date we will ask you to participate in a focused group activity designed to gather input on what is needed to advance our community’s intellectual, educational and societal goals.

Please be part of this effort to advocate for our community!

You can also join our Listserv by clicking HERE.

Similar to GSA, following AGU we will be posting the Town Hall materials on the website, and will also follow up with an online survey advertised via email, the website and the Listserv.


Writing co-chairs Kate Huntington (U of Washington) and Keith Klepeis (U of Vermont)


Please visit the “DRAFT REPORT” page. The Draft Report Framework is posted there, along with the GSA Town Hall Presentation from September 27, 2016, that explains the draft and provides more details about the process, and a Survey to get your input.

We invite you complete the Survey by October 23, 2016.


A community effort is underway to produce a report on “Future Directions in Tectonics” (supported by NSF-EAR-1542001), and your input on the current draft is requested.

The report will explain examples of our science and its importance to many potential audiences (e.g., your colleagues, dean, provost, legislator, NSF and other government agency administrators), to serve as a platform to increase our impact and attract resources that can benefit the community as a whole.

Such reports have benefitted other successful communities, and the time is right for us to assess how our relevance, opportunities and needs have changed in the nearly 15 years since the last report on tectonics.

The community effort and report will:

(1) identify grand challenge themes and opportunities for the science, not as a comprehensive, exclusive or prescriptive list of topics, but as examples that resonate broadly with the community, illustrate the kind of work we do, and showcase where we are poised to make advances;

(2) articulate what our community needs to make scientific progress (e.g., resources, technologies, partnerships and infrastructure, educational needs); and

(3) develop a vision to build and strengthen our community and maximize the educational and societal benefits of our work.

The process has been designed to be as inclusive and transparent as possible. One group obtained NSF funding for a workshop to solicit community input, and a different group is leading the report writing. Efforts have been organized by multiple committees of volunteers and people selected to represent the diverse perspectives of our community. A workshop was broadly advertised and held in May 2016 with >90 participants, and community input has been and will continue to be solicited in Town Hall meetings and online.

We want everyone to have a voice and contribute ideas. The report will focus on the subset of ideas that resonate most broadly with the community, speaking with one voice to provide context and organize our diverse perspectives into unifying themes that emerge from the community input/data.

The report framework has been drafted, and your input is needed. We invite you view a GSA presentation that explains the draft and provides more details of the process, read the draft framework and complete a survey by October 23, 2016. Please stay involved by joining the report listserv [to join, send an email to or click the link in the top menu] and/or looking for updates on this website.