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.