This award will partially support the 2011 Gordon Research Conference (GRC, June 5-10) and the first ever Gordon-Kenan Research Seminar (GRS, June 4-5) on the Interior of the Earth, which will be held at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The GRC is the eighth in a series of highly successful Gordon Research Conferences that focus on the structure, dynamics and evolution of the Earth's interior. For the first time, the 2011 Interior of the Earth Gordon Conference will be preceded by a Gordon-Kenan Research Seminar ( programs.aspx?year=2011&program=grs_inter), a unique forum for graduate students, post-docs, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas. NSF funds will be used to attract young scientists from a diverse range of institutions, backgrounds and scientific disciplines.

This year's Gordon conference will focus on the shallow Earth with a particular emphasis on the link between the interior and surface processes. A wide range of topics will be addressed from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Invited speakers from the fields of geochemistry, geodynamics, mineral physics and seismology will define the forefront of knowledge and set the stage for a freewheeling discussion and debate of the most pressing scientific questions. Specific session topics include the link between mantle dynamics and sea level, great earthquakes, dynamics of subduction zones, volatile recycling in the upper mantle, the nature and dynamical role of the asthenosphere, and the origin and evolution of continents. The conference will also provide the opportunity for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work in poster format and exchange ideas with leading researchers. The latter will be greatly facilitated by the preceding GRS, which will focus on the nature of the asthenosphere providing particular synergy with the GRC to follow.

Project Report

The Gordon Research Conference on INTERIOR OF THE EARTH was held at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, June 5-10, 2011. The Conference was well-attended with 144 participants (attendees list attached). The attendees represented the spectrum of endeavor in this field coming from academia, industry, and government laboratories, both U.S. and foreign scientists, senior researchers, young investigators, and students. Of the 144 attendees, 72 voluntarily responded to a general inquiry regarding ethnicity which appears on our registration forms. Of the 72 respondents, 10% were Minorities – 1% Hispanic, 8% Asian and 1% African American. Approximately 31% of the participants at the 2011 meeting were women. In designing the formal speakers program, emphasis was placed on current unpublished research and discussion of the future target areas in this field. There was a conscious effort to stimulate lively discussion about the key issues in the field today. Time for formal presentations was limited in the interest of group discussions. In order that more scientists could communicate their most recent results, poster presentation time was scheduled. Attached is a copy of the formal schedule and speaker program and the poster program. In addition to these formal interactions, "free time" was scheduled to allow informal discussions. Such discussions are fostering new collaborations and joint efforts in the field. Thank you for your support of this Conference. As you know, in the interest of promoting the presentation of unpublished and frontier-breaking research, Gordon Research Conferences does not permit publication of meeting proceedings.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
Program Officer
Robin Reichlin
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Gordon Research Conferences
West Kingston
United States
Zip Code