Drilling is the only means for collecting samples of subsurface rocks and fluids and installing monitoring instrumentation at depth, and it can serve as the focus for advances in understanding continental dynamics. However, scientific drilling projects tend to be technically complex, involve multiple institutions and require expertise that most universities and geological scentists do not possess. In addition, geologists' time is better spent focusing on the scientific rather than the management aspects of the drilling project.
Scientific drilling often requires drilling equipment and practices that are not available in the commercial sector. DOSECC (Drilling, Observation and Sampling of the Earth's Continental Crust, Inc.) was formed in 1984 to provide assistance to the National Science Foundation and the academic community in the implementation of Continental Scientific Drilling. DOSECC is a non-profit corporation and a consortia of 47 universities and other research organizations. The mission of DOSECC is to promote and facilitate scientific drilling as an important component of earth science research. In fulfilling that mission, DOSECC facilitates communication between the scientific and the drilling engineering communities and providws technical, logistical, and fiscal management support to a research drilling program. By taking on these functions, DOSECC relieves the project investigators of much of the burden associated with the execution of a drilling effort, enabling them to focus on the scientific objectives. DOSECC also improves the cost-effectiveness of scientific drilling by avoiding the missteps and lost time that can waste expensive rig-time and project resources.