2016 Nominating Committee

  • Laurent Montesi, Chair, University of Maryland
  • Clint Conrad, University of Oslo
  • Matt Knepley, Rice University

2016 Slate of Candidates

Executive Committee

Position 1:

Claire Currie, University of Alberta, Canada. Website
I am currently the chair of the Long-Term Tectonics working group, and over the last few years, I have been involved with various aspects of CIG, including the Executive Committee (2013-2015), the Writing Committee for the CIG-III NSF Proposal (2015) and the organizing committee for 3 CIG workshops (2012-2014).  My own research focuses on the structure and dynamics of convergence plate margins and continental lithosphere.  As part of the Executive Committee, I would provide guidance on the scientific questions and processes that should be part of next-generation modeling codes and modules, especially those related to crust/lithosphere/mantle dynamics.  In addition, I would work to strengthen collaborations between CIG and other organizations, such as Earthscope, CSDMS, and the Canadian Geophysical Union.  I am also very interested in education and outreach, and I am enthusiastic about helping CIG to expand its tutorial and training programs.

Susan Ellis, GNS Sciences, New Zealand. Website
I've been using, developing and helping benchmark long-term lithosphere-scale geodynamic codes for over 25 years. While I don't currently use a CIG community code, I am particularly impressed at how widely the CIG short-timescale code PyLith has been adopted by earth scientists internationally. It would be great to emulate this success within a community code for longer-timescale lithospheric processes. However this goal has been elusive, perhaps due to the lack of agreement on methodology for long-timescale codes, and the fact that many code developers reside internationally. I'm interested in helping to address the following questions: How do we move towards community codes that allow evolution of faults and shear zones naturally over time, and which capture sufficient physics to be robust and comparable to other codes that are already out there? How would we test such a code robustly and add in new physics over time? How can CIG link in with existing geodynamics groups outside of the NSF-funded structure, and to existing community codes (focused on mantle convection, short-term tectonics, and surface processes, for example) to achieve this goal? 

Position 2:

Garrett Ito, University of Hawaii at ManoaWebsite
I was a regular participant (or in one case co-organizer) of CIG workshops from when CIG was first conceived, through the first two funding periods, and I served on CIG's Science Steering Committee during 2009-2012.  My research has focused on mantle convection and magma generation at hotspots and mid-ocean ridges, as well as the mechanics of lithosphere deformation and faulting.  For our mantle convection studies, my group has been developing and using an early branch of what is now CitcomCU.   For long-term lithosphere tectonic problems, I have published papers based on models produced by FLAC, I used Gale briefly (not published), and have recently been using finite-difference, particle-in-cell codes:  one  developed in collaboration with Woods Hole, and another developed by the University of Mainz.  I am also formally a member of CIG's Magma Dynamics Working Group.  My interests have always been to improve communication between developers and users so that diverse scientific and practical needs can be met.

Frederik Simons, Princeton UniversityWebsite
I am primarily a programmer in scripting languages, especially MATLAB, which I use for geophysical (seismological, geodetic, and geomagnetic) purposes. I am not a "big code" person, but a "smallest functional unit" type. I favor developing "algorithms" over arguing about which language to implement them in, and as such, my choices are pragmatic and not limiting. My codes have found a broad research user base, worldwide. I teach geophysics and statistical data analysis using computing at the first-year undergraduate through first-year graduate level. In the past two years I've been completing a switch to hosting all of my codes on GitHub, and I've lectured at and organized a number of teaching and outreach activities focused on computation in the sciences, internationally with the KU Leuven Doctoral School ("From Zero to Matlab in Four Days" Summer School, 2016), and nationally with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers ("Teaching Geoscience with MATLAB" Workshop, 2015), SERC ("Earth Educator's Rendezvous", 2016, and "Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB", 2016), and the AGU ("Teaching Geoscience with Matlab" Special Session, 2016). I currently hold a collaborative National Science Foundation Grant to develop "Reproducible Research and Educational Software for Geoscience Data Analysis". I am keen to support the community of computational geoscience researchers through CIG, especially students and early-career researchers.

Science Steering Committee

Position 1:

Brad Aagaard, United States Geological Survey. Website
I would welcome the opportunity to continue serving on the CIG Science Steering Committee (SSC). As chair of the SSC for the past three years, I participated in the development of the CIG-III proposal and led the effort to develop best practices for software development and training for CIG. If elected to serve another term of the SSC, I would continue to work diligently to ensure CIG software development and training meets these best practices and serves the needs of our community.

Yuri Fialko, University of California San Diego. Website
I'm interested in observations and modeling of crustal deformation due to active faults and volcanoes. CIG has proven to be an excellent platform for developing and archiving state-of-the art computational tools for the broader community. I was involved in a number of workshops (some pre-dating CIG) on short-term crustal dynamics, and served as an institutional representative for CIG for more than 10 years. I strongly believe in an open-source paradigm. All software developed by my group is made publicly available (e.g., CIG's RELAX code). From an end-user perspective, I am well familiar with both academic and commercial codes, and I would like to use this expertise to guide the future development of the CIG products. I would also advocate for bridging the gap between the short-term and long-term modeling of crustal deformation processes.

Position 2:

David Ham, Imperial College LondonWebsite
My research centres on advancing the core simulation technology on which the computational science rests. I lead the Firedrake project which is a system for automating simulation by generating high performance forward and adjoint finite element models from high-level mathematical specifications. I have a particular focus on geoscientific applications, for which Firedrake has specialised features such as extruded meshes.

CIG is a flagship project for excellent computational science. If elected to the SSC, I would see my role as advocating and upholding cutting edge best practice in this regard. Specifically, the composability of geoscience modelling technology is a critical challenge as problems, algorithms and hardware all become more complex. A related and equally crucial challenge I would champion is ensuring that geoscientific simulation continues to lead the way in creating robust, reproducible scientific results by ensuring that CIG projects meet very high standards of software engineering, verification and validation; and that this process is open and published.

John Rudge, Cambridge UniversityWebsite
I am theoretician with wide interests across the Earth Sciences. Much of my current research is focused on multiphase flow, and specifically in understanding the process of melt ascent through the Earth's mantle. I have been following closely the efforts of CIG to develop community codes for modelling melt transport, and recently organised a four-month programme at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge dedicated to improving the mathematical underpinnings of the subject ( I have long-standing interests in connecting mathematical models with geochemical and geophysical observations, and on the CIG SSC I would strive to improve links between software developers and observational scientists.

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