Gabi Laske

3. Your affiliation
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

4. Your discipline

5. Across all ocean science disciplines, please list 3 important scientific questions that you believe will drive ocean research over the decade.
1) how does the deep-ocean heat conveyor work and what is its role to transfer heat to the surface?

2) How does the solid Earth interact with the hydrosphere and how do ocean processes interact with atmosphere processes? 

3) how are deep-ocean processes involved in global climate change?
6. Within your own discipline, please list 3 important scientific questions that you believe will drive ocean research over the next decade.
1) how do significant tectonic features observed on the surface (e.g. plate boundaries and hot spots) relate to geodynamical processed in Earth’s deep interior? Global seismic imaging has improved tremendously in the last 2.5 decades, but resolution is still highly uneven. Any improvement will rely heavily on the placement of sensors on the ocean floor.

2) improve earthquake early warning, using improved 3D models of Earth structure. This includes improved real-time recording of propagating tsunami as well as improved modeling.

3) how do mega-thrusts really work? This requires the reliable imaging of Earth structure on both sides of the plate boundary, i.e. installation of amphibious seismic arrays where the mega-thrust involves areas on land. Currently, the monitoring of sea-side seismicity is missing or incomplete in virtually all mega-thrusts.
7. Please list 3 ideas for programs, technology, infrastructure, or facilities that you believe will play a major role in addressing the above questions over the next decade. Please consider both existing and new technology/facilities/infrastructure/programs that could be deployed in this timeframe. What mechanisms might be identified to best leverage these investments (interagency collaborations, international partnerships, etc.)?
Improved seismic imaging will heavily depend on the placement of ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs). However, the current OBSIP facility is too small for all the exciting experiments that PIs propose. There is increasing pressure on single-PI proposals by “community experiments” that tie up large numbers of instruments, and funding. Less and less people may gather experience on how do an OBS experiment, from planning all the way to publication. Also, in community experiments instruments and their deployment are readily funded by NSF, but it seems difficult to compete for actual science funding. 

An exciting aspect of seaside earthquake monitoring is the need for real-time data access. This is not achievable by traditional OBS deployments. Wave gliders tow a payload that provides communication between the glider and the OBS. A wave glider may also be able to tow a discardable OBS unit from “home” to a remote location in the ocean, where deployment from a ship may be prohibitively large.
8. Other comments pertinent to the committee’s charge.
apparent decrease in funding of basic, single-PI research. It is often this research (vs big projects) that provides the exciting new discoveries. NSF still provides the single-most important source of funding for single-PI basic research. 

find the right balance between funding (major) facilities and the science done with them. It seems relatively easy to find initial money for facilities but then there is no easy way to fund the actual science. Most PIs rely on soft money to some degree to fund their salaries, and they simply cannot afford to do research for free. 

while robotic technology opens exciting new ways to explore the oceans remotely, the need for a well-functioning diverse fleet of research vessels will remain. Expensive special-purpose vessels should not have to operate on the expense of general-purpose vessels. The UNOLS fleet is aging. With each ship dropping out of the UNOLS fleet, we lose another vital means to explore the deep unknowns in the ocean that still remain.