The RIDGE 2000 Program, created with the input of more than 200 U.S. scientists and funded by the National Science Foundation, has elected Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State, as chair of its 15-member steering committee. His three-year term coincides with the creation of the program office at Penn State, with support from the National Science Foundation, the Eberly College of Science, and the Department of Biology.
Along with Fisher, the office will include three full-time employees: a program coordinator, a program assistant, and an education/outreach coordinator.
"As the action arm for the steering committee, the office works to foster collaboration and communication," Fisher says. "We strive to get everybody working together so that the most progress can be made, and to communicate the excitement of our work to audiences that range from the NSF and legislators to secondary-school students and the general public."
The RIDGE 2000 program works to understand the geobiological, geochemical, and geophysical causes and consequences of energy transfer within the globe-encircling mid-ocean ridge system. The mid-ocean ridge system marks the boundary along which Earth's major tectonic plates form. As volcanic material from the planet's mantle surges to the seafloor, it helps resurface the Earth and impacts the deep-ocean environment and its inhabitants.
For 12 years starting in 1988, a predecessor program, the Ridge InterDisciplinary Global Experiments (RIDGE) Program, promoted research, scientific communication, and outreach related to all aspects of the mid-ocean ridge system. When that program ended, RIDGE 2000 built on the experience,
Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy