Earth Science Instrumentation and Facilities Program Review



The Instrumentation and Facilities (IF) program of the U.S. National Science Foundation's Division of Earth Sciences (NSF/EAR) supports a remarkably broad span of research, both in the science that is addressed and in the nature of awards provided, according to a review by a Committee of Visitors on 22–24 August 2007. The present article, written by committee members, provides a synopsis of our findings to promote community-wide discussion of the size, scope, and responsibilities of the IF program.

The IF program funds infrastructure ranging from an individual investigator's purchase of laboratory equipment to support for major, multiuser facilities requiring millions of dollars per year (Figure 1). Partial support is also provided for technicians (for up to 5 years, with a decreasing level of funding each year).