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Dr. Daniel Weill Named Ocean Drilling Program Director

Contact: Kasey White
Ocean Drilling Program
202-232-3900 x 240
July 2001

The Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI) is pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel Weill has been selected as the new Director of the Ocean Drilling Program. Dr. Weill will begin working full time in this capacity at the end of August.

Dr. John Farrell, who has served as Acting Director of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) for the past 18 months, will resume the position of U.S. Science Support Program Director and Associate Director for ODP, continuing to play a lead role in the development of future ocean drilling.

Dr. Weill brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the ODP and to JOI. For the past 16 years, he has been the Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Instrumentation and Facilities Program in the Division of Earth Sciences. Dr. Weill's leadership was essential in transforming the state of solid earth science facilities, which has set the stage for many scientific advances in geology, geochemistry and geophysics.

Dr. Weill's career spans government and academic institutions. Prior to NSF, he managed the Geosciences Program in the Office of Basic Energy Sciences at the Department of Energy. Dr. Weill began his teaching and research career at the University of California- San Diego as a faculty member of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and later served as a Professor at the University of Oregon for more than 20 years, including two terms as Associate Dean for Academic Personnel.

"I am delighted to be on board and looking forward to working closely with JOI colleagues and the ocean drilling science community and its sponsors to ensure a continuation of the splendid scientific contributions of the ODP and an efficient transition into the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)," said Dr. Weill.

Dr. Weill received his AB from Cornell (1956), MS from the University of Illinois (1958), and his PhD in 1961 from the University of California - Berkeley. Best known for developing qualitative models for predicting the density and viscosity of magmas, his research interests span a range of topics in geochemistry, petrology and mineralogy.

The Ocean Drilling Program is an international partnership of scientists and research institutions organized to explore the evolution and structure of earth. The research vessel, JOIDES Resolution, is 143 meters long and can drill in more than 99% of the world's oceans. Among its findings, ODP has advanced research on:

  • Climate Change Ocean drilling cores provide examples of past climate and sea level change, improving projections of the timing and magnitude of future changes in climate.
  • Earthquakes ODP research has expanded knowledge of plate tectonics, which has contributed to a better understanding of the causes of large-scale earthquakes.
  • Gas hydrates Gas hydrates, natural gas reserves buried beneath the seafloor, could contain as much as energy as all other forms of fossil fuels combined. ODP has been at the forefront of research on hydrates and has additional legs planned to better understand these potential energy resources.
  • Mineral Exploration ODP research has provided new information on the formation of iron, cooper, and zinc, influencing mineral exploration on land and sea.
  • Microbes ODP has discovered microorganisms much deeper under the seafloor than previously thought possible. These organisms may eventually be used for applications such as water treatment and enhanced oil recovery.

ODP is funded principally by the National Science Foundation, with substantial contributions from its international partners. These include the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Australia/Canada/Chinese Taipei/Korea Consortium for Ocean Drilling, the European Science Foundation Consortium for Ocean Drilling (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland), France, and the People's Republic of China. The program is managed by the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, a consortium of 16 U.S. academic institutions. Texas A&M University is responsible for science operations, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University is responsible for logging services.

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