To the MARGINS Community:

As you may know, the U.S. MARGINS program recently underwent a five-year review at NSF, in which the program was evaluated by a committee of scientists not currently involved with the MARGINS Program or receiving MARGINS funding. This review—which is fairly standard for long-running programs—was a valuable opportunity for the MARGINS Steering Committee (MSC) and Office to carry out a self-review.

Having now received from NSF a public summary of the MARGINS Review Committee (MRC) report, we are pleased to publish our review documents through this dedicated section of the website. These are documents that were prepared for the MARGINS Review Committee meeting in April 2004, and reflect the status of MARGINS at that point. Links within the documents provide background information in more detail than is provided in the overviews.

Review Panel Report [316 KB pdf]

Included in the review documents are:

  1. A letter to the review committee by the current MARGINS Chair, Julie Morris.

  2. A summary of MARGINS Office and Steering Committee activities since the Program began.

  3. A summary of MARGINS research funding up to March 2004.

  4. Summaries of the status of each initiative, prepared by members of the MSC. These note scientific themes and focus areas and their rationales, and highlight research accomplishments, research gaps, and intellectual progress. Included in these sections are maps prepared by the MARGINS Office for each of the focus areas, showing the available information on where work had been funded to date. In reading these summaries, note that SEIZE and SubFac initiatives were the earliest established, and RCL and S2S are more recent.

  5. “Nuggets” - research summaries provided by MARGINS and MARGINS-related funded researchers, discussing research to date.

  6. A compilation of presentations and publications from MARGINS researchers.

  7. A compilation of past MARGINS and MARGINS-related meetings (Workshops, TEIs, Town Hall meetings).

  8. The full text and graphics of the publication MARGINS Science Plans 2004. Various Review documents are linked to appropriate sections.

  9. The letter from MARGINS NSF Program Officers, Bilal Haq (OCE-Marine Geology and Geophysics), Rodey Batiza (OCE-Integrated Ocean Drilling Program) and David Fountain (EAR-Tectonics), summarizing the general tone of the review report and enumerating specific recommendations, together with a response from the MARGINS Chair.

  10. The MARGINS Steering Committee response to the NSF-MARGINS Review report.

We hope that you will find these documents useful and informative. We are grateful to the MARGINS researchers who provided “Nuggets” summarizing research-in-progress, which provide the best view of what research is being accomplished and what remains to be done. The Initiative Summaries distill main points from this information, and identify research gaps and opportunities. Be sure to check out the rest of the MARGINS website for the most recent information on funded proposals, meetings, publications, educational opportunities, etc.

In looking through this material, please feel free to contact the MARGINS Office ( or Chair ( with comments or suggestions. We would like to hear from you.

With Best Wishes,

Julie Morris