ARCHIVED CONTENT: In December 2020, the CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×

Earth’s skin is an interdisciplinary laboratory

In the January 2018 issue of Physics Today, writer Toni Feder explores the scope of CZ research in the article, “Earth’s skin is an interdisciplinary laboratory.” As the U.S. CZO program faces current funding uncertainty, the article describes how the NSF-funded program has developed and operated over the last decade. During this time, CZ research has also grown worldwide with CZO networks in France, Germany and China. A number of perspectives from CZ researchers working with these networks were introduced to highlight the broader implications of CZ science. One major aim of these networks is to influence policymaking around issues of water management, natural disasters, soil degradation from agriculture, and the impacts of climate and land-use change. U.S. CZOs have been able to observe the occurrence and aftermath of events such as hurricanes, wildfire and drought. European CZOs have made efforts to tighten links with each other and with socioecological research sites to further strengthen the interdisciplinary nature of CZ science. The articles notes that NSF plans to continue CZ research and observatories but would like to make some changes to how the program is run and find ways to broaden participation.

Read the full article at Physics Today.

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