Workshop Overview

Join us for two days of panels and discussion as we explore how Scientific Ocean Drilling (SOD) can build, strengthen and expand our connections to policy, as well as better understand what SOD can and should be doing to facilitate and support current and future policies relating to the oceans and Earth sciences. We will hear from policymakers and public activists alongside researchers with experience relating SOD to their local leadership, and listen to what is needed by key federal-level stakeholders as well as the scientific community. We will collect your insights and the key points arising from the discussions and collaboratively produce a guide for members and friends of the SOD community to comfortably engage with public policy, in addition to developing key informational materials to support future interactions. We will also explore how policymakers can help foster collaborations with other science-mission agencies within the federal system as well as international collaborations.

The sessions will combine invited keynote speakers sharing their stories, how information is provided and used within those sectors, associated panel discussions with the chance to ask questions of the speakers, and breakout discussions to further consider the issues raised.

Workshop Goals

During the Policy workshop we will be discussing the following questions at different scalar levels, from agency to congressional level:

  • What research and programs does SOD conduct that have policy implications? E.g. geohazards, earth climate history, marine resources, school of rock.
  • How does SOD currently convey information about these topics to policymakers and into policy and how can those efforts be strengthened? What is the best mechanism to reach policymakers and what are they interested in?
  • How can scientists and policymakers work together to help lower some of the barriers to cross fertilization across science agencies and international partners?

To support the above we will hear from different voices from the policy and advocacy worlds and:

  • Understand how to facilitate connections across agencies and science programs
  • Understand what information policy activists need
  • Learn how they need it presented
  • Discuss why SOD is important for both the scientific community but also in support of current and future policies related to ocean and Earth science.
  • Develop a tutorial on strategic communications, especially to policymakers or staffers, that can be made available to all workshop attendees and other interested parties
  • Develop a set of informational materials that can be used to support all interactions with policymakers and other science-mission agencies
  • Formulate ideas that will be reported to the wider communities (Science, IODP and Policy) in the form of a White Paper
  • Discuss how you establish and maintain relationships with individuals in the policy sphere


Monday, July 19th 14:00 - 17:30 Eastern

Wednesday, July 21st 14:00 - 17:30 Eastern


What are the participants expected to do:

  • before the workshop
    • read, watch, and complete the preparatory materials that will be provided on-line
    • participate in preliminary discussions on the workshop website platform
  • during the workshop
    • actively participate in all sessions
    • be prepared to collaborate and engage in challenging discussions
  • after the workshop
    • participate in reviewing and commenting on the synthesis paper produced from the workshop
    • assist with its writing if possible
    • consider applying for the in-person workshop


There are no costs associated with the two virtual workshops on July 19th and 21st - only your time and willingness to engage in discussion.

Audience and Selection Criteria

Do you design, write, or promote public policy or government regulations? Would you like to learn more about what SOD offers that could support your efforts? Do you rely on SOD for your research and yearn to share your work more closely with policymakers? Are you the leader or powerhouse of your local advocacy organization that needs to consult on geologic hazards? This IMPACT workshop would love to have you join us! We are seeking a diverse group of participants in all of the IMPACT workshops, and our goal is to include people with many demographic factors (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, geography).  We welcome those who are familiar with current scientific ocean drilling programs and those who are not, people from all career and experience levels, and perhaps most of all, people who can help to expand the program's perspective.

Interested? Please apply here. We look forward to reviewing your responses starting after the June 21st application deadline. As many applicants as possible, covering a broad range of backgrounds and skillsets, will be invited to the IMPACT Policy workshop no later than June 28th.


This virtual workshop will take place on zoom. Links for the sessions will be sent to confirmed registrants.

For More Information

Please contact Kira Homola, one of this workshop's conveners, at with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.