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New Award Recognizes Exemplary Research Made Possible by Ocean Drilling


The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has announced the establishment of a new award, the Asahiko Taira International Scientific Ocean Drilling Research Prize, which will be given “in recognition of outstanding transdiciplinary research accomplishment in ocean drilling.”

The prize is given in honor of Dr. Asahiko Taira of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and is made possible through a generous donation from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International (IODP-MI).

“Experts like Dr. Taira have made it clear that ocean drilling can be used to achieve fundamental advances in our understanding of the Earth,” said Carol Finn, AGU president. “By recognizing an individual’s outstanding achievements in this field, AGU and IODP hope to honor Dr. Taira’s impressive achievements and to encourage others to follow in his footsteps.

Through research such as this, we can continue to work to further international and transdiciplinary collaboration that will advance our science and benefit the communities we serve.” The prize will be given annually and the presentation venue will alternate between AGU’s Fall Meeting and the Japan Geoscience Union’s Meeting, with the inaugural prize being presented at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

The honoree, who must be within 15 years of earning their Ph.D., will receive $18,000 and the opportunity to present a lecture at the meeting where the award is presented. Dr. Taira has been published in more than 200 American and Japanese journals, textbooks, and other publications. Before his service with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Dr. Taira was an associate professor at Kochi University and a professor at University of Tokyo.

He has been honored for his research numerous times, including the Geological Society of Japan Award and being named a fellow of the Geological Society of America. Scientific ocean drilling began in 1968 as the Deep Sea Drilling Project funded by NSF, and over the decades evolved into an international initiative.

From 2004 until 2013, it was managed by the IODP-MI, a collaboration of more than 30 international oceanographic institutions. Now run under the International Ocean Discovery Program, the program explores the Earth through ocean sediments using multiple drilling platforms, and collects biogeoscientific data from the ocean floor in an effort to enhance our understanding of Earth’s composition and history. Additional information on the prize will be posted on the AGU website in the coming weeks.

The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 62,000 members in 144 countries. Join our conversation on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, and other social media channels.

The Integrated Ocean Discovery Program (IOPD), formally the Ocean Drilling Program, is an international partnership to explore the Earth through ocean sediments and the uppermost oceanic lithosphere. IOPD is funded by over 25 countries and uses drilling platforms to collect geological data from the ocean floor, advancing our understanding of the Earth’s plate tectonics, composition, and history. Established in 2005, the Japan Geoscience Union aims to promote and contribute to Earth and planetary sciences through research, partnerships, and information distribution.

Contact:  Joan Buhrman, 202-777-7509 (w),

Joan Buhrman | AGU News

Further reports about: AGU Discovery Drilling Earth Geological Geophysical Geoscience Marine-Earth Ocean Science history sediments

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