National Geochronology Consortium (NGC)

Venn Diagram geochronology
Venn diagram illustrating that geochronology is central in Earth and planetary research (It’s About Time Geochronology report, 2015).
Venn Diagram Infrastructure Components
Venn diagram showing the three infrastructural components envisioned for a future National Geochronology Consortium (NGC). Growing Human Infrastructure is the focus of AGeS3.

The 2020 National Research Council report “A Vision for Earth Sciences, 2020-2030: Earth in Time” recommends that NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences “should fund a National Consortium for Geochronology”. This recommendation builds on previous National Research Council reports that emphasized the importance of geochronology data for addressing first order questions in Earth system-science related to climate change, biologic and landscape change, earthquake cyclicity and hazards, and solid Earth evolution (e.g., NRC, 2003; NRC, 2008; NRC, 2010; NRC, 2011; NRC, 2012). The 2015 National Science Foundation report “It’s about Time” also highlighted the need for expanded access to geochronology and greater support for geochronology technical innovation.

A National Consortium for Geochronology (NGC) is broader in scope than any existing initiative within the geochronology community. Current coordination efforts envision founding the NGC with an infrastructure trio: Human Infrastructure, Technical Instrument-based Infrastructure, and Cyberinfrastructure (as defined in the 2020 Earth in Time report). The AGeS3 initiative is focused on growing the Human Infrastructure pillar of a future NGC in sync with other efforts.