Evaluate the following Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact statements written for a NSF proposal. Is the significance and impact of the proposed study clearly stated? Does the Broader Impact contain an educational component?
The entire research plan is composed of the following seven sub-themes: (1) the ambient state of stress in oceanic lithosphere, (2) the energetics of slab rollback, (3) the onset of convection with internal heating, (4) scaling laws for stagnant-lid convection with mantle melting, (5) the initiation of plate tectonics, (6) the history of ocean volume and global water cycle, and (7) the nature of core-mantle interaction. Collectively, they constitute a major step toward a better understanding of the long-term behavior of Earth, by tackling unresolved first-order issues all together. Moreover, each of them is designed to address a stand-alone, basic physics problem with potential applications beyond the scope of this proposal, reaching out to earthquake seismology, regional tectonics, planetary sciences, Precambrian geology, igneous petrology, plume dynamics, and geomagnetism.
This proposal includes the education of one female Ph.D. student in theoretical geodynamics. The PI will also assimilate research results into three existing undergraduate/graduate courses he regularly teaches. In addition, a new 200-level undergraduate course will be developed on the physics of Earth’s evolution, with hands-on experience in scientific computing. The PI will also conduct community outreach to assist K-12 teachers in developing public school curricula by showing how geophysical topics can be used as friendly examples in science classes.
(Jun Korenaga, proposal to federal agency; modified)