Second DCO Summer School: Call for Applications

DCO will hold its second Summer School in Yellowstone National Park in July 2016 to introduce approximately 35 graduate students and early career researchers to the interdisciplinary concepts which are the cornerstone of DCO’s approach to understanding Earth.


Participants in the 2014 DCO Summer School at Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Katie Pratt.


The Deep Carbon Observatory will hold its second Summer School in Yellowstone National Park from 23 - 28 July 2016. This Summer School will build on the success of the first DCO Summer School, held in Yellowstone National Park in 2014, and will introduce approximately 35 graduate students and early career researchers to the interdisciplinary concepts which are the cornerstone of DCO’s approach to understanding Earth.

The weeklong Summer School program will incorporate a variety of classroom- and field-based experiences, including lectures, poster sessions, field trips, and interactive problem-solving exercises. DCO will cover participants' lodging, meals, and field trips, as well as a portion of their transportation costs. To be eligible, applicants must be pursuing research related to a DCO theme as a current graduate student or early postdoc within three years of completing his/her PhD.

To publicize the Second DCO Summer School in your department, download the flyer.

Organizing Committee

Rick Colwell
Oregon State University

Donato Giovannelli
Rutgers University 

Lisa Morgan
US Geological Survey

Katie Pratt
University of Rhode Island

Anna-Louise Reysenbach
Portland State University 

Pat Shanks
US Geological Survey

Themes and Driving Questions

•  Why is Yellowstone hot, how long has it been active, and will it erupt? How do hydrothermal fluids circulate through Earth's crust? What is the connection to the deeper crust and mantle?

•  How does Yellowstone connect deep carbon to the surface of the Earth? What systems are involved? How do we measure them?

•  How does life operate below the ground? How deep and how hot can life survive? How, where, and when did life evolve on Earth?

•  How does carbon degassing contribute to global CO2? Where is it coming from, and will it change with time? What is the source of deep energy?

Application Information

UPDATE, 19 APRIL 2016: All applicants have been notified of the outcome of their application.

To participate in the DCO Summer School, you must be a current graduate student or a postdoc within 3 years of earning your PhD, and pursuing research related to deep carbon science.

The application window has now closed. 

Application FAQ

Who will read my application? When will I find out if I was accepted?

The Summer School Organizing Committee will evaluate all applications, and applicants will receive notification of the committee's decision around the end of March.

Who should I ask to write my letters of reference? What should the letters say?

You should ask two people (preferably those who know you in a professional/research capacity, perhaps an advisor, professor, collaborator, or mentor) to write letters of support for your application to the second DCO Summer School. The letters do not need to be long, but they should explain the author's relationship to you and why you are a good candidate for the Summer School. 

You say that DCO will cover "a portion" of participants' travel. How much travel support will DCO provide?

DCO is offering up to $1600 of travel support for international attendees and $600 for domestic USA attendees, with any remaining cost to be paid by the participant. However, if all flights from your location are significantly more expensive than the travel support we supply, participants can get in touch with the DCO and we will try to work something out on a case-by-case basis.

I'm trying to select my preferred flight information, as requested in the application. When should I aim to arrive and depart from Bozeman?

Participants are encouraged to arrive sometime during the day on Saturday, 23 July if possible. The Summer School will officially begin with an icebreaker on the evening of 23 July. Participants will stay in Bozeman overnight on 23 July and travel to the main venue the following morning. If you find it very difficult to arrive on 23 July due to flight schedules, you could arrive on 22 July. 

Participants can depart from Bozeman either on the evening of 28 July or anytime on 29 July.

Are there any additional considerations or criteria that affect how my application is evaluated?

When selecting successful applicants, the Organizing Committee will consider:

• Geographic location - This Summer School seeks to increase collaboration with scientific communities from around the world. Applicants from under-represented locations are encouraged to apply. 

• Research Interests - We aim to have representative early career scientists that span the scientific scope of the Deep Carbon Observatory, with a balance of research interests from across the four scientific communities (Extreme Physics and Chemistry, Deep Energy, Reservoirs and Fluxes, and Deep Life).

 • Availability - Preference will be given to those applicants who can attend the entire Summer School.

Who do I contact if my question isn't answered here?

Please direct any questions to Michelle Hoon-Starr, DCO Science Program Assistant (email:, tel: 202-478-8971). 



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