Welcome from the new InterRidge office

First, we would like to congratulate and thank Jian Lin, Chris German and Stace Beaulieu for running the InterRidge Office at WHOI these past 3 years. Their enthusiasm and leadership has ensured InterRidge has continued to be the most effective medium for international collaboration in mid-ocean ridge studies. So, here is a big THANK YOU from all of us in the InterRidge family. We would also like to welcome you to the InterRidge Office at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK. Our new InterRidge coordinator is Dr Debbie Milton. Debbie has been shadowing Stace over the last month and learnt some invaluable tips for running the office. In fact, Debbie’s first week as coordinator was spent at WHOI, to ensure we get off to a flying start. The InterRidge web site is now hosted at NOCS, and for that we would like to thank Dan Perry (NOCS) and Andy Maffei (WHOI) for a seamless transition. But please send Debbie any items you want her to post on the InterRidge website, e-Newsletter and Jobs. We are here to serve you, so make the most of us! Plans for InterRIdge over the next 3 years: We are at the forefront of an exciting time in ridge studies. The Neptune cabled observatories are now coming on line, with Neptune Canada currently live. The nodes on the Endeavour Ridge and Middle Valley, Juan de Fuca Ridge, provide real time data, images and even video of active ridge processes. Other observatory experiments are in the pipeline, including the Lucky Strike vent site, Mid-Atlantic Ridge. These new observatories will provide unique insights into active ridge processes. There are also some 32 ridge crest cruises scheduled for 2010 alone, including vent research off Antarctica and in the Cayman Trough, Caribbean. In addition, a number of workshops and meetings are planned that will bring new activities and areas of study into focus. For example, one of InterRidge’s long-term aims is to provide informed advice to policy makers about how Mankind interacts with the deep-ocean environment. Towards that aim, InterRidge has signed a Letter of Agreement with UNEP/ GRID-Arendal and is sponsoring a workshop on the Design of Marine Protected Areas for Chemosynthetic Ecosystems (June 2010, Dinard, France). In terms of new initiatives, InterRidge intends to nurture new collaborations and research ideas by establishing a series of travel grants to enable early career scientists to join research cruises. We firmly believe that these cruises provide a ‘hot-house’ in which creative new ideas and collaborative partnerships emerge and thrive. It is these new collaborations and ideas that are the key to future growth of InterRidge and its science. But remember, InterRidge belongs to you! To make it as effective as possible, we will be introducing new tools for online networking and discussion to push back the frontiers of ridge crest science and technology by sharing your imagination and creativity. Together, we can make a difference. With best wishes for 2010, Bramley Murton (Chair), Jon Copley (Co-Chair) and Debbie Milton (Coordinator)