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Major Research Initiatives

Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments Center  (EFree)

EFree is a team of leaders in extreme conditions research, with Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao as director. Equipped with key enabling technologies--some in place already and some yet to be developed--EFree scientists will be able to integrate and coordinate team efforts from a diversity of research groups and approaches to solve pressing energy research tasks. This center is funded by the Department of Energy.

Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO)

The ultimate objective of this project is to elucidate and refine key questions related to the deep carbon cycle and to develop a comprehensive research strategy to tackle promising new directions for experimental, theoretical and field studies to advance our understanding.

Carnegie/Department of Energy Alliance Center (CDAC)

CDAC is a multisite, interdisciplinary center head- quartered at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Our goals are to advance and perfect an extensive set of high P-T techniques and unique facilities, to perform key studies on a broad range of important materials in newly-accessible P-T regimes, and to integrate and coordinate static, dynamic and theoretical results for Stewardship Science applications.

High Pressure Collaborative Access Team (HPCAT)

"HPCAT has been developed to optimize and integrate multiple novel synchrotron x-ray diffraction and x-ray spectroscopy probes, as well as complementary optical and electromagnetic probes, with diamond-anvil cell samples at high pressures and temperatures (P-T), thus addressing specific scientific problems in multidisciplinary fields." (Ho-kwang Mao)

The High Pressure Synergetic Consortium (HPSynC)

 HPSynC is located at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory was established in 2007. The Consortium is jointly operated by the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Advanced Photon Source (APS). 

NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI)

"As part of a concerted effort to undertake such a challenge, NASA established the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) in 1998 as an innovative way to develop the field of astrobiology and provide a scientific framework for flight missions. NAI was envisioned and implemented as a virtual, distributed organization of competitively-selected teams to promote, conduct, and lead integrated astrobiology research guided by the Astrobiology Roadmap . NAI is administered by its Director and a small staff, an office known as "NAI Central," located at NASA Ames Research Center. A history of the NAI outlines the unique path through which it arose and developed." (

Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (AMASE)

"AMASE research topics centre on formation and weathering of carbonate deposits in various BVC localities and include pattern formation in travertine terraces, cryogenic carbonate deposits and blue ice vents in subglacial volcanoes and associated microbial activity, bio-geo interactions and organic chemistry. Field work involves testing of "state of the art" biosensor technology under development by CIW and NASA-JPL for future Mars missions." (