The goals of CIDER are:
- To provide an optimal environment for transformative studies requiring a concerted effort of leading researchers from different areas of Earth Sciences: high pressure material science, geodynamics, seismology, geochemistry and geomagnetism, and
- To educate a new generation of Earth scientists with breadth of competence across the disciplines contributing to understanding of the deep earth.
The ultimate goal of CIDER is to develop an integrative conceptual model drawing upon all contributing disciplines to understand the origin, evolution, and dynamics of the Earth and, by extension, other planets. The practical objectives are to:
- Address the most important and difficult problems that have defied solution thus far by fostering collaborations that can fully utilize existing knowledge and technology.
- Contribute a seed-bed for ideas within an integrative conceptual framework that will identify the next generation of critical experiments and observations, and build support and appreciation for them.
- Provide an effective mechanism for cross-disciplinary education of scientists at all career levels.
The notion of "Synthesis Center" can have different meanings. In the case of CIDER-II, the goal is to develop a community oriented, open facility that will identify key cross-disciplinary problems to tackle, foster the development of integrative ideas and address a broad range of cutting edge questions around the overarching general theme of "how the earth works?". The CIDER vision was first developed almost 10 years ago, when the first CIDER proposal was submitted to the NSF/EAR/CSEDI program, with, as leading motivation, the need to elucidate the driving mechanisms of plate tectonics. Owing to the reduction in scope and budget from the original request, CIDER-I's scope was necessarily restricted to student training and education. CIDER-II builds upon the accomplishments and experience gained during the CIDER-I summer programs. However, the goal of CIDER-II is to reinstate the original vision by providing the resources and opportunities needed to foster and conduct necessary follow-up work across disciplines.