The national GeoPRISMS Office coordinates meetings and workshops, disseminates information (by way of newsletters, listserv announcements, etc.) including workshop summaries and reports on funded research, manages educational and database activities, and assists with logistics and scientific efforts not supported by funding to PIs. The GeoPRISMS Office is directed by the Chair of the GeoPRISMS Steering and Oversight Committee, and hosted at his/her institution, rotating every 3-4 years.

The GeoPRISMS Steering and Oversight Committee (GSOC) comprises 11 to 15 members who serve 3-year terms on average and represent the broad GeoPRISMS community.

The GeoPRISMS Education Advisory Committee (GEAC) provides advice and guidance on educational and outreach programs coordinated by GeoPRISMS.

The annual NSF solicitation for GeoPRISMS proposals that addresses priorities outlined within the community-approved GeoPRISMS Science Plan. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, the GSOC has no input in the proposal evaluation.

The independent NSF review panel, with expertise spanning the EAR and OCE communities, evaluate proposals in the context of the GeoPRISMS Science Plan.

 icon-chevron-right  The Wiens Report: mid-term evaluation of the GeoPRISMS program

 GeoPRISMS Office

GeoPRISMS represents an effort to carry out focused and integrated research within a program defined by community consensus. Research, however, is funded through individual PI-driven proposals to conduct specific scientific studies. The GeoPRISMS Office provides the organizational support to reconcile this juxtaposition between community planning of broadly cross-disciplinary programs and the individual nature of the work being done. In particular, the GeoPRISMS Office fosters this communication, facilitates both planning and integrative syntheses, and motivates broad community participation. The Office also coordinates meetings and workshops, disseminates information including workshop summaries and reports on funded research, manages educational and database activities, and assists with logistics and scientific efforts not supported by funding to PIs. The GeoPRISMS Office moves and the Office Chair and staff change every three years. The first GeoPRISMS Office was hosted at Rice University, in Houston, TX then moved to University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, MI in 2013. The current GeoPRISMS Office is hosted at Penn State.

Meet the GeoPRISMS staff

Demian Saffer


Demian is a Professor at The Pennsylvania State University, whose research focuses on the role of fluids in geologic processes, including the interaction between pore fluid pressure, rock and sediment deformation, and fault zone processes, and regional transport of heat and solutes. He has worked extensively on fault zone drilling projects, including the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) and Alpine Fault Deep Fault Drilling Projects, and has been heavily involved in Scientific Ocean Drilling Projects at the Costa Rican, Nankai, and Hikurangi subduction zones. Demian was the recipient of the 2005 GSA Donath medal, and the 2009 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award. He has served on a number of advisory panels, including the IODP New Science Plan writing committee, the MARGINS successor program steering committee, the MARGINS steering committee, and the IODP science evaluation panel.
 dms45 (at)

Anaïs Férot

Science Coordinator

Anaïs was part of the GeoPRISMS Office based in Rice University, University of Michigan, and continues as the GeoPRISMS Science Coordinator for the Office hosted by Penn State, working remotely from University of Oregon in Eugene. Anaïs assists the Chair of the Program, facilitates the communication with the science community, plans and organizes workshops. She maintains and develops the GeoPRISMS website and carries out the edition of the newsletter. She manages the Education & Outreach activities, in particular the Distinguished Lectureship Program, and oversees GeoPRISMS social media engagement. Anaïs holds a PhD in Experimental Petrology from Université Blaise Pascal, France. She aimed at constraining the combined effects of pressure, temperature, and composition on water solubility in olivine and pyroxene under upper mantle conditions.

axf303 (at)

 Jo Ann Lehithet

Admin Coordinator

Jo Ann supports the Chair and Science Coordinator in logistics planning, implementation and on-site support. She holds a BA in International Affairs from the George Washington University and has held private sector management positions in international student programs and the IC chip card industry. Prior to joining the Penn State Geosciences Department, she served as a public relations manager in the cable industry. 

icon-envelope jxl902 (at)


The GeoPRISMS Office is now hosted by Penn State! Meet the new Staff: Demian Saffer (Program Chair, middle), Anaïs Ferot (Science Coordinator, left), and Jo Ann Lehtihet (Admin Coordinator, right) in front of the Department of Geosciences building in November 2016