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Updated 8 February, 2004

National Science Foundation (FY 1996)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports fundamental research across the entire range of science and engineering disciplines. NSF does not operate laboratories. All of its funding is devoted to extramural research. NSF makes approximately 20,000 awards per year -- through competitive merit review -- to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, and other research institutions in all parts of the U.S.

NSF supports research and education to enhance understanding of the complex dynamics among natural and human systems; to generate knowledge needed to preserve, manage, and enhance the environment; and to support national and international policymaking activities.

NSF seeks to draw on the participation of relevant science and engineering disciplines to promote interdisciplinary research necessary for improved understanding of complex environmental and global change processes. To accomplish these goals, NSF environment and natural resources activities involve support of basic disciplinary research, focused interdisciplinary research, and a broad range of educational and outreach functions that cut across the entire portfolio of environment and natural resources scientific interests.

Types of Environment and Natural Resources Research Supported

Examples of the types of research that NSF contributes to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) follow: Research on climate processes and interactions, and seasonal to interannual variability; monitoring and research on ozone depletion and ultraviolet (UV) radiation; modeling of oceanic, atmospheric, vegetative, economic, and other components of the whole Earth system as well as research to integrate those components in an integrated assessment framework; research on ecological diversity, ecosystem dynamics, and terrestrial ecology; and research on the human dimensions of global change, including research on social dynamics, human interactions, and influences, as well as research on policy sciences and options for responding to environmental change.

NSF has also been serving as a major catalyst for related research on other important environment and natural resources issues within the context of the CENR. NSF actively supports research activities across a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines to address issues related to the preservation, management, and enhancement of the environment. Several specific areas of interest include air quality, biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics, environmental technology, natural disaster reduction, water and watersheds research, and risk assessment.

The Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO); Education and Human Resources (EHR); Engineering (ENG); Geosciences (GEO); Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS); and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE); and the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) all contribute to environment and natural resources activities. International research activities can be supported by any of the directorates; those involving collaboration with international partners are also eligible for support from the Division of International Programs (INT). The combined environment and natural resources activities seek to encourage scientific understanding of our environment through support of unsolicited investigator-initiated research and activities in the following categories:

  • Understanding Fundamental Processes: The bulk of environment and natural resources support helps fund research efforts focused on understanding fundamental processes involved in physical system, biological system, and human system interactions. These analyses might include any disciplinary or interdisciplinary effort that seeks to deepen or broaden understanding of different elements or interactions of a particular system. Research that focuses on the interactions among those systems is also supported. Several examples of environment and global change basic research focused on the understanding of fundamental processes include ecosystem dynamics, cell function, atmospheric chemistry, political or economic institutional processes, chemical and biogeochemical dynamics, Earth system history, solar influences, and the study of the interactions responsible for the ozone hole. Many other fields of research contribute to the understanding of fundamental processes.

  • Observation Systems and Data Management: These activities include long-term observation platforms supported by NSF (e.g., long-term ecological research sites, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, seismic networks, ocean lines, and other facilities and activities to promote the continuous and continued collection of relevant data sets). In order to support and facilitate environment and global change research by individual scientists, NSF also provides funds for the maintenance and management of important databases such as climatic data bases at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and other networks or activities to encourage access, maintenance, and sharing of data.

  • Modeling Activities: To enhance understanding of Earth, biological, and human systems and processes, NSF also supports diverse modeling activities. This emphasis includes research on modeling approaches, model enhancement, and model integration. Examples of modeling activities supported by NSF include economic modeling, vegetative modeling, weather and climate modeling, geochemical modeling and methods and models for an integrated assessment program.

  • Analysis and Development of Mitigation, Harm Avoidance, and Response Options: This category includes research and analyses of possible human and technological responses to environmental changes. Examples of activities in this category include the study of economic evaluation and impact methodologies, mitigation and risk assessment approaches, policy sciences analysis to evaluate the tools and options for decisionmakers, and engineered technologies to avoid, alleviate, or minimize environmental harms.

  • Education and Outreach: In addition to research activities, NSF also seeks to advance science education and human resource capabilities. NSF supports science education and science literacy related to the environment using a diverse set of approaches. Other programs supported by EHR encourage participation by traditionally under-represented groups and provision of quality science education experiences for all students at all levels. Among these are the science, mathematics, and engineering programs that support graduate and undergraduate studies as well as programs designed to enhance elementary, secondary, and informal educational opportunities.

  • International Research Infrastructure: NSF environment and natural resources programs also involve international collaborations, participation in international scientific field experiments, research networks, and coordination activities. For information on funding activities through INT, request NSF Publication 96-14. In addition, NSF has been the lead agency for the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) within the U.S. For additional information, contact Dr. Paul Filmer, IAI Program Director, at 703.306.1515.

Research Funding Opportunities

General information on NSF-supported environment-related activities is available in the NSF Guide to Programs (NSF Publication 95-138). The NSF Grant Proposal Guide (NSF Publication 95-27) provides necessary forms and information for the submission of proposals. Copies of either publication can be requested by calling the NSF Publication Unit at 703.306.1130, or by sending an Internet message to pubs@nsf.gov.

NSF also maintains a Home Page that provides similar program information (http://www.nsf.gov). To access information on NSF's environment and global change research opportunities, the extended address is http://www.nsf. gov/stratare/egch.

A research opportunities guide for FY95-FY96 USGCRP-related NSF programs is available in hard copy or on STIS. This publication (NSF 95-45) can be requested from the Publications Unit. It provides basic information on NSF global change opportunities similar to those available through the environment and global change Home Page. These opportunities are supported by multiple NSF programs in support of interdisciplinary and focused research goals. Please note that one should contact the proper program officer before submitting a proposal. Abbreviated descriptions on some of the focused environment and natural resources research opportunities follow:

  • Air Quality Research is conducted on air pollution, including ambient air pollutants (oxidants and their precursors, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulates), acid deposition and its precursors, and indoor air.
    Contact:
    Jarvis Moyers/Division of Atmospheric Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1522 (voice)
    jmoyers@nsf.gov

  • Antarctic Ecosystems interdisciplinary investigations of terrestrial, limnetic, and marine ecosystems in Antarctica are conducted through ecosystem monitoring and studies of long-term ecological responses to global change at the Palmer Station LTER site.
    Contacts:
    Polly Penhale/Office of Polar Programs
    703.306.1033 (voice)
    ppenhale@nsf.gov

    Dennis Peacock/Office of Polar Programs
    dpeacock@nsf.gov

  • Arctic Systems Sciences (ARCSS) interdisciplinary studies are supported to understand the physical, geological, chemical, biological, and social processes of the Arctic system that interact with the total Earth system, therefore contribute to or are influenced by global change.
    Contact:
    Michael Ledbetter/Office of Polar Programs
    703.306.1030 (voice)
    mledbett@nsf.gov

  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics research on biodiversity includes population biology, biological surveys, habitat analysis, conservation biology, and ecological dynamics. Also included are physiological and biochemical ecology, genetic processes and responses, basic ecosystem processes, and population/community responses to stress. Contacts:
    Joann Roskoski/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    703.306.1480 (voice)
    jroskosk@nsf.gov

    Clifford Dahm/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    703.306.1479 (voice)
    cdahm@nsf.gov

  • Climate Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction (CMAP) supports research leading to improved understanding and modeling of the processes that affect climate variability and change. Priority is given to studies that address issues related to coupling the atmosphere to its lower boundaries -- the ocean, land surface, and cryosphere. Temporal and spatial scales of interest are seasonal, interannual, decadal-to-centennial, and regional-to-global.
    Contact:
    Jay Fein/Division of Atmospheric Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1527 (voice)
    jfein@nsf.gov

  • Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) research goals are to describe and understand the physical processes responsible for climate variability and predictability on time scales ranging from seasonal to centennial, and to extend the range and accuracy of seasonal to interannual climate prediction through the development of global coupled models. CLIVAR is organized around three areas: 1) Climate variability and predictability from seasons to years, 2) climate change and the world ocean, and 3) human impacts on climate.
    Contacts:
    Eric Itsweire/Division of Ocean Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1583 (voice)
    eitsweir@nsf.gov

    Jay Fein, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, CEO
    703.306.1527 (voice)
    jfein@nsf.gov

  • Earth System History (ESH) supports coordinated projects that focus on the past behavior of the coupled Earth-ocean-atmosphere-biosphere system conducted to provide insight into the factors that govern environmental variability, rates of climate change, and large-scale responses to climate forcing.
    Contacts:
    Herman Zimmerman/Division of Atmospheric Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1527 (voice)
    hzimmerm@nsf.gov

    Bilal Haq/Division of Ocean Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1586 (voice)
    bhaq@nsf.gov

    John Maccini/Division of Earth Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1551 (voice)
    jamaccin@nsf.gov

  • Ecological Diversity research support is provided for interdisciplinary activities that focus on the relationship between ecological processes and biological diversity through improved understanding of total community composition, survival and adaptation mechanisms, natural rates of change, and human-caused changes such as exotic invasions, increased extinction rates, and habitat loss. In FY96, the focused Terrestrial Ecological Research Initiative (TECO) competition will be the primary contributor to this program.
    Contacts:
    Scott Collins/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    703.306.1479 (voice)
    scollins@nsf.gov

    Clifford Dahm/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    cdahm@nsf.gov

  • Ecological Rates of Change (EROC) research is supported for projects studying the effects of both natural and human-induced changes on ecological processes, specifically how human-induced global change affects ecological rates of change.
    Contact:
    Scott Collins/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    703.306.1479 (voice)
    scollins@nsf.gov

  • Environmental Remediation research is aimed at the discovery and application of solid, liquid, and gaseous discharges to land, water and air that impair their resource value. Special emphasis is on innovative biological, chemical, and physical processes used alone -- or as components of engineered systems -- to restore polluted land, water, and air resources to useful quality.
    Contact:
    Edward Bryan/Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems, ENG
    703.306.1318 (voice)
    ebryan@nsf.gov

  • Environmental Technology research support is provided to assess any environmental technology (including hardware and software), system, or service -- the primary purpose of which is to reduce residual risk or cost, and/or to improve process efficiency. This research area includes avoidance of environmental harm, pollution prevention, control, monitoring and assessment, and restoration.
    Contacts:
    Margaret Cavanaugh/Division of Chemistry, MPS
    703.306.1842 (voice)
    mcavanau@nsf.gov

    Robert Wellek/Division of Chemical and Transport Systems, ENG
    703.306.1370 (voice)
    rwellek@nsf.gov

    Norman Caplan/Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems, ENG
    703.306.1318 (voice)
    ncaplan@nsf.gov

  • Geosystem Databases (GEODATA) are assembled, documented, archived, and disseminated, in cooperation with other agencies, to understand global change processes and to develop and validate Earth system models.
    Contact:
    Jay Fein/Division of Atmospheric Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1527 (voice)
    jfein@nsf.gov

  • Global and Environmental Education curriculum development and teacher and faculty enhancement are supported for elementary and secondary grades (K-12), for undergraduate education, and for informal education outside the classroom. Graduate fellowships are available in all areas supported by NSF, including global environmental education.
    Contacts:
    M. Patricia Morse/Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, EHR
    703.306.1666 (voice)
    mpmorse@nsf.gov

    Herbert Levitan/Division of Undergraduate Education, EHR
    hlevitan@nsf.gov

    Susan W. Duby, Division of Graduate Education, EHR
    703.306.1694 (voice)
    sduby@nsf.gov

  • Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (GLOBEC) supports research and analysis of the impact of changes in the global environment on marine ecosystems, with special emphasis placed on the mechanisms that determine the variability of marine animal populations.
    Contact:
    Phillip Taylor/Division of Ocean Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1587 (voice)
    prtaylor@nsf.gov

  • Global Tropospheric Chemistry Program (GTCP) supports research that measures, analyzes, and predicts changes in the chemistry of the global atmosphere, with emphasis placed on changes affecting the radiative processes and oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere and the atmospheric components of biogeochemical cycles.
    Contacts:
    Jarvis Moyers/Division of Atmospheric Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1522 (voice)
    jmoyers@nsf.gov

    Margaret Cavanaugh/Division of Chemistry, MPS
    703.306.1842 (voice)
    mcavanau@nsf.gov

  • Greenhouse Gas Dynamics (GGD) research is conducted to analyze interactions of greenhouse gases with light, other atmospheric gases, surfaces, and other relevant substances and the complex natural and industrial processes that lead to greenhouse gas production and release.
    Contact:
    Margaret Cavanaugh/Division of Chemistry, MPS
    703.306.1842 (voice)
    mcavanau@nsf.gov

  • Human Dimensions of Global Change (HDGC) analyses are conducted of both direct human activity and indirect social, structural, and institutional issues related to the complex interactions among human and natural systems in a dynamic framework.
    Contacts:
    Robin Cantor/Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research
    703.306.1757 (voice)
    rcantor@nsf.gov

    Cheryl Eavey/Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research
    703.306.1729 (voice)
    ceavey@nsf.gov

    J.W. Harrington/Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research
    703.306.1754 (voice)
    jwharrin@nsf.gov

  • Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) , through international collaboration, analyzes key elements of the ocean carbon cycle and their atmospheric connections.
    Contact:
    Phillip Taylor/Division of Ocean Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1587(voice)
    prtaylor@nsf.gov

  • Land Margin Ecosystems Research (LMER) studies the organization and function of land-margin ecosystems, linkages among these systems and nearby terrestrial and marine systems, and the impacts of major natural perturbations.
    Contacts:
    Scott Collins/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    703.306.1479 (voice)
    scollins@nsf.gov

    Phillip Taylor, Division of Ocean Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1587 (voice)
    prtaylor@nsf.gov

  • Methods and Models for Integrated Assessments (MMIA) research serves to design models and study other methods for undertaking comprehensive assessments that improve predictive understandings of the human and natural dimensions of global change, with special attention given to improving the reliability of methods that can be used to assess the feasibility and impacts of policies for adapting to or mitigating global change.
    Contacts:
    Robin Cantor/Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
    703.306.1757 (voice)
    rcantor@nsf.gov

    Keith Crank/Directorate for Mathematics and Physical Sciences
    703.306.1885 (voice)
    kcrank@nsf.gov

    Jay Fein/Division of Atmospheric Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1527 (voice)
    jfein@nsf.gov

    Bernie Lettau/Office of Polar Programs
    703.306.1033 (voice)
    blettau@nsf.gov

    J. Thomas Callahan/Directorate for Biological Sciences
    703.306.1479 (voice)
    jcallaha@nsf.gov

  • Natural Hazard Reduction researches the causes and effects of natural hazards, societal and behavioral responses, and the means for reducing their impacts, including weather-related hazards (storms, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, floods, droughts), geological hazards (volcanoes, earthquakes), and wildfires. NSF is a participant in the interagency U.S. Weather Research Program, the National Space Weather Program, and the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).
    Contacts:
    Eleonora Sabadell/Division of Civil and Mechanical Systems, ENG
    703.306.1362 (voice)
    esabadel@nsf.gov

    Jim Whitcomb/Division of Earth Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1556 (voice)
    jwhitcom@nsf.gov

    Robin Cantor/Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research
    703.306.1757 (voice)
    rcantor@nsf.gov

    S. Nelson/U.S. Weather Research Program
    703.306.1526 (voice)
    snelson@nsf.gov

    R. Behnke/National Space Weather Program
    703.306.1518 (voice)
    rbehnke@nsf.gov

  • Polar Ozone Depletion/UV Radiation Effects laboratory studies of detailed chemical processes, field observations of concentrations and distribution of chemical species, and improvements in modeling of stratospheric chemistry and dynamics are supported, along with research that focuses on the effects of enhanced UV radiation.
    Contacts:
    Polly Penhale/Office of Polar Programs
    703.306.1033 (voice)
    ppenhale@nsf.gov

    Dennis Peacock/Office of Polar Programs
    dpeacock@nsf.gov

  • Resource Use and Management supports research on the management, conservation, and extraction of renewable resources (terrestrial and marine ecosystems, including grasslands, wetlands, fisheries, and forests) and non- renewable resources (oil gas, minerals, and coal).
    Contact:
    Scott Collins/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    703.306.1479 (voice)
    scollins@nsf.gov

  • Ridge Interdisciplinary Global Experiments (RIDGE) research focuses on the physical, chemical, and biological causes and consequences of energy transfer through time and space between the mid-ocean ridge volcanic system and the ocean environment.
    Contacts:
    David Epp/Division of Ocean Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1586 (voice)
    depp@nsf.gov

    Philip Taylor/Division of Ocean Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1587 (voice)
    prtaylor@nsf.gov

  • Sea Level Changes includes scientific observations and analyses undertaken to improve understanding of the trend in absolute sea level over decadal time frames, and how local and regional tectonics may counter or amplify worldwide sea-level change.
    Contact:
    Michael Mayhew/Division of Earth Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1556 (voice)
    mmayhew@nsf.gov

  • Solar Influences research is supported on aspects of the Earth's space environment that are most important to global change, including the coupling, energetics, and dynamics of atmospheric regions; geospace environment modeling; and radiative inputs of the Sun to Earth.
    Contact:
    Richard Behnke/Division of Atmospheric Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1518 (voice)
    rbehnke@nsf.gov

  • Toxic Substances/Solid and Hazardous Waste involves research on environmental toxicants (e.g., pesticides, oil spills, hazardous waste, and solid waste), including physical analyses, fate and transport, dose response studies, exposure modeling, epidemiology studies, waste prevention, minimization, recycling, and cleanup.
    Contacts:
    Margaret Cavanaugh/Division of Chemistry, MPS
    703.306.1842 (voice)
    mcavanau@nsf.gov

    Robert Wellek/Division of Chemical and Transport Systems, ENG
    703.306.1370 (voice)
    rwellek@nsf.gov

  • Water and Energy: Atmosphere, Vegetative, and Earth Interactions (WEAVE) research is supported to gain better understanding of energy and water in climate processes and to clarify how the atmosphere, surface hydrologic, and biotic processes maintain the global energy balance and feedback to the overall climate system.
    Contacts:
    Scott Collins/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    703.306.1479 (voice)
    scollins@nsf.gov

    Pamela Stephens/Division of Atmospheric Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1528 (voice)
    pstephen@nsf.gov

    L. Douglas James/Division of Earth Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1549 (voice)
    ldjames@nsf.gov

  • Water Resources/Coastal and Marine Environments research focuses on water quality and quantity, integrated watershed management, and coastal and marine systems, including the protection, utilization, and enhancement of water and coastal and marine resources.
    Contacts:
    Penny Firth/Division of Environmental Biology, BIO
    703.306.1480 (voice)
    pfirth@nsf.gov

    Norm Caplan/Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems, ENG
    703.306.1320 (voice)
    ncaplan@nsf.gov

  • World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) observations are made and analyses are conducted to understand global ocean circulation well enough to model its present state, predict its evolution, and relate changes to long term climatic change.
    Contact:
    Richard Lambert/Division of Ocean Sciences, GEO
    703.306.1583 (voice)
    rlambert@nsf.gov

FY96 Funding Opportunities

The following publications describe special funding opportunities related to NSF environment and global change in FY96. These publications are available through STIS and the Home Page, or can be requested from the NSF Publications Unit at 703.306.1130 (voice) or pubs@nsf.gov (e-mail):

  • Methods and Models for Integrated Assessment (MMIA)
    [NSF 96-22]
    Deadline for Proposals: March 11, 1996

  • NSF/EPA Partnership for Environmental Research Opportunities for (I) Water and Watersheds, (II) Technology for a Sustainable Environment, and (III) Decisionmaking and Valuation for Environmental Policy
    [NSF 96-45]
    Deadline for Proposals: May 7, 1996

  • Terrestrial Ecology and Global Change Research (TECO)
    [NSF 96-49]
    Deadline for Proposals: April 26, 1996

Several of these opportunities are supported in conjunction with other agencies of the CENR. For further information on NSF environment and natural resources activities, including information on focused research programs and special Announcements of Opportunity (AOs), contact Leila Harris/Assistant Coordinator for NSF Environment and Global Change Activities at 703.306.0891 (voice) or lharris@nsf.gov (e-mail).

NSF also maintains an electronic mailing list of individuals interested in environment and global change research opportunities. Additions, deletions, or changes to the list should be sent to egc-ext-request @nsf.gov (e-mail).


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