text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
News
design element
News
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
News Archive
News by Research Area
Arctic & Antarctic
Astronomy & Space
Biology
Chemistry & Materials
Computing
Earth & Environment
Education
Engineering
Mathematics
Nanoscience
People & Society
Physics
 

Email this pagePrint this page


Press Release 12-128
NSF Research Dollars Fortify America's Science and Engineering Infrastructure

Alaska, Utah and Wyoming are provided funding to bolster research capability and address pressing state concerns

Photo of graduate student Mary-Catherine Leewis preparing a soil sample for testing.

Alaska Fairbanks graduate student Mary-Cathrine Leewis prepares a sample of soil for testing.
Credit and Larger Version

July 13, 2012

Three projects aimed at creating world-class research resources and making them available to the academic community recently received $60 million from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

Representing a consortium of regional institutions, each award recipient will receive $20 million over a five year period in Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 awards to bolster science and engineering academic research infrastructure. The awards will go to three states: Alaska, Utah and Wyoming.

"These RII awards provide resources to fortify the physical, human and cyber infrastructure that lays the groundwork for competitive research," said Denise Barnes, acting head of NSF's EPSCoR program. "Each project is statewide in scope and rich in complexity. Each blends the research talent of individual researchers, institutions and organizations with the development of a diverse, STEM-enabled workforce necessary to enhance and sustain research competitiveness and catalyze knowledge-based economic development."

A brief description of the projects and the lead institutions for the three awards are below.

ALASKA - The University of Alaska (UA) Fairbanks

The Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments (Alaska ACE) project, Alaska's fourth RII Track-1 award, will examine how the pronounced changes in environmental and natural processes affect and are affected by the adaptation strategies of Alaskan communities.

Three place-based studies in the southeast, south-central and northern regions of Alaska seek to evaluate vulnerabilities, resilience and adaptive capacities of Alaskan communities to regional changes in landscape and water resources.  Research will take place at the three main campuses of the University of Alaska (UA) in the urban centers of Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau. In addition, research will take place in 13 satellite campuses in rural areas across Alaska, a Tribal College, and at several learning centers in small communities around the state.

Alaska ACE will advance interdisciplinary research and translate research results into visualization tools useful for researchers, local communities, resource managers and policy makers. The project team will also examine extrapolation of the models of community resilience and adaptation to other regions of the nation and world. The program will train and educate a diverse set of students across Alaska, including Native Alaskans, and strengthen partnerships with local communities, businesses, government and non-government organizations.

UTAH - Utah State University (USU)

The iUTAH project --innovative Urban Transitions and Arid-region Hydro-sustainability--is Utah EPSCoR's first RII Track-1 award. The project considers one of the most important problems facing the western United States: the problem of current and future water provision under climate change coupled with increasing demand for water on account of urbanization. The research examines the fundamental interactions and dynamic feedbacks among hydroclimate and the ecological and human aspects of urban and montane landscapes.

Participants in the project include researchers from seven institutions of higher education: Utah State University, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, Utah Valley University and Westminster College of Salt Lake City, as well as participants from business, government and the citizenry of Utah.

iUTAH will identify how physical and human systems interact to affect water supply, demand and management. Investments in instrumentation, data collection, modeling and professional expertise  support the exploration and evaluation of alternative water futures for Utah.

WYOMING - University of Wyoming (UW)

This RII Track-1 award--the single largest grant in the history of the University of Wyoming--will fund compelling research addressing a pressing regional need: understanding water sources and distribution in the arid Mountain West.  This funding seeks to enhance Wyoming's scientific research capability by enabling a better understanding the mechanisms by which water is transformed from precipitation (snow and rain) into river flow, groundwater recharge or soil moisture and how these mechanisms respond to natural and human-made changes.

The research will involve Wyoming's community colleges, the Wind River Tribal College, the Arapaho Ranch, Jackson State University in Mississippi and several federal, state and private business partners.

This project focuses on developing a multidisciplinary center for a comprehensive research program linking surface and subsurface watershed hydrology, geophysics, remote sensing and computational modeling, boosted by UW's association with the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center that is nearing completion and slated to come on line later this year.

The project supports water research in areas of key importance to Wyoming, generating products and tools of use to water resource managers charged with allocating scarce resources and forecasting water deliveries in an environment of profound hydrological change. Also included is a vigorous mentoring and recruitment effort to attract Native American, Hispanic, African-American and female students, along with persons with disabilities, to the state's science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, lisajoy@nsf.gov
Rita Teutonico, University of Utah, rita.teutonico@usu.edu
Chad R. Baldwin, University of Wyoming, (307) 766-2929, cbaldwin@uwyo.edu
Tom Moran, University of Alaska Fairbanks, (907) 474-5581, thomasmmoran@gmail.com

Program Contacts
Denise M. Barnes, NSF, (703) 292-5179, dbarnes@nsf.gov
Todd Crowl, Utah State University, (435) 797-2498, facrowl@gmail.com
Anne Sylvester, University of Wyoming, (307) 766-4993, annesyl@uwyo.edu
Peter Schweitzer, University of Alaska Fairbanks, (907) 474-5015, ppschweitzer@alaska.edu

Related Websites
NSF EPSCoR Homepage: http://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/programs/epscor/about.jsp
OCI - EPSCoR Dear Colleague Letter: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf12083
University of Wyoming press release: http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/index.html
UW Receives Biggest-Ever Research Grant to Study Water: http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/2012/07/uw-receives-biggest-ever-research-grant-to-study-water.html

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

 

Photo of University of Wyoming Associate Professor Scott Miller measuring streamflow in a creek.
UW Associate Professor Scott Miller measure streamflow in a creek in Wyoming's Snowy Range.
Credit and Larger Version

Photo of Alexander Kolodov and Mike LaDouceur examining an Arctic weathering station.
Alaskan postdoc Alexander Kolodov and undergrad Mike LaDouceur examine an Arctic weather station.
Credit and Larger Version

Photo of University of Wyoming student Sarah Ann Gregory gathering water samples for research.
UW student Sarah Ann Gregory gathers water samples at Spring Creek in Laramie for research.
Credit and Larger Version



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page