NSF EAR Express Update - Autumn 2022
October 21, 2022
A Message from the Division Director for NSF's Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)
As we start the 2023 fiscal year, EAR looks forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and American Geophysical Union (AGU) meetings. EAR returned from National Association of Black Geoscientists (NABG) and Geological Society of America (GSA) meetings even more energized, and I am certain the same will follow from SACNAS and AGU. We have had a particularly busy, and productive, summer and these in-person meetings provide an opportunity for us all to learn, share, and celebrate the amazing work being down through NSF support.
To that end, we are pleased to share with you highlights from our new funding opportunities, including the Opportunities for Research and Education in the Critical Zone, Geoscience Research Experiences for Post-Baccalaureate Students, Center for Innovation and Community Engagement in Solid Earth Geohazards, and the Facility for Open Research in a Compressed Environment. You have inspired us by your proposals, community engagement, and enthusiasm to push the boundaries of our science, education, and outreach. Looking ahead, EAR is excited to help implement the FY23 budget priorities, specifically to accelerate research and development in climate change and clean energy, advance equity in science and engineering, and build the research infrastructure needed for our community.
We also want to welcome our new staff and say farewell to our colleagues who returned to their institutions, moved on to new opportunities, and one in particular – Robin Reichlin – who recently retired from NSF after 27 years. It is hard to capture all that Robin has done for EAR, NSF, and the community at large. She has had a major impact on EAR and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work so closely with her this past year.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the appropriate program directors, or send me an email, if you have questions or something to share.
Dr. Jessica Robin
Acting Division Director, Earth Sciences
NSF mourns the loss of Dr. Thomas Meixner
NSF joins our community in mourning the tragic loss of Dr. Thomas Meixner, a beloved mentor, teacher, and scholar. Dr. Meixner was a leader in the field of hydrology and served as Professor and Head of the University of Arizona’s Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.
He led transformational research on water resources in urban landscapes, innovations in undergraduate STEM education, and impacts of climate change on groundwater and ecosystem resilience. His thoughtful insights, focus on mentoring, and generosity of time made him a sought-after reviewer and panelist. We extend our sincerest condolences and support to his family, friends, student, colleagues and the entire geosciences community. Dr. Meixner exemplified the scholarly excellence, integrity, and kindness we all strive for and will be missed.
EAR Staffing Updates
Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) welcomes Dr. Wendy Panero, Dr. Alberto Perez-Huerta, and Jessica McKay to EAR. Dr. Panero will join the Geophysics Program, Dr. Perez-Huerta the Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology (SGP) Program, and Jessica McKay will serve as the new EAR Science Assistant. Learn more about them here.
EAR thanks Dr. Julie Pett-Ridge and Dr. Curtis Williams for their service to the Division as their respective program director terms end. Dr. Pett-Ridge returns to her home institution, Oregon State University, and Dr. Douglas Kowalewski and Jonathon Wynn will serve as interim Program Directors for the Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry (GG) program.
EAR also says goodbye to Robin Reichlin who retired in September. Her service and dedication to EAR, NSF, and the community at large will be missed by us all. Please read about her career at NSF here.
Navigating NSF and GEO
EAR Program Director Dr. Jennifer Wade created a video on Navigating NSF and the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) for scientists thinking about applying for NSF funding for the first time. In this video Dr. Wade discusses proposal preparation, the merit review process, opportunities in NSF and GEO, and resources to learn more information.
Opportunities for Research and Education in the Critical Zone (ORE-CZ)
EAR collaborated with the Division of Human Resources Development (HRD) on five awards through the Opportunities for Research and Education in the Critical Zone DCL, which aimed to i) increase the participation in the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZNet) of minority-serving institutions, primarily undergraduate institutions, early-career researchers, and others; ii) develop education or outreach programs that increase the involvement of faculty and students from underserved communities; and iii) enhance partnerships and collaboration with the current CZNet Thematic Clusters.
The new awards build upon the CZNet, including the Coastal Critical Zone and Dynamic Storage Clusters, and adds a new dimension to Critical-Zone research by focusing on glacial environments, all while expanding the cadre of people involved in the growing field of Critical-Zone research. Click here to see the 5 ORE-CZ awards.
Geoscience Research Experiences for Post-Baccalaureate Students (GEO-REPS)
Last spring EAR released a new Dear Colleague Letter, Geoscience Research Experiences for Post-Baccalaureate Students (GEO-REPS) Supplemental Funding Opportunity, which supports research training for post-baccalaureate individuals who did not have access to these opportunities as undergraduates due to the pandemic. EAR is excited for the high-quality mentoring to post-baccalaureates that will come from this opportunity, which will be critical for mitigating disrupted learning due to the pandemic.
Center for Innovation and Community Engagement in Solid Earth Geohazards
EAR is excited to announce four new Center Catalyst awards through the Centers for Innovation and Community Engagement in Solid Earth Geohazards program, which supports centers and center catalyst activities to address challenges for understanding solid Earth geohazards. The new Track I awards provide resources to initiate development activities for centers focusing on earthquake, volcano, and landslide research, and training future scientists in solid Earth geohazard science. Read more about the Track I Center Catalyst awards.
The Frontier Research in Earth Sciences (FRES)
The FRES program will be hosting an informational webinar on Tuesday November 8 from 2:30-3:30 pm EST. Tune in to find out more about the program, the current portfolio, and how to apply. Please register here.
New Programs & Opportunities
Paleo Perspectives on Present and Projected Climate (P4CLIMATE)
EAR recently released a new solicitation, Paleo Perspectives on Present and Projected Climate (P4CLIMATE). The interdisciplinary P4CLIMATE solicitation seeks to utilize observational and modeling studies to provide paleo perspectives addressing the two research themes: 1) Past Regional and Seasonal Climate; and 2) Past Climate Forcing, Sensitivity, and Feedbacks.
All P4 proposals were due on October 20, 2022. For questions about the P4CLIMATE solicitation, please contact Jonathan Wynn or Doug Kowalewski at email@example.com.
Earth Sciences Instrumentation and Facilities (EAR/IF)
EAR recently released a revised Earth Sciences Instrumentation and Facilities (EAR/IF) solicitation, NSF 22-577, which solicits proposals for research infrastructure to advance understanding of Earth Systems. Additions to the prior EAR/IF solicitation include i) new opportunities for U.S. community colleges and minority-serving, non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education to request educational infrastructure funding, ii) technician support, and iii) continental drilling planning proposals. Please review the solicitation for a full list of revisions.
NSF Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure-1 (MSRI-1)
The 2022 NSF Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure-1 (MSRI-1) solicitation was just released, which supports the design and implementation of major research infrastructure. The preliminary proposal due date is January 5, 2023. Full proposal (by invitation only) are due May 5, 2023. Additional information for developing a strong Project Execution Plan can be found in NSF’s Research Infrastructure Guide. Please contact Dr. Doug Kowalewski with questions about the MSRI-1 program.
Dear Colleague Letter: Planning Proposals to Catalyze Innovative and Inclusive Wildland Fire Science through Diverse Collaborations
EAR's new DCL, Planning Proposals to Catalyze Innovative and Inclusive Wildland Fire Science through Diverse Collaborations, calls for planning proposals focused on catalyzing innovative and inclusive wildland fire science through collaboration among diverse stakeholders and rights holders. Planning proposals can be submitted at any time but should be submitted no later than May 31, 2023 for consideration during Fiscal Year 2023. Questions on planning proposal preparation or this DCL may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Approaching Proposal Deadlines
The EAR Postdoctoral Fellowships (EAR-PF) Program, NSF 22-625, provides awards to recent recipients of doctoral degrees to conduct an integrated program of independent research and professional development. The EAR PF has a deadline of November 2, 2022. Please contact Aisha Morris or Jennifer Wenner at email@example.com with questions.
Collaborative Research: Subduction Zone Research in 4 Dimensions (SZ4D) Catalyst
EAR is excited to continue our long-standing partnership with the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) to support SZ4D, a new collaborative research project led by the University of California-Santa Cruz (2221947) with Georgia Tech (2221948) and IRIS and UNAVCO (2221949). SZ4D is a community-driven initiative that brings together scientists who study earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, and tsunami driving processes to make the next big leaps in subduction zone research. SZ4D strives for an inclusive science community and a broader understanding of geohazards to address social justice and equity issues in hazard mitigation.
The draft Implementation Plan is available here. An upcoming SZ4D Community Meeting in November, 2022 presents an opportunity for the community to provide feedback and discuss the ongoing planning efforts.
Facility for Open Research in a Compressed Environment (FORCE)
EAR’s first MSRI-I project, FORCE, recently completed its first year. FORCE is an open national facility at Arizona State University that will provide access to a combination of high-pressure capabilities not previously available in the U.S. FORCE will also support student training and internships, workshops, and postdoctoral fellowship programs. FORCE has accomplished much in its first year, and plans on slowly ramping up operations in years 4-5. For more information, contact Kurt Leinenweber.
Community Report on Near-Surface Geophysics Released
The Defining Research and Teaching Priorities that Could be Advanced Through a Near-Surface Geophysics Center report details the outcomes of a community survey, townhall, and three facilitated workshops designed to collect and organize community input and recommendations about needs and opportunities in near-surface geophysics. The community effort was supported by EAR-2139353 to the American Geophysical Union. The steering committee was led by Xavier Comas and Sarah Kruse and the community activities yielded input from over 1,000 participants.
National Association of Black Geoscientists (NABG)
EAR had a strong showing at the 41st Annual Technical Conference of The National Association of Black Geoscientists (NABG) in Houston, Texas and online. This year’s theme was “Reimagining the Geosciences.” Geoscience disciplines represented this year included environmental geoscience, geophysics, hydrology, planetary geology, neotectonics, paleoclimatology, structural geology, and global tectonics. A record number of students (>160) expressed an interest in participating. Student participants to the 41st Annual Technical Conference of the National Association of Black Geoscientists are supported by GEO-2231597.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) board meetings
Long-term Solutions to Improve U.S. Drinking Water Services:
Water Science and Technology Board Fall 2002 Meeting, Tuesday, November 1, 2022, noon-5pm ET
Remining as a Domestic Critical Mineral Resource:
Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Fall 2022 Meeting, Thursday, November 3, 2022, 10:00am - 4:30pm ET
Mine of the Future:
Committee on Earth Resources Fall 2022 Meeting, Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 10:30am - 3:30pm ET
Electromagnetic Methods to Study the Solid Earth:
Committee on Solid Earth Geophysics Fall 2022 Meeting, Wednesday, November 28, 2022, 9:00am - 5:00pm ET
The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.