Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence: In FY 1999 BIO will include an increase of $24.50 million for KDI. Plans will include: · Knowledge Networking: An increase of $14.0 million will support integrating data and developing models of complex systems across multiple scales in space and time; developing protocols to foster the interoperability of biological databases; using inter-active datasets for real-time simulation and control of experiments; and mining biological databases to gain a better understanding of the functions of genes.
· Learning and Intelligent Systems: An increase of $1.0 million will support areas of research such as the behavior and function of neural networks.
· New Challenges in Computation: An increase of $9.50 million will support research such as the use of new or improved computational tools, algorithms, and technologies that will enhance understanding of the complexity in structure, function, and behavior of biological systems; and using advanced computational algorithms and linkages among diverse databases.
Life and Earth's Environment: In FY1999, BIO will provide an increase of $13.36 million for LEE to be used to enhance areas of emphasis within BIO including: biodiversity studies; environmental impacts on life forms (and vice versa); environmental informatics including interoperable/interrelational biodiversity databases; and fundamental research on the role of environmental perturbations that disrupt the endocrine system in individual organisms.
The increase will also allow for development of focused new components within this area of emphasis:
· Life in Extreme Environments (LExEn): +$2.0 million to enhance support for programs to study the relationships between organisms and extreme environments.
· Urban Communities: +$1.0 million to develop a system of observatories in human-dominated ecosystems where long-term studies of critical ecological processes will be initiated. Additional support will be applied to the study of urban communities as ecological systems, including Urban Long Term Ecological Research sites.
· Global Change: + $1.75 million to enhance support for research on ecological diversity.
· Integrated Research Challenges in Environmental Biology: +$4.26 million to initiate a special competition that focuses on complex environmental questions that require a multi-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to answer. Planning activities and workshops related to this competition took place in FY 1998.
· Environmental Observatories: +$2.50 million to fund research to characterize the microorganisms from a series of sites, ranging from extreme environments such as hot springs and frozen tundra to more moderate environments. This research will be carried out at a network of biological platforms-such as LTER sites, biological field stations, and marine laboratories.
Educating for the Future: In FY 1999, BIO will provide an increase of $5.75 million for EFF, which includes support for a range of programs supporting innovative approaches to meeting the challenge of educating students for the 21st century. Plans will include:
· Integration of Research and Education:
- Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): An increase of $1.25 million will enhance support for REU. This program