EarthScope: Science, Education, and Related Activities
National Science Foundation
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):
July 16, 2005
July 16, annually
EarthScope: Science, Education, and Related Activities
Synopsis of Program:
EarthScope is an Earth science program to explore the 4-dimensional structure of the North American continent. The EarthScope Program provides a framework for broad, integrated studies across the Earth sciences, including research on fault properties and the earthquake process, strain transfer, magmatic and hydrous fluids in the crust and mantle, plate boundary processes, large-scale continental deformation, continental structure and evolution, and composition and structure of the deep-Earth. In addition, EarthScope offers a centralized forum for Earth science education at all levels and an excellent opportunity to develop cyberinfrastructure to integrate, distribute, and analyze diverse data sets.
The nucleus of the Program is the EarthScope Facility, consisting of the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO), the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD), and the USArray. The EarthScope Facility is a multi-purpose array of instruments and observatories that will greatly expand the observational capabilities of the Earth Sciences and permit us to advance our understanding of the structure, evolution and dynamics of the North American continent. The Facility is designed to continually incorporate technological advances in geophysics, seismology, geodesy, information technology, drilling technology, and downhole instrumentation.
This Solicitation calls for single or collaborative proposals to conduct scientific research associated with the EarthScope Facility and support activities that further the scientific and educational goals of EarthScope.
Cognizant Program Officer(s):
Kaye Shedlock, Program Director, Directorate for Geosciences, Division of Earth Sciences, 785 S, telephone: (703) 292-4693, fax: (703) 292-9025, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):
EarthScope addresses fundamental questions about the evolution of continents and the processes responsible for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Through the integration of scientific information derived from geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and geodesy, the EarthScope program will yield a comprehensive time-dependent picture of the continent far beyond that which any single discipline or technology can achieve. EarthScope includes new observational technologies that will be linked through high performance computing and telecommunication networks. These observational facilities provide a framework for broad, integrated studies across the Earth sciences, including research on fault properties and the earthquake process, crustal strain transfer, magmatic and hydrous fluids in the crust and upper mantle, plate boundary processes, large-scale continental deformation, continental structure and evolution, deep-Earth structure, and associated educational aspects.
The integrated observing systems that will comprise the EarthScope Facility include: USArray that maps in 3-D the earth’s interior by means of seismic and magnetotelluric systems; Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) that monitors the distortion of the earth’s surface by means of geodetic systems; and the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) that defines the conditions and physics of an active plate boundary fault at depth. These systems capitalize on recent developments in sensor technology and communications to provide Earth scientists with synoptic and high-resolution data derived from a variety of geophysical sensors. The intent is that all data from the EarthScope Facility will be openly available in near-real-time to maximize participation from the scientific community and to provide on-going educational outreach to students and the public. Proposals requesting the use of flexarray portable seismometers and/or campaign GPS may request that data collected using these instruments be governed by UNAVCO and/or IRIS/PASSCAL data archiving and accessibility deadlines:
This Solicitation requests single or collaborative proposals that address the science, education, and related support activities of the EarthScope Program.
The rich fabric of tectonic provinces in North America provides a solid scientific framework for a major program to investigate the relationships among processes and structures over a wide range of scales within the crust, lithosphere, and mantle, with the goal of understanding the tectonic and geologic processes that have constructed the continents. The North American Continent is also ideally located with respect to global seismicity to provide unprecedented views of the deep mantle. Science proposals submitted in response to this solicitation should address scientific targets that make use of, integrate, or complement data acquired by the EarthScope Facility.
EarthScope incorporates data from new observational systems in seismology, geodesy, and down-hole monitoring. Collectively, these systems provide synoptic data sets to address the science and education goals of EarthScope. For construction and operation purposes, these systems are grouped into three facility components (USArray, PBO, and SAFOD). Data from all three components will be openly available through distributed networks in near-real time. From the perspective of the user, these systems will provide seamless data streams for research and education. Information on the current status and future timetable for the EarthScope Facility is provided on the EarthScope Facility website (www.earthscope.org).
EarthScope encompasses a broad array of scientific targets within the context of the North American continent. Examples include, but are not limited to:
The infrastructure provided by the EarthScope Facility (USArray, PBO and SAFOD) presents a multidisciplinary field laboratory that can stimulate new mechanisms for collaboration, data integration, and data management of a diverse suite of geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data sets. Proposals are invited for supporting or complementary infrastructure, such as: aerial image acquisition or archive, physical archives for EarthScope materials, upgrade of geochemical facilities, other infrastructure needs. Proposals are encouraged that show evidence of collaborative arrangements between academic and/or industry groups. Activities related to support of EarthScope community coordination, planning, workshops, and development of community resources and products are also welcomed. The EarthScope Facility Office is available to provide organizational and logistical support for EarthScope-related workshops.
The EarthScope Facility is designed to provide an integrated database and archive access capability applying the tools from modern data management and information technologies. Proposals are invited that will extend the power and capabilities of this database through information technology advances, and that will provide standardized data, visualization and analysis tools, and data integration products to the scientific and education communities. This includes facilitating the adoption of standards for data exchange for geologic data and the transcription of existing data into these standards. Pilot projects or prototype development for producing and distributing EarthScope products such as tomographic velocity inversions, GPS velocity vectors, surface wave dispersion, etc. are also encouraged.
Proposals to this competition should include aspects of the following elements:
EarthScope Education and Outreach (E&O)
The EarthScope program invites proposals to address or coordinate program-wide education and outreach objectives. Applicants should be aware of the recommendations articulated in the EarthScope Education and Outreach Plan and related documents on the EarthScope Project Plan and EarthScope Science Plan (www.earthscope.org). EarthScope E&O projects should strive to integrate research components of EarthScope with activities that are broadly defined to include formal instruction at all levels and informal education for the community-at-large. Partnerships or collaborations are strongly encouraged among the members of the EarthScope or other educational communities. Proposals funded in this round may include demonstration products or pilot projects that may be scalable to support larger EarthScope E&O activities in future years. For example, these may include community data products for distribution through an EarthScope data portal that are accessible to students and non-specialists, and teaching modules that will allow EarthScope resources to be incorporated into an inquiry-based learning experience consistent with national educational standards. Supplemental proposal preparation and review criteria for education and outreach proposals are given in Sections V and VI.
Earth Science (EarthScope)/Earthquake Engineering (NEES) Research Opportunities
The George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) is a national, shared use experimental resource for advancing understanding and improving the design and performance of the Nation’s constructed civil and mechanical infrastructure when subjected to earthquake excitation and tsunamis. NEES is a shared national research and education network of 15 experimental facilities and centralized data and model repositories, linked by high-speed Internet2 connections. These resources enable collaboration and advanced research based on experimentation and computational simulations of earthquakes and how buildings, infrastructure, coastal regions, and geologic materials perform during seismic events. NEES will enable engineers and researchers to develop more cost-effective ways to mitigate damage from natural and man-made disasters through the use of improved materials, designs, monitoring tools and construction techniques.The NEES and EarthScope facilities provide complementary capabilities to extend the continuum and interface of knowledge and technology in Earth Sciences and earthquake engineering. Co-funding opportunities will be considered between EAR, through this solicitation, and by the Directorate for Engineering, Division of Civil and Mechanical Systems, for projects that propose research requiring coordinated use of both NEES and EarthScope facilities. Proposals should address both the requirements of this solicitation and the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Research (NEESR) solicitation (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf05527). Proposals will be co-reviewed by ad hoc mail reviews and/or panels formed to review proposals under both solicitations.
EarthScope Imagery and Geochronology
The EarthScope program invites proposals that include the acquisition of aerial and satellite imagery and geochronology that will examine the strain field beyond the decade time scales available from the PBO geodetic instrumentation. A goal of EarthScope is the improved understanding of the tectonic evolution of the North American continent. Identifying and understanding deformation rates in all tectonic regimes is critical to reaching that goal. Proposals should indicate how the imagery or geochronology will contribute to the success of EarthScope.
In the development of proposals in response to this Program Solicitation, advantage should be made of planning workshops and other reports that have been developed for EarthScope and are available through the EarthScope Website (www.earthscope.org). These include:
EarthScope: An Unprecedented Opportunity for Education and Outreach in the Earth Sciences - Education and Outreach Program Plan, 2002.
EarthScope: Scientific Targets for the World's Largest Observatory Pointed at the Solid Earth -Workshop Report, 2001.
EarthScope: A New View Into Earth - Project Plan, 2001.
The Plate Boundary Observatory: Creating a Four-Dimensional Image of the Deformation of Western North America, 2000.
USArray: A synoptic investigation of the structure, dynamics, and evolution of the North American continent, 1999.
Scientific Drilling into the San Andreas Fault at Parkfield, CA: Project Overview and Operational Plan, 1999.
The categories of proposers identified in the Grant Proposal Guide are eligible to submit proposals under this program announcement/solicitation.
Full Proposal Instructions:
Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF Website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from email@example.com.
The following information provides instructions that supplement the Grant Proposal Guide.
The proposal budget should include support for presentation of results at EarthScope Annual Meetings.
Proposed activities that require Facility support (PBO, SAFOD, and/or USArray) outside that requested in the submitting organization(s) proposal budget(s), or that require permits, etc., should include support commitment letters and/or permits as appendices. Note: This is not a cost sharing requirement.
For EarthScope Education and Outreach proposals, the following items should be included in the 15-page Project Description and will be considered in the review:
Proposers are reminded to identify the program announcement/solicitation number (04-589) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
Cost sharing is not required by NSF in proposals submitted under this Program Solicitation.
Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):
Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this announcement/solicitation through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program announcement/solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this announcement/solicitation.
Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Proposers are no longer required to provide a paper copy of the signed Proposal Cover Sheet to NSF. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov
Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed research or education project. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest, at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.
The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals at its meeting on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.
On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. NSF continues to strengthen its internal processes to ensure that both of the merit review criteria are addressed when making funding decisions.
In an effort to increase compliance with these requirements, the January 2002 issuance of the GPG incorporated revised proposal preparation guidelines relating to the development of the Project Summary and Project Description. Chapter II of the GPG specifies that Principal Investigators (PIs) must address both merit review criteria in separate statements within the one-page Project Summary. This chapter also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative.
Effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. It is believed that these changes to NSF proposal preparation and processing guidelines will more clearly articulate the importance of broader impacts to NSF-funded projects.
The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgments.
NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:
Because the EarthScope facility construction is just beginning, proposals will be judged additionally on their relevance to facilitating planning and organization, defining community data products that will help integrate different EarthScope data types and/or create synergy among the various EarthScope components, developing community tools and other similar activities while awaiting commencement of facilities operations.
The following items will be considered in the review of proposals that are primarily for EarthScope Education and Outreach:
All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation will be reviewed by Ad Hoc Review followed by Panel Review.
Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.
A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.
NSF is striving to be able to tell proposers whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the closing date of an announcement/solicitation, or the date of proposal receipt, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.
In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.
Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program Division administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See section VI.A. for additional information on the review process.)
An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF-GC-1); * or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions (CA-1). Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.
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For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.
Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, the PI also is required to submit a final project report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and processing of pending proposals for the PI and all Co-PIs. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.
PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project reporting system, available through FastLane, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. This system permits electronic submission and updating of project reports, including information on project participants (individual and organizational), activities and findings, publications, and other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.
General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:
Kaye Shedlock, Program Director, Directorate for Geosciences, Division of Earth Sciences, 785 S, telephone: (703) 292-4693, fax: (703) 292-9025, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:
Brian E. Dawson, Directorate for Geosciences, 705 N, telephone: (703) 292-4727, fax: (703) 292-9042, email: email@example.com
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