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Media Advisory 14-010

NSF-funded science and engineering research programs drive economic growth

Project directors from EPSCoR states to brief congressional audience

Collage of images showing a fish, an electric pole, a scientist and a girl participating in EPSCoR

The girl in the image on the far right is a participant in Idaho EPSCoR's HOIST program.

April 30, 2014

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Investing in basic research in science and engineering yields positive economic benefits for America and for the state or region that hosts each project. This is the underlying value of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, known as EPSCoR. NSF EPSCoR promotes strategic investments in science and engineering programs that build research and development capacity in 31 states and jurisdictions. EPSCoR projects enhance scientific discovery, strengthen research infrastructure and spur technological innovations that drive economic growth. These projects support NSF's strategic goal, seeking to ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront of transformative research and development.

Media are invited to attend a briefing that will spotlight programs in four EPSCoR jurisdictions: Idaho, Arkansas, South Dakota and the Virgin Islands.

  • Hear about the development of tools and techniques that enable a natural resource-based economy to compete in the global marketplace;
  • Learn about how water may be more efficiently managed during times of drought or flooding to minimize economic hardship;
  • See how one area mitigates the degradation of coral reefs, decline in fish catches and threats to health of the sea;
  • Listen to case studies of collaborations among institutions of higher education, business and local government.

A diversity of research programs in these areas not only bolsters each region's economic health and vitality, but also builds capacity for research and development in the U.S.

What:EPSCoR Innovations: Generating a Strong Economy

Cora Marrett, Deputy Director, National Science Foundation

Paul L. Hill, Chancellor, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

Peter Goodwin, Project Director, Idaho EPSCoR

Gail McClure, Project Director, Arkansas EPSCoR

Henry Smith, Project Director, Virgin Islands EPSCoR

James A. Rice, Project Director, South Dakota EPSCoR

When:Friday, May 2, 2014, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Where:Senate Visitors Center (SVC) 209-08, 703-292-8311

About the speakers:

Cora Marrett serves as deputy director of the National Science Foundation. She was confirmed in May 2011. She served as NSF's acting director twice, from June to October 2010, and from March 2013 to March 2014, and acting deputy director from January 2009 to January 2011. Prior to January 2009, Marrett was the assistant director for NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

Paul L. Hill has served as chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission since May of 2012, prior to which he served as the system's interim chancellor and as vice chancellor for science and research. Hill has more than 25 years of experience in academic research, grant administration and public policy development and has held CEO positions in state, federal and private organizations. As executive director of West Virginia EPSCoR, he helped design and manage a number of research initiatives with academic institutions including the West Virginia Research Trust Fund, known as "Bucks for Brains."

Peter Goodwin serves as the Idaho EPSCoR Project Director. He is the DeVlieg Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Center for Ecohydraulics Research at the University of Idaho. His research involves systems approaches to ecological restoration of river, wetland and estuarine systems and creating simulation models for flood management, sediment management, geomorphic evolution and environmental management. He serves as scientific advisor for several government agencies related to river and wetland management, was lead scientist at the California Bay-Delta Science Program and past-chair of the Louisiana Coastal Area Science Board.

Gail McClure serves as the Arkansas EPSCoR Project Director. A public school chemistry/biology teacher and toxicologist and molecular epidemiologist by training, she spent many years in medical research managing clinical translational studies, most of which focused on cancer research and metabolic risk factors. McClure is the principal investigator of NSF's EPSCoR project, ASSET Initiative (Advancing and Supporting Science, Engineering and Technology), an Arkansas-wide interdisciplinary research program involving seven universities that target innovative solar cell technologies, energy grid research and plant biotechnology research.

James A. Rice serves as the South Dakota EPSCoR Project Director. He also serves as professor and head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at South Dakota State University. In these roles, he has been project director and principal investigator on national competitive research grants totaling more than $47 million in research interests such as solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance, small-angle scattering and the application of these techniques in environmental chemistry and geochemistry.

Henry H. Smith serves as the Virgin Islands EPSCoR Project Director and director of the Virgin Islands Water Resources Research Institute at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). He has served as senior water resources planner for the U. S. Virgin Islands, director of the International Center for Water Resources Management at Central State University in Ohio, and in several capacities at UVI including vice provost for research and public service, interim provost and interim vice president for institutional advancement.


Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, email:

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.

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