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NSF Earth Sciences Express Update - Winter 2021

NSF Earth Science Express Update - Winter 2021 Banner, shows three pictures of an erupting volcano, a layered rock, and an exploding geyser of water.

NSF Earth Science Express Update - Winter 2021 Banner


February 24, 2021

A message from EAR Division Director Dr. Steven Goldstein

Dr. Steven Goldstein has written a letter to the Earth Sciences community pertaining to his vision for EAR in the coming years including dealing with the lasting impacts of COVID-19, the Earth in Time report, and promoting JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) initiatives.

Funding priority to support students, technicians, and postdoctoral researchers

The Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) recognizes the major impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on the scientific community. In this context, EAR has prioritized consideration of supplemental funding requests to support specific classes of personnel in the Earth sciences community whose appointments have been interrupted, delayed, or otherwise disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. EAR funds have been prioritized for supplemental requests for salary, fringe, and indirect costs to support three categories of personnel: 1) students at all levels; 2) technicians; and 3) postdoctoral researchers. The goal of this priority for supplemental support to EAR awards is to provide bridge funding to directly assist existing personnel. For more information, please see the Letter from the Earth Sciences Division Director.

New Talent

Dr. Raleigh Martin joins EAR as a new Program Director in the Geoinformatics Program. Raleigh previously served as American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Congressional Fellow and professional staff with the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to that, Raleigh was an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the NSF Geosciences Directorate. Based on his research background in geomorphology and sediment transport, Dr. Martin is also helping to manage the Geomorphology and Land-use Dynamics (GLD) program.

Dr. Elizabeth W. Boyer started her term as an IPA Program Director in Hydrologic Sciences (HS). Elizabeth is a Professor of Water Resources in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University. Her research explores coupled processes affecting status and trends of water quality. Boyer has over 10 years of administrative experience, having served as Assistant Director of Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and as Director of the Pennsylvania Resources Research Center. EAR would like to thank Dr. Ingrid Padilla for her two-year service as an IPA Program Director for HS and other NSF programs.

Dr. Julie Pett-Ridge also started her term as an IPA Program Director in Geobiology and Low Temperature Geochemistry (GG). Julie was a NERC Fellow in Earth Science at the University of Oxford for two years before beginning her faculty position in Oregon State University's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences in 2009. She is also an adjunct professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science at Oregon State. Julie studies chemical weathering, soil formation, and biogeochemical cycling, primarily using fieldwork and analytical isotope and trace element geochemistry. EAR would like to thank Dr. Phil Bennett for his two-year service as an IPA Program Director in GG and may other programs.

Staff Changes

Dr. Eva Zanzerkia has been appointed as Acting Section Head of the Disciplinary Programs (DP) Section in EAR. Eva brings extensive experience to this position after serving in several roles within the Division of Earth Sciences, (EAR) including Acting Section Head of DP in 2017 and Program Director for Geophysics. Dr. Zanzerkia’s scientific interests include seismology, geodesy, and rock deformation as well as data infrastructure and high-performance computing. EAR would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Wade for serving as Acting Section Head of DP for two terms. Jennifer has resumed her position as a Program Director in Petrology and Geochemistry.

Dear Colleague Letters

NSF 21-045 Pilot Projects to Integrate Existing Data and Data-Focused Cyberinfrastructure to Enable Community-level Discovery Pathways
NSF 21-029 Research Internships for Graduate Students at Air Force Research Laboratory (NSF-AFRL INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity
NSF 21-019 Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI)
NSF 21-021 Career-Life Balance (CLB) Supplemental Funding Requests
NSF 21-022 Research Coordination and Planning Opportunities for the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
NSF 21-029 Research Internships for Graduate Students at Air Force Research Laboratory (NSF-AFRL INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity
NSF 20-094 Special Guidelines for Submitting Collaborative Proposals under National Science Foundation (NSF) and US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Collaborative Research Opportunities
NSF 20-104 Planning for GEO-themed Industry University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRCs)
NSF 20-106 Special Guidelines for Submitting Proposals for NSF/GEO/EAR - MOST-Taiwan (GEMT) Collaborative Research
NSF 20-124 Competition of Management and Operations of synchrotron-hosted analytical capabilities for Earth sciences research
NSF 20-132 Future of International Research Collaboration Post COVID-19

Approaching Proposal Deadlines

2/25 NSF 21-536 National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
3/1 NSF 21-588 Spectrum Innovation Initiative: National Center for Wireless Spectrum Research (SII-Center)
3/2 NSF 21-515 EarthCube: Developing a Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geoscience
3/5 NSF 21-524 Navigating the New Arctic (NNA)
3/10 NSF 20-570 Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC)
3/23 NSF 21-548 Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier: Core Research
4/1 NSF 21-549 Center for Advancement and Synthesis of Open Environmental Data and Sciences
8/6 NSF 20-554 ADVANCE: Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions; Recorded Webinar
8/16 NSF 19-561 Geoinformatics (GI)
9/21 NSF 20-598 International Research Experience for Students (IRES)
10/4 NSF 20-569 Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES)
10/11 NSF  21-511 Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations (AccelNet); FAQ
(No deadline) NSF 21-547 Geomorphology and Land-use Dynamics (GLD) 

Upcoming Webinars

Virtual Town Hall with NSF Hydrologic Sciences Program Directors organized by CUAHSI Monday, April 5, at 3:30 PM ET – Program Directors will discuss the scientific focus of NSF’s Hydrologic Sciences Program, emerging areas of research, and how to write a competitive proposal. Program Directors will also discuss how the Hydrologic Sciences program is working to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the research community.

Virtual NSF Grants Conference NSF hosted the very first NSF Virtual Grants Conference in November 2020. The final on-demand video recordings and conference presentations are now available.

GEO Virtual Office Hours presentation slides from December 2, 2020 are now available.

EAR-Funded Research in the News

How rain can move mountains
Science Advances NSF EAR 1049888

Lost and found: Geologists 'resurrect' missing tectonic plate
Geol Soc Am Bull NSF EAR 1848327

Heavy rainfall drives one-third of nitrogen runoff, according to new study
Commun Earth Environ NSF CAREER 1945036

Extreme rainfall projected to become more severe, frequent with warming
Earth's Future NSF ICER 1854761

Ancestral Puebloans survived on ice melt in New Mexico lava tubes
Scientific Reports NSF AGS 2024248

Cascading events led to 2018 Kilauea volcanic eruption, providing forecast clues
Nat Commun NSF EAR 1829188

Once-in-a-lifetime floods to become regular occurrences by end of century
Climatic Change NSF AGS 1520683

Researchers solve a Colorado River mystery
Sedimentology NSF EAR 1546006

Geoscientists develop new approach to understanding massive volcanic eruptions
Commun Earth Environ NSF DRL 1841928

Reawakened geyser does not foretell Yellowstone volcanic eruptions
PNAS NSF EAR 1724986; 1135452

By the late 21st century, the number of people suffering extreme droughts will double
Nat Clim Change NSF CAREER 1752729

Shark teeth offer clues to ancient climate change
Paleoceanogr Paleoclimatol NSF OPP 1842049

How 'Iron Man' bacteria could help protect the environment
Front Microbiol NSF EAR 1629439

Mars rovers safe from lightning strikes, research finds
Icarus NSF EAR 1650382

Can super-Earths' interior dynamics set the table for habitability?
Nat Communs NSF EAR 1619868

Warmer, Wetter Climates Accelerate Mechanical Weathering in Field Data, Independent of Stress-Loading
Geoph Res Lett NSF EAR 0844335; 0844401; 0705277

Recent Work by Art Professor Marek Ranis in Virtual Exhibition
Toshkova Fine Art NSF EAR 1331125

The Color of Rivers
Geoph Res Lett NSF EAR PF 1806983

Evolution and demise of passive margins through grain mixing and damage
PNAS NSF EAR 1853184

Community News

National Research Traineeship (NRT)NSF 21-536
Attention Geology Graduate Departments (especially non R-1's and MSI's) the new NRT solicitation includes a special track for non R-1 institutions. The program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. Contact Audrey Huertaor one of the NRT Program Officers with questions.

ADVANCE Seminars & Panels 
Please join NSF during Women's History month in March for events which are in celebration of 20 years of NSF ADVANCE and 30 years of the NSF Division of Human Resource Development. For more information on the topics, dates, and registration visit here.

Tips on How to Work with an NSF Program Officer
Are you an undergraduate student thinking about how to get funding for graduate school? An early-career researcher looking to launch your new lab? An established researcher with dozens of years of funding from NSF under your belt? Whatever the phase of your research career, it is a good idea to reach out to an NSF program officer as the first step in the application process.

Virtual Field Experience with 3D model of Whaleback Anticline

Check out virtualfieldgeology.com for a 3D video-game-based, virtual field trip to the Whaleback Anticline in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Any user can explore the field site as if on an in-person field trip. The virtual experience is open-ended, allowing the user to choose where to make observations and what data to collect. The game includes measurement tools, functions of a geodetic compass, and real-time stereonets. Click here to view a 1-minute demo video. Virtual Field Geology is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Washington's Earth & Space Science (ESS) department and U.W.'s Reality Lab Incubator. Part of the research was funded by EAR-1523909.

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 2021 budget of $8.5 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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