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NSF EAR Express Update - Spring 2023

NSF Division of Earth Sciences Express Update Spring 2023 Banner featuring three images from NSF supported research in this newsletter.

NSF Division of Earth Sciences Express Update Spring 2023 Banner

June 12, 2023

A Message from the Division Director for NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) 

Dear Colleagues, 

The first half of 2023 has been an exciting time at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) with several new opportunities for partnership across the foundation. This has resulted in new ways to provide resources to the Earth Sciences community through a series of Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs). Our team plans to hold a webinar in the near future to talk more about DCLs in general and to address some of these opportunities more specifically.   

In addition, the FY 2024 budget request has been released and NSF has requested $11.314 billion to continue the agency’s mission of supporting research and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This budget request will fund research and education across all fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), supporting the economic and national security interests of the Nation and its workforce. Simply put, NSF investments are critical for modernizing the existing research and development infrastructure, expanding the STEM workforce, and promoting equitable access to scientific learning and resources to unleash the full potential of the Nation's R&D enterprise. You can find more information about this request and previous year budgets at NSF’s budget page HERE. 

Finally, we would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or information that you’d like to share, please reach out to one of our program team members HERE, or send an email to me. 

Dena Smith-Nufio 

Division Director, Earth Sciences 

You may have noticed that we recently rolled out significant updates to NSF’s website to make it easier to find the information that's relevant to users. Here is what has changed:  

  • The section of our website previously called is now
  • We've updated our homepage and site navigation to better connect you to the information you care about. 
  • We've updated our pages with clearer guidance for awardees and those seeking funding opportunities.  
  • We've created new "Focus Area" landing pages that showcase some of our funding priorities.

EAR Staffing Updates


Dr. Chris Lowry has joined EAR as an IPA Program Director in Hydrologic Sciences. He comes from the Department of Geology at the University at Buffalo and is joining the Hydrologic Sciences program as a rotator. His research focuses on groundwater-dependent ecosystems and water security. Most of this work is within the first 10 meters of the earth’s surface and uses a combination of field methods and numerical models. His field sites range from pristine settings in high-elevation meadows to rain gardens in urban environments. He is particularly excited about improving numerical models using novel approaches to collecting hydrologic data, including new field methods, geophysics, and citizen science. 

The National Science Foundation Earth Sciences Division (EAR) is seeking motivated candidates interested in serving as a rotating Program Director for the Tectonics Program. The Tectonics Program supports a broad range of field, laboratory, computational, and theoretical investigations aimed at understanding the deformation of the terrestrial continental lithosphere. The Program focuses on deformation processes and their tectonic drivers that operate at any depth within the continental lithosphere, on timescales of decades/centuries (e.g., active tectonics) and longer, and at micro- to plate boundary/orogenic belt length-scales. 

The link to a Dear Colleague Letter that describes the temporary positions available in EAR, including required qualifications, and instructions on how to apply, can be found HERE. (Please ignore the dates contained in the Dear Colleague Letter).

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.

Approaching Deadlines

NSF 21-583
Geoinformatics (GI)
Supports the development of community cyberinfrastructure to advance research and education in the Earth sciences. Full Proposal Deadline is August 15, 2023

NSF 22-547
Cooperative Studies of the Earth's Deep Interior (CSEDI)
Supports research infrastructure and collaborative, interdisciplinary studies of the Earth's interior, including how interior dynamics affect the Earth’s surface and the evolution of the Earth as a whole. Full Proposal Target Date is September 25, 2023

REMINDER: Many EAR programs no longer have deadlines. We encourage you to review the solicitation of the program you are interested in and reach out to the program officers if you have any additional questions.

Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs)

NSF 23-058: 
GEO EMpowering BRoader Academic Capacity and Education (GEO- EMBRACE)
Invites proposals from researchers hindered by teaching and mentoring loads, start-up packages, institutional infrastructure, or by lack of research support personnel. Proposals would be submitted to existing programs in the Geosciences Directorate.
Learn more HERE.

NSF 23-057
Novel Approaches to Critical Minerals Research in the Geosciences (GEO-CM)
Invites proposals on fundamental research to facilitate discovery, characterization, extraction and separation of critical minerals such as essential metals and rare earth elements required to achieve a clean-energy future.
Learn more HERE.

NSF 23-046
Advancing Research in the Geosciences Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Invites proposals to existing NSF programs focused on advancing understanding of geoscience with artificial intelligence or machine learning.
Learn more HERE.

NSF 23-049
NSF-Swiss NSF Lead Agency Opportunity
Invites U.S.-Swiss collaborations at the intersection of the Swiss National Science Foundation’s three research divisions and participating NSF programs.
Learn more HERE.

NSF 23-113
Special Guidelines for Submitting Collaborative Proposals under the U.S. NSF/GEO – DFG/Geosciences Lead Agency Opportunity on collaborative Research on Climate Change
Invites U.S.- German collaboration on proposals investigating climate change that will undergo a single review process.
Learn more HERE.

NSF 23-109
Clean Energy Technology RAISE or EAGER Proposals
Invites Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals to all NSF Directorates in the area of clean energy technologies. Deadlines: June 14, July 12th
Learn more HERE.

NSF 23-108
Conference Proposals on Clean Energy Topics
Invites conference proposals to initiate new collaborations that will advance clean energy technologies and increase their use to benefit the economy, to ensure social justice and to serve the public good. Deadline: June 30th
Learn more HERE.

NSF 23-112
Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) Opportunity for Graduate Students Supplemental Funding to Link Geosciences and Human Health (GeoHealth INTERN)
Invites geoscientists to seek supplemental funding for graduate students to complete six-month internships with public health or medical professionals on mutually beneficial projects exploring the linkage of human health and the earth environment.
Learn more HERE.

Upcoming Events


Navigating the Geophysics Program 

Wednesday, June 14 at 3:00 pm ET 

Register in advance for this webinar HERE

The Geophysics (PH) Program Directors will review the scope of the PH Program and other NSF relevant opportunities for the geophysical community in the context of recent changes within the program and new opportunities communicated by the Foundation through Dear Colleague Letters and new interdisciplinary programs, and a growing interest in increasing representation in the scientific enterprise. This webinar is organized in three parts:    

  • Scope of the Geophysics program 
  • Types of proposals reviewed in PH and the Merit Review process 
  • Tips for proposal preparation and other opportunities for geophysical research at NSF.

Geoinformatics Webinar

Friday, June 23 at 1-2:30 pm ET and August 11th at 1-2:30 pm ET

Register in advance for the June webinar HERE
Register in advance for the August webinar HERE

Please join this informational webinar on Friday, June 23, 2023 or August 11, 2023, at 1 PM EDT to learn more about the Geoinformatics (GI) program. This webinar will describe the revised GI solicitation (NSF 23-594) and provide time for Q&A. The Geoinformatics program funds the deployment, operation, and sustainment of cyberinfrastructure (CI) resources to serve and support Earth Sciences research and education. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Community News


EAR Program Officer Raleigh Martin recently attended the USGS Community for Data Integration (CDI) 2023 Workshop, “Open Data for Open Science.” The workshop explored ways to improve tools and services for data management, integration, and computation for USGS science. These USGS efforts parallel NSF programs such as Geoinformatics (GI) and Geosciences Open Science Ecosystem (GEO OSE). Following the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2022, NSF and USGS are seeking ways to further advance cooperation on data sharing and associated cyberinfrastructure development.



The 2023 Research Infrastructure Workshop 

Registration for the 2023 Research Infrastructure Workshop (RIW) is now open! This year’s workshop will be held in Washington, DC and will be a hybrid event, featuring a virtual element. Register Here 

The Research Infrastructure Workshop is a collaborative forum for all the National Science Foundation’s Research Infrastructure Projects. We strive to support NSF’s mission and promote the scientific endeavor with the following desired outcomes:    

  • Provide a forum to collect and share best practices and lessons learned. 
  • Discuss new initiatives and collect community input. 
  • Demonstrate project management, operations, and business-related tools and techniques. 
  • Expand our community of practice by connecting colleagues across disciplines and organizations to promote collaboration between facilities. 

Program content for this year’s workshop will include topics on: Facility Management including Facility Condition Assessment, Project Management (with some PDU offerings), Operations Management, Facility and Workplace Safety, Award Management, Cyberinfrastructure, Cybersecurity, and Education and Public Outreach. There will also be a track specific to mid-scale research institutions.  

For additional information on the program’s content, visit the agenda page. If you have suggestions for topics, questions, or examples to share, please contact us at 



The four Track I: Centers for Innovation and Community Engagement in Solid Earth Geohazards, awarded in September 2022 invite the EAR community to join their email list servers to learn and  participate in their ongoing activities.  

The Center for Land Surface Hazards (CLaSH) Catalyst challenge is the understanding of interconnections between hazards that can greatly magnify their effects – such as earthquakes that trigger land sliding, river alluviation, damming and later flooding, or storms that follow wildfire and trigger debris flows and floods. Pilot projects in 2023 include a 2-part modeling expo, a summer student field short course, a community workshop, a research gap analysis and whitepaper, and a scenario exercise with project partners from a wide range of organizations. 

The Center for Collective Impact in Earthquake Science (C‐CIES) supports researchers to investigate critical science, engineering, and social science questions focused on high-impact, low-probability hazards and to engage with communities to build resilience. C-CIES provides resources to support and connect scientists and communities to reach shared goals of geohazard mitigation. Pilot projects provide support and connect scientists and communities to reach shared goals of geohazard mitigation through a collective impact framework to manage and project evaluation. 

The Center for Converging on Eruption Science with Equity (CONVERSE) purpose is to enable, organize and focus on enhanced collaboration of US academic researchers, USGS, NASA, the Smithsonian and foreign entities involved in volcano science. The center’s goal is to increase diversity of researchers able to respond, gather and analyze data from volcanic eruptions to improve their understanding with the aim to produce improved future eruption forecasts.  

The Collaborative Center for Landslides Geohazards efforts are aimed at improving predictions and understanding of landslides and related impacts by combining observations and focused field efforts with advanced modeling. Upcoming virtual workshops are aimed at discussing research, engagement with vulnerable communities and workforce development. 



Critical Minerals Stakeholder Meeting of Experts - National Academies Keck Center, May 2, 2023 

Achievement of a clean energy future for the planet relies heavily on the availability of vast quantities of critical elements, necessitating major advances in prospecting, extraction, purification, manufacturing, recycling, and reuse, while retaining a focus on environmental stewardship. On request from EAR, the National Academies organized a meeting of experts at the Academies Keck Center on May 2 to identify potentially fruitful partnerships between agencies, academia, and industry, and brainstorm on priority gaps in the critical mineral research ecosystem. The roundtable discussion included presentations and participation by representatives from NSF (GEO/EAR, ENG/CBET, TIP), DOE (FEMC, EERE, ARPA-E), USGS (Marine Minerals, NMIC, MRP, GMEG), BHP, MH Technology, the University of Arizona, Colorado School of Mines, and the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Workforce development was identified as a critical issue across the whole critical-minerals ecosystem. Also, the group felt that greater coordination is needed across funding agencies and integration of government, industry, and academic sectors nationally and internationally to address priorities for evolution to a clean energy future for the planet. Participants felt that the cross-fertilization of information and ideas was very valuable and expressed interest in further meetings focused on specific high-priority areas that require a coordinated approach. 



CUAHSI Biennial Colloquium – Save the Date! 
June 11-14, 2023, Granlibakken Resort, Tahoe City, CA 
The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc (CUAHSI) is hosting its Biennial Colloquium June 11-14, 2023, in Tahoe City, CA. The event is focused on developments in the hydrology sector of the Earth Sciences and offers a unique opportunity and a casual environment for participants to discuss ideas and interact with colleagues from different disciplinary fields from all over the country. Students, early-career researchers and people from underrepresented groups and institutions are especially encouraged to attend! CUAHSI is currently accepting proposals for workshops and breakout sessions (see website). Registration information will be available soon on their website. 


EAR-Supported Research in the News

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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