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NSF 17-032

Dear Colleague Letter: Potential Integration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) Program

November 18, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

This letter describes how the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) will consider research proposals that could potentially integrate and leverage with the planned NASA EXPORTS field program.

NASA is planning the EXPORTS program to study carbon export from the surface ocean, with research cruises tentatively scheduled to begin in 2018. More details will be available soon from NASA’s Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program. NASA EXPORTS provides opportunities for NSF funded scientists to participate and engage in the program.

OCE is potentially interested in projects that integrate with the NASA field program intellectually and provide substantive advances in the basic scientific understandings of the "biological pump" or any associated biological, chemical, physical, or geological processes. NSF supported a workshop in February 2016 on the “Biology of the Biological Pump” at which basic research topics that could complement EXPORTS science were identified. OCE will consider additional aspects of the export system as well.

Proposals to OCE will be considered by the core science and technology programs, with no specific monies reserved (“set aside”) for EXPORTS-based research in science or technology. Proposals will be evaluated on their own intellectual merit and broader impacts including synergy with the EXPORTS program and cost efficiency in terms of leveraging with NASA investments. OCE will pay close attention to the logistical, scientific, and/or technological synergies with the NASA EXPORTS Implementation Plan. The basic science and technology research must also meet the goals of OCE’s core programs, independent of the EXPORTS initiative. OCE’s level of participation will be determined by the number of compelling proposals received, and as determined through merit review in OCE core science and technology programs.

OCE will consult with NASA as necessary to evaluate proposed interactions, logistics, and value of the science and/or technology being addressed. Proposals for activities that are motivated primarily by their importance for the NASA EXPORTS goals should be submitted to NASA. Submission of proposals from the same Principal Investigator(s) on similar topics to both agencies is discouraged, and may be returned without review by either or both agency. If a Principal Investigator(s) is submitting proposals to both agencies, the submission to NSF must clearly articulate how the NSF submission is distinct from the PI’s submission to NASA. For these purposes NSF may share proposal documents with NASA.

NSF proposals to participate on and/or align with the first EXPORTS field campaign (Pacific Ocean) will be accepted for review within the appropriate OCE core science and technology programs beginning with the February 15, 2017 target date. This schedule will allow NASA- and NSF- funded Principal Investigators to plan and execute the research in a coordinated, integrative way. Proposals to participate in future EXPORTS cruises will be accepted at future core program target dates.

Contact Information

Questions regarding NSF’s participation should be addressed to the Program Officer of the most relevant science and technology program within OCE, as listed below:

Michael E. Sieracki
Biological Oceanography

Henrietta N. Edmonds
Chemical Oceanography

B. Mete Uz
Physical Oceanography

Candace O. Major
Marine Geology and Geophysics

Kandace S. Binkley
Ocean Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination


Roger M. Wakimoto
Assistant Director for Geosciences