NSF Critical Zone Observatories (CZO)
To: Chairs, Departments in the Biological and Physical Sciences
From: Heather Daniels, Graduate School
Date: November 30, 2012
Subject: NSF Critical Zone Observatories (CZO)
Notice of intents are due at the Graduate School on Friday, December 14; Deadline for internal competition is TBD.
In an effort to facilitate the development of research proposals for this call, the Graduate School will be offering a facilitation meeting on Monday, December 10 at 1:00 pm in 1360 Genetics/Biotechnology Center. The goal of this meeting is to enable PIs and others interested in this request to meet each other and begin to form synergistic teams for developing a response to the call for applications. The meeting will also provide potential applicants with information regarding keys to the success of interdisciplinary applications and information regarding an IT tool that can help a team of investigators from across campus coordinate their grant planning efforts.
NSF seeks proposals to establish a networked set of Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs) that will address pressing interdisciplinary scientific questions concerning geological, physical, chemical, and biological processes and their couplings that govern critical zone system dynamics. The CZOs are expected, collectively, to 1) measure and quantify the significant processes of the critical zone on appropriate time and space scales; 2) develop a unifying theoretical framework that integrates new understanding of coupled hydrological, geochemical, geomorphological, sedimentological and biological processes; and 3) develop, couple and validate system-level models to predict how the critical zone responds to external forces such as anthropogenic, climatic, and/or tectonic processes. Each observatory must contribute to strengthening the scientific basis for decision-making, particularly with regards to impacts on health, safety, and environment due to observed and predicted changes in the critical zone.
An overarching goal of the critical zone observatory network, which will be comprised of US-based sites (50 states plus territories), is to offer scalable and transferable information that could enhance the scale and scope of the knowledge building and societal benefits that will accrue beyond where the specific CZOs are located. Amongst the strategies contemplated in this program are diversifying the coverage of observatories in terms of geography, geology, and types of environments; leveraging existing infrastructure and legacy data; coordinating observations, data management, modeling, and educational activities among CZOs; and coordinating activities that address common questions at multiple observatories. All CZOs will be expected to collect a common set of measurements in addition to site-specific measurements describing the geological, physical, chemical, hydrological, and biological characteristics of the site. In addition, it is anticipated that the CZOs will adhere to common data management policy and use common data management tools. The network of CZOs will additionally serve as a community resource to engage investigators beyond the CZO awardees in critical zone research.
Grants may be up to $5 million over the duration of 5 years.
The number of proposals UW–Madison may submit is limited to one.
This contains additional information on the program and specific application instructions, etc.
Internal Competition Application Instructions:
Notice of intent: Send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org with "NSF CZO " by Friday, December 14, 2012 to inform us of your intention to submit a proposal. Please include the following in your email message:
--Title of proposal
--Short paragraph description
Applications for internal competition: Instructions and deadline for an internal competition will be announced if needed.
For the project selected, the proposal must be submitted using FastLane or Grants.gov. Information about campus procedures for FastLane and Grants.gov is posted on the RSP Web site. The full proposal is due on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 5 pm CST.
If you have any questions about this procedure, please contact Heather Daniels (608) 263-7274 or email email@example.com