Federal Science Partners Periodic Update

Senate Commerce Committee to Hold Hearing on Offshore Aquaculture -- Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled, “Feeding America: Making Sustainable Offshore Aquaculture a Reality,” at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 in room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. This hearing will examine opportunities and barriers to expanding sustainable aquaculture in the U.S. Witnesses will discuss the environmental, economic, and social realities of open ocean aquaculture, and the need for a streamlined and predictable policy framework for advancing the development of offshore aquaculture.  The hearing will be livestreamed here. The witnesses announced for this hearing include:

  • Ms. Linda Cornish, Founder and President, Seafood Nutrition Partnership

  • Dr. Paul Doremus, Deputy Assistant Administrator of Operations, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • Dr. Ben Halpern, Director, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California Santa Barbara

  • Mr. Jeremiah Julius, Chairman, Lummi Nation

  • Ms. Kathryn Unger, Managing Director, CQN North America, Cargill Aqua Nutrition

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes -- Artificial Intelligence (AI) has advanced tremendously and today promises personalized healthcare; enhanced national security; improved transportation; and more effective education, to name just a few benefits. Increased computing power, the availability of large datasets and streaming data, and algorithmic advances in machine learning (ML) have made it possible for AI development to create new sectors of the economy and revitalize industries. Continued advancement, enabled by sustained federal investment and channeled toward issues of national importance, holds the potential for further economic impact and quality-of-life improvements.

This program, a joint effort of the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), seeks to enable such research through AI Research Institutes. This program solicitation describes two tracks: Planning and Institute tracks. Submissions to the Planning track are encouraged in any areas of foundational and use-inspired research appropriate to NSF and its partner organizations.

The solicitation and other information regarding this funding opportunity can be found here.

Margaret A. Davidson Fellowship Program -- The Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship is a new program that will provide funding to graduate students admitted to or enrolled in a master’s or PhD program to conduct estuarine research within one of the 29 reserves in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The total amount of funding is in the intial year of this program is estimated at $2 million.  NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management will award a cooperative agreement to each fellow’s degree-granting university to administer the stipend.  For more information consult the program’s FAQ’s.  Additional information on the program’s priorities is available here.

NSF Announces New Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected Dr. Margaret Martonosi to serve as head of the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. In addition to her management experience in the computer and information science community and her research in computer architecture, Dr. Martonosi has been noted for her leadership in broadening participation in computer science education. Since 2017, she has served as director of the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education at Princeton University while maintaining her role as a professor of computer science. Dr. Martonosi has also held leadership positions in numerous professional societies. Dr. Martonosi's long-term research has been focused on computer architecture and mobile computing with an emphasis on power-efficiency. She was one of the architects of the Wattch power modeling infrastructure, a tool that was among the first to allow computer scientists to incorporate power consumption into early-stage computer systems design. Her work helped demonstrate that power needs can help dictate the design of computing systems. More recently, Dr. Martonosi’s work has also focused on architecture and compiler issues in quantum computing as well. Dr. Martonosi received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the Stanford University. Her appointment at NSF will begin Feb. 01, 2020.

NOAA Awards $4.4 Million for Research on Sea Level Rise and Flooding -- NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science is awarding more than $1.5 million in fiscal year 2019, of an anticipated total of $4.4 million over the next three years, to more than 30 academic, government and non-governmental organizations for research into how natural, man-made and restored coastal habitats could reduce the effects of sea level rise, flooding and storms. 

Coastal communities and their surrounding ecosystems are increasingly threatened by rising seas and coastal flooding that alters shorelines making homes and businesses more vulnerable to impacts from coastal storms. Rising sea levels can also change how ecosystems work, especially when combined with flooding from tides and storms. As threats to the coasts increase, coping with sea level rise and flooding has become a priority for local communities to address.  Funding under NOAA’s Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise Program will support six new research projects in California, Florida, the Chesapeake Bay region, North Carolina and the Pacific Northwest. A full list and summary of the grant awards is available online.

NOAA’s Climate Program Office Awards almost $23 Million to Advance Climate Understanding, Prediction, and Resilience -- NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO), part of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, is announcing a total of $22.8 million in competitive awards to support 62 new projects. The diverse set of new projects ranges from explaining long-term trends in atmospheric composition to supporting resiliency in fishing communities.

Universities and other research institutions spread across 31 states, alongside other federal agencies in close collaboration with NOAA, will conduct the projects over the next 1-3 years. The projects are designed to improve our ability to describe our changing environment; to advance understanding, modeling, and prediction of the climate system; and to foster effective decision making in the face of a changing climate and rising impacts. These projects all significantly extend NOAA’s climate research, products, and services, and engage the broad research community with issues at the crux of NOAA’s mission. More information on this program can be found here.