U.S. GLOBEC - Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics: Synthesis in the Northwest Atlantic/Georges Bank Program and the Northeast Pacific/Coastal Gulf of Alaska Program Program Solicitation
NSF (number not yet assigned)
National Science Foundation
Directorate for Geosciences
Division of Ocean Sciences
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):
Tentative Deadline: April 01, 2005
A. Proposal Preparation Instructions B. Budgetary Information C. Due Dates D. FastLane Requirements
A. NSF Proposal Review Process B. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
A. Notification of the Award B. Award Conditions C. Reporting Requirements
Synopsis of Program: As part of a continuing series of solicitations for the U.S. Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Program (U.S. GLOBEC), this solicitation covers two distinct regions - the Northwest Atlantic (NWA) and the Northeast Pacific (NEP). Proposals submitted for the NWA regions should continue synthesis of data from the NWA/Georges Bank projects and conduct comparative analysis of upstream and broader, basin-scale studies. Proposals submitted to the NEP regions should initiate the Phase IIIb synthesis of data from the Coastal Gulf of Alaska (CGOA) and conduct comparative analyses of the CGOA with the California Current System and other appropriate ocean regions.
Cognizant Program Officer(s): Phillip R. Taylor, Program Director, Directorate for Geosciences, Division of Ocean Sciences, 725 N, telephone: (703) 292-8582, fax: (703) 292-9085, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s): 47.050 --- Geosciences
PI Eligibility Limit: None Specified.
Limit on Number of Proposals: None Specified.
Estimated Number of Awards: 20 as part of 10-15 integrated, interdisciplinary projects for each region, some of which will be multi-institutional collaborative projects
Anticipated Funding Amount: $6,000,000 over 3 years for projects in the NEP/CGOA region and $2,000,000 over 2 years for projects in the NWA/Georges Bank region. Individual awards are anticipated to be $100,000-500,000 per year.
U.S. GLOBEC is comprised of three regional programs: Northwest Atlantic (NWA), Northeast Pacific (NEP) and Southern Ocean. Data collection and process studies in each of the three regions have been funded through a series of previous solicitations. Publications resulting from these U.S. GLOBEC studies are catalogued at http://www.usglobec.org/misc/funded.contributions.html. The focus of the U.S. GLOBEC program is now on synthesizing the results from the field phase, both within and across the regional programs. For the NWA/Georges Bank program, a previous solicitation resulted in several data integration efforts and modeling studies, abstracts of which are available at http://globec.whoi.edu/globec-dir/phase4doc/project-titles.html. New awards will be made soon for synthesis of data and comparative analysis for the California Current System (CCS) subregion. An open solicitation for synthesis and modeling in the Southern Ocean Program is currently available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05516/nsf05516.htm.
This solicitation pertains to two of the regional programs, NWA/Georges Bank and the NEP Coastal Gulf Of Alaska (CGOA) subregion. For both programs, synthesis and comparative analysis are the focus. No new field studies will be funded. This is a second stage of synthesis for the NWA program. The priority focus for this stage of the NWA program will be on basin-scale coupling or climate-related phenomena. This solicitation marks the beginning of synthesis for the NEP/CGOA program because field studies have recently ended. The two regional programs, their goals, and the research areas of particular interest are each discussed in detail in the Program Description Section below.
Electronic Data Access: The synthesis and comparative analysis opportunities described in this solicitation are open to scientists without past involvement in U.S. GLOBEC as well as those that have had funding through past GLOBEC activities. U.S. GLOBEC Data Policy requires that all data collected under the U.S. GLOBEC program and associated documentation be made available to all researchers. The U.S. GLOBEC Data Policy (U.S. GLOBEC Report 10) is available at http://www.usglobec.org/reports/datapol/datapol.contents.html. Data for all three U.S. GLOBEC regional programs is available at http://globec.whoi.edu/jg/newdir.
This notice issued under the auspices of the U.S. GLOBEC program within the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences, as well as the Regional Ecosystem Studies and U.S. GLOBEC initiatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research. NSF and NOAA have been in partnership in supporting U.S. GLOBEC from its initiation.
1. To determine the processes that control the Georges Bank circulation and transport of biological, chemical, and geological materials in a strongly tidal and wind-driven system, and to determine how physical and biological processes control the population dynamics of the target organisms (early life stages of cod and haddock and the copepods Calanus finmarchicus and Pseudocalanus spp.) in the NWA / Georges Bank area.
2. To embody this understanding in conceptual and quantitative models capable of elucidating ecosystem dynamics and responses on a broad range of space and time scales.
3. To understand the effects of climate variability and climate change on the distribution, abundance and production of the target organisms. The specific objectives and scientific questions related to these goals are described in greater detail in U.S. GLOBEC NWA Plan (Report No. 6). This report should be consulted when responding to this solicitation. It is available at http://www.usglobec.org/reports/reports.home.html#6.
1. Physical / biological coupling.
a. Regional and Basin-Scale Effects Influenced by Climate Variability.
Studies that investigate the impacts of regional and basin-scale manifestations of climate variability on populations in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean are a high priority. Waters from the Labrador Sea and Gulf of St. Lawrence flow southwestward along the eastern Canadian slope and shelf, and can be traced downstream to the Middle Atlantic Bight. Thus, the planktonic populations located off eastern Canada are connected with those of the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank region and points south through transports in the slope water and along the Scotian Shelf. Results from phases I to IVa have shown that these advective fluxes are important contributors to the dynamics of target species in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank. Hydrographic changes observed in the Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine region are now known to be part of a larger-scale regional change likely associated with ocean basin-scale atmospheric forcing (e.g., the North Atlantic Oscillation).
At these regional to basin scales, it is possible to address the effects of climate variability as manifest through changes in the slope and shelf transports and water properties. For example, general circulation model products, as well as examination of the historic hydrographic record, could yield insight into the nature and magnitude of past or projected changes which could be imposed on simulations of the coupled physical/biological shelf system. Such reseach could be facilitated through the use of a nested series of coupled physical/biological models that link the basin-scale forcing to the local biological and physical dynamics, and through studies that foster the integration of target species data sets from other parts of the North Atlantic.
b. Georges Bank/Gulf of Maine population dynamics.
The development and use of conceptual and quantitative models to investigate physical and coupled physical/biological processes in the Georges Bank ecosystem have been emphasized throughout the U.S. GLOBEC NWA / Georges Bank program. Three-dimensional circulation models have been used to study the influence of seasonal stratification and wind forcing on flow to and over the Bank using both idealized and realistic regional bathymetry and forcing. The roles of advection, turbulent mixing, nutrient supply, insolation, predation, and other factors on the early population development of the target species need to be examined further using both continuous and individual-based models. Initial studies have involved both diagnostic and predictive models, and more recently included data assimilation to improve model accuracy and understanding of key processes. Further advancement of these and other modeling approaches is encouraged, with particular emphasis on coupling the lower and upper trophic level models of the Georges Bank ecosystem. Ideally, a product of synthesis will be quantitative coupled physical/biological ecosystem models that embody the collective knowledge learned in the Georges Bank program. Such models can then be used to investigate the Bank ecosystem response to future climate variability. Higher priority will be given to bank-scale models that are explicitly linked to larger-scale phenomena.
2. Integrative analysis of the US GLOBEC Programs
Synthesis and interpretation of information derived from the NWA / Georges Bank program will be greatly strengthened by integration and comparison with results for the target species derived from other programs in the North Atlantic (e.g., GLOBEC Canada, TASC, Mare Cognitum). As the synthesis phases of other regional U.S. GLOBEC programs mature, contrasts among the NWA / Georges Bank, NEP, and Southern Ocean programs will be of increasing importance. For instance, understanding how transport processes provide a connection between regional, local, and small scales and how they affect the dynamics of target species should be addressed. Understanding the functioning of the systems will allow for the design of projects to explore commonalities and differences in these systems including circulation patterns and dynamics of target populations. Proposals are encouraged that initiate the process of synthesis and intercomparison of results from NWA / Georges Bank with other Atlantic Basin scale programs and other U.S. GLOBEC programs as appropriate. A separate solicitation for Pan-Regional Synthesis projects will be released in the future.
3. Development of applications for ecosystem-based management
A more complete understanding of the Georges Bank ecosystem gained through the U.S. GLOBEC Program should allow for the design of more efficient and informative ecosystem stewardship programs. Achieving this goal will involve utilizing observational and model results that best characterize status and change in the ecosystem. An important goal is to identify the interaction between human and natural effects on population variability of valuable marine resources in this region. Retrospective projects conducted by collaborating scientists and managers that utilize indices and model information to address questions related to ecosystem stewardship are encouraged.
1. To determine how changing climate, especially its impacts on local wind and buoyancy forcing and basin-scale currents, affect spatial and temporal variability in mesoscale circulation and water column structure.
2. To quantify how physical features in the CGOA, and variability related to climate change, impact zooplankton biomass, production, distribution, and the retention and loss of zooplankton from coastal regions. There is a particular emphasis on the euphausiids Euphausia spp. and Thysanoessa spp. and calanoid copepods Calanus spp. and Neocalanus spp., and how these, in turn, influence the distributions of higher trophic levels, such as forage fish, pink salmon, and marine birds and mammals.
3. To quantify the impacts of key coastal physical and biological processes, including (i) freshwater runoff and its strong impacts on the strength and stratification of the nearshore region (Alaska Coastal Current), (ii) primary and secondary production, (iii) cross-shelf transport of nutrients and plankton associated with synoptic storms, intermittent upwelling, flow-topography interactions, (iv) shelf-slope eddies that alter hydrographic structure and onshore-offshore exchanges of nutrients and biota, and (v) variability in the timing and spatial aspects, and of the size-structure and composition, of the spring bloom food web in controlling juvenile salmon growth and survival in the coastal zone of the CGOA.
4. To determine the extent to which high and variable mortality of juvenile pink salmon in the coastal region of the Northern Gulf of Alaska is responsible for large interannual variation in adult salmon populations. To determine whether and how the proximate mortality causes (e.g., predation, parasites, starvation, loss by advection) are affected by climate variability.
5. To compare the impacts of climate variability and change (such as El Niqo-La Niqa cycles and regime shifts) on similar marine animal populations (copepods, euphausiids, salmon) of the CCS and CGOA.
The specific objectives and scientific questions related to these goals are described in greater detail in the U.S. GLOBEC NEP Implementation Plan (Report No. 17). This report should be consulted in responding to this solicitation. It is available at http://www.usglobec.org/reports/reports.home.html#17.
1. Synthesis of Data Sets:
A fundamental goal is to understand the physical and biological processes that regulate the abundance and distribution of key target species (calanoid copepods, euphausiids, juvenile salmon, salmon forage). Of particular importance are the environmental influences during the spring-fall, when juvenile pink salmon enter the coastal ocean, and when it is believed that mortality is both high and variable. What constitutes favorable habitat for juvenile salmon entering the coastal ocean, and where and when does such habitat occur both seasonally and between years? How do winter physical and chemical conditions (e.g., nutrient replenishment on the shelf, mixing) impact subsequent biological rates/processes in the spring and summer? What are the important mechanisms replenishing the nutrients into the nearshore CGOA ecosystem that fuel the primary and secondary production on the shelf? How often and where do planktonic populations and salmon encounter retentive regions near or on the shelf? How important are topographic-flow interactions in producing or maintaining highly productive and predictable regions that favor secondary production and salmon growth and survival? How important is the intermittent and weak summertime upwelling in establishing productive regions nearshore for juvenile salmon? Eddies can be significant in forcing cross-shelf exchanges of nutrient and plankton; how regular is this mechanism and what is its relative importance in stimulating shelf productivity? What are the dominant pathways of energy flow through the system and how do they vary in space and time? How does interannual and long-term environmental variability impact this ecosystem? What are the mechanisms through which climate variability affects these processes?
Answering these and similar questions will require a concerted effort to integrate the results of physical observations, estimates of in situ animal abundances, the condition and reproductive rates of plankton, and the distributions of predators. Data from multiple disciplines need to be integrated to enable interannual comparisons of population processes and their coupling to the physical structure and variability of the environment. Integration of data sets from the long-term observation program (LTOP), process and survey components of the program, remote sensing data, retrospective data sets, and modeling analyses are critical in the development of multidisciplinary synthesis research efforts.
2. Physical/biological modeling:
The development and use of conceptual and quantitative models to investigate physical and coupled physical/biological processes have been emphasized throughout the U.S. GLOBEC NEP program. Circulation models have been used to explore the influence of wind forcing on alongshore and cross-shelf flow using realistic regional bathymetry and forcing. Ecosystem models have been developed to examine the specific contributions of multiple zooplankton grazers (micro, meso, and macro) to energy transfer from lower trophic levels to higher levels. These studies have mostly involved hindcast models. In Phase IIIb, these and other modeling approaches (including prognostic and data assimilation) will be encouraged, with the following multiple aims: (a) to improve understanding of the key physical and biological processes that affect the distributions and local productivities of the target species in the CGOA; (b) to understand how episodic events (eddies, onshore intrusions), climate variability and potential longer-term changes (e.g., regime shifts) modify these processes; (c) to help integrate and synthesize the various physical, chemical and biological data collected during the field program; and (d) to begin coupling the lower and upper trophic level models of the NEP ecosystem.
3. Broader Scale Effects Influenced by Climate Change and Comparative Regional Studies:
Long-term changes in ocean basin-scale atmospheric forcings have had well documented impacts on physical structure and biological populations in both coastal and oceanic regions of the northeast Pacific Ocean. A well documented "regime shift" occurred in 1976-77, and fortuitously for U.S. GLOBEC, another may have occurred in 1998. The ecosystem signal of the more recent shift, e.g., changes in plankton abundance and salmon survival, are more clear in the CCS than in the CGOA. However, it is not clear what, if any, impacts have occurred on the CGOA marine ecosystem have occurred as a result of the post-1997 changes in atmospheric forcing. Significantly, the variability in basin-wide SST patterns since 1990 indicate a dominance of a new atmospheric forcing pattern and SST response oriented differently (more N-S than E-W; 2nd EOF of SST referred to as the Victoria Pattern) than the PDO pattern (1st EOF of SST). It appears that shifts in the Victoria pattern may have larger impacts on conditions and productivity in the CCS than in the CGOA, but more analysis of the U.S. GLOBEC data sets from both regions are needed.
This phase of investigation will provide an opportunity for evaluation of large-scale environmental influences. Integration and synthesis of data sets from throughout the NEP (including both U.S. GLOBEC CCS and CGOA programs as well as other research from the region) are encouraged. Together with historical data sets, recent observations made during earlier U.S. GLOBEC NEP phases can be used to evaluate the effects of environment on zooplankton populations and survival of juvenile salmon at multiple spatial and temporal scales. This solicitation also encourages comparative studies of broader nature, including other GLOBEC regions and non-GLOBEC funded studies in similar shelf systems elsewhere, where they increase our understanding of ecosystem response to changing conditions in the CGOA. Comparative studies could include such topics as inter-ocean analyses of target zooplankton or predator taxa with other species having similar (or contrasting) life histories; comparative study of regional circulation and ecosystem responses to basin- and larger-scale climate influences; inter-ocean contrasts of the effects of wind and buoyancy forcing on nearshore retention and loss of pelagic organisms. Comparative studies could employ remote sensing and bio-physical models to analyze ecosystem responses to climate variability in different regions, or develop new indices and measures for comparison. In proposing to compare the CGOA to other regions, it is critical that the proposals clearly identify the processes and characteristics of the CGOA that will be better understood through generalizations to and/or contrasts with the other systems. By encouraging proposals that reach beyond the CGOA, this solicitation does not downplay the value of studies that integrate the data sets, models and understanding gained entirely within the CGOA. These have high priority, since in many cases they are necessary before broader comparisons can be attempted.
4. Development of metrics to characterize environmental and ecosystem status and change.
A more complete understanding of the NEP/CGOA ecosystem gained through the U.S. GLOBEC program should allow for the design of more efficient and more informative monitoring programs in the region. Achieving this improvement will involve determining indices (sets of key parameters) for the physical and lower trophic level system components that best characterize the status of the ecosystem, particularly in relation to potential higher trophic level production. An important goal is for the indices to identify environmental influences on living marine resource variability (e.g., salmon) and protected species (e.g., marine mammals) that can be incorporated into the assessment of the status of these resources and populations in the region. Indices may be derived from directly measured parameters (from field observations), remotely sensed parameters, or from output of specific configurations of coupled physical-biological models. One form that this type of synthesis may take is a written documentation of the state of the CGOA ecosystem during the U.S. GLOBEC years, including potential indices that characterize the state of the ecosystem. The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) has recently completed an assessment of the status of North Pacific Marine Ecosystems (http://www.pices.int/publications/ecos_status/default.aspx) that might provide guidance for future metrics that characterize ecosystem conditions.
Funding may be available to facilitate the support of participants that would not normally be eligible for NSF support, such as researchers from Federal agencies. Potential Federal participants are requested to discuss their level of participation with the cognizant U.S. GLOBEC contact at NOAA, Dr. Elizabeth Turner (Elizabeth.Turner@NOAA.gov, 603-862-4680). Funding may be available to support research coordination activities.
In addition to those described in the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), additional guidelines apply as follows:
Proposal titles should include the prefix "US-GLOBEC: NWA Georges Bank" or "US-GLOBEC: NEP Phase IIIb-CGOA" as an identifier.
The proposal to NSF must include the following information, which is to be entered into the "Special Information and Supplementary Documentation Section" in FastLane:
1. Provide a detailed management plan (limit: 3 pages) including means of communication and data tracking/management within the group, and timeline of activities.
2. Describe the means of sharing the outcome of the research with the rest of the scientific community (e.g. publications, web sites, databases, etc.) (limit: 2 pages). The description should be specific and describe what, how and when the community should have access to the outcome of the project.
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Excel spreadsheet of Conflict List. To facilitate identifying organizational or personal relationships that would constitute conflicts of interest for peer reviewers, the lead PI/Organization is required to provide a single comprehensive listing of these relationships for all persons with significant participation in the proposed activity (e.g., all senior personnel, any named personnel whose salary is requested in the project budget). Please describe the nature of the conflict as one of the following categories: (1) PhD thesis advisors or advisees, (2) postdoctoral advisors or advisees, (3) collaborators or co-authors for the past 48 months, and (4) any other individuals or organizations with which the investigator has financial ties (please specify type).
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The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals at its meeting on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.
On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. NSF continues to strengthen its internal processes to ensure that both of the merit review criteria are addressed when making funding decisions.
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