WASHINGTON, D.C, 11.19.20 – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide $10 million for new observational and experimental studies aimed at improving the accuracy of today’s Earth system models. Research will focus on three separate types of environments—terrestrial, watershed, and subsurface—where current models fall short of providing fully accurate representation.

“Coupling of observational and experimental research with model development has been a hallmark DOE-supported research in this area,” said Dr. Chris Fall, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “This approach will result in a better grasp of critical processes affecting these environments and help advance toward a more predictive understanding of the Earth system.”

Research under this initiative will focus on such topics as the interactions between soils and vegetation, atmospheric fluxes over wetlands and coastal systems, and the complex processes taking place within integrated watersheds. By combining experiment, observation, and model development, teams of scientists will seek to unravel these complex processes and improve the ability of models to represent them.

Applications will be open to universities, industry, and nonprofit research institutions as the lead institution, with possible collaborators at the DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies. Funding is to be awarded competitively, on the basis of peer review, and is expected to be in the form of two- to three-year grants.

The Department anticipates that $10 million will be available for this program in Fiscal Year 2021, pending congressional appropriations.

The DOE Funding Opportunity Announcements, issued by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the Department’s Office of Science, is to be found here.