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The Future of Food-Energy-Water Nexus Research


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Presentation by Brandi Schottel (National Science Foundation) at the ORAU 74th Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions

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The Future of Food-Energy-Water Nexus Research

  1. 1. National Science Foundation Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental & Transport Systems (CBET) 1 March 6, 2019 Brandi Schottel: Associate Program Director (CBET) The Future of Food-Energy-Water Nexus Research
  2. 2. NSF Created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF Director France A. Córdova. Credit: NSF/Stephen Voss NSF's current headquarters in Alexandria, VA Credit: National Science Foundation ( • $7.5B budget (FY2017) • 24% federally funded basic research at U.S. colleges and universities • Directorates: o Engineering (ENG) o Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) o Biological Sciences (BIO) o Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) o Geosciences (GEO) o Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) o Education & Human Resources (EHR) U. S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Alexandria, Virginia USA
  3. 3. Asst. Director of ENG Dawn Tilbury Civil, Mechanical & Manufacturing Innovation CMMI Engineering (ENG) Directorate: Investing in engineering research and education and fostering innovation to benefit society Electrical, Communications, & Cyber Systems (ECCS) Emerging Frontiers & Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA) Industrial Innovation & Partnerships (IIP) Engineering Education & Centers (EEC) ENG Divisions Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental & Transport Systems (CBET) Credit: Joseph Xu
  4. 4. Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems
  5. 5. 5 NSF General Opportunities • Unsolicited: (Deadlines and Submission Windows Vary ($300 -$600 k for 3-5 years) • Dear Colleague Letter: General Deadlines and Special Deadlines (2 INFEWS examples) • Workshops/Conferences: Open deadline or special submissions (≤ $100 k) (Multiple examples) • Centers (multiple types) • Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGERs): Open Deadline or special submissions • RAPID Response Research: Open deadline or DCL call • Special Solicitations: Different submission windows, extra requirements NSF Alerts -
  6. 6. Food – Energy – Water Systems - Dynamic, Coupled System of Systems 6 1. Elements and linkages of the Food-Energy-Water Nexus. Image Credit: Adapted from Smajgl and Ward, 2013: The Water-Food-Energy Nexus in the Mekong Region. 2. Olivier Dubois, Jean-Marc Faurès, Erika Felix, Alessandro Flammini, Jippe Hoogeveen, Lucie Pluschke, Manas Puri and Olçay Ünver.,“The Water-Energy-Food Nexus A new approach in support of food security and sustainable agriculture” 2014: df • H2O, C, N, and P cycles disrupted by human intervention? • UN: “The Water-Energy-Food Nexus describes the complex and inter- related nature of our global resources systems. It is about balancing different resource user goals and interests – while maintaining the integrity of ecosystems.”2 • NSF ?: No definition in any special calls or solicitations
  7. 7. Fiscal Year 18/19 7  INFEWS Solicitation for FY 18: NSF 18-545 (deadline Sept 26, 2018) -  3 Tracks: Modeling, Solutions, and Research Coordination Networks (RCNs)  NSF 18-096 Dear Colleague Letter: NSF/NSFC Joint Research on Environmental Sustainability Challenges (deadline October 22, 2018)  INFEWS PI Workshop: May 16 – 18, 2018, Alexandria, VA (at NSF) and May 2019 INFEWS Scheduled to “End” – FY 2020 is the last full year.
  8. 8. Five Interconnected Grand Challenges 1. Sustainably supply food, water, and energy 2. Curb climate change and adapt to its impacts 3. Design a future without pollution and waste - 94% of materials extracted from Earth end up as waste vs 6% that end up in a product. 4. Create efficient, healthy, resilient cities 5. Foster informed decisions and actions 8 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  9. 9. INFEWS: An (Incomplete) NSF History 9 SEES:ScienceandEngineeringforSustainabilityFY10/11 WSC:WaterSustainabilityandClimate FY15:ThelastyearofSEESAwards DOE:WaterEnergyNexusReport,July2014 WorldwideThreatAssessmentoftheUSIntelligenceCommunity,January2014 NSFFY16BudgetRequest SEES:FoodEnergyWaterDCL FY16:October1,2015=ContinuingResolutionandendofSEES FY16:December–fullbudgetapproval,NSF$30million,USDA:$5million NSF16-524INFEWS March22,2017:~400submissionsinall4Tracks LateApril–June3:INFEWSpanels FY17AwardAnnouncements FY17:October1,2016=ContinuingResolution NSFFY17BudgetRequest OSTPFood-Energy-WaterNexusWorkgroup EPSCoRTrack2inFEW NRTFEWSolicitation INFEWSN/P/H2ODCL:releasedforFY16 INFEWSN/P/H2ODCL:releasedforFY17 FirstAnnualINFEWSPIWorkshopMarch2017 FY18:October1,2017=ContinuingResolution NSF17-530INFEWS INFEWSproposalsdue FY18BudgetRequest INFEWSAwardsAnnounced INFEWSNSF–NSFChinaDCLposted NSF18-545INFEWSSolicitationPosted–IncludesRCNS May2018–SecondINFEWSPIWorkshop INFEWSNSF–NSFChinaAwardsAnnounced FY19:October1,2018=ContinuingResolution INFEWSNSF–NSFChinaDCLposted INFEWSSolicitationDeadline NSFERESustainableUrbanSystemsReportreleased NSF18-047SignalsintheSoilDCLposted SitSproposalsdue SitSAwardsAnnounced NSF19-032SustainableUrbanSystemsDCLposted SignalsInSoilSolicitationPostedFebraury15,2019 INFEWS Initiative: October 2016 – September 2021 1. Harte, J.; El-Gasseir, M. “Water and Energy”, Science, 1978, 199, p678. 2. Karr, J.; Schlosser, I. “Water Resources and the Land-Water Interface” Science 1978, 201, p229.
  10. 10. Reducing Atmospheric Carbon: National Need Climate change negatively impacts U.S. agricultural yields, coastal infrastructure, clean water supply, and many other socioeconomic sectors. 1. Climate Change: Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure GAO-17-720: Published: Sep 28, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2017, (Last Access 3-2-2019) 2. Hsiang, S. et al. Science 356,2017, p 1362, DOI: 10.1126/science.aal4369.
  11. 11. US DOE - Global Carbon Cycle Components. US DOE. Prepared by the Biological and Environmental Research Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Used in: Carbon Cycling and Biosequestration: Integrating Biology and Climate Through Systems Science; Report from the March 2008 Workshop, DOE/SC-108, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science ( U.S. Department of Energy Genomic Science program, Global Carbon Cycle Components
  12. 12. Signals in the Soil (SitS): NSF 18-047 2017 – NSF-supported workshop at University of Chicago (ENG, BIO) 2018 – NSF 18-047: Dear Colleague Letter: Signals in the Soil (SitS) – Four Themes: •Novel Sensors: Sensing soil biological/metagenomics, chemical, or physical characteristics; inexpensive, buried for long time periods. •Wireless Systems. Advances in wireless communications to collect and transmit data from sensors buried in soils. •Advanced Cyber Systems & Data Analytics: For data fusion & analytics of sensor outputs (visualization, reporting tools, etc.). •Modeling Soil Ecosystems: Next-generation dynamic models of soil bio, chem, and/or phys components, describing interactions among processes at different temporal and spatial scales. Current Award List can be found here. User subcomante, 2006, (GNU Free Documentation License), Link (Accessed 3/3/2019). User Smaack, 2016 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International) Link (Accessed 3/3/2019).
  13. 13. Signals in the Soils (SitS) FY 19 • DCL (NSF 18-097): Planning for New Signals in The Soils (SitS)-Themed NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRCs) • Preproposals due April 17, 2019. • Solicitation (NSF 19-556): ENG, GEO, CISE, BIO, USDA NIFA, and United Kingdom Research and Innovation (NERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, STFC) • Posted February 2019. Due May 15, 2019 Additional 5th major theme: Advance knowledge of signaling and interactions between the soil and the biological entities in it, as well as among the organisms.
  14. 14. Urban Systems and Communities in the 21st Century 14 • What theories explain the structure and function of urban systems and what are the critical drivers of change? • What aspects and intersections of social, built, and natural systems influence the resilience and sustainability of communities and the wellbeing of the people living in them? • Can successful innovations in one urban system be transferred to others? • Can science improve forecasts and make predictions about the future states of urban systems? • How can communities design urban systems from within to achieve beneficial outcomes? See Photo Credit: Artdee2554/ Photo Credit: Getty ImagesPhoto Credit: Ning Lin, Princeton University Smart and Connected Communities Sustainable Urban SystemsCoastlines and People NSF 18-520: s_id=505364 Photo Credit: John Schade Long Term Ecological Research - Urban Ecology NSF 17-593: ms_id=7671 NSF 19-032: Due March 22, 2019
  15. 15. Challenge: 80% of the US population lives on ~3% of the space in concentrated urban cities that are highly dependent on surrounding rural areas = Urban Systems. • Unable to accurately frame and model urban sociotechnical futures and how to improve them. • Coordination: Limited understanding on how different actors can coordinate to build and maintain SUS. • Workforce: Disciplinary lack of tools and scope to work with multi-scale complexity. Credit: Alanscottwalker Single Urban Areas Credit: chensiyuan Multiple Cities & Communities Credit: NASA Supra-aggregations Directorates: ENG, SBE, BIO, CISE, GEO, MPS, EHR +OIA and OISE 3 Major Perspectives
  16. 16. INTERN – Non Academic Internships for NSF Grad Students Grad Students: Access real world immersion Industry: Mentor and access a new generation of talent NSF: Catalyze workforce Development Universities: Build pathways to new/stronger links with industry Host organizations may include: • Industry laboratories or research and development groups. • Start-ups or small businesses. • Government agencies and National Laboratories. • Policy think-tanks. • Non-profit organizations. Up to $55K for up to 6 months of internship Need an Intellectual Property agreement between university and Host INTERN announcement : Prakash Balan:
  17. 17. A sampling of Host organizations participating in the INTERN program launch in May 2017
  18. 18. NSF's current headquarters: 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA, 22314 Credit: National Science Foundation ( Brandi Schottel:
  19. 19. 19 “Urban” Water Cycle Agriculture Wastewater Treatment Clean Wastewater Return Wastewater Aquaculture Greywater Reuse Industry City Source Treatment Homes Desalination Illustration credit: Nicolle R. Fuller, Sayo-Art LLC
  20. 20. INTERN NSF Blog Post & Video • 179651371393/grad-students-inspired-to-look- beyond-careers-in • Video link: