water

Solicitation Released: NSF INFEWS

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) is a new initiative at the National Science Foundation to fund proposals based on the food, energy and water systems (FEW).

Full Proposal Deadline Date: March 22, 2016

For more information, visit the NSF solitication here: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505241&org=NSF

Read below for the NSF INFEWS Synopsis:

Humanity is reliant upon the physical resources and natural systems of the Earth for the provision of food, energy, and water.  It is becoming imperative that we determine how society can best integrate across the natural and built environments to provide for a growing demand for food, water and energy while maintaining appropriate ecosystem services.  Factors contributing to stresses in the food, energy, and water (FEW) systems include increasing regional and social pressures and governance issues as result of land use change, climate variability, and heterogeneous resource distribution.  These interconnections and interdependencies associated with the food, energy and water nexus create research grand challenges in understanding how the complex, coupled processes of society and the environment function now, and in the future.  There is a critical need for research that enables new means of adapting to future challenges.  The FEW systems must be defined broadly, incorporating physical processes (such as built infrastructure and new technologies for more efficient resource utilization), natural processes (such as biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles), biological processes (such as agroecosystem structure and productivity), social/behavioral processes (such as decision making and governance), and cyber elements.  Investigations of these complex systems may produce discoveries that cannot emerge from research on food or energy or water systems alone.  It is the synergy among these components in the context of sustainability that will open innovative science and engineering pathways to produce new knowledge and novel technologies to solve the challenges of scarcity and variability.

The overarching goal of INFEWS is to catalyze the well-integrated interdisciplinary research efforts to transform scientific understanding of the FEW nexus in order to improve system function and management, address system stress, increase resilience, and ensure sustainability. The NSF INFEWS initiative is designed specifically to attain the following goals:

  1. Significantly advance our understanding of the food-energy-water system through quantitative and computational modeling, including support for relevant cyberinfrastructure;
  2. Develop real-time, cyber-enabled interfaces that improve understanding of the behavior of FEW systems and increase decision support capability;
  3. Enable research that will lead to innovative system and technological solutions to critical FEW problems; and
  4. Grow the scientific workforce capable of studying and managing the FEW system, through education and other professional development opportunities.

This activity enables interagency cooperation on one of the most pressing problems of the millennium - understanding interactions across the food, energy and water nexus - how it is likely to affect our world, and how we can proactively plan for its consequences. It allows the partner agencies - National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA) and others - to combine resources to identify and fund the most meritorious and highest-impact projects that support their respective missions, while eliminating duplication of effort and fostering collaboration between agencies and the investigators they support.

NSF and USDA/NIFA are interested in promoting international cooperation that links scientists and engineers from a range of disciplines and organizations to solve the significant global challenges at the nexus of food, energy and water systems. Proposals including international collaboration are encouraged when those efforts enhance the merit of the proposed work by incorporating unique resources, expertise, facilities or sites of international partners. The U.S. team’s international counterparts generally should have support or obtain funding through other non-NSF sources.

Solicitation Released: NSF INFEWS

Event date(s): Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Location: NSF


Program Title:

Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS)

Program Deadline:

March 22, 2016

Synopsis of Program:

Humanity is reliant upon the physical resources and natural systems of the Earth for the provision of food, energy, and water. It is becoming imperative that we determine how society can best integrate across the natural and built environments to provide for a growing demand for food, water and energy while maintaining appropriate ecosystem services. Factors contributing to stresses in the food, energy, and water (FEW) systems include increasing regional and social pressures and governance issues as result of land use change, climate variability, and heterogeneous resource distribution. These interconnections and interdependencies associated with the food, energy and water nexus create research grand challenges in understanding how the complex, coupled processes of society and the environment function now, and in the future. There is a critical need for research that enables new means of adapting to future challenges. The FEW systems must be defined broadly, incorporating physical processes (such as built infrastructure and new technologies for more efficient resource utilization), natural processes (such as biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles), biological processes (such as agroecosystem structure and productivity), social/behavioral processes (such as decision making and governance), and cyber elements. Investigations of these complex systems may produce discoveries that cannot emerge from research on food or energy or water systems alone. It is the synergy among these components in the context of sustainability that will open innovative science and engineering pathways to produce new knowledge and novel technologies to solve the challenges of scarcity and variability.

The overarching goal of INFEWS is to catalyze the well-integrated interdisciplinary research efforts to transform scientific understanding of the FEW nexus in order to improve system function and management, address system stress, increase resilience, and ensure sustainability. The NSF INFEWS initiative is designed specifically to attain the following goals:

  1. Significantly advance our understanding of the food-energy-water system through quantitative and computational modeling, including support for relevant cyberinfrastructure;
  2. Develop real-time, cyber-enabled interfaces that improve understanding of the behavior of FEW systems and increase decision support capability;
  3. Enable research that will lead to innovative system and technological solutions to critical FEW problems; and
  4. Grow the scientific workforce capable of studying and managing the FEW system, through education and other professional development opportunities.

This activity enables interagency cooperation on one of the most pressing problems of the millennium - understanding interactions across the food, energy and water nexus - how it is likely to affect our world, and how we can proactively plan for its consequences. It allows the partner agencies - National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA) and others - to combine resources to identify and fund the most meritorious and highest-impact projects that support their respective missions, while eliminating duplication of effort and fostering collaboration between agencies and the investigators they support.

NSF and USDA/NIFA are interested in promoting international cooperation that links scientists and engineers from a range of disciplines and organizations to solve the significant global challenges at the nexus of food, energy and water systems. Proposals including international collaboration are encouraged when those efforts enhance the merit of the proposed work by incorporating unique resources, expertise, facilities or sites of international partners. The U.S. team's international counterparts generally should have support or obtain funding through other non-NSF sources.

Below are the members of the INFEWS Working Group responsible for internal oversight of this solicitation. All questions regarding proposal submissions should be directed toINFEWSquestions [at] nsf [dot] gov or the program officers on the track teams responsible for the different tracks. See program description for descriptions of the different tracks. A complete list of the program officers on these track teams can be found on the program website https://www.nsf.gov/geo/ere/ereweb/infews-contacts.jsp.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Thomas Torgersen, Co-Chair, Directorate for Geosciences, telephone: 703-292-4738, email: ttorgers [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • JoAnn Lighty, Co-Chair, Directorate for Engineering, telephone: 703-292-5382, email: jlighty [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • David Corman, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, telephone: 703-292-8754, email: dcorman [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Alan Tessier, Directorate for Biological Sciences, telephone: 703-292-7198, email: atessier [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Carol Bessel, Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences, telephone: 703-292-4906, email: cbessel [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Robert O'Connor, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, telephone: 703-292-7263, email: roconnor [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • David Campbell, Directorate for Education & Human Resources, telephone: 703-292-5093, email: dcampbel [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Lara Campbell, Office of International Science and Engineering, telephone: 703-292-7049, email: lcampbel [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Audrey Levine, Office of Integrative Activities, telephone: 703-292-7374, email: alevine [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Rachel Melnick, USDA/NIFA, telephone: 202-401-4980, email: rmelnick [at] nifa [dot] usda [dot] gov
  • Bruce Hamilton, Directorate for Engineering, telephone: 703-292-7066, email: bhamilto [at] nsf [dot] gov
  • Patrick Harr, Directorate for Geosciences, telephone: 703-292-8523, email: pharr [at] nsf [dot] gov

Challenging the maximum rooting depth paradigm in grasslands and savannas

Author(s): Jesse B. Nippert and Ricardo M. Holdo
Date of Publication: January 2015
Abstract:

For many grassland and savanna ecosystems, water limitation is a key regulator of individual plant, community and ecosystem processes. Maximum rooting depth is commonly used to characterize the susceptibility of plant species to drought. This rests on the assumption that deep-rooted plant species would have a greater total volume of soil water to exploit and should be less susceptible to episodic changes in water availability.
Independent of maximum rooting depth, rooting strategies based on differences in biomass allocation with depth, uptake plasticity in relation to water availability and variation in water transport capability may all influence growth responses and susceptibility to drought. Many examples from grasslands and savannas reflect these rooting strategies among coexisting grass, forb and woody species.
Here, we use a dynamic model of plant water uptake and growth to show how changes in root distribution, functional plasticity and root hydraulic conductivity have the potential to influence aboveground biomass and competitive outcomes, even when maximum rooting depth remains constant. We also show theoretically that shifts in root distribution to surface soils without changes in maximum depth can potentially outweigh the benefits of increased maximum rooting depth.
Combining our current reliance on biogeographic descriptions of maximum rooting depth with insights about other, more subtle aspects of root structure and function are likely to improve our understanding of ecosystem responses to dynamic water limitation.

Citation: Nippert, J. B., Holdo, R. M. (2015), Challenging the maximum rooting depth paradigm in grasslands and savannas. Functional Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12390
Team(s): Plant Team