Environmental System Science
The DOE SC program in Biological and Environmental Research (BER) hereby announces its interest in receiving applications for research in Environmental System Science (ESS). The goal of the ESS program in BER is to advance an integrated, robust, and scale-aware predictive understanding of terrestrial systems and their interdependent biological, chemical, ecological, hydrological and physical processes. The program seeks to develop an integrated framework using a systems approach to unravel the complex processes and controls on the structure, function, feedbacks, and dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems, spanning from the bedrock through the rhizosphere and vegetation to the atmospheric surface layer. The scope includes watersheds and coastal zones, terrestrial-aquatic interfaces, and understudied ecosystems that represent a significant knowledge gap in local and regional process models and predictive Earth system models. This FOA will consider applications that focus on measurements, experiments, field data, and modeling to provide improved understanding and representation of ecosystems and watersheds in ways that advance the sophistication and capabilities of models that span from individual processes to Earth system scales. This FOA will encompass three Science Research Areas: 1) Terrestrial-Aquatic Interfaces (TAI), specifically seeking research exploring ecological and environmental dynamics that in turn influence hydro-biogeochemical processes in zones with wide-ranging cyclic soil saturation states; 2) Perturbations and Disturbances, specifically studying watershed and ecosystem responses, feedbacks, and recovery from extremes events and chronic compounding perturbations and environmental shifts; and 3) Novel Methods for Capturing "Hot Spots" and "Hot Moments" of Biogeochemical Activity, to develop and demonstrate methodologies suitable for precisely measuring the occurrence and quantifying the magnitude of "hot spots" and/or "hot moments" in ways that are extensible to different types of watersheds, ecosystems or regions.