MacroSystems Biology and NEON-Enabled Science (MSB-NES)

Posted in conjunction with our colleagues in the Division of Environmental Biology: 

Here’s some news as we enter the home stretch for 2018: the MacroSystems Biology (MSB) program has released a new solicitation for proposals under the revised program title “MacroSystems Biology and NEON-Enabled Science (MSB-NES)”. The solicitation recognizes the completion of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) as a major instrument for studying regional- to continental-scale ecological research questions. You can find the program summary here.

The solicitation (NSF 19-538) invites innovative proposals to detect, quantify, and forecast the consequences of changing climate, land-use, and invasive species for the biosphere at regional to continental scales. The program targets the massive knowledge gap between processes that occur at local ecological scales and the global processes that drive the distribution of ecosystems and biomes. Additionally, it recognizes that drivers of ecological change occur at multiple scales of time and space, and that processes may interact across scales in nonlinear fashion. As ever, the program encourages planning, training, and development activities that enable groups to conduct research at macrosystem scales.

The current solicitation includes two tracks. The first track, named Macrosystems Research Awards (‘MRA’), will continue to support ambitious, quantitative, team projects that have shaped the emerging field of macrosystems ecology over the past decade.

The second track (Macrosystems Small Awards, ‘MSA’) provides opportunities for small teams of researchers tackling more narrowly targeted questions and approaches to advance understanding of regional to continental-scale processes. Such a project may, for example, address a single theoretical challenge, such as scaling, or focus on development of NEON-enabled tools that shed light on multi-scale drivers of an ecosystem process.

Both tracks will prioritize proposals that use the massive data streams flowing from 81 NEON aquatic and terrestrial sites situated within 20 climatically defined domains across the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. NEON data products are already streaming and openly available to all.

In addition to research proposals, the MSB program encourages proposals for the Research Coordination Network (RCN) program to support groups of investigators to coalesce around new ways to engage with NEON.

The due date for proposals is February 25, 2019.

To view examples of past awards and for any additional questions regarding MSB-NES, please visit the program page and contact Program Officers Michael Binford or Dan Gruner, directly.