Advancing Drought Understanding, Monitoring and Prediction

Low water in Don Pedro Reservoir, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada about 10 miles west of Yosemite National Park. This photo was taken on October 10, 2014, when nearly the entire state of California was still classified as being drought status D4—exceptional drought. Climate.gov photo by Andrew Williams.

In order to address gaps in the understanding, monitoring, and prediction of drought and improve our Nation’s ability to prepare for impacts, NOAA’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program — in partnership with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) — is funding 12 new three-year projects. These competitively-funded projects involve $4.2 million in grants and $1.8 million in other awards (for a total of $6.0 million).

Drought has and continues to cause serious social and economic impacts throughout the United States. According to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, a single drought event costs the U.S. about $9.4 billion on average1. From agricultural and drinking water supplies to infrastructure, health, ecosystems, and energy costs, drought negatively affects myriad sectors and people. Through the new National Drought Resilience Partnership, as well as NIDIS and its regional Drought Early Warning Systems (DEWS), NOAA, working with interagency and academic colleagues, strives to improve the country’s capacity to manage drought-related risks and mitigate impacts by providing the best available information and tools. Building on the NIDIS example, an emerging international effort has begun to develop similar capabilities through a Global Drought Information System. In addition, NOAA’s Drought Task Force (DTF) has contributed significantly to the goals of the World Climate Research Program’s Climate Variability and Predictability and Global Energy and Water Cycle Exchanges programs.

The newly selected projects will build on the previous NOAA DTFs’ accomplishments during a third term of the Drought Task Force, which will be active from 2017 to 2020. Research topics will focus on improving understanding of sources of predictability, advancing the capability to model processes related to drought, developing new national monitoring and forecast products, and advancing operational drought monitoring and prediction systems.

The 12 new projects2 to be funded by the MAPP Program in 2017 are:

  • “An Objective Seasonal Drought Outlook for the Conterminous United States” — Lead Investigator: Dennis Lettenmaier (University of California, Los Angeles); Co-Investigator: Kingtse Mo (NOAA/CPC)
  • “Representing Human-Managed Influences through Thermal Product Data Assimilation in NLDAS: Impacts on the Terrestrial Water Budget and Drought Estimation” — Lead Investigator: Christa Peters-Lidard (NASA Goddard); Co-Investigators: David Mocko (NASA GSFC), Chris Hain (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center), Sujay Kumar (NASA GSFC), Youlong Xia (NOAA/EMC); Collaborators: Martha Anderson (USDA-ARS), Xiwu Zhan (NOAA/NESDIS)
  • “Collaborative Research: Toward Operational Predictions of Persistent Drought Driven by Multi-Year La Nina” — Lead Investigator: Yuko Okumura (University of Texas); Co-Investigators: Pedro DiNezio (University of Texas), Clara Deser (NCAR)
  • “Understanding Predictability of Flash Drought Over the United States” — Lead Investigator: Hailan Wang (Science Systems and Applications Inc.); Co-Investigator: Randal Koster (NASA Goddard)
  • “Understanding the Sources of U.S. Drought Predictability Using Seasonal Reforecasts of Sixty Years (1958-2017) Initialized with Multiple Land Analyses” — Lead Investigator: Bohua Huang (GMU/COLA); Co-Investigators: Chul-Su Shin (GMU/COLA), Paul A. Dirmeyer (GMU/COLA), Arun Kumar (NOAA/CPC)
  • “Exploring Process and Scale Dependencies on the Predictability and Variability of Drought in the United States” — Lead Investigator: Michael Barlage (NCAR/Research Applications Laboratory); Co-Investigators: Zong-Liang Yang (University of Texas at Austin), Fei Chen (NCAR), David Gochis (NCAR)
  • “Clarifying the Influence of the Multiscale Coupling Between Land Surface, Shallow and Deep Convection, and Large-Scale Circulation on the Predictability of Summer Drought over the U.S. Great Plains” — Lead Investigator: Rong Fu (University of Los-Angeles)
  • “Drought Onset and Termination Across North America: Mechanisms and Predictability” — Lead Investigator: Richard Seager (Columbia University); Co-Investigators: Mingfang Ting (Columbia University), Naomi Henderson (Columbia University), Dong Eun Lee (Columbia University)
  • “Biosphere-Atmosphere Regulations of Droughts Assessed Using Microwave and Solar-Induced Fluorescence Observations and Improved Plant Water Stress Representation” — Lead Investigator: Pierre Gentine (Columbia University); Co-Investigators: Alexandra Konings (Stanford University), Rongqian Yang (NOAA Environmental Modeling Center), Michael B. Ek (NOAA Environmental Modeling Center)
  • Developing an Automated Weekly Probabilistic and Categorical Drought Outlook Based on U.S. Drought Monitor and Ensemble Prediction — Lead Investigator: Lifeng Luo (Michigan State University); Co-Investigator: Youlong Xia (NOAA Environmental Modeling Center)
  • Developing National Soil Moisture Products to Improve Drought Monitoring — Lead Investigator: Trent Ford (Southern Illinois University); Co-Investigators: Steven Quiring (Ohio State University), Jessica Lucido (USGS)
  • “Improving the Drought Monitoring Capabilities of Land Surface Models by Integrating Bias-Corrected, Gridded Precipitation Estimates” — Lead Investigator: Brent McRoberts (Texas A&M University); Co-Investigators: Steven Quiring (Ohio State University), Brad Zavodsky (NASA SPoRT), John Nielsen-Gammon (Texas A&M University), Jonathan Case (ENSCO, Inc.)
1 https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/summary-stats

2 At the time of publication, all awards may not have been accepted by recipient institutions

2018 Federal Funding Opportunities at a Glance

Important Dates/Deadlines

Letters of Intent

Letters of intent (LOIs) for all competitions (with the exception of the three MAPP Program competitions) should be received by email by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 14, 2017.

Letters of Intent for the three MAPP Program competitions should be received electronically by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 28, 2017.
A response to the LOI from the Competition Manager (e-mail or letter) will be sent to the investigator within four weeks after the LOI’s due date encouraging or discouraging a full application based on its relevance to the targeted Competition.

Full Applications

Full applications for all competitions (with the exception of the three MAPP Program competitions) must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, August 14, 2017.

Full applications for the three MAPP Program competitions must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 25, 2017

Applications received after these dates and times will not be considered for funding.

Applications must be submitted via www.grants.gov. For applications submitted through grants.gov, the basis for determining timeliness is the receipt notice issued by www.grants.gov, which includes the date and time received.

For applicants without internet access, please contact the CPO Grants Manager Diane Brown by mail at NOAA Climate Program Office (R/CP1), SSMC3, Room 12734, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 to obtain an application package. Please allow two weeks after receipt for a response. Hard copy submissions will be date and time stamped when they are received in the Climate Program Office.

Emailed or faxed copies of applications will not be accepted.

Competitions/Information Sheets

EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE AND MODELING DIVISION (ESSM)

Competition 1 - AC4: The Role of Reactive Nitrogen in Biogenic VOC Oxidation and Aerosol Formation
Contact: Monika Kopacz
Aerosols and aerosol formation have a significant influence on both climate and air quality. There are, however, a number of uncertainties in fully understanding and representing reactive nitrogen processes in the atmosphere as they relate to aerosol formation. In FY18, as part of its continuing interest in the nitrogen cycle, the AC4 program announcement focuses on laboratory, modeling, and analysis studies (of existing field data) that investigate the mechanisms of BVOC oxidation involving reactive nitrogen species.

 

Competition 2 - MAPP: Advancing Earth System Data Assimilation
Contact: Heather Archambault
The MAPP Program solicits exploratory projects on coupled data assimilation in support of NOAA’s plans for unified modeling and prediction across scales. Additional foci include improving data assimilation or data assimilation-based monitoring products for individual components of the Earth system (i.e., the cryosphere, ocean, including biogeochemistry, land surface, and atmospheric chemistry).

Competition 3 – MAPP: Addressing Key Issues in CMIP6-era Earth System Models
Contact: Daniel Barrie
The MAPP program is soliciting projects that address key issues in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project - Phase 6 (CMIP6) Earth System Models -- in particular, systematic biases in these models. Projects will utilize CMIP-6 model data to examine and improve the representation of processes associated to the cryosphere, weather and climate extremes, and sea level and coastal dynamics.

Competition 4 – MAPP: Climate Test Bed - Advancing NOAA's Operational Subseasonal to Seasonal Prediction Capability
Contact: Heather Archambault
The objective of this competition is to involve the external community in advancing the NOAA/NCEP/NWS Climate Prediction Center’s operational subseasonal to seasonal prediction capabilities as part of the NOAA Climate Test Bed. Priorities include optimizing the North American Multi-Model Ensemble system to meet operational requirements, and testing experimental subseasonal-to-seasonal prediction methodologies (e.g. new calibration or post-processing techniques) developed in the broader community for operational purposes.

OCEAN OBSERVING AND MONITORING (OOM)

Competition 5 - High-quality data sets for enhancing predictions and informing stakeholders
Contact: David Legler
The OOM Monitoring Program is soliciting projects that will develop long term, climate quality data sets and products that will address key climate processes and uncertainties, particularly those that can reduce uncertainty in key processes in climate models, and those that inform our understanding, monitoring and projections of the frequency and occurrence of weather and climate extremes.

CLIMATE AND SOCIETAL INTERACTIONS (CSI)

Competition 6 – Extreme Events Preparedness, Planning and Adaptation Within the Water Sector
Contact: Nancy Beller-Simms
SARP will award grants focused on developing strategies for increasing community resilience in U.S. towns, municipalities or small cities planning for the impacts of extreme precipitation events (too much or too little water) on their civilian population. Proposals should focus on the impact of extreme events on water resources and water-resource dependent activities (e.g., land use, watershed and water utility planning, emergency preparedness), specifically the connection between communication of risk and the design and implementation of risk mitigation and reduction strategies.

Competition 7 – Coping with Drought in Support of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
Contact: Nancy Beller-Simms
The SARP portion of the Coping with Drought Initiative will focus on advancing NIDIS regional drought early warning systems through a better understanding of how to better provide early warning through enhanced language, metrics and joint decision spaces (e.g., calendars, etc.).

Where to Submit

Application packages:
Visit Grants.gov and
click on Apply for Grants. You may also directly view the Grants.gov listing here.

Federal Funding Opportunity Number:
NOAA-OAR-CPO-2018-2005133

Applicants without Internet access:
Please send mail to:
Diane Brown
CPO Grants Manager
NOAA Climate Program Office (R/CP1), SSMC3, Room 12734
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Please allow two weeks after receipt for a response.

For Federal Investigators

Federal lead investigators who wish to apply to this Announcement of Opportunity must prepare a proposal according to the FFO guidelines and submit the proposal to the program manager directly, instead of to Grants.gov. Federal co-investigators must submit a proposal identical to the proposal lead's but with personalized budget information. Letters of intent (LOIs) for all competitions (with the exception of the three MAPP Program competitions) should be received by email by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 14, 2017.

Letters of Intent for the three MAPP Program competitions should be received electronically by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 28, 2017.

Full applications for all competitions (with the exception of the three MAPP Program competitions) must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, August 14, 2017.

Full applications for the three MAPP Program competitions must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 25, 2017

Questions/Who to Contact:

General Questions:
Diane Brown, CPO Grants Manager
Email: diane.brown@noaa.gov


Earth System Science and Modeling Division (ESSM)

Competition 1 - AC4: The Role of Reactive Nitrogen in Biogenic VOC Oxidation and Aerosol Formation
Contact: Monika Kopacz
Email: monika.kopacz@noaa.gov

Competition 2 - MAPP: Advancing Earth System Data Assimilation
Contact: Heather Archambault
Email: heather.archambault@noaa.gov

Competition 3 - MAPP: Addressing Key Issues in CMIP6-era Earth System Models
Contact: Daniel Barrie
Email: daniel.barrie@noaa.gov

Competition 4 - MAPP: Climate Test Bed - Advancing NOAA's Operational Subseasonal to Seasonal Prediction Capability
Contact: Heather Archambault
Email: heather.archambault@noaa.gov


Ocean Observing and Monitoring (OOM)

Competition 5 - High-quality data sets for enhancing predictions and informing stakeholders
Contact: David Legler
Email: david.legler@noaa.gov


Climate and Societal Interactions (CSI)

Competition 6 - Extreme Events Preparedness, Planning and Adaptation Within the Water Sector
Contact: Nancy Beller-Simms
Email: Nancy Beller-Simms@noaa.gov

Competition 7 - Coping with Drought in Support of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
Contact: Nancy Beller-Simms
Email: Nancy Beller-Simms@noaa.gov

ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION

Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.

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