Supporting regional preparedness and risk management: RISA announces FY17 awards

NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program is announcing two new five-year awards totaling $7.3 million to research institutions in Arizona/New Mexico and California/Nevada to improve the expertise and ability of decision makers to prepare and plan for hazards and extreme events.The interagency National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) co-funds drought components of these awards.

For more than 20 years, the NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program has been producing actionable weather and climate research, helping to reduce economic damages that Americans face every year due to droughts, floods, forest fires, vectorborne diseases, and a host of other climate and extreme weather impacts. The network of eleven RISA teams across the country work hand-in-hand with stakeholders and decision makers in regions across the United States to ensure that research and information is responsive to their needs.The sustained regional presence of RISA enables teams to effectively support responses to extreme events.

The two regional teams funded in FY17, chosen competitively by an independent, expert review panel, will work closely with communities, resource managers, land planners, public agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to advance new research on how weather and climate will impact the environment, economy, and society. These teams will also develop innovative ways to integrate climate information into decision-making. Over the next five years, the teams will build upon their ongoing relationships with decision makers in their regions and develop new partnerships. Both regional teams have been part of the RISA network for over 15 years.

The new awards cover a range of topics, including water and coastal resources, fire management, energy, drought, agriculture, human health, transportation, and resilience of urban and rural communities to extreme events. Each team focuses on the topics of most importance to their region, which they identify through iterative engagement, research and partnerships with regional stakeholders.

The two new RISA FY17 awards include:

  • California and Nevada region: lead institutions are the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Desert Research Institute; focus on water resources management, wildfires, drought and flooding, sea level rise and coastal communities.
  • Arizona and New Mexico region: lead institutions are the University of Arizona and New Mexico State University; focus on water resources management, drought, farming and ranching, urban heat, transportation, and human health.

RISAs represent an effective method to co-design and co-develop knowledge about climate and its impacts through partnerships among scientists and decision-makers. RISA teams work closely with NOAA entities including National Weather Service offices and the NOAA-supported Sea Grant network and Regional Climate Centers as well as its federal, state, and local partners. The teams have strong connections with federal initiatives such as the Department of Interior’s Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and USDA’s Climate Hubs. They are also significant contributors to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Regional Drought Early Warning Systems.

The new RISA partnerships join a network of 9 currently funded RISAs including:

RISA is a program in the Climate Program Office, within NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Research produced by the RISA program has educated, informed, and closely interacted with thousands of decision makers across the nation, helping them build the expertise to better plan and prepare for extreme weather events and climate variability. Learn more about the RISA program and teams.

2018 Federal Funding Opportunities at a Glance

Important Dates/Deadlines

Letters of Intent

(LOIs) for all three competitions should be received through email by 5:00 p.m. ET on January 5, 2018

Full Applications

Full applications for the RISA competition must be received by 5:00pm on March 5, 2018.

Full applications for COCA/RISA and IRAP competitions must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 16, 2018.

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

Applications must be submitted via For applications submitted through, the basis for determining timeliness is the receipt notice issued by, 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

Competition 1: RISA – South Central Region

Contact: Meredith Muth
Applicants should consider tackling interconnections among multiple issues relevant to a region as opposed to an individual project addressing site-specific analysis. Climate will have implications for a myriad of interconnected management and planning decisions in the region. From their own research and interactions with decision makers, applicants should identify the most important climate-sensitive issues and management challenges for their proposed region. Special consideration should be given to those communities or stakeholders in the regions for whom there is currently less direct engagement with climate information science and service providers/entities. Applicants should also consider NOAA mission-oriented topics that could benefit from the work of a RISA who could integrate information from and work across multiple issues. RISA activities should address a number of the societal challenges identified in NOAA’s Next-Generation Strategic Plan (NGSP): i) climate impacts on water resources; ii) coasts and climate resilience; iii) sustainability of marine ecosystems; and iv) changes in the extremes of weather and climate. These efforts support NOAA’s vision to create and sustain enhanced resilience in ecosystems, communities, and economies, as outlined in the NGSP. We do not, however, anticipate that a proposed RISA would work solely in these areas.

Competition 2: COCA/RISA – Pilot on Coastal Climate Extension Competition

Contact: Adrienne Antoine / Lisa Vaughan
The COCA and RISA programs are collaborating on a two-year pilot project to support and expand coastal climate extension within the RISA network. For FY18, the COCA program is soliciting proposals for coastal climate extension specialists in up to two RISA coastal regions (Mid-Atlantic and South Central).

Competition 3: IRAP - Decision Support Research on Climate-Sensitive Health Risks

Contact: Lisa Vaughan
IRAP will consider proposals for interdisciplinary, applied science, stakeholder engagement, and capacity building that advances the integration of weather and climate research, assessments and services in practical risk management settings related to health risks that affect US interests at home and abroad. Health risks of particular interest include: temperature-related mortality and illness; infectious and vector borne diseases; flooding due to extreme events such as hurricanes; air quality impacts; water and food-borne illnesses; nutrition, and food and water distribution. Specifically, IRAP will consider proposals related to the following: 1) Decision Support Research and Application on Climate-Sensitive Health Risks in Transboundary Regions of the United States, in Partnership with the NOAA/CSI Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment Program; and 2) Developing and Using Subseasonal and Seasonal Global Health Risk Maps, Prediction Tools and Information to Anticipate and Manage Climate-Sensitive Health Risk.

Where to Submit

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

Federal Funding Opportunity Number:

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 Federal co-investigators must submit a proposal identical to the proposal lead's but with personalized budget information.

Letters of Intent for Federal investigators should be received by the Competition Manager by 5:00 p.m. ET on January 5, 2018 for all competitions.

Full applications for the RISA competition must be received by 5:00pm on March 2, 2018. Full applications for COCA/RISA and IRAP competitions must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 13, 2018.


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.


Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910