First-Ever NSF Visit Day
Fifteen faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral associates working on the VT EPSCoR research Adaptation to Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin: New Understanding through Complex Systems (RACC) traveled to the National Science Foundation (NSF) on March 7, 2013 to visit with 15 Program Directors encompassing a wide range of directorates to learn about new NSF initiatives and funding mechanisms. The visit was designed to expose graduate students and post-doctoral associates to the National Science Foundation and acquaint the group members with funding opportunities as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) mentoring and career development efforts of VT EPSCoR.
The highly transdiciplinary group from the University of Vermont (UVM) included members from Engineering, Biology, the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, Geography, Plant Biology, Geology, Plant and Soil Science and Community Development & Applied Economics.
Individual small-group meetings were held with Program Directors in the areas of Geo-informatics, Population and Community Ecology, Land Use Dynamics, Hydrological Sciences, BIGDATA, Cyber-Physical Systems, Behavioral Systems, Ecosystems, Coupled Natural and Human Systems, Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) and Cyber-Enabled Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES).
The day-long visit was capped off with a special full-group meeting with NSF Head, Office of International and Integrative Activities (OIA), Dr. Wanda Ward; EPSCoR Office Head Dr. Denise Barnes; NSF EPSCoR Program Officer Dr. Sian Money and Dr. Judith Van Houten, State Director, VT EPSCoR, and University Distinguished Professor, who said of the excursion: “Meetings like these help shape our investigators shape their future research and career goals and make them more competitive for Federal funding. All the feedback from our group members about their interactions has been extremely positive.”
Dr. Wanda Ward, Head, Office of International and Integrative Activities (OIA) at NSF added: “I was very impressed with the "pathway" team that you brought, as each of them held his/her own quite well. I trust that the visit was worthwhile for them, especially the "next generation" participants. Such visits always invigorate me and remind me of what our efforts are all about.”
VT EPSCoR is currently in the second year of its RII-Track 1 award focused on Research on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin: New Understanding through Complex Systems Modeling (RACC). Transdisciplinary groups of researchers, state agency officials, private sector partners and other non-profit stakeholders are examining the Basin as a coupled natural and human system and the implications of climate changes on policy and management. Implications for adaptive management strategies will be drawn from data collected and analyzed through an Integrated Assessment Model (IAM). RACC includes 284 participants including 18 newly created jobs and 24 Pilot and Private sector awards between 2011-2013. These participants are from four Vermont institutions (University of Vermont (UVM), Saint Michael’s College, Middlebury College and Johnson state College).