NIFA requests applications for the AFRI Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change (AFRI ANRCVC) Challenge Area Program for fiscal year (FY) 2016 to support research to facilitate the adaptation of agroecosystems and natural resource systems to climate variability and the implementation of mitigation strategies in those systems. The anticipated amount available for grants in FY 2016 is approximately $8.4 million.
There are two program areas, each with different application deadlines:
Climate and Land Use
Letter of Intent Deadline – September 14, 2016 (5:00 p.m., Eastern Time)
Application Deadline – November 17, 2016 (5:00 p.m., Eastern Time)
For FY2016, the AFRI Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate and Variability Challenge Area (AFRI ANRCVC) encourages proposals that address the patterns, processes, and consequences (including GHG emissions and other climate feedbacks) of changes in land use and their drivers, particularly considering intensive farming and forestry systems at multiple spatial and temporal scales, studies that examine the social and behavioral aspects of adoption of adaptive measures and best management practice in the context of changing weather patterns and climate, to ultimately support sustainable and resilient agricultural landscapes into the future.
This program area explores how the mosaic of land use types affect and are affected by climate variability and change through integrated projects that focus on sustainable intensive agricultural systems, including crop, livestock, and forestry production. Projects should aim to promote and enhance resilient and sustainable food/fiber supply chain systems under a changing climate, and address mitigation-adaptation dynamics of responses to climate variability and change. Land use and how this might be impacted by climate change should be the focus. The goal of this program is to produce a greater understanding of underlying processes, drivers and consequences of land use change, including bio-physical and biogeochemical processes, climate feedbacks, and environmental outcomes, and social, behavioral, economic and land use interactions. Projects should use a holistic and systems approaches to identify and quantify the climate adaptation and mitigation tradeoffs associated with changes and trends in intensified agricultural production systems across the landscape to inform decision makers of best management practices, land use, and policies for resilient and sustainable agriculture and forestry production systems.
Applications should examine the entire food/fiber supply chain to 1) identify critical points of intervention along the entire supply chain that are most vulnerable to climate impacts in order to establish best practices; and 2) determine points of intervention that have greatest potential to reduce emissions and increase carbon sequestration for the mitigation of climate change. In addition to the ecological, biogeochemical and technical processes, the project should also evaluate tthe socio-economic matrix and land use impacts along the food/fiber supply chain system.
Applications for CAP Grants must take a holistic and systems approach to address each of the following technical questions with an emphasis on land use and climate change:
- Where are the points along the supply chain that are vulnerable to climate variability and change? Proposals should evaluate the impacts of climate on the bio-physical and biogeochemical components of intensified agricultural production systems. Bio-physical aspects may include but are not limited to: water quantity and quality, flood control, soil retention and productivity, microbial communities, nutrient cycling, pest biology and ecology, pollinator health, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.
- What are potential adaptation and mitigation strategies that can make the food and or fiber supply chain system resilient and sustainable in a changing climate? What are the points along the food chain system that can be adapted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance carbon sequestration, and lessen environmental impacts?
- What are the drivers, effects, vulnerabilities, or resiliencies of the socio-economic system in relation to the sustainability of intensified agricultural production and in the context of climate variability and change? What are the behavioral and social responses, policy incentives or institutional frameworks that will foster desirable and sustainable food supply chain systems, enhancing the environment, human well-being, and the community and mitigating risks and consequences resulted from increasing climate variability and change?
Climate Masters Outreach and Extension
Letter of Intent Not Required for this Program Area
Application Deadline – September 14, 2016 (5:00 p.m., Eastern Time)
For FY2016, the AFRI ANRCVC encourages proposals that will bring together a team of extension professionals, along with educators, researchers, non-profits, businesses, policymakers, and other stakeholders to design an innovative approach to conducting community-based educational outreach for better understanding of climate, extreme weather events, energy, conservation, preparedness by people and community leaders, and the impact of informed decision-making. The long-term goal of the program is to support communities and build their capacity to independently plan, initiate, and carry out programs that address these issues.
The design for an innovative program strategy should include, but not be limited to:
- A feasibility study of implementing a climate-smart communities outreach model
- An inventory of current community-based initiatives in the public and private sector and best management practices from previous work to enhance climate resiliency.
- Documentation of research on what makes communities resilient and how this research was utilized to best design the program.
- A synthesis of literature, reports, and programs that provide insight on what has and has not worked in past climate outreach efforts. The synthesis should include characteristics of a climate-smart community, efforts to improve household and community readiness; and attitudes or behaviors that lead to climate-resilient decisions.
The expected outcomes from the application is that the team will design an innovative program strategy and approach that will address regional needs for developing a climate outreach and extension program that involves volunteers as Climate Masters. At the termination of the project, the team should deliver a document, such as a white paper or report, which establishes criteria for a regional, community-based climate outreach program that has a broad model that could be replicated in communities across the national. The document should describe best practices and evidenced-based promising solutions for conducting outreach to encourage climate-smart living and agricultural practices that positively impacts the environment. The document should include an executive summary and references to relevant sources.