EPA releases FY2022-2023 P2 Grant Funding Availability announcements

EPA has released two P2 Grant Funding Availability Announcements for FY 2022 – FY 2023. Applicants are welcome to apply to one or both announcements.

  1. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2022-001: EPA anticipates awarding approximately $9.38 million in total federal pollution prevention grant funding over a two-year funding cycle ($4.69 million in FY 2022 funds and $4.69 million in FY 2023 funds). Individual grant awards could be up to $800,000 for the two-year funding period or $400,000 funded per year. Cost share/match requirement is fifty percent. Federally-recognized tribes and intertribal consortia that receive a P2 grant award and place the approved workplan into a performance partnership agreement will have their cost share/match requirement reduced from fifty percent to zero.
     
  2. EPA-I-OCSPP-OPPT-FY2022-001Through funds provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA anticipates awarding approximately $13.9 million in total federal pollution prevention grant funding to support a two-year P2 grant agreement (FY 2022 and FY 2023). Grants will be fully funded at the initial award with a maximum individual award ceiling of $350,000. There will be no cost share/match requirements and assistance agreements are ineligible for inclusion into performance partnership grant agreements.

For more information, visit the EPA P2 Grants website.

Job announcement: Associate Director for Computing and Data Services, Prairie Research Institute

Close date: Mar 3, 2022
View the full announcement.

The Prairie Research Institute (PRI), a research and service institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, houses five large scientific surveys covering a wide range of expertise including biology, water resources, climate, geology, sustainable technology, and archaeology. PRI’s mission is to provide objective, integrated scientific research and service that allow citizens and decision-makers to make choices that ensure sustainable economic development, enduring environmental quality, and cultural resource preservation for the people, businesses, and governments of Illinois. Learn more at go.illinois.edu/PRIjobs.

PRI is seeing to hire an Associate Director for Computing and Data Services to be responsible for the leadership and management of the operations of the Prairie Research Institute Computing and Data Services group, overseeing IT services, infrastructure, security, and application development and to develop and align technology with business strategies by enabling institution processes with the appropriate technologies.  This includes advising the PRI Executive Director on IT needs, planning, policy development, and providing direction to information technology subgroups; Desktop Support, Network and Server Administration, and Application Development for five state surveys and over one thousand employees in fifty-three staff occupied buildings.  The Associate Director for Computing and Data Services reports directly to the Executive Director and serves as one of eight members of the Prairie Research Institute Executive Leadership Team.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

Major Duties & Responsibilities:

Technology Development, Implementation, and Management

  • Responsible for overseeing, coordinating, and providing strategic direction for PRI’s use of technology.
  • Develop plans and budgets to build PRI’s emerging IT infrastructure to align with PRI’s strategic plan and to support PRI’s scientific research programs that rely on computing and business data infrastructure.
  • Develop and monitor policies and procedures governing internal technology use and purchase, as well as support for the systems within PRI.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with PRI division managers and other key leaders. Advise and inform leadership on policies and procedures that impact their programs and staff.
  • Provide high-level direction and management for IT projects.
  • In collaboration with the Associate Directors and Survey Directors, identify and meet emerging IT needs and opportunities for faculty and research staff. 
  • In collaboration with the Associate Directors, identify opportunities for IT to increase efficiencies of business processes for administration staff.
  • Responsible for the upkeep and continued development of PRI’s emerging internal information infrastructure from database technologies to the information systems used by scientists, managers and staff to effectively use business data to manage the daily operations of PRI.
  • Provide comprehensive data, workflow analysis and IT capability to assist with decision support, planning, and management of PRI, in collaboration with PRI research, finance, and human resource leadership.
  • Oversee and develop applications in a client/server database environment to meet the needs of PRI administration and principal investigators/scientists.
  • Contribute to the identification and potential solutions to address various scientific data conversions and digitization, archival, storage, and common database needs across the institute.
  • Provide oversight and project planning for CDS and system upgrades.
  • Establish, maintain, and continuously review the internal and external computing systems.

Policy development and management

  • Advise the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, Administration, division leaders and managers, serve as a key liaison and subject matter expert on IT strategy development and implementation for PRI.
  • Update and communicate IT procedures and Management Information Systems to improve management and end user understanding of PRI operations.

Networking/Outreach

  • Collaborate with campus on IT infrastructure, follow campus IT policy, and advocate for the IT needs of PRI.
  • Serve on campus committees to improve services for the campus.

Supervision/Administrative

  • Direct and lead the PRI CDS unit and provide supervision and training for professional personnel.
  • Oversee day-to-day operations of the IT groups as it relates to upkeep and running of the servers including those that provide 24/7 support for all production services.
  • Collaborate with PRI Finance to develop cost recovery mechanisms for general IT services. Direct and manage the operation of all IT Services and the associated cost recovery programs, including budgeting and planning for staffing and equipment.
  • Provide information and reports required by the university and campus, PRI management, staff, and funding agencies.
  • Develop and revise PRI IT policy and procedures to maintain and improve daily operations within PRI as related to IT Services.
  • Supervise and lead staff to achieve success and foster a culture of innovation and high-level performance at both individual and organizational levels.  This includes task assignment, scheduling, ongoing performance management with coaching and feedback, career development planning, leave/travel approval, as well as conducting annual performance reviews.  
  • Collaborate on and lead the development of grant proposals to obtain additional IT funding.
  • Manage technical staff to assist in projects and provide recommendations on equipment and services required by PRI research projects.

Other

  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.

Qualifications:

Education: Required: Bachelor’s degree in an IT related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.

Experience: Required:  A minimum of 10 years of highly specialized knowledge/experience in an information technology field. A minimum of 5 years of experience in the coordination or management of information technology or information system strategies, policies, and implementation.  A minimum of 5 years of experience collaborating with human resources and/or finance in the development of decision support tools. A minimum of 5 years of experience managing information technology budgets and staff in a scientific and technical academic research environment. A minimum of 5 years of experience and proven ability to develop a cost-effective business model to develop, sustain, and manage a complex IT infrastructure in a scientific research organization. Experience providing decision support tools and analysis to inform evaluation and strategic planning within a research enterprise. Valid Driver’s License

Successful Candidates will also have: Strong analytical, critical thinking, creative problem solving, good judgment, negotiating, influencing, and strategic decision-making skills. Ability to maintain confidentiality, tact, and diplomacy. Exceptional interpersonal skills and understanding of group dynamics.  Successful track record of establishing credibility and trust with a diverse client group, including senior leaders. Demonstrated leadership skills and management.  Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. In depth knowledge of the following software: Microsoft Visual Studio including VB.net or C#, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Networking including Active Directory and Microsoft Office.  Working knowledge of PHP programming language also desired.

Environmental Demands: The work of this position takes place in an office setting. The work is sedentary and involves remaining in a stationary position for extended periods of time working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse, and using repetitive hand motions. Light lifting, such as moving computer hardware, may be necessary. Periodic travel to field offices is required. Occasional overnight travel may occur. 

This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. The starting date is negotiable and salary is commensurate with experience and skills.

Application: 

If interested in the opportunity to join the PRI team, please complete your candidate profile at http://jobs.illinois.edu and upload a cover letter, CV/resume, and the contact information for three professional references must be received by Thursday, March 3, 2022.  Interviews may be conducted before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date.  All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. 

For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Megan Weeks at mkweeks@illinois.edu or 217-244-4768. 

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.

Regions growing coffee, cashews and avocados at risk amid global heating

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Some regions that produce coffee, cashews and avocados may not be able to support the growing of these crops within decades as a result of global heating, a study has found.

Predictions favored solar over wind power. What happened?

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Robert C. Seamans, the man President Gerald Ford had entrusted to deal with the energy crisis of the 1970s, didn’t think wind power had much of a future. In 1975, at the dedication of an experimental turbine in Ohio, Seamans opined that wind would never account for more than 1 percent of the U.S. energy supply.

Solar power, on the other hand, was one of Seamans’ great hopes for energy independence. It had been two long years since the OPEC oil embargo, and gas prices were still high. Six months into his term as president, Ford formed Seamans’ agency — the Energy Research and Development Administration — to galvanize homegrown fuel industries and end reliance on foreign oil.

The same year that Seamans scoffed at wind energy, his agency issued a report asserting that the sun’s “virtually inexhaustible potential supply of energy” could represent a quarter of the nation’s energy use by 2020.

Nearly 50 years later, wind and solar farms have sprouted across the country — but solar power accounted for less than 3 percent of American electricity last year, while wind made up around 8 percent. President Biden is aiming to run the U.S. energy grid entirely on clean energy within 15 years, and he has set a goal of cutting the cost of solar energy by 60 percent over the next decade. To hit these targets, policymakers might do well to explore why Seamans’ predictions were essentially upside down.

Connecting the Dots: Plastic Pollution and the Planetary Emergency

Download the document.

This report sounds the alarm on pollution caused by plastic throughout its lifecycle by exposing how it drives pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change, compromises human health and poses a direct threat to planetary boundaries. Based on this, it provides recommendations on how to ensure multidimensional, long-term and collaborative policy that considers plastic pollution as a planetary boundary threat and takes into account its knock-on impacts on other environmental crises.

Zero pollution in drinking water: endocrine disrupting chemicals on new watch list of pollutants

Read the full story from the European Commission Directorate-General for the Environment.

Following a decision by the Commission today, drinking water across the EU will have to be monitored more closely for the potential presence of two endocrine disrupting compounds (beta-estradiol and nonylphenol) throughout the whole water supply chain. As required by EU rules on drinking water in force since last year, the Commission established today a first ‘watch list’ of emerging compounds to monitor and address if needed. 

Air pollution significantly reduces pollination by confusing butterflies and bees

Read the full story from the University of Reading.

A new study finds pollination reduced by almost a third when diesel fumes and ozone were present – the negative impact of these common air pollutants on pollination were observed in the natural environment.

Bubbles of methane rising from seafloor in Puget Sound

Read the full story from the University of Washington.

The release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas responsible for almost a quarter of global warming, is being studied around the world, from Arctic wetlands to livestock feedlots. A team has discovered a source much closer to home: 349 plumes of methane gas bubbling up from the seafloor in Puget Sound, which holds more water than any other U.S. estuary.

Lockdown drove pollution changes between — even within — cities

Read the full story from Washington University in St. Louis.

A new modelling method allows researchers to measure levels of nitrogen dioxide on a finer scale, revealing disparities in exposure during COVID.

Biogas from landfills must be part of aviation’s net-zero future

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

As the aviation sector makes investments to increase the production of sustainable fuel, Boeing and SkyNRG Americas say it’s key to focus on the potential to reduce methane emissions.