Proposed federal budget and its impact on energy and environment: A roundup

Below is a roundup of some of the most recent stories about the effect of President Trump’s proposed budget on energy and environmental agencies. I’ll do additional roundup posts as more information becomes available.

Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication

WGBH and the Rita Allen Foundation have partnered to create the Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication. This is a unique, one-year opportunity for an innovative professional to study the field of science media, experiment with media formats, and work to expand science literacy among the public.

They are seeking candidates who are early-to mid-career science media producers, journalists, or working scientists with a commitment to science communication. The fellow will have an office at WGBH Boston, one of the pre-eminent science media producers in the US and home to the flagship public media science series NOVA.

Applications for the fellowship are due June 30, 2017, and selection of the fellow will be announced at the beginning of September 2017. The fellowship will begin by January 31, 2018 and last a year, and is a fulltime, paid position.

More information, including how to apply, can be found
 at http://www.wgbh.org/ritaallenfellowship, or by contacting us at raf2017@wgbh.org.

New EPA documents reveal even deeper proposed cuts to staff and programs

Read the full story in the Washington Post. The Alliance for Water Efficiency has posted the memo detailing all of the cuts here.

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new, more detailed plan for laying off 25 percent of its employees and scrapping 56 programs including pesticide safety, water runoff control, and environmental cooperation with Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program Grants

Applications due Sep 30, 2017.

For more information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=289863. Click the Related Documents tab to download the full RFP.

The Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. Coastal Program staff coordinate with project partners, stakeholders and other Service programs to identify geographic focus areas and develop habitat conservation priorities within these focus areas. Geographic focus areas are where the Coastal Program directs resources to conserve habitat for federal trust species. Project work plans are developed strategically, in coordination with partners, and with substantial involvement from Service field staff. Projects must advance our mission, promote biological diversity, and be based upon sound scientific biological principles. Program strategic plans inform the types of projects funded under this opportunity.

Applicants seeking funding under this program should review the program strategic plan and also contact the regional Coastal Program office prior to submitting an application for funding. Authorizing statues include Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. 742a-c, 747e-742j; and Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958, 16 U.S.C. 661 667(e).

ACEEE Accepting Applications for Scholarship to Attend 2017 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry

Application Deadline: April 10, 2017

ACEEE is proud to announce that we are accepting applications for Linda Latham Scholarships to attend our 2017 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry in Denver, Colorado from August 15 -18, 2017.  The scholarship was established in memory of Linda Latham who served as ACEEE’s Chief Operating Officer until her untimely death in September 2011. Linda, who helped found the US government’s ENERGY STAR® program, believed that students bring talent and creativity to the field of energy efficiency especially if we provide a venue to inspire and educate them.

Applicants must be an undergraduate or graduate student in an accredited college or university whose course work is related to energy/energy efficiency, climate change, environmental science, or a related field of study, and who is considering a career in energy/ energy efficiency. “Latham Scholars” will be exposed to new ideas and opportunities as they interact with energy efficiency experts from around the world. In turn, Summer Study attendees will be able to meet these exceptional students — a reciprocal opportunity for all!

For the 2017 Summer Study, scholars will receive a full conference registration and housing. A few travel stipends of up to $500 may be available; however, given limited funding, such requests could reduce chances of selection.

How To Apply
Applicants can either complete the online application, or complete this form and email to scholarships@aceee.org. Applications must be submitted with required attachments including a copy of the applicant’s Student ID and proof of student status (unofficial transcript/enrollment for current semester). No applications will be accepted after the April 10, 2017 deadline. An ACEEE committee will review applications and select the winners, who will be notified beginning April 21, 2017.

Please visit the 2017 Summer Study Industry website for more information and contact scholarships@aceee.org if you have questions.

FY 2017 Sustainable Materials Management Grant

Request For Applications (RFA # EPA-R5-LCD-2017)
Open Date: March 15, 2017
Closing Date: June 1, 2017

Summary: EPA Region 5 is soliciting applications to address one of two Sustainable Materials Management priorities. Projects must be implemented in EPA Region 5, which encompasses the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  Priorities are identified below (see solicitation for additional requirements):

Prevent or Reduce Wasted Food in a Tribal Community
Projects addressing this priority must:

  • Support the goals of a tribe’s approved Integrated Waste Management Plan.
  • Identify a baseline of the significant sources of wasted food in the community.
  • Track, evaluate, and report amounts of wasted food prevented or reduced.
  • Include plans to communicate the outcomes of the project with other tribes and communities, such as through a webinar, conference presentation, etc.

Demystify Potential Midwestern Recycling End Markets through Collaboration
Projects addressing this priority must:

  • Create an information resource to identify end markets as well as the economic opportunity afforded by these potential markets using economic indicators such as jobs, wages and/or tax revenues.
  • Provide estimates of the volume of materials that are and could be managed.
  • Include a long term strategy for maintaining and sharing the end market information.
  • Include a long term strategy for continuing and building on the collaboration established as part of the project.

Informational Call
Date: April 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm Central Time/ 3:00pm Eastern Time
Topic: Land and Chemicals Division, Sustainable Materials Management Request for Applications
Phone Number: 866-299-3188, conference code 9389329

NSF funding opportunity: Energy for Sustainability

Proposal window: October 1, 2017 – October 20, 2017
For more information: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505339

The Energy for Sustainability program is part of the Chemical Process Systems cluster, which includes also 1) Catalysis; 2) Process Separations; and 3) Process Systems, Reaction Engineering, and Molecular Thermodynamics.

The goal of the Energy for Sustainability program is to support fundamental engineering research that will enable innovative processes for the sustainable production of electricity and fuels, and for energy storage. Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources. Research projects that stress molecular level understanding of phenomena that directly impacts key barriers to improved system level performance (e.g. energy efficiency, product yield, process intensification) are encouraged. Proposed research should be inspired by the need for economic and impactful conversion processes. All proposals should include in the project description, how the proposed work, if successful, will improve process realization and economic feasibility and compare the proposed work against current state-of-the-art. Highly integrated multidisciplinary projects are encouraged.

Current topics of interest are the following:

Electrochemical Energy Systems:

Radically new battery systems or breakthroughs based on existing systems can move the U.S. more rapidly toward a more sustainable transportation future. The focus is on high-energy density and high-power density batteries suitable for transportation and renewable energy storage applications. Advanced systems such as lithium-air, sodium-ion, as well as lithium-ion electrochemical energy storage are appropriate. Work on commercially available systems such as lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride batteries will not be considered by this program.

Advanced fuel cell systems with advanced components for propulsion for transportation are considered. Novel systems with non-commercial components are appropriate; emphasis is still placed on fundamental understanding of the key barriers to improved system level performance. Flow batteries for energy storage applications are appropriate. Similarly emphasis should be placed on fundamental understanding of the reaction and transport phenomena that impacts system performance. Photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical processes for the splitting of water into H2 gas, or for the reduction of CO2 to liquid or gaseous fuels are appropriate. Emphasis should be placed on fundamental molecular level understanding of key barriers that impact system level performance.

Organic Photovoltaics:

Low-Cost, environmentally benign photovoltaic (PV) solar electricity projects are considered. The program emphasis is for fundamental research on innovative processes for the fabrication and theory-based characterization of future organic PV devices (OPVs). Devices of interest include polymer and small molecule organic photovoltaics or dye sensitized photovoltaics for electricity generation.

Referrals to other programs within NSF:

  • Proposals that focus on thermal management of energy storage devices and systems should be submitted to the Thermal Transport Processes Program (CBET 1406).
  • Proposals that focus on thermal catalytic or thermal noncatalytic biomass conversion and advanced biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass should be directed to the Process Systems, Reaction Engineering and Molecular Thermodynamics (PRM) (CBET 1403)
  • Proposals related to the combustion of biomass, gasification, or the production of synthesis gas (syngas) should be sent to Combustion and Fire Systems (CBET 1407).
  • Proposals that focus on the fundamentals of catalysis for biomass conversion should be submitted to Catalysis (CBET 1401).
  • Proposals that focus on the biological production of fuels or electricity (e.g. biocatalysis, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology in the context of bioenergy, biological fermentations) should be directed to the Cellular and Biochemical Engineering program (CBET 1491).
  • Proposals that focus on improving device and system performance of primarily inorganic and hybrid PV technologies may be considered in other ENG programs including the Division of Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems. PV materials proposals that focus on the material science may be considered in the Division of Materials Research of the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
  • Proposals that focus on the generation of thermal energy by solar radiation may be considered by Thermal Transport Processes (CBET 1406).

The duration of unsolicited awards is typically one to three years.  The typical award size for the program is $100,000 per year. Collaborative proposals that include a strong multi-disciplinary component are typically $150,000 per year. Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.

Contact:
Carol Read
National Science Foundation
cread@nsf.gov
Phone: (703) 292-2418