The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide $84 million for new observational, modeling, and simulation studies to improve the accuracy of community-scale climate research and inform equitable climate solutions to minimize adverse impacts caused by climate change. Research will focus on three tightly related scientific topics—atmospheric and environmental observations; modeling of climate change and impacts across urban regions; and simulating the climate benefits of deploying climate solutions and technologies in historically underserved communities across the U.S.

“Urban regions are expected to face some of the most adverse effects of climate change, such as extreme heat and flooding,” said Geraldine Richmond, Under Secretary for Science and Innovation. “Establishing Integrated Field Laboratories (IFLs) in urban regions will enable scientists and local communities to work closely together to better understand the factors that contribute to urban climate impacts and to develop equitable adaptation solutions informed by science.”

Supported research will improve scientific understanding of how climate change affects microclimates and micro-environments across all types of urban communities; how biogeochemical cycling and atmospheric composition vary across urban regions; and how equitable solutions may be identified as a means to minimize impacts, especially on the most disadvantaged urban communities. Teams of scientists will combine experimental, observational, modeling, and simulation research to unravel complex process interactions and improve scientists’ ability to understand urban climate change.  

Urban IFLs will require multi-disciplinary teams that bring together the skills and talents of investigators from multiple research institutions. Academic and nonprofit research institutions, national laboratories, other federal agencies, and the private sector are all eligible to apply as Urban IFL team members. The lead organization of each proposed Urban IFL team must be an academic institution or a national laboratory. Locally-based team members and minority serving institutions (MSI) are expected to have significant roles in each Urban IFL.

Funding is to be awarded competitively, on the basis of peer review, and is expected to be in the form of five-year awards. The Department anticipates that $17 million will be available for this program in Fiscal Year 2022, pending availability of funds. 

The DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement, issued by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the Department’s Office of Science, can be found here

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