Funding Opportunity for OOI Education Proposals

To encourage wider use of OOI data by researchers and educators, the Ocean Sciences Division (OCE) of the National Science Foundation is seeking proposals for projects that use OOI data. Funding is available to support workshops, conferences or other training events that introduce researchers and educators to the type of data available through OOI and community tools that have been developed to use that data.

A Dear Colleague Letter (NSF20-047) issued in early 2020 remains in effect.

“We are seeking to support efforts that teach researchers or educators how to use OOI data and tools, that develop additional tools or instructional materials using OOI data or that serve to create communities of practice to use OOI data for multi-investigator, community-driven research, “ said Elizabeth Rom, an OCE Program Director who oversees a number of NSF educational initiatives.

At a recent town hall of the Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board at the AGU Fall Meeting, Rom presented a progress report on proposals funded since May 2020.  These include:

  • Two Ocean Hack weeks held at the University of Washington and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. In 2020, the workshop was virtual, in 2021 the workshop was a hybrid.
  • OOI Biogeochemical Data Workshop, which consisted of an online meeting in July 2021 and plans for an in-person meeting for June 2022 at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
  • K12 OOI Workshop Series that involves the South Kitsap School District in Washington state and Deb Kelley at the University of Washington. The goals of the workshop series are to develop teacher cohort and lesson plans using OOI data in classrooms. The series launched in early December with virtual and in-person sessions planned throughout 2022.

She also reported on progress in course development, including support of a second cohort of faculty to develop version 2 of the Ocean Data Lab’s online manual, microbial monitoring using OOI RCA remote samplers at Axial Seamount, and development of instructional materials and piloting assessment instruments to explore undergraduate scientific literacy. NSF programs GeoPaths (Pathways into the Earth, Ocean, Polar and Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences) and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites also provided opportunities for using OOI data.  An initiative to broaden the scope and increase the efficacy of the SERC Discovery System was supported, as were multiple REU student projects in 2020 and 2021.

“While COVID served to discourage in-person meetings and workshops, we were pleased that so many innovative approaches were proposed,” added Rom.  “Hopefully in 2022, we will have opportunities to for virtual, hybrid and in-person workshops, and certainly the innovation of this community will shine through.”

Two- and four-year U.S. institutions of higher education and U.S. non-profit non-academic organizations are eligible to submit proposals. Proposals may be submitted at any time, but Principal Investigators are encouraged to submit at least six months prior to the planned event. Submission details are available here. While the DCL refers to Fiscal Year 2020, it continues to be in effect until canceled.