National Science Foundation

Agency Mission

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency responsible for advancing science, engineering, and science and engineering education in the United States.  The agency is the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported fundamental research conducted by United States colleges and universities. Through a competitive, transparent, and in-depth merit review process, NSF seeks and supports the best ideas, tools, facilities, and people to expand the frontiers of knowledge.

NSF Ocean Acidification Project Support

NSF supports basic research concerning the nature, extent, and impact of ocean acidification on oceanic environments in the past, present, and future. NSF is committed to research that seeks to understand; 1) the chemistry and physical chemistry of ocean acidification; 2) how ocean acidification interacts with processes at the organismal level; and 3) how the Earth system history informs understanding of the effects of ocean acidification on the ocean now and in the future.

Beginning in FY 2010, NSF initiated targeted solicitations for ocean acidification research as part of the NSF-wide Climate Research Investments and Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability activities. During the five years these targeted solicitations were active, NSF invested over $50M in support of basic research on ocean acidification.  No other targeted ocean acidification solicitations are expected under these NSF-wide activities.

In FY 2016 and beyond, NSF may support ocean acidification research through programs that managed and participated in the Climate Research Investments and Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability activities (Making Waves June 2014, “Whither Ocean Acidification”).   Programs that participated in the NSF-wide ocean acidification solicitations include:

It is important that researchers interested in submitting an ocean acidification-related proposal to NSF contact the most relevant program(s) prior to preparing the proposal to determine whether the subject matter is appropriate for submission to that particular program.

NSF Support for Community Building Activities

NSF and NASA provide support for the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Program Office, which includes an Ocean Acidification Subcommittee to promote, plan, and coordinate collaborative, multidisciplinary research opportunities related to ocean acidification.  This subcommittee has organized and staged national ocean acidification principal investigator workshops in 2011, 2013, and 2015, and held an Ocean Acidification Short Course in 2009 at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

NSF Activities that Contribute to Understanding Ocean Acidification

NSF supports a number of activities that while not directly focused on ocean acidification contribute significantly to understanding ocean acidification and other climate-related changes in the marine environment. Many of these activities are ongoing efforts that are evaluated on a regular basis but are expected to receive support for an extended period. Ongoing efforts include work at ocean time series stations and Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites. NSF created the LTER Network in 1980 to conduct research on ecological issues that can last decades and span extensive geographical areas. The following ocean time series stations and coastal LTER sites conduct or have conducted ocean acidification-related research:

Components of the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative are operational and are producing environmental data to support research efforts, as well as providing ocean data to a wide range of users.

The NSF-supported Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office works with researchers to provide data online from projects funded by the NSF Biological and Chemical Oceanography Programs in the Division of Ocean Sciences, and the Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Program in the Division of Polar Programs.  The Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office has managed the data sharing and archiving for all projects funded by targeted  ocean acidification programs at NSF.

NSF Support for Technology, Infrastructure, Equipment, and Research Platforms

The following NSF programs provide funding to researchers to support technology, infrastructure, equipment, and research platforms that may be relevant to ocean acidification research: