Opportunity Type: ,

The Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs) represent a wide range of environmental and
landscape settings. To enable broad understanding of the evolution, function and
sustainability of the Critical Zone, the CZOs have begun to articulate scientific questions
that are common and have value across the entire CZO network. Those questions are:
What controls CZ properties? And processes? What will be the response of CZ structure,
and its stores and fluxes, to climate change? And land use change? How can improved
understanding of the CZ be used to enhance resilience and sustainability and restore
function of the CZ?

A major goal of the CZO Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) program is to develop
the theme of common science and measurements, and include young scientists who will
advance CZ science through their careers. The key to how SAVI will do this is an
approach whereby junior scientists pursuing research at multiple CZOs do so through
strong collaboration with senior PIs. Thus, the NSF has provided funding to the SAVI to
enable cross-CZO or “common” research by graduate student or postgraduate summer
interns (US citizens or green card holders at US universities only) during 2018.
The SAVI program anticipates funding up to 10 applicants with amounts ranging from
~$3000-8000 each to support travel and research-related expenses; no overhead costs can
be included in the proposed budgets; this funding is not for travel to conferences.

Applicants can propose research activities at any of the US CZOs. Those proposals that
advance cross-cutting questions and/or data synthesis at multiple CZOs will be
prioritized, and links between CZO and LTER sites will also be well regarded. Proposal
ranking will be based on the relationship between the science and the above-mentioned
common questions, as well as to general working group themes articulated at the annual
CZO meeting in Fall 2015: concentration-discharge relations, biogeochemistry, microbial
ecology, critical zone resiliency and services, and conceptual and numerical modeling;
those stressing societal relevance and solutions to challenges facing humanity will be
prioritized. Successful applicants will be obligated to provide a no-more-than 4-page
report documenting the overall results of the work as well as a description of how the
activity will help to advance their career.

Applicants should send a 3-page proposal describing the proposed research activities,
budget and anticipated outcomes. The single-pdf-file application packet should also
include a C.V., letter of recommendation from the applicant’s primary advisor, and letters
of support from the appropriate contact person(s) at the host CZO(s). Applications should
be sent to Tim White ( tsw113@psu.edu ) by March 29, 2019.