FY 2004 NSF Request: Geosciences

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Publication date: 
12 February 2003

The Bush Administration is requesting a decrease in the FY 2004 Geosciences Activity budget of 0.5%, or $3.12 million, as compared to the FY 2003 request. The $687.9 million request is12.9% higher than the activity's FY 2002 budget. As previously explained, the FY 2003 appropriations bill for the National Science Foundation has not been enacted.

The Geosciences Activity, as a directorate, has many programs. Readers wishing to review a particular component of the Administration's request should read the budget document presented to Congress that is available at http//:www.nsf.gov/bfa/bud/fy2004/toc.htm . The Geosciences section can be found on pages 247-266.

There are three subactivities within the Geosciences Activity:

Atmospheric Sciences: The FY 2004 request of $229.9 million is 5.0%, or $11.0 million, over the FY 2003 request. This is an increase of 13.7%, or $27.8 million, over the FY 2002 budget.

Earth Sciences: The FY 2004 request of $144.3 million is 5.8%, or $8.9 million, below the FY 2003 request. This is an increase of 14.2%, or $18.0 million, over the FY 2002 budget.

Ocean Sciences: The FY 2004 request of $313.7 million is 1.7%, or $5.3 million, below the FY 2003 request. This is an increase of 14.2%, or $32.6 million, over the FY 2002 budget.

In looking across the Geosciences Activity, as well as other programs within the foundation, NSF uses the categories of People, Idea and Tools. Selections from each category follow:


"$2.41 million, an increase of $800,000 over the FY 2003 Request level of $1.61 million, to maintain the network of coordinated centers to facilitate collaborations and communications between ocean science researchers and educators initiated in FY 2002. These Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) will foster the integration of ocean research into high quality educational materials, allow ocean researchers to gain a better understanding of educational organizations and pedagogy, provide educators with an enhanced capacity to understand and deliver high-quality educational programs in the ocean sciences, and provide material to the public that will promote a deeper understanding of the ocean and its influence on each person's quality of life and our national prosperity;

"$3.42 million, an increase of $620,000 over the FY 2003 Request level of $2.80 million, to support the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program, which reflects an emphasis on multidisciplinary training in all areas of NSF-supported research;

"$2.81 million, unchanged from FY 2003, to support the Foundation- wide ADVANCE program to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers; and

"$4.0 million, unchanged from FY 2003, to support the Opportunities to Enhance Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG) program, which seeks to increase the participation in geosciences education and research by students from groups historically underrepresented in the geosciences. A secondary goal of the program is to strengthen the understanding of the geosciences and their contribution to modern society by a broad and diverse segment of the population."


"Support for ideas, spanning the geosciences and encompassing a wide range of topics, totals $395.10 million in FY 2004, a decrease of $18.21 million, or 4.4 percent, from the FY 2003 Request of $413.31million. Projects in the Atmospheric Sciences Subactivity improve the understanding and prediction of climate, weather, space weather, and the global environmental system. Earth Sciences Subactivity research advances knowledge of the structure, composition, and history of the solid Earth and of the geological and hydrological processes that modify Earth. Projects in the Ocean Sciences Subactivity improve knowledge of the global climate system, coastal environments, the character of the ocean floor, as well as processes that control the chemical composition, motion, and biological production of ocean waters.

"GEO will continue to participate in the Climate Change Research Initiative, with a FY 2004 investment of $20.0 million, that doubles investments proposed in 2003 totaling $10.0 million. Emphasis in FY 2004 will be placed on understanding the Earth's carbon cycle and advancing our ability to model dynamic multivariate systems. In FY 2004, GEO will emphasize research on the key physical, chemical and geologic cycles within the Earth system, the characteristics and dynamics of which are of paramount importance to science and society. These activities will be complementary to, and well coordinated with, the biologically oriented studies of Earth cycles that will be carried out within the context of the Foundation-wide Biocomplexity in the Environment priority area."


The budget document describes how the requested 5.8%, or $13.57 million, increase over the FY 2003 request of $248.3 million will be allocated among Academic Research Fleet/Ship Operations (+4.8%), EarthScope Operation (N/A), Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (+7.6%), National Center for Atmospheric Research (+7.1%), Ocean Drilling Program Operations (-77.0%), Digital Library (+44.8%), Research Resources (unchanged) and other Facilities (+73.1%)

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