On September 1, 2008, NSHE received an award of $15 million from NSF EPSCoR (Cooperative
Agreement No. EPS-0814372). The five-year award funds science, education, and outreach
NSHE's community colleges
for the study of climate change and its effects on Nevada. Per the project proposal,
the funds received were allocated to create a statewide interdisciplinary program
that is stimulating transformative research, education, and outreach on the effects
of regional climate change to ecosystem services (particularly water resources)
and supports the use of this knowledge by policy makers and stakeholders.
Toward those ends, the majority of the funds from the project have and are being
distributed in the following ways:
Infrastructure funds are utilized to purchase items that can be utilized over longer
periods of time and provide functionality to researchers, scientists, and project
components. Expenditures have been made for:
- Instrumented environment transects to observe, measure and analyze the effects of
climate change on ecosystems and water resources (including groundwater recharge).
These transects are located in the sourth and north of the state. These transects
are implemented by
working in conjunction with one another.
- A data portal / web site to support centralized, inter-disciplinary climate change
research. Specifically, facilitating the exchange of data between groups of researchers,
decision makers, and stakeholders. This development is spearheaded by
- Computing hardware and software to support the development of the web site, the
collection of climate data, and modeling efforts that utilize climate data. This
development is spearheaded by
- Computing resources and personnel to develop regional climate modeling capabilities,
- Development of a state-of-the-art visualization facility – a “Solutions Room”
– that will be used by the Social Science Climate Change Network to facilitate two-way
communication between scientists, decision makers, and the public. This development
is spearheaded by
In addition to leveraging the existing talents of members at participating institutions,
these new positions have been created to increase and enhance the capabilities of
the project as a whole:
Desert Research Institute
- Regional climate modeling
- Ecosystems modeling
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Computer visualization
University of Nevada, Reno
- Paleoclimate modeling
- Database administrator
- Software developer
Education and Outreach
Developments focused on education and community outreach take many forms. Activities
undertaken as a part of this project range from the creation of new educational
courses to the involvement of local small businesses.
Educational Courses / Programs
- A K-12 program focused on at-risk, in-service middle school teachers in a “whole
school” approach to improve their content and pedagogy of basic climate change
science and STEM education at a critical level. This development is led by
- Undergraduate and graduate level classes in climate change topics, including a graduate
certificate program in climate change science (implemented statewide).
- Undergraduate research scholarships (30 per year).
- Graduate research fellowships (up to 25 per year).
- Postdoctoral researchers (up to 3 per year).
- A wide range of outreach and diversity activities, including recruitment and funding
for diversity hires.
- Linkages to small business through a partnership with the Nevada Small Business
- Bi-lingual web and video production.
- Stakeholder involvement, including the review of collected raw climate data.