Through the Collaborative Science, Technology, and Applied Research (CSTAR) Program, the NWS Office of Science and Technology Integration (OSTI) is soliciting proposals to conduct research and development activities. The CSTAR Program represents an NWS effort to create a cost-effective transition from basic and applied research to operations and services through collaborative research between operational forecasters and academic institutions which have expertise in the environmental, social and behavioral sciences. These activities will engage university researchers and students in applied research of interest to the operational meteorological community. The focus of this announcement is on research and development topics related to the improvement of weather, water, and climate services to historically underserved and socially vulnerable communities. There is one grant competition under this announcement valued at approximately $800,000 for five to seven new projects.
The theme of this funding announcement is improving weather, water, and climate services to historically underserved and socially vulnerable communities. It is well known that underserved and disadvantaged populations are disproportionately impacted by extreme weather events, and are at greater risk for experiencing negative health impacts related to threats such as extreme rainfall, extreme temperatures, winter precipitation, extreme wind events, tropical cyclones, fire weather, and severe weather. The NWS vision of building a Weather-Ready Nation can only be fully successful when NWS forecasts, warnings, and community engagement reaches a broader range of Americans in underserved or disadvantaged communities.
Despite accurate predictions, decision making at the community, business, and individual level is complex and can bring confusion, underestimation of risk, and inequity. Service delivery to the most underserved and vulnerable is extremely challenging, as distrust, ineffective or unavailable communications, and cultural/societal differences act as obstacles to optimizing the effectiveness of forecasts and warnings. NOAA/NWS aims to improve capabilities to both better support decision makers who serve these communities, as well as to improve services available to them directly. Low income housing, homelessness, physical disabilities, and language barriers are some of the realities that increase vulnerability. To offset these vulnerabilities, NWS products, services, and partnerships need to strengthen individual, business, and community resilience in an equitable approach. Improved service delivery based on a better understanding of community needs and challenges will result in protective action taken, lives saved, and a reduced disruption to livelihoods.
NOAA/NWS is seeking research proposals focused on developing methodologies, metrics, risk assessments, and/or enhanced services to improve service to historically underserved and socially vulnerable communities. This includes research on improved communication methods to better inform special-interest populations with unique needs, such as the elderly, inner-city communities and underserved rural areas. It also includes research on how people’s interest in, access to, and interpretation of weather information, as well as their decisions and actions in response, are affected by factors such as their specific social or physical context, prior experiences, or cultural background.
- Letter of Intent: Sep. 30, 2021
- Full Applications: Nov. 19, 2021