Full proposal due May 14, 2020

The AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program supports grants in six AFRI priority areas to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Research-only, extension-only, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects are solicited in this Request for Applications (RFA). See Foundational and Applied Science RFA for specific details.

This program area priority examines the interrelationship of natural resources and the environment with agriculture and rural communities. Research projects funded through this program area priority will advance economic theories, methods, tools, analyses and applications that contribute to understanding an ecological approach to agriculture (including forestry and aquaculture) embracing production and sustainable resource management simultaneously. Research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Examine the relationship between agriculture, natural resource conservation, and the environment.
  • Examine the economics of conservation and environmental policies and their impact on agriculture and rural communities.
  • Examine the design of incentive mechanisms and policies to promote resource conservation and sustainability. Assessment of changes in the value of ecosystem services resulting from the adoption of conservation management practices at various scales.
  • Examine how ecosystem service valuation (ESV) can be enhanced to improve environmental policy design; how ESV is currently used and the limitations to ESV. Develop methodological advances in non-market valuation and meta-analysis of ecosystem services valuation.
  • Explore how benefit transfer studies may be improved and used effectively for policy design and implementation
  • Examine the potential for development of protocols or set of standards to be developed for standardized implementation and use of ESV. What would be an effective (limited) set of indicators of ESV that are considered scientifically valid and useful/desirable in practice for natural resource management agency use?
  • Examine the potential of using novel approaches to data development and collection/acquisition for ESV (e.g., use of big data, social media, administrative data, or other).
  • National or aggregate values of ESV may be an aspirational goal that may not be achievable with current data; what's the smallest area which values would cover that would be acceptable? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the aggregation of small studies vs. national models?

Read the full RFP here (this program is listed on pp. 60-61)

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