Accessible Decision Support Tools

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Accessible Decision Support Tools: NOTICE OF INTENT TO AWARD This Funding Announcement is not a request for applications. This announcement is to provide public notice of the U.S. Geological Survey's intention to fund the following project activities without full and open competition. ABSTRACT Funding Announcement G18AS00003 Project Title Accessible Decision Support Tools Recipient EcoAdapt Principal Investigator / Program Manager Rachel M. Gregg, Rachel@EcoAdapt.org Gustavo Bisbal, gbisbal@usgs.gov Anticipated Federal Amount 25000 Cost Share 0 Total Anticipated Award Amount 25000 New Award or Continuation? New award Anticipated Period of Performance 6 Apr 2018 through 31 Aug 2018 Award Instrument Cooperative Agreement CFDA # and Title 15.820 USGS Point of Contact Joseph Riccomini, jriccomini@usgs.gov, 916-278-9347 OVERVIEW The U.S. Geological Survey, Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC), requests a new cooperative agreement with EcoAdapt to create easily Accessible Decision Support Tool to help managers quickly identify and prioritize Drought Adaptation Options. In prioritizing between adaptation strategies and actions for implementation, there are a handful of best practices, which include: • Spreading risk across different approaches and timeframes (near, medium, and long-­‐term); • Using strategies and actions that are effective in reducing vulnerabilities; • Investing in strategies and actions that have high social and technical feasibility; and • Evaluating an action's reversibility (i.e. the degree to which an action can be undone if needed). 1. Spreading risk across different approaches and timeframes. Climate-­‐informed management requires implementing a range of adaptation options. These adaptation strategies and actions can generally be grouped according to one of five categories: 1. Resistance. These strategies can help to prevent the effects of climate change from reaching or affecting a resource. Near-­‐term approach (0-­‐5 years) 2. Resilience. These strategies can help a resource withstand the impacts of climate change by avoiding the effects of or recovering from changes. Near-­‐ to mid-­‐term approach (0-­‐20 years) 3. Response. These strategies intentionally accommodate change and/or enable resources to adaptively respond to changing and new conditions. Long-­‐term approach (20+ years) 4. Knowledge. These strategies are aimed at gathering more information about climatic changes, impacts, or the effectiveness of management actions in addressing climate change. Near-­‐ to long-­‐term approach 5. Collaboration. These strategies may help coordinate efforts and/or capacity across landscapes and agencies. Near-­‐ to long-­‐term approach This project is intended to categorize a list of ecological drought adaptation actions by these approaches to help inform managers as to the range of options available and their applicability over time. This will help identify where additional thought may need to go into developing climate-informed management options that spread risk across these approaches. The proposed work will create an initial list, vet it with scientific expert reviewers, and ground-truth it during a manager- scientist workshop to discuss ecological drought adaptation. 2. Using strategies and actions that are effective in reducing vulnerabilities, and investing in strategies and actions that have high social and technical feasibility. When selecting adaptation actions for implementation, managers should consider both effectiveness (action reduces vulnerability) and feasibility (action capable of being implemented). An adaptation action with high effectiveness is very likely to reduce associated vulnerabilities and may benefit additional management goals or resources whereas an action with low effectiveness is unlikely to reduce vulnerability and may have negative impacts on other resources. An adaptation action with high feasibility has no obvious barriers (e.g., social, technical, financial) and a high likelihood of implementation whereas an action with low feasibility has obvious and/or significant barriers to implementation that may be difficult to overcome. The recipient should: 1. Work with scientific experts to evaluate action effectiveness in reducing vulnerabilities on a scale of: • High: Action is very likely to reduce vulnerability and may benefit additional goals or resources • Moderate: Action has moderate potential to reduce vulnerability, with some limits to effectiveness • Low: Action is unlikely to reduce vulnerability 2. Work with these experts to evaluate each action as to its effectiveness over time (i.e., near, medium, long- term) in order to highlight actions that may be highly effective now but not in the long-term. Distinguishing between temporary approaches that help to “buy time” for a resource versus options that are likely to be sustainable over multiple timeframes may help managers determine where and how to make natural resource management interventions. In a workshop setting, participants would be asked to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the action on a scale of: • High: There are no obvious barriers and it has a high likelihood of being implemented • Moderate: It may be possible to implement the action, although there may be challenges or barriers • Low: There are obvious and/or significant barriers to implementation that may be difficult to overcome Participants would be asked to rank each action for its technical feasibility (i.e. can it be done?) and socio- political feasibility (i.e. can it be done with existing social, financial, political barriers?). Scores would then be averaged for an overall feasibility ranking. The recipient should create figures (see example at right) that plot adaptation actions according to the effectiveness and feasibility rankings. Actions that are considered highly effective and highly feasible are placed in the upper right-hand corner, and may be those that managers should first prioritize. These figures have been created for other adaptation planning efforts to help managers prioritize actions for implementation (e.g., actions with high feasibility and high effectiveness), better target management efforts toward specific challenges (e.g., actions with low or moderate feasibility but high effectiveness), and/or evaluate whether to proceed with implementation (e.g., actions with high feasibility but low effectiveness). • Evaluating an action's reversibility (i.e. the degree to which an action can be undone if needed). Considering the long-term consequences of implementing adaptation options aligns with an adaptive management approach, as it helps managers acknowledge and embrace flexibility to make necessary adjustments as circumstances change. Evaluating an action's reversibility, or the degree to which an action when implemented can be reversed or undone, includes considerations of cost, personnel time, how long it would take to adequately reverse the action, as well as degree of risk to the resource. For example, altering timing of planting is relatively easy to reverse, while successfully introducing a new species is relatively difficult to reverse. The recipient should work with participants during the workshop to evaluate action reversibility on a scale of: • Easy: the action could likely be quickly reversed with minimal cost (i.e. time, funds) • Moderate: the action may be able to be reversed with moderate cost (i.e. time, funds) • Hard: the action would likely be difficult to reverse and would incur high costs (i.e. time, funds) The recipient should also create tables (example below) of the adaptation actions that rank ease of action reversibility, as well as feasibility and effectiveness, including effectiveness timescale. This table can help managers evaluate whether to proceed with implementation (e.g., easily reversible actions) and/or identify actions that may need more research, small-scale testing, careful planning and implementation, and/or heightened adaptive management (e.g., moderate or hard to reverse actions). Timeframe: Date of Award – August 31, 2018 Budget: $25,000 for workshop(s) and create final products RECIPIENT INVOLVEMENT Recipient Involvement: Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges to natural and cultural resource management and conservation practice. Climate change will increase the risk of ecological drought with projected changes likely to result in cascading impacts on species, habitats, and ecosystem services. These impacts will exacerbate current resource management challenges such as conflicts over water resources, land use and degradation, invasive species, maintaining agricultural yields, and managing wildfires. Resource managers and conservation planners are addressing this challenge by revising current plans and practices with increased attention on potential climate impacts to natural resources, communities, and socioeconomic values to better meet long‐term goals. The purpose of this project is to evaluate and synthesize the science behind ecological drought adaptation actions available to and in use by resource managers in priority ecoregions and ecosystems of the Northwest. The primary objectives are to: 1. Evaluate and synthesize the best available science on ecological drought adaptation actions; 2. Identify examples of climate‐informed ecological drought management in practice to support reliable and timely decision-making; 3. Identify key resources and tools that may support climate‐informed ecological drought management practices. This proposed project directly supports the need of the NW CSC to provide science to support natural resource management and conservation. This project will yield several products, including (1) a spreadsheet of the literature used to identify supporting evidence for specific ecological drought adaptation actions, categorized by various filters including sectoral relevance (e.g., wildlife, agriculture), species/habitat focus, ecosystem benefits and tradeoffs, and ecoregion; (2) a peer‐reviewed synthesis report featuring the findings on ecological drought adaptation, including tools and examples of resilient management approaches; and (3) a fact sheet on effective ecological drought adaptation actions for the Northwest region. The project proposal has been reviewed by external reviewers. The recipients have responded to reviewer comments and have documented any changes or amendments to project objectives, methods, or products. These responses have been appended to the project proposal and are considered to be part of the proposal. USGS INVOLVEMENT Substantial involvement on the part USGS is anticipated for the successful completion of the objectives to be funded by this award. In particular, USGS will be responsible for the following: USGS Involvement: The project will be carried out in close partnership between USGS staff (including the Northwest Climate Science Center Director, Deputy Director, and Research Coordinator) and the recipient. USGS staff will contribute intellectually to the project by actively engaging with the recipient to co-produce management-relevant products. The USGS program office will review, provide comments on, negotiate changes to, and approve the project scope of work, scientific methods, timeline, products, outreach/technology transfer, data management plan, budget, equipment, travel, personnel, sub-grants, and resource management partners. The data and products developed by the cooperative partnership will be the property of USGS but may be disseminated via a variety of means, including scientific publications and web-based decision-support tools and “story map” panels jointly developed by the recipient, USGS, and project partners. Sharing and dissemination of data will follow USGS guidelines for data management and peer review, and will be done in a collaborative manner that benefits the recipient, USGS, and other project partners. SINGLE-SOURCE JUSTIFICATION DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SINGLE SOURCE POLICY REQUIREMENTS Department of the Interior Policy (505 DM 2) requires a written justification which explains why competition is not practicable for each single-source award. The justification must address one or more of the following criteria as well as discussion of the program legislative history, unique capabilities of the proposed recipient, and cost-sharing contribution offered by the proposed recipient, as applicable. In order for an assistance award to be made without competition, the award must satisfy one or more of the following criteria: (1) Unsolicited Proposal – The proposed award is the result of an unsolicited assistance application which represents a unique or innovative idea, method, or approach which is not the subject of a current or planned contract or assistance award, but which is deemed advantageous to the program objectives; (2) Continuation – The activity to be funded is necessary to the satisfactory completion of, or is a continuation of an activity presently being funded, and for which competition would have a significant adverse effect on the continuity or completion of the activity; (3) Legislative intent – The language in the applicable authorizing legislation or legislative history clearly indicates Congress' intent to restrict the award to a particular recipient of purpose; (4) Unique Qualifications – The applicant is uniquely qualified to perform the activity based upon a variety of demonstrable factors such as location, property ownership, voluntary support capacity, cost-sharing ability if applicable, technical expertise, or other such unique qualifications; (5) Emergencies – Program/award where there is insufficient time available (due to a compelling and unusual urgency, or substantial danger to health or safety) for adequate competitive procedures to be followed. (6) Cooperative Agreements - USGS Unique Authority cited at 43 U.S.C. 36d (Federal, State, and academic partners) or DOI Authority cited at 43 U.S.C. 1457b (not-for-profit organizations). USGS did not solicit full and open competition for this award based the following criteria: (4) UNIQUE QUALIFICATIONS Rachel M. Gregg, Senior Scientist at EcoAdapt, has extensive experience in identifying and assessing climate adaptation actions, and synthesizing complex scientific and technical information. She is the creator and lead of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program, a research initiative dedicated to facilitating the evaluation and advancement of the field of adaptation. Rachel created a methodology to evaluate available science (e.g., literature, data, resources) through a 2009‐2011 grant to synthesize climate impacts on and adaptation options for coastal and marine ecosystems of North America. The project proposed here builds upon that methodology and has also been successfully applied in projects for fire and sea level rise adaptation actions in the Northwest, freshwater resources and infrastructure of the Great Lakes region, coastal and freshwater resources and infrastructure of the Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean, terrestrial resources of the western United States and Canada, and terrestrial and freshwater biocultural resources of the Hawaiian Islands. Jessi Kershner, Senior Scientist at EcoAdapt, has been engaged in climate‐ related work for over a decade. She brings expertise in researching and synthesizing climate vulnerability and adaptation information to facilitate management decision‐making; and translating adaptation information into useable formats to improve tangible management outcomes. Jessi has led a number of multi‐stakeholder, collaborative efforts to assess vulnerabilities of and develop adaptation strategies for terrestrial and freshwater resources throughout the western United States. Recently, Jessi led the creation of a suite of tables summarizing adaptation options for terrestrial and freshwater habitats and species of Idaho and western Montana, including linking adaptation actions to climate vulnerabilities. STATUTORY AUTHORITY 43 USC 31 (Organic Act), 43 USC 2 36c & 43 USC 1457b
Federal Grant Title: Accessible Decision Support Tools
Federal Agency Name: Geological Survey (DOI-USGS1)
Grant Categories: Environment
Type of Opportunity: Discretionary
Funding Opportunity Number: USGS-18-FAC-0055
Type of Funding: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Numbers: 15.820
CFDA Descriptions: Information not provided
Current Application Deadline: March 22nd, 2018
Original Application Deadline: March 22nd, 2018
Posted Date: March 8th, 2018
Creation Date: March 8th, 2018
Archive Date: April 21st, 2018
Total Program Funding: $25,000
Maximum Federal Grant Award: $25,000
Minimum Federal Grant Award: $0
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Cost Sharing or Matching: No
Last Updated: March 8th, 2018
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Nonprofits having a 501 (c) (3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Grant Announcement Contact
Joseph Riccomini
Contract Specialist
Phone 916-278-9347
jriccomini@usgs.gov
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