Voices of Science

The summary for the Voices of Science grant is detailed below. This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants. Verify the accuracy of the data FederalGrants.com provides by visiting the webpage noted in the Link to Full Announcement section or by contacting the appropriate person listed as the Grant Announcement Contact. If any section is incomplete, please visit the website for the National Park Service, which is the U.S. government agency offering this grant.

This Funding Announcement is not a request for applications. This announcement is to provide public notice of the National Park Service (NPS), intention to fund the following project activities without competition.

Funding Announcement
Project Title Voices of Science
Recipient Montana State University
Total Anticipated Award Amount $29,503.00
Cost Share none
Anticipated Length of Agreement From Date of Award until 12/31/2016
Anticipated Period of Performance From Date of Award until 12/31/2016
Award Instrument Cooperative Agreement
Statutory Authority 54 USC 101702(b)
CFDA # and Title 15.954 Cooperative Research & Training Programs Resources of NPS CESUs
Single Source Justification Criteria Cited (4) Unique Qualifications
Point of Contact June Zastrow 303-987-6718 june_zastrow@nps.gov


Project Description:
This project will produce a series of audio productions to illustrate NPS science in parks. These podcasts will be shared on websites, social media, radio, and give listeners a chance to experience science and NPS management through sound and the stories and experiences of people working in parks. The goal is to add perspective and advance conversations about science and complexities of conservation. In addition to a set of podcasts, MSU will provide technical assistance in recommending equipment for 2 audio kits and training materials for NPS staff to use the kits and produce their own podcasts.


Three types of products will result from this project:

1. Species and soundscape recordings to be included in the both the NRSS and Acoustic Atlas digital archives, working with MSU to complement and enhance existing recordings.
2. A series of at least six audio postcard or podcast episodes, available to both MSU and the NRSS, which illustrate scientific processes and findings of the NPS system. These recordings, or podcasts, will be incorporated into the NPS webpages to build on multimedia content to connect with the public on current resource management issues. The NPS will work with the PI on the best manner to share these podcasts.
3. A workshop to train interested individuals in the NRSS directorate and other NPS staff in audio production, including foci on storytelling, writing for radio, voicing, interviewing, recording, editing, branding and packaging, ethics, and administration.

Public Purpose
This project fulfills a public purpose in several ways. The primary focus of this project is public outreach and communications. The project assists in the creation and improvement of communication products that increase public understanding of NPS science and management of national parks and advance conversations the complexities of conservation. This project will provide significant benefit to the public; it will focus on distilling and refining technical information and reformatting it into a context that will be easy to digest and retrieve by the public through various communication channels. The resulting products will be distributed to the public via web, radio, and social media. Additionally, this partnership project will assist Montana State University to expand their Acoustic Atlas. This project engages both parties in an environmental stewardship obligation by filling a critical data gap related to soundscape recordings. The scientific community, including researchers internal and external to NPS, will gain new knowledge provided through this project on natural resource information.

The Natural Resources Stewardship and Science Directorate works to keep managers, researchers, and the public informed about and engaged in research taking place in the parks. This program seeks to enhance current communications strategies by generating multimedia content that compliments its existing products. Further, it seeks to engage and inspire the next generation of stewards by employing digital tools and communications strategies native to young, diverse audiences.
The Montana State University Library has established the Acoustic Atlas, a comprehensive initiative that seeks to collect, curate and archive natural soundscape recordings of the American west, and to connect people with the sounds of regional biodiversity. A logical way to do this is through the development of sound-rich, multimedia content highlighting audio collections while adding ecological context through narrative science reporting.

Through the objectives of this Task Agreement, NRSS seeks to work cooperatively with MSU to support science communications through the collection of additional sound recordings, with associated metadata, that will be shared between the parks and the MSU Acoustic Atlas project to enhance their existing collection and preserve this data for future use and study. Additionally, this Task Agreement will support the development and distribution of associated multimedia content that elucidates science in the national park system in innovative and compelling ways.

The research associate for this work is an award-wining audio producer with a background in both ecology and the arts. The candidates work has focused on stories about science and national parks, and has produced pieces for Yellowstone National Park, Arches National Park, and Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Stories have aired on Public Radio International's Living on Earth, Public Radio Exchange's Remix program, and several public radio stations across the country. The research associate studied nature recording with a renowned BBC sound recordist and radio production specialist at the prestigious Transom Story Workshop.

The research associate has the specialized expertise and ability to collect archive-quality sound recordings for both the NRSS and the MSU Acoustic Atlas. Using these recordings as a base, the candidate can also produce sonorous, broadcast-quality science communication pieces, featuring a range of voices, which blend narrative journalism, sound design, and science reporting to connect people with place. The selection of sound recordings as well as science communication audio pieces will be determined through a work plan developed by both MSU and NRSS.


MSU agrees to:
Provide technical assistance in the development and distribution of audio productions about natural resource topics for radio, NPS internet sites, and the MSU Acoustic Atlas.
Provide guidance for NPS staff to self-produce radio stories


NPS agrees to:
Facilitate connections between NPS staff and MSU.
Provide guidance and review products to ensure compatibility with NPS mission, policies, and standards.
Review science communication products for accuracy.

Cooperatively determine type and timing of project activities, evaluate progress of work, and provide direction.
Work collaboratively on employee oversight and direction.
Train and motivate employee to perform work assignments. Provide feedback to employee regarding work assignments.



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.

NPS did not solicit full and open competition for this award based the following criteria:
(4) Unique Qualifications

The Acoustic Atlas program is curated by the MSU Library and includes more than 2500 recordings of species and environments from throughout the Western US. Sounds are provided with the help of volunteers, researchers, and through collaborations with agencies like the NPS. Natural sound recordings are found in few formal collections and audio recordings of many species in the US are rare, hard to find, or not online. The Montana State University is a unique source for these recordings. All recordings to be made will be added to this library of recordings.
Federal Grant Title: Voices of Science
Federal Agency Name: National Park Service
Grant Categories: Education Environment Natural Resources Science and Technology
Type of Opportunity: Discretionary
Funding Opportunity Number: P15AS00240
Type of Funding: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Numbers: 15.945
CFDA Descriptions: Cooperative Research and Training Programs - Resources of the National Park System
Current Application Deadline: Aug 3, 2015
Original Application Deadline: Aug 3, 2015
Posted Date: Jul 27, 2015
Creation Date: Jul 27, 2015
Archive Date: Aug 4, 2015
Total Program Funding: $29,503
Maximum Federal Grant Award: $29,503
Minimum Federal Grant Award: $1
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Cost Sharing or Matching: No
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Grant Announcement Contact
June Zastrow, 303-987-6718 June_Zastrow@nps.gov

National Park Service 303-898-9819
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