Northern Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Institute, 18082-18085 [E6-5184]

Download as PDF wwhite on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 18082 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 68 / Monday, April 10, 2006 / Notices purposes for which the instruments shown below are intended to be used, are being manufactured in the United States. Comments must comply with 15 CFR 301.5(a)(3) and (4) of the regulations and be filed within 20 days with the Statutory Import Programs Staff, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20230. Applications may be examined between 8:30 A.M. and 5 p.m. in Suite 4100W, U.S. Department of Commerce, Franklin Court Building, 1099 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Docket Number: 06-007. Applicant: University of Connecticut, 91 N. Eagleville Road, BSP Bldg., Unit 3242, Storrs, CT 06269. Instrument: Electron Microscope, Model Technai G2 Spirit BioTWIN. Manufacturer: FEI Company, The Netherlands. Intended Use: The instrument is intended to be used in a multi-user facility providing training and service to faculty, staff and students. A wide variety of cells and tissues will be examined. The ultrastructural arrangement of cells, organelles and macromolecular assemblies and the fine structure of domains within polymers will be investigated. Research projects ranging from evolutionary biology to materials science will use the instrument. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: March 20, 2006. Docket Number: 06-008. Applicant: California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Boulevard, Mail Code 1036, Pasadena, CA 91125. Instrument: Neutron Guide. Manufacturer: SwissNeutronics, Switzerland. Intended Use: The instrument is a compatible key accessory for the high-resolution, directgeometry, time-of-flight chopper spectrometer (ARCS) at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge N.L. It will be used to investigate the energy spectra obtained when neutrons incident on a sample are scattered by the motions of atoms or of electron spins in the sample. Studies will include the thermodynamics of atom vibrations or spin motions, or of their characteristic energies and momenta, cooperative motions of electrons in solids relevant to electrical transport, magnetic properties and superconductivity. The neutron guide is especially useful for studies that require low or mediumenergy neutron beams that are incident on the sample. Application accepted by the Commissioner of Customs: February 27, 2006. Docket Number: 06-009. Applicant: The New York Structural Biology Laboratory, 89 Convent Avenue at 133rd St, New York, NY 10027. Instrument: Electron Microscope, Model JEM 2100F. Manufacturer: JEOL, Ltd., Japan. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:48 Apr 07, 2006 Jkt 208001 Intended Use: The instrument is intended to be used by ten educational and research institutions in New York to investigate, among other things, biological assemblies ranging from isolated protein molecules, complexes of protein molecules potentially bound to nucleic acids or membranes, crystalline arrays composed of these protein complexes, cells, viruses, or intact tissues to pursue a wide variety of biological problems. In addition to standard methods of electron microscopy, work will be done using the procedure of electron tomography which is like a CAT scan at molecular proportions, involving the imaging of a given cellular assembly which is systematically tilted to different angles. It will alsobe used in student courses. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: March 6, 2006. Docket Number: 06-010. Applicant: Emory University Hospital, 1364 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322. Instrument: Electron Microscope, Model Mogagni 268. Manufacturer: FEI Company, The Netherlands. Intended Use: The instrument is intended to be used for examination of normal, abnormal and pathological changes in human cells and tissue samples. Experiments will be conducted based on ultrastructural examination of human kidney biopsies for documentation of pathologic change, if any, for diagnostic evaluation. Ultrathin sections of epoxy embedded specimens under high magnification will be preserved for pathological review. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: March 1, 2000. Docket Number: 06-011. Applicant: President and Fellows of Harvard College, 9 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Instrument: Electron Microscope, Model JEM-2100. Manufacturer: JEOL Ltd., Japan. Intended Use: The instrument is intended to be used to study and characterize nanoscale structures and chemical compositions of novel materials such as semi-conducting materials, nano metallic catalysts and polymers, etc. Some examples include chemical composition by energydispersive x-ray spectroscopy, identification of phases and crystal structures by electron diffraction, interfacial arrangements of atomic structures between polymer materials by stain-inducted contrast imaging and lattice-fringe imaging of metallic thin films and alloys. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: March 20, 2006. Docket Number: 06-013. Applicant: Ames Laboratory - U.S. Department of Energy REF: A5–2764, 211, TASF, Iowa PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 State University, Ames, Iowa 500113020. Instrument: Electron Microscope, Model Technai G2 F20 X-TWIN. Manufacturer: FEI Company, the Netherlands. Intended Use: The instrument is intended to be used to provide both the imaging and spectrographic analysis necessary to evaluate materials ranging from rapidly solidified metals, nanoscale magnetic alloys, directionally solidified metal alloys, mesoporous catalysis and novel polymer compounds. With reduced length scale of materials, interaction with their environment changes. The instrument will allow probing the chemistry and atomic arrangements (nanostructure) down to the level of the atoms and to assess the success of processing procedures. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: March 23, 2006. Docket Number: 06-014. Applicant: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, 77 Ave. Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115. Instrument: Confocal Microscope. Manufacturer: Evotec, Germany. Intended Use: The instrument is intended to be used to assign phenotopic signatures (phenoprints) to every Drosophilia gene using genome-wide RNAi screens. These can be used to cluster genes that are functionally related and important in functional genomics. The instrument combines the high resolution of confocal laser scanning microscopy with ultra high throughput (≤200,00 images per day) and an integrated fast autofocus system provides maximal resolution and lowest background. Application accepted by Commissioner of Customs: March 24, 2006. Gerald A. Zerdy, Program Manager, Statutory Import Programs Staff. [FR Doc. E6–5195 Filed 4–7–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 060404095–6095–01] Northern Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Institute Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of funds. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) invites E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1 wwhite on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 68 / Monday, April 10, 2006 / Notices applications to establish a Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Cooperative Institute (CI). The creation of this CI is the cornerstone of NOAA’s commitment to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, and NOAA’s response the U.S. Ocean Action Plan (Executive Office of the President, December, 2004). This institute will facilitate a long-term collaborative environment between NOAA and the recipients within which broad-based research, development, education and outreach capabilities focusing on the priorities in the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) region can be developed and sustained. The CI will be regional in scope and should consist of a group of research institutions in the NGOM region (which is defined by the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas). Most of the workforce is expected to be located in Stennis Space Center, MS. DATES: Proposals must be received by the OAR no later than 5 p.m., E.T., May 25, 2006. Proposals submitted after that date will not be considered. ADDRESSES: Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online through the Grants.gov Web site (http:// www.grants.gov) but paper submissions are acceptable. If a hard copy application is submitted, the original and two unbound copies of the proposal should be included. Applicants are not required to submit more than three hard copies of the proposal if the recommended electronic grants submission via grants.gov is not made. Paper submissions should be sent to: NOAA, OAR, 1315 East West Highway, Room 11554, Silver Spring, Md. 20910 Attn: Dr. John Cortinas. No e-mail or facsimile proposal submissions will be accepted. The complete Federal funding opportunity announcement associated with this notice can be found at the Grants.gov Web site, http:// www.grants.gov, and the NOAA Web site at http://www.nrc.noaa.gov/ci. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For a copy of the federal funding opportunity announcement and/or application kit, access it at Grants.gov, via NOAA’s Web site, or by contacting Dr. John Cortinas, 1315 East West Highway, Room 11554, Silver Spring, Md. 20910 telephone 301–713–9397 x 206. Facsimile: (301) 713–0158; e-mail: John.Cortinas@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: A CI is a NOAAsupported, non-federal organization that has established an outstanding research program in one or more areas that are relevant to the NOAA mission. CIs are established at research institutions that also have a strong education program VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:48 Apr 07, 2006 Jkt 208001 with established graduate degree programs in NOAA-related sciences. The CI provides significant coordination of resources among all non-government partners and promotes the involvement of students and postdoctoral scientists in NOAA-funded research. The CI provides mutual benefits with value provided by all parties. NOAA has identified the need for a new CI to focus upon a region of particular significance to the federal government and NOAA, the NGOM. The creation of this CI is the cornerstone of NOAA’s commitment to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, and NOAA’s response to the U.S. Ocean Action Plan (Executive Office of the President, December, 2004), which recommends a ‘‘Regional Partnership in the Gulf of Mexico.’’ The objective of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance is to establish an integrated management approach for the Gulf of Mexico led by surrounding states (http://www. gulfofmexicoalliance.org). There is a particular emphasis on public health, specifically on water quality for shellfish beds and beaches in the Gulf of Mexico and the use of a regional ocean observing system to provide a real-time alert system for beach and shellfish bed closings. The NGOM CI is expected to contribute to the priority areas initially identified by the Alliance: • Improving and protecting water quality. • Restoring and conserving coastal wetlands and estuarine ecosystems. • Reducing pollution and nutrient loading. • Identifying and characterizing Gulf habitats to support coastal management. • Expanding environmental education to improve stewardship. Gulf States have also agreed upon cooperative efforts to collect information that can be used to better understand, monitor, and manage the Gulf of Mexico and to participate in the national Integrated Ocean Observing System through the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) (http://ocean.tamu.edu/ GCOOS/RA/vision.htm). Thus, the NGOM CI would also contribute to the GCOOS vision to ‘‘establish a sustained observing system for the Gulf of Mexico to provide observations and products needed by users in this region’’ to enable: • Detecting and predicting climate variability and consequences. • Preserving and restoring healthy marine ecosystems. • Ensuring human health. • Managing resources. • Facilitating safe and efficient marine transportation. PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18083 • Predicting and mitigating against coastal hazards. The above priorities map directly to the NOAA Strategic Plan and its primary scientific goals. They are also consistent with NOAA 5-yr Research Plan and 20-yr Research Vision. Electronic Access: Applicants can access, download, and submit electronic grant applications, including the full funding opportunity announcement, for NOAA programs at the Grants.gov Web site: http://www.grants.gov. The closing date will be the same as for the paper submissions noted in this announcement. For applicants filing through Grants.gov, NOAA strongly recommends that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov. Registration may take up to 10 business days. More details on how to apply are provided in the NOAA June 30, 2005 Federal Register Notice on ‘‘Availability of Grant Funds for Fiscal Year 2006’’, which can be found at: http://www.Grants.gov or http://www. ago.noaa.gov/grants/funding.shtml. Proposals submitted to the NOAA Cooperative Institute Program must include elements requested in the full Federal Funding Opportunity announcement on the grants.gov portal. Proposals, electronic or paper, should be no more than 65 pages (numbered) in length, including budget, investigators vitae, and all appendices. Federally mandated forms are not included within the page count. Facsimile transmissions and electronic mail submission of full proposals will not be accepted. Funding Availability: The award period will be five years and may be renewed for an additional five years based on the outcome of a CI peer review in the fourth year. All funding is contingent upon availability of Federal appropriations. NOAA expects that approximately $6.3 M will be available for the CI in the first year of the award. Of this amount, $650,000 ($130K per year for 5 years) will be applied to cover Task I base funding for the entire fiveyear award period. Funding for subsequent years is expected to be constant throughout the period, depending on the quality of the research, the satisfactory progress in achieving the stated goals described in the proposal, continued relevance to program objectives, and the availability of funding. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 313, 15 U.S.C. 1540; 15 U.S.C. 2901 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 753a, 33 U.S.C. 883d, 33 U.S.C. 1442, 49 U.S.C. 44720 (b), 118 Stat. 71 (January 23, 2004). Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: 11.432, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1 18084 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 68 / Monday, April 10, 2006 / Notices Research (OAR) Joint and Cooperative Institutes. wwhite on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Eligibility: Eligibility is limited to non-Federal public and private nonprofit universities, colleges and research institutions in the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas that offer accredited graduate level degree-granting programs in NOAArelated sciences, as described in the CI Interim Handbook, authorized by NOAA Administrative Order 216–107. Because of NOAA’s desire to establish a CI that addresses regional issues in the NGOM, NOAA is limiting eligibility to specific states that border the NGOM. Cost Sharing Requirements: To stress the collaborative nature and investment of a CI by both NOAA and the research institution, cost sharing is required. There is no minimum cost sharing requirement, however, the amount of cost sharing will be considered when determining the level of CI commitment under NOAA’s standard evaluation criteria of project costs. Acceptable costsharing proposals include, but are not limited to, offering a reduced indirect cost rate against activities in one or more Tasks, waiver of indirect costs assessed against base funds and/or Task I activities, waiver or reduction of any costs associated with the use of facilities at the CI, and full or partial salary funding for the CI director, administrative staff, graduate students, visiting scientists, or postdoctoral scientists. Intergovernmental Review: Applications under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.’’ Evaluation Criteria and Review and Selection Procedures: NOAA’s standard evaluation criteria and the review and selection procedures contained in NOAA’s June 30, 2005, omnibus notice are applicable to this solicitation and are as follows: A. Evaluation Criteria for Projects Proposals will be evaluated using the standard NOAA evaluation criteria. Various questions under each criterion are included to ensure that the applicant includes information that NOAA will consider important during the evaluation, in addition to any other information provided by the applicant. 1. Importance and/or relevance and applicability of proposed project to the program goals (25 percent): This ascertains whether there is intrinsic value in the proposed work and/or relevance to NOAA, Federal, regional, State, or local activities. • Does the proposal includes research goals and projects that address the VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:48 Apr 07, 2006 Jkt 208001 critical issues identified in NOAA’s 5year Research Plan, NOAA’s Strategic Plan, and the priorities described in the supplementary information above? • Is there a demonstrated commitment (in terms of resources and facilities) to enhance existing NOAA and CI resources to foster a long-term collaborative research environment/ culture? • Is there a strong education program with established graduate degree programs in NOAA-related sciences that also encourage student participation in NOAA-related research studies? • Will most of the staff at the CI be located near a NOAA facility in order to enhance collaborations with NOAA? 2. Technical/scientific merit (30 percent): This assesses whether the approach is technically sound and/or innovative, if the methods are appropriate, and whether there are clear project goals and objectives. • Does the project description include a summary of clearly stated goals to be achieved during the five-year period that reflect NOAA’s strategic plan and goals? • Does the CI involve partnerships with other universities or research institutions, including Minority Serving Institutions and universities with strong departments that can contribute to the proposed activities of the CI? 3. Overall qualifications of applicants (30 percent): This ascertains whether the applicant possesses the necessary education, experience, training, facilities, and administrative resources to accomplish the project. • If the institution(s) and/or principal investigators have received current or recent NOAA funding, is there a demonstrated record of outstanding performance working with NOAA scientists on research projects? • Is there internationally recognized expertise within the appropriate disciplines needed to conduct the collaborative/interdisciplinary research described in the proposal? • Is there a well-developed business plan that includes fiscal and human resource management as well as strategic planning and accountability? • Are there any unique capabilities in a mission-critical area of research for NOAA? • Has the applicant shown a substantial investment to the NOAA partnership, as demonstrated by a cost sharing contribution? 4. Project costs (5 percent): The budget is evaluated to determine if it is realistic and commensurate with the project needs and time-frame. 5. Outreach and education (10 percent): NOAA assesses whether this PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 project provides a focused and effective education and outreach strategy regarding NOAA’s mission to protect the Nation’s natural resources. B. Review and Selection Process An initial administrative review/ screening is conducted to determine compliance with requirements/ completeness. All proposals will be evaluated and individually ranked in accordance with the assigned weights of the above evaluation criteria by an independent peer panel review. At least three experts, who may be Federal or non-Federal, will be used in this process. If non-Federal experts participate in the review process, they will be submitting individual reviews and will not be reaching a consensus opinion. The merit reviewers’ ratings are used to produce a rank order of the proposals. The Selection Official selects proposals after considering the peer panel reviews and selection factors listed below. In making the final selections, the Selecting Official will award in rank order unless the proposal is justified to be selected out of rank order based upon one or more of the selection factors. C. Selection Factors The merit review ratings shall provide a rank order to the Selecting Official for final funding recommendations. A program officer may first make recommendations to the Selecting Official applying the selection factors below. The Selecting Official shall award in the rank order unless the proposal is justified to be selected out of rank order based upon one or more of the following factors: 1. Availability of funding. 2. Balance/distribution of funds: a. Geographically. b. By type of institutions. c. By type of partners. d. By research areas. e. By project types. 3. Whether this project duplicates other projects funded or considered for funding by NOAA or other Federal agencies. 4. Program priorities and policy factors. 5. Applicant’s prior award performance. 6. Partnerships and/or participation of targeted groups. 7. Adequacy of information necessary for NOAA staff to make a NEPA determination and draft necessary documentation before recommendations for funding are made to the Grants Officer. Applicants must comply with all requirements contained in the full E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1 wwhite on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 68 / Monday, April 10, 2006 / Notices funding opportunity announcements for each project competition in this announcement. Universal Identifier: Applicants should be aware that, they are required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number during the application process. See the October 30, 2002 Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 210, pp. 66177– 66178 for additional information. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1–866–705–5711 or via the Internet (http:// www.dunandbradstreet.com). National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): NOAA must analyze the potential environmental impacts, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for applicant projects or proposals which are seeking NOAA Federal funding opportunities. Detailed information on NOAA compliance with NEPA can be found at NOAA’s NEPA Web site, http:// www.nepa.noaa.gov/, and the Council on Environmental Quality implementation regulations, http://ceq. eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/ceq/toc_ceq.htm. Consequently, as part of an applicant’s package, and under their description of their program activities, applicants are required to provide detailed information on the activities to be conducted, locations, sites, species and habitat to be affected, possible construction activities, and any environmental concerns that may exist (e.g., the use and disposal of hazardous or toxic chemicals, introduction of nonindigenous species, impacts to endangered and threatened species, aquaculture projects, and impacts to coral reef systems). In addition to providing specific information that will serve as the basis for any required impact analyses, applicants may also be requested to assist NOAA in drafting of an environmental assessment, if NOAA determines an assessment is required. Applicants will also be required to cooperate with NOAA in identifying feasible measures to reduce or avoid any identified adverse environmental impacts of their proposal. The failure to do so shall be grounds for not selecting an application. In some cases if additional information is required after an application is selected, funds can be withheld by the Grants Officer under a special award condition requiring the recipient to submit additional environmental compliance information sufficient to enable NOAA to make an assessment on any impacts that a project may have on the environment. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:48 Apr 07, 2006 Jkt 208001 18085 Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. The Department of Commerce PreAward Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register notice of December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389) are applicable to this solicitation. Limitation of Liability: Funding for years 2–5 of the Cooperative Institute is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds. In no event will NOAA or the Department of Commerce be responsible for application preparation costs if these programs fail to receive funding or are cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of this announcement does not oblige NOAA to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds. Paperwork Reduction Act: This notification involves collection of information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The use of Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, and SF–LLL and CD–346 has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) respectively under control numbers 0348–0043, 0348–0044, 0348–0040, and 0348–0046 and 0605– 0001. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. Executive Order 12866: It has been determined that this notice is not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132. Administrative Procedure Act/ Regulatory Flexibility Act: Prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules concerning public property, grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2)). Because notice and opportunity for comments are not required pursuant to U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a Stephen B. Brandt, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, OAR, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. E6–5184 Filed 4–7–06; 8:45 am] PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [I.D. 032406A] General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC); Meeting Announcement National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS announces a meeting of the General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the IATTC on April 27, 2006, via telephone conference call. The April 27, 2006, teleconference reschedules the April 11, 2006 teleconference. The General Advisory Committee meeting will be held on April 27, 2006, from 12 noon to 3 p.m., Pacific Time. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held via telephone conference call at (866) 857–1547, participant passcode, 3313634. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: J.Allison Routt at (562) 980–4019 or (562) 980–4030. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The initial notification of this meeting was published in the Federal Register on March 29, 2006, (71 FR 15698). In the original notice, it stated that the meeting date was April 11, 2006. The meeting has been rescheduled to be held on April 27, 2006. All other information previously published remains the same. In accordance with the Tuna Conventions Act, as amended, the Department of State has appointed a General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the IATTC. The U.S. Section consists of the four U.S. Commissioners to the IATTC and the representative of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries. The Advisory Committee supports the work of the U.S. Section in a solely advisory capacity with respect to U.S. participation in the work of the IATTC, E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 68 (Monday, April 10, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18082-18085]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-5184]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 060404095-6095-01]


Northern Gulf of Mexico Cooperative Institute

AGENCY: Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability of funds.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) invites

[[Page 18083]]

applications to establish a Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Cooperative 
Institute (CI). The creation of this CI is the cornerstone of NOAA's 
commitment to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, and NOAA's response the U.S. 
Ocean Action Plan (Executive Office of the President, December, 2004). 
This institute will facilitate a long-term collaborative environment 
between NOAA and the recipients within which broad-based research, 
development, education and outreach capabilities focusing on the 
priorities in the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) region can be 
developed and sustained. The CI will be regional in scope and should 
consist of a group of research institutions in the NGOM region (which 
is defined by the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, 
and Texas). Most of the workforce is expected to be located in Stennis 
Space Center, MS.

DATES: Proposals must be received by the OAR no later than 5 p.m., 
E.T., May 25, 2006. Proposals submitted after that date will not be 
considered.

ADDRESSES: Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online through 
the Grants.gov Web site (http://www.grants.gov) but paper submissions 
are acceptable. If a hard copy application is submitted, the original 
and two unbound copies of the proposal should be included. Applicants 
are not required to submit more than three hard copies of the proposal 
if the recommended electronic grants submission via grants.gov is not 
made. Paper submissions should be sent to: NOAA, OAR, 1315 East West 
Highway, Room 11554, Silver Spring, Md. 20910 Attn: Dr. John Cortinas. 
No e-mail or facsimile proposal submissions will be accepted. The 
complete Federal funding opportunity announcement associated with this 
notice can be found at the Grants.gov Web site, http://www.grants.gov, 
and the NOAA Web site at http://www.nrc.noaa.gov/ci.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For a copy of the federal funding 
opportunity announcement and/or application kit, access it at 
Grants.gov, via NOAA's Web site, or by contacting Dr. John Cortinas, 
1315 East West Highway, Room 11554, Silver Spring, Md. 20910 telephone 
301-713-9397 x 206. Facsimile: (301) 713-0158; e-mail: 
John.Cortinas@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Background: A CI is a NOAA-supported, non-federal organization that 
has established an outstanding research program in one or more areas 
that are relevant to the NOAA mission. CIs are established at research 
institutions that also have a strong education program with established 
graduate degree programs in NOAA-related sciences. The CI provides 
significant coordination of resources among all non-government partners 
and promotes the involvement of students and postdoctoral scientists in 
NOAA-funded research. The CI provides mutual benefits with value 
provided by all parties.
    NOAA has identified the need for a new CI to focus upon a region of 
particular significance to the federal government and NOAA, the NGOM. 
The creation of this CI is the cornerstone of NOAA's commitment to the 
Gulf of Mexico Alliance, and NOAA's response to the U.S. Ocean Action 
Plan (Executive Office of the President, December, 2004), which 
recommends a ``Regional Partnership in the Gulf of Mexico.'' The 
objective of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance is to establish an integrated 
management approach for the Gulf of Mexico led by surrounding states 
(http://www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org). There is a particular emphasis 
on public health, specifically on water quality for shellfish beds and 
beaches in the Gulf of Mexico and the use of a regional ocean observing 
system to provide a real-time alert system for beach and shellfish bed 
closings. The NGOM CI is expected to contribute to the priority areas 
initially identified by the Alliance:
     Improving and protecting water quality.
     Restoring and conserving coastal wetlands and estuarine 
ecosystems.
     Reducing pollution and nutrient loading.
     Identifying and characterizing Gulf habitats to support 
coastal management.
     Expanding environmental education to improve stewardship.
    Gulf States have also agreed upon cooperative efforts to collect 
information that can be used to better understand, monitor, and manage 
the Gulf of Mexico and to participate in the national Integrated Ocean 
Observing System through the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing 
System (GCOOS) (http://ocean.tamu.edu/GCOOS/RA/vision.htm). Thus, the 
NGOM CI would also contribute to the GCOOS vision to ``establish a 
sustained observing system for the Gulf of Mexico to provide 
observations and products needed by users in this region'' to enable:
     Detecting and predicting climate variability and 
consequences.
     Preserving and restoring healthy marine ecosystems.
     Ensuring human health.
     Managing resources.
     Facilitating safe and efficient marine transportation.
     Predicting and mitigating against coastal hazards.
    The above priorities map directly to the NOAA Strategic Plan and 
its primary scientific goals. They are also consistent with NOAA 5-yr 
Research Plan and 20-yr Research Vision.
    Electronic Access: Applicants can access, download, and submit 
electronic grant applications, including the full funding opportunity 
announcement, for NOAA programs at the Grants.gov Web site: http://
www.grants.gov. The closing date will be the same as for the paper 
submissions noted in this announcement. For applicants filing through 
Grants.gov, NOAA strongly recommends that you do not wait until the 
application deadline date to begin the application process through 
Grants.gov. Registration may take up to 10 business days. More details 
on how to apply are provided in the NOAA June 30, 2005 Federal Register 
Notice on ``Availability of Grant Funds for Fiscal Year 2006'', which 
can be found at: http://www.Grants.gov or http://www.ago.noaa.gov/
grants/funding.shtml. Proposals submitted to the NOAA Cooperative 
Institute Program must include elements requested in the full Federal 
Funding Opportunity announcement on the grants.gov portal. Proposals, 
electronic or paper, should be no more than 65 pages (numbered) in 
length, including budget, investigators vitae, and all appendices. 
Federally mandated forms are not included within the page count. 
Facsimile transmissions and electronic mail submission of full 
proposals will not be accepted.
    Funding Availability: The award period will be five years and may 
be renewed for an additional five years based on the outcome of a CI 
peer review in the fourth year. All funding is contingent upon 
availability of Federal appropriations. NOAA expects that approximately 
$6.3 M will be available for the CI in the first year of the award. Of 
this amount, $650,000 ($130K per year for 5 years) will be applied to 
cover Task I base funding for the entire five-year award period. 
Funding for subsequent years is expected to be constant throughout the 
period, depending on the quality of the research, the satisfactory 
progress in achieving the stated goals described in the proposal, 
continued relevance to program objectives, and the availability of 
funding.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 313, 15 U.S.C. 1540; 15 U.S.C. 2901 et 
seq., 16 U.S.C. 753a, 33 U.S.C. 883d, 33 U.S.C. 1442, 49 U.S.C. 
44720 (b), 118 Stat. 71 (January 23, 2004).
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: 11.432, Office of 
Oceanic and Atmospheric

[[Page 18084]]

Research (OAR) Joint and Cooperative Institutes.

    Eligibility: Eligibility is limited to non-Federal public and 
private non-profit universities, colleges and research institutions in 
the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas that 
offer accredited graduate level degree-granting programs in NOAA-
related sciences, as described in the CI Interim Handbook, authorized 
by NOAA Administrative Order 216-107. Because of NOAA's desire to 
establish a CI that addresses regional issues in the NGOM, NOAA is 
limiting eligibility to specific states that border the NGOM.
    Cost Sharing Requirements: To stress the collaborative nature and 
investment of a CI by both NOAA and the research institution, cost 
sharing is required. There is no minimum cost sharing requirement, 
however, the amount of cost sharing will be considered when determining 
the level of CI commitment under NOAA's standard evaluation criteria of 
project costs. Acceptable cost-sharing proposals include, but are not 
limited to, offering a reduced indirect cost rate against activities in 
one or more Tasks, waiver of indirect costs assessed against base funds 
and/or Task I activities, waiver or reduction of any costs associated 
with the use of facilities at the CI, and full or partial salary 
funding for the CI director, administrative staff, graduate students, 
visiting scientists, or postdoctoral scientists.
    Intergovernmental Review: Applications under this program are not 
subject to Executive Order 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs.''
    Evaluation Criteria and Review and Selection Procedures: NOAA's 
standard evaluation criteria and the review and selection procedures 
contained in NOAA's June 30, 2005, omnibus notice are applicable to 
this solicitation and are as follows:

A. Evaluation Criteria for Projects

    Proposals will be evaluated using the standard NOAA evaluation 
criteria. Various questions under each criterion are included to ensure 
that the applicant includes information that NOAA will consider 
important during the evaluation, in addition to any other information 
provided by the applicant.
    1. Importance and/or relevance and applicability of proposed 
project to the program goals (25 percent): This ascertains whether 
there is intrinsic value in the proposed work and/or relevance to NOAA, 
Federal, regional, State, or local activities.
     Does the proposal includes research goals and projects 
that address the critical issues identified in NOAA's 5-year Research 
Plan, NOAA's Strategic Plan, and the priorities described in the 
supplementary information above?
     Is there a demonstrated commitment (in terms of resources 
and facilities) to enhance existing NOAA and CI resources to foster a 
long-term collaborative research environment/culture?
     Is there a strong education program with established 
graduate degree programs in NOAA-related sciences that also encourage 
student participation in NOAA-related research studies?
     Will most of the staff at the CI be located near a NOAA 
facility in order to enhance collaborations with NOAA?
    2. Technical/scientific merit (30 percent): This assesses whether 
the approach is technically sound and/or innovative, if the methods are 
appropriate, and whether there are clear project goals and objectives.
     Does the project description include a summary of clearly 
stated goals to be achieved during the five-year period that reflect 
NOAA's strategic plan and goals?
     Does the CI involve partnerships with other universities 
or research institutions, including Minority Serving Institutions and 
universities with strong departments that can contribute to the 
proposed activities of the CI?
    3. Overall qualifications of applicants (30 percent): This 
ascertains whether the applicant possesses the necessary education, 
experience, training, facilities, and administrative resources to 
accomplish the project.
     If the institution(s) and/or principal investigators have 
received current or recent NOAA funding, is there a demonstrated record 
of outstanding performance working with NOAA scientists on research 
projects?
     Is there internationally recognized expertise within the 
appropriate disciplines needed to conduct the collaborative/
interdisciplinary research described in the proposal?
     Is there a well-developed business plan that includes 
fiscal and human resource management as well as strategic planning and 
accountability?
     Are there any unique capabilities in a mission-critical 
area of research for NOAA?
     Has the applicant shown a substantial investment to the 
NOAA partnership, as demonstrated by a cost sharing contribution?
    4. Project costs (5 percent): The budget is evaluated to determine 
if it is realistic and commensurate with the project needs and time-
frame.
    5. Outreach and education (10 percent): NOAA assesses whether this 
project provides a focused and effective education and outreach 
strategy regarding NOAA's mission to protect the Nation's natural 
resources.

B. Review and Selection Process

    An initial administrative review/screening is conducted to 
determine compliance with requirements/completeness. All proposals will 
be evaluated and individually ranked in accordance with the assigned 
weights of the above evaluation criteria by an independent peer panel 
review. At least three experts, who may be Federal or non-Federal, will 
be used in this process. If non-Federal experts participate in the 
review process, they will be submitting individual reviews and will not 
be reaching a consensus opinion. The merit reviewers' ratings are used 
to produce a rank order of the proposals. The Selection Official 
selects proposals after considering the peer panel reviews and 
selection factors listed below. In making the final selections, the 
Selecting Official will award in rank order unless the proposal is 
justified to be selected out of rank order based upon one or more of 
the selection factors.

C. Selection Factors

    The merit review ratings shall provide a rank order to the 
Selecting Official for final funding recommendations. A program officer 
may first make recommendations to the Selecting Official applying the 
selection factors below. The Selecting Official shall award in the rank 
order unless the proposal is justified to be selected out of rank order 
based upon one or more of the following factors:
    1. Availability of funding.
    2. Balance/distribution of funds:
    a. Geographically.
    b. By type of institutions.
    c. By type of partners.
    d. By research areas.
    e. By project types.
    3. Whether this project duplicates other projects funded or 
considered for funding by NOAA or other Federal agencies.
    4. Program priorities and policy factors.
    5. Applicant's prior award performance.
    6. Partnerships and/or participation of targeted groups.
    7. Adequacy of information necessary for NOAA staff to make a NEPA 
determination and draft necessary documentation before recommendations 
for funding are made to the Grants Officer.
    Applicants must comply with all requirements contained in the full

[[Page 18085]]

funding opportunity announcements for each project competition in this 
announcement.
    Universal Identifier: Applicants should be aware that, they are 
required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering 
System (DUNS) number during the application process. See the October 
30, 2002 Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 210, pp. 66177-66178 for 
additional information. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no 
cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1-
866-705-5711 or via the Internet (http://www.dunandbradstreet.com).
    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): NOAA must analyze the 
potential environmental impacts, as required by the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), for applicant projects or proposals 
which are seeking NOAA Federal funding opportunities. Detailed 
information on NOAA compliance with NEPA can be found at NOAA's NEPA 
Web site, http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/, and the Council on Environmental 
Quality implementation regulations, http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/
ceq/toc_ceq.htm.
    Consequently, as part of an applicant's package, and under their 
description of their program activities, applicants are required to 
provide detailed information on the activities to be conducted, 
locations, sites, species and habitat to be affected, possible 
construction activities, and any environmental concerns that may exist 
(e.g., the use and disposal of hazardous or toxic chemicals, 
introduction of non-indigenous species, impacts to endangered and 
threatened species, aquaculture projects, and impacts to coral reef 
systems). In addition to providing specific information that will serve 
as the basis for any required impact analyses, applicants may also be 
requested to assist NOAA in drafting of an environmental assessment, if 
NOAA determines an assessment is required. Applicants will also be 
required to cooperate with NOAA in identifying feasible measures to 
reduce or avoid any identified adverse environmental impacts of their 
proposal. The failure to do so shall be grounds for not selecting an 
application. In some cases if additional information is required after 
an application is selected, funds can be withheld by the Grants Officer 
under a special award condition requiring the recipient to submit 
additional environmental compliance information sufficient to enable 
NOAA to make an assessment on any impacts that a project may have on 
the environment.

Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative 
Agreements

    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements contained in the Federal Register 
notice of December 30, 2004 (69 FR 78389) are applicable to this 
solicitation.
    Limitation of Liability: Funding for years 2-5 of the Cooperative 
Institute is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds. In 
no event will NOAA or the Department of Commerce be responsible for 
application preparation costs if these programs fail to receive funding 
or are cancelled because of other agency priorities. Publication of 
this announcement does not oblige NOAA to award any specific project or 
to obligate any available funds.
    Paperwork Reduction Act: This notification involves collection of 
information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The 
use of Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, and SF-LLL and CD-346 has been 
approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) respectively 
under control numbers 0348-0043, 0348-0044, 0348-0040, and 0348-0046 
and 0605-0001. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB control number.
    Executive Order 12866: It has been determined that this notice is 
not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): It has been determined that 
this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as 
that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.
    Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act: Prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required by the 
Administrative Procedure Act or any other law for rules concerning 
public property, grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2)).
    Because notice and opportunity for comments are not required 
pursuant to U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. 
Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none 
has been prepared.

Stephen B. Brandt,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, OAR, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration.
 [FR Doc. E6-5184 Filed 4-7-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P