Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO), 14774-14776 [E8-5567]

Download as PDF 14774 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 54 / Wednesday, March 19, 2008 / Notices on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements to the ACEHR, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 8630, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899– 8630, via fax at (301) 975–5433, or electronically by e-mail to info@nehrp.gov. All visitors to the NIST site are required to pre-register to be admitted. Anyone wishing to attend this meeting must register by close of business Thursday, April 3, 2008, in order to attend. Please submit your name, time of arrival, e-mail address and phone number to Carmen Pardo. Non-U.S. citizens must also submit their country of citizenship, title, employer/sponsor, and address. Ms. Pardo’s e-mail address is carmen.pardo@nist.gov and her phone number is (301) 975–6132. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dated: March 13, 2008. James M. Turner, Acting Director. [FR Doc. E8–5487 Filed 3–18–08; 8:45 am] Technical Information: Michael Ford, CAMEO Program Manager, NOAA/ NMFS, 301–713–2239, Michael.Ford@noaa.gov; Phil Taylor, Program Director, Biological Oceanography, OCE/GEO/NSF, 703– 292–8582, prtaylor@nsf.gov; or Cynthia Suchman, Associate Program Director, Biological Oceanography, OCE/GEO/ NSF, 703/292–8582, csuchman@nsf.gov. Business Management Information: Roy Williams, NMFS/S&T Grants Administrator, 301–713–2367 x 141, Roy.Williams@noaa.gov. BILLING CODE 3510–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Docket No. 080307400–8401–01] RIN 0648–ZB88 Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of funding availability. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES SUMMARY: This announcement is a solicitation for proposals for the Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO) Program. The purpose of CAMEO is to strengthen the scientific basis for an ecosystem approach to stewardship of ocean and coastal resources and ecosystems. To fulfill this purpose, CAMEO will assist policy makers and resource managers to make ecosystemscience based decisions that fulfill policy goals and management objectives of society. The program will support research to understand complex dynamics controlling productivity, behavior, population connectivity, climate variability and anthropogenic pressures. It envisages the use of a diverse array of ecosystem models, comparative analyses of managed and unmanaged areas, and ecosystem-scale mapping in support of research, 16:50 Mar 18, 2008 Jkt 214001 The Objective of Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO) is to strengthen the scientific basis for an ecosystem approach to stewardship of ocean and coastal resources and ecosystems. To fulfill its objective, the product of the CAMEO program must assist policy makers and resource managers to make science based decisions that fulfill policy goals and management objectives of society. This means that for CAMEO to be successful, it must include an explicit and realistic path for translating research results into usable decisionmaking support tools. Comparative studies of ecosystems have a long history in marine ecology. Many of these studies have been theoretical, using mathematical models with limited or no data, and narrow in scope in terms of the properties of ecosystems and the drivers of change. Others have compared and contrasted large amounts of observational data to draw general inferences. CAMEO’s goal, and challenge, is to carefully design approaches by which similarities and divergences among observed ecosystems (comparative ecosystem analyses) are SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AGENCY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 forecasting and decision support. Proposals are requested for 1–2 year projects for initial modeling, retrospective, and pilot studies. DATES: Proposals must be received no later than June 17, 2008. ADDRESSES: Electronic application packages are strongly encouraged and are available at: http://www.grants.gov/. Paper application packages are available on the NOAA Grants Management website at: http://www.ago.noaa.gov/ grants/appkit.shtml. If the applicant has difficulty accessing Grants.gov or downloading the required forms from the NOAA website, they should contact: Roy Williams, CAMEO, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 12436, Silver Spring, MD, 20910 or by phone at (301) 713– 2367, ext. 141, or via internet at Roy.Williams@noaa.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 effectively interpreted in a manner that can yield management insights. The spatial scale of comparative analyses can range from ocean basins to local oceanic (e.g., seamounts, shelves) and coastal (e.g., bays and estuaries) features. The scale should be appropriate to the ecosystem properties considered in the proposal. In some cases, a hierarchy of nested scales may be appropriate. Obvious components of this comparative approach involve the use of experiments, models, and observational data, ultimately leading to sophisticated integrations of all three. Spatial contrasts offered by comparing ecosystem function and structure within and outside marine protected areas are one form of comparative analysis that may offer insights into how ecosystems respond to human activities. An important and ancillary challenge will be to identify recent and emerging technologies (e.g. molecular techniques and instrumentation) that may be applied toward the significant challenges of CAMEO. In framing issues to be addressed by CAMEO, some important ecosystem concepts, such as resilience, regime shifts and connectivity are used without rigorously defining or thoroughly discussing them. These are evolving concepts, and it is expected that they will be defined in the context of the research that is proposed and refined through CAMEO research. ELECTRONIC ACCESS: The full text of the full funding opportunity announcement for this program can be accessed via the Grants.gov web site at http://www.grants.gov. The announcement will also be available by contacting the program officials identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Applicants must comply with all requirements contained in the full funding opportunity announcement. STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Authority for CAMEO is provided by the following: 33 U.S.C. 1442 for the National Marine Fisheries Service and 42 U.S.C. 1861–75 for the National Science Foundation. CFDA: 11.472, Unallied Science Program FUNDING AVAILABILITY: It is anticipated that about $2,000,000 in FY 2008 will be available to support approximately 5–10 projects in response to this announcement. ELIGIBILITY: Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, other non-profits, state, local, Indian Tribal Governments, and Federal agencies that possess the statutory authority to receive financial assistance. COST SHARING REQUIREMENTS: None is required. E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 54 / Wednesday, March 19, 2008 / Notices EVALUATION AND SELECTION PROCEDURES: The general evaluation criteria and selection factors that apply to full applications to this funding opportunity are summarized below. The evaluation criteria for full applications will have different weights and details. Further information about the evaluation criteria and selection factors can be found in the full funding opportunity announcement. EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR PROJECTS: The following evaluation criteria and weighting of the criteria are as follows: 1. Importance and/or relevance and applicability of proposed project to the program goals: (20 percent). This ascertains whether there is intrinsic value in the proposed work and/or relevance to NOAA, federal, regional, state, or local goals and priorities. For this competition, this criterion assesses whether proposals address research that will make substantial contributions or develop products leading to improved management of coastal resources (this criterion fulfills the Broader Impacts requirement for NSF proposals); 2. Technical/Scientific Merit (50 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 for this management activity. For this competition, this criterion assesses whether proposals address the intrinsic scientific value of the proposed work and the likelihood that it will lead to fundamental advancements, new discoveries or will have substantial impact on progress in that field. The proposed work should have focused science objectives and a complete and efficient strategy for making measurements and observations in support of the objectives. The approach should be sound and logically planned throughout the cycle of the proposed work; 3. Overall qualifications of applicants (20 percent): This ascertains whether the applicant possesses the necessary education, experience, training, facilities, and administrative resources to accomplish the project. For this competition, this criterion assesses whether the proposals address the capability of the investigator and collaborators to complete the proposed work as evidenced by past research accomplishments, previous cooperative work, timely communication, and the sharing of findings, data, and other research products; 4. Project costs (10 percent): The Budget is evaluated to determine if it is realistic and commensurate with the VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:50 Mar 18, 2008 Jkt 214001 project needs and time-frame. For this competition, this criterion assesses whether proposals address the adequacy of the proposed resources to accomplish the proposed work, and the appropriateness of the requested funding with respect to the total available funds. 5. Outreach and Education (0 percent): Outreach and education NOAA assesses whether this project provides a focused and effective education and outreach strategy regarding NOAA’s mission to protect the Nations natural resources. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS: Proposals will be evaluated individually in accordance with the assigned weights of the above evaluation criteria by independent peer mail review and/or by independent peer panel review. Both Federal and non-Federal experts in the field may be used in this process. The peer mail reviewers have expertise in the subjects addressed by the proposals. Each mail reviewer will see only certain individual proposals within his or her area of expertise, and will score them individually on the following scale: Excellent (1), Very Good (2), Good (3), Fair (4), Poor (5). The peer panel will comprise 6 to 10 individuals, with each individual having expertise in a separate area, so that the panel, as a whole, covers a range of scientific expertise. The panel will have access to all mail reviews of proposals, and will use the mail reviews in discussion and evaluation of the entire slate of proposals. All proposals will be evaluated and scored individually. The peer panel shall rate the proposals using the evaluation criteria and scores provided above. Scores from each peer panelist shall be averaged for each application and presented to the program officers. No consensus advice will be given by the independent peer mail review or the review panel. The program officers will neither vote or score proposals as part of the independent peer panel nor participate in discussion of the merits of the proposal. Those proposals receiving an average panel score of ‘‘Fair’’ or ‘‘Poor’’ will not be given further consideration, and proposers will be notified of non selection. For the proposals rated by the panel as either ‘‘Excellent,’’ ‘‘Very Good,’’ or ‘‘Good’’, the program officers will (a) select the proposals to be recommended for funding according to the averaged ratings, and/or by applying the project funding priorities listed below; (b) determine the total duration of funding for each proposal; and (c) determine the amount of funds available for each proposal subject to the availability of fiscal year funds. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14775 Awardsmay not necessarily be made in rank order. In addition, proposals rated by the panel as either ‘‘Excellent,’’ ‘‘Very Good,’’ or ‘‘Good’’ that are not funded in the current fiscal period, may be considered for funding in another fiscal period without having to repeat the competitive, review process. Recommendations for funding are then forwarded to the selecting official, the Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor for NOAA/ NMFS, or the Program Director for NSF Biological Oceanography, for the final funding decision. The Director shall make the final funding decisions based upon reviewer/program officer recommendations, project funding priorities and availability of funds. At the conclusion of the review process, NOAA Ecosystem Goal Team Lead and the NSF Biological Oceanography Program Director or staff will notify lead proposers for those projects recommended for support, and negotiate revisions in the proposed work and budget. Final awards will be issued by the agency responsible for a specific project after receipt and processing of any specific materials required by the agency. Investigators may be asked to modify objectives, work plans or budgets, and provide supplemental information required by the agency prior to the award. When a decision has been made (whether an award or declination), verbatim anonymous copies of reviews and summaries of review panel deliberations, if any, will be made available to the proposer. Declined applications will be held in the NMFS/S&T office for the required 3 years in accordance with the current retention requirements, and then destroyed. SELECTION FACTORS FOR PROJECTS: The Selecting Official shall award in the rank order unless the proposal is justified to be selected out of rank order based on one or more of the following factors: 1. Availability of funding 2. Balance and distribution of funds a. By research area b. By project type c. By type of institutions d. By type of partners e. Geographically 3. Duplication of other projects funded or considered for funding by NOAA/ Federal agencies. 4. Program priorities and policy factors as set in Sections I.A and B of the FFO. 5. Applicants prior award performance. 6. Partnerships with/Participation of targeted groups. 7. Adequacy of information necessary for NOAA staff to make a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) determination and draft necessary documentation before recommendations E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 14776 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 54 / Wednesday, March 19, 2008 / Notices for funding are made to the NOAA Grants Officer. INTERGOVERNMENTAL REVIEW: Applications under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: In no event will NOAA or the Department of Commerce be responsible for proposal 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. 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 the following NOAA NEPA website: http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/, including our NOAA Administrative Order 216–6 for NEPA, http:// www.nepa.noaa.gov/ NAO216l6lTOC.pdf, and the Council on Environmental Quality implementation regulations, http:// ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/ceq/ toclceq.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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:50 Mar 18, 2008 Jkt 214001 sufficient to enable NOAA to make an assessment on any impacts that a project may have on the environment. THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 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 February 11, 2008 (73 FR 7696), are applicable to this solicitation. PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT: This document contains collection-ofinformation requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). 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) under the respective control numbers 0348–0043, 0348–0044, 0348–0040, 0348–0046, and 0605–0001. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to, nor shall a 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: This notice has been determined to be 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, loans, grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements for the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been prepared. Dated: March 13, 2008. Steven A. Murawski, Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor, NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E8–5567 Filed 3–18–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Availability of Seats for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Notice and request for applications. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS or Sanctuary) is seeking applicants for the following seats on its Sanctuary Advisory Council: Tourism alternate and Research alternate. Applicants chosen for the Tourism seat should expect to serve until February 2011. Applicants chosen for the Research seat should expect to serve until February 2010. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the Sanctuary. DATES: Applications are due by May 2, 2008. Application kits may be obtained from Nicole Capps at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 299 Foam Street, Monterey, California 93940. Completed applications should be sent to the same address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nicole Capps at (831) 647–4206r or Nicole.Capps@noaa.gov. ADDRESSES: The MBNMS Advisory Council was established in March 1994 to assure continued public participation in the management of the Sanctuary. Since its establishment, the Advisory Council has played a vital role in decisions affecting the Sanctuary along the central California coast. The Advisory Council’s twenty voting members represent a variety of local user groups, as well as the general public, plus six local and state governmental jurisdictions. In addition, the respective managers or superintendents for the four California National Marine sanctuaries (Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Gulf of the Farallones SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\19MRN1.SGM 19MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 54 (Wednesday, March 19, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14774-14776]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-5567]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 080307400-8401-01]
RIN 0648-ZB88


Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO)

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of funding availability.

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

SUMMARY: This announcement is a solicitation for proposals for the 
Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO) Program. 
The purpose of CAMEO is to strengthen the scientific basis for an 
ecosystem approach to stewardship of ocean and coastal resources and 
ecosystems. To fulfill this purpose, CAMEO will assist policy makers 
and resource managers to make ecosystem-science based decisions that 
fulfill policy goals and management objectives of society. The program 
will support research to understand complex dynamics controlling 
productivity, behavior, population connectivity, climate variability 
and anthropogenic pressures. It envisages the use of a diverse array of 
ecosystem models, comparative analyses of managed and unmanaged areas, 
and ecosystem-scale mapping in support of research, forecasting and 
decision support. Proposals are requested for 1-2 year projects for 
initial modeling, retrospective, and pilot studies.

DATES: Proposals must be received no later than June 17, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Electronic application packages are strongly encouraged and 
are available at: http://www.grants.gov/. Paper application packages 
are available on the NOAA Grants Management website at: http://
www.ago.noaa.gov/grants/appkit.shtml. If the applicant has difficulty 
accessing Grants.gov or downloading the required forms from the NOAA 
website, they should contact: Roy Williams, CAMEO, 1315 East-West 
Highway, Room 12436, Silver Spring, MD, 20910 or by phone at (301) 713-
2367, ext. 141, or via internet at Roy.Williams@noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Technical Information: Michael Ford, 
CAMEO Program Manager, NOAA/NMFS, 301-713-2239, Michael.Ford@noaa.gov; 
Phil Taylor, Program Director, Biological Oceanography, OCE/GEO/NSF, 
703-292-8582, prtaylor@nsf.gov; or Cynthia Suchman, Associate Program 
Director, Biological Oceanography, OCE/GEO/NSF, 703/292-8582, 
csuchman@nsf.gov. Business Management Information: Roy Williams, NMFS/
S&T Grants Administrator, 301-713-2367 x 141, Roy.Williams@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Objective of Comparative Analysis of 
Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO) is to strengthen the scientific 
basis for an ecosystem approach to stewardship of ocean and coastal 
resources and ecosystems. To fulfill its objective, the product of the 
CAMEO program must assist policy makers and resource managers to make 
science based decisions that fulfill policy goals and management 
objectives of society. This means that for CAMEO to be successful, it 
must include an explicit and realistic path for translating research 
results into usable decision-making support tools.
    Comparative studies of ecosystems have a long history in marine 
ecology. Many of these studies have been theoretical, using 
mathematical models with limited or no data, and narrow in scope in 
terms of the properties of ecosystems and the drivers of change. Others 
have compared and contrasted large amounts of observational data to 
draw general inferences. CAMEO's goal, and challenge, is to carefully 
design approaches by which similarities and divergences among observed 
ecosystems (comparative ecosystem analyses) are effectively interpreted 
in a manner that can yield management insights. The spatial scale of 
comparative analyses can range from ocean basins to local oceanic 
(e.g., seamounts, shelves) and coastal (e.g., bays and estuaries) 
features. The scale should be appropriate to the ecosystem properties 
considered in the proposal. In some cases, a hierarchy of nested scales 
may be appropriate. Obvious components of this comparative approach 
involve the use of experiments, models, and observational data, 
ultimately leading to sophisticated integrations of all three. Spatial 
contrasts offered by comparing ecosystem function and structure within 
and outside marine protected areas are one form of comparative analysis 
that may offer insights into how ecosystems respond to human 
activities. An important and ancillary challenge will be to identify 
recent and emerging technologies (e.g. molecular techniques and 
instrumentation) that may be applied toward the significant challenges 
of CAMEO. In framing issues to be addressed by CAMEO, some important 
ecosystem concepts, such as resilience, regime shifts and connectivity 
are used without rigorously defining or thoroughly discussing them. 
These are evolving concepts, and it is expected that they will be 
defined in the context of the research that is proposed and refined 
through CAMEO research.
    ELECTRONIC ACCESS: The full text of the full funding opportunity 
announcement for this program can be accessed via the Grants.gov web 
site at http://www.grants.gov. The announcement will also be available 
by contacting the program officials identified under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. Applicants must comply with all requirements 
contained in the full funding opportunity announcement.
    STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Authority for CAMEO is provided by the 
following: 33 U.S.C. 1442 for the National Marine Fisheries Service and 
42 U.S.C. 1861-75 for the National Science Foundation.
    CFDA: 11.472, Unallied Science Program
    FUNDING AVAILABILITY: It is anticipated that about $2,000,000 in FY 
2008 will be available to support approximately 5-10 projects in 
response to this announcement.
    ELIGIBILITY: Eligible applicants are institutions of higher 
education, other non-profits, state, local, Indian Tribal Governments, 
and Federal agencies that possess the statutory authority to receive 
financial assistance.
    COST SHARING REQUIREMENTS: None is required.

[[Page 14775]]

    EVALUATION AND SELECTION PROCEDURES: The general evaluation 
criteria and selection factors that apply to full applications to this 
funding opportunity are summarized below. The evaluation criteria for 
full applications will have different weights and details. Further 
information about the evaluation criteria and selection factors can be 
found in the full funding opportunity announcement.
    EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR PROJECTS: The following evaluation criteria 
and weighting of the criteria are as follows: 1. Importance and/or 
relevance and applicability of proposed project to the program goals: 
(20 percent). This ascertains whether there is intrinsic value in the 
proposed work and/or relevance to NOAA, federal, regional, state, or 
local goals and priorities. For this competition, this criterion 
assesses whether proposals address research that will make substantial 
contributions or develop products leading to improved management of 
coastal resources (this criterion fulfills the Broader Impacts 
requirement for NSF proposals);
    2. Technical/Scientific Merit (50 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 
for this management activity. For this competition, this criterion 
assesses whether proposals address the intrinsic scientific value of 
the proposed work and the likelihood that it will lead to fundamental 
advancements, new discoveries or will have substantial impact on 
progress in that field. The proposed work should have focused science 
objectives and a complete and efficient strategy for making 
measurements and observations in support of the objectives. The 
approach should be sound and logically planned throughout the cycle of 
the proposed work;
    3. Overall qualifications of applicants (20 percent): This 
ascertains whether the applicant possesses the necessary education, 
experience, training, facilities, and administrative resources to 
accomplish the project. For this competition, this criterion assesses 
whether the proposals address the capability of the investigator and 
collaborators to complete the proposed work as evidenced by past 
research accomplishments, previous cooperative work, timely 
communication, and the sharing of findings, data, and other research 
products;
    4. Project costs (10 percent): The Budget is evaluated to determine 
if it is realistic and commensurate with the project needs and time-
frame. For this competition, this criterion assesses whether proposals 
address the adequacy of the proposed resources to accomplish the 
proposed work, and the appropriateness of the requested funding with 
respect to the total available funds.
    5. Outreach and Education (0 percent): Outreach and education NOAA 
assesses whether this project provides a focused and effective 
education and outreach strategy regarding NOAA's mission to protect the 
Nations natural resources.
    REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS: Proposals will be evaluated 
individually in accordance with the assigned weights of the above 
evaluation criteria by independent peer mail review and/or by 
independent peer panel review. Both Federal and non-Federal experts in 
the field may be used in this process. The peer mail reviewers have 
expertise in the subjects addressed by the proposals. Each mail 
reviewer will see only certain individual proposals within his or her 
area of expertise, and will score them individually on the following 
scale: Excellent (1), Very Good (2), Good (3), Fair (4), Poor (5). The 
peer panel will comprise 6 to 10 individuals, with each individual 
having expertise in a separate area, so that the panel, as a whole, 
covers a range of scientific expertise. The panel will have access to 
all mail reviews of proposals, and will use the mail reviews in 
discussion and evaluation of the entire slate of proposals. All 
proposals will be evaluated and scored individually. The peer panel 
shall rate the proposals using the evaluation criteria and scores 
provided above. Scores from each peer panelist shall be averaged for 
each application and presented to the program officers. No consensus 
advice will be given by the independent peer mail review or the review 
panel. The program officers will neither vote or score proposals as 
part of the independent peer panel nor participate in discussion of the 
merits of the proposal. Those proposals receiving an average panel 
score of ``Fair'' or ``Poor'' will not be given further consideration, 
and proposers will be notified of non selection. For the proposals 
rated by the panel as either ``Excellent,'' ``Very Good,'' or ``Good'', 
the program officers will (a) select the proposals to be recommended 
for funding according to the averaged ratings, and/or by applying the 
project funding priorities listed below; (b) determine the total 
duration of funding for each proposal; and (c) determine the amount of 
funds available for each proposal subject to the availability of fiscal 
year funds. Awardsmay not necessarily be made in rank order. In 
addition, proposals rated by the panel as either ``Excellent,'' ``Very 
Good,'' or ``Good'' that are not funded in the current fiscal period, 
may be considered for funding in another fiscal period without having 
to repeat the competitive, review process. Recommendations for funding 
are then forwarded to the selecting official, the Director of 
Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor for NOAA/NMFS, or the 
Program Director for NSF Biological Oceanography, for the final funding 
decision. The Director shall make the final funding decisions based 
upon reviewer/program officer recommendations, project funding 
priorities and availability of funds. At the conclusion of the review 
process, NOAA Ecosystem Goal Team Lead and the NSF Biological 
Oceanography Program Director or staff will notify lead proposers for 
those projects recommended for support, and negotiate revisions in the 
proposed work and budget. Final awards will be issued by the agency 
responsible for a specific project after receipt and processing of any 
specific materials required by the agency. Investigators may be asked 
to modify objectives, work plans or budgets, and provide supplemental 
information required by the agency prior to the award. When a decision 
has been made (whether an award or declination), verbatim anonymous 
copies of reviews and summaries of review panel deliberations, if any, 
will be made available to the proposer. Declined applications will be 
held in the NMFS/S&T office for the required 3 years in accordance with 
the current retention requirements, and then destroyed.
    SELECTION FACTORS FOR PROJECTS: The Selecting Official shall award 
in the rank order unless the proposal is justified to be selected out 
of rank order based on one or more of the following factors: 1. 
Availability of funding 2. Balance and distribution of funds a. By 
research area b. By project type c. By type of institutions d. By type 
of partners e. Geographically 3. Duplication of other projects funded 
or considered for funding by NOAA/Federal agencies. 4. Program 
priorities and policy factors as set in Sections I.A and B of the FFO. 
5. Applicants prior award performance. 6. Partnerships with/
Participation of targeted groups. 7. Adequacy of information necessary 
for NOAA staff to make a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
determination and draft necessary documentation before recommendations

[[Page 14776]]

for funding are made to the NOAA Grants Officer.
    INTERGOVERNMENTAL REVIEW: Applications under this program are not 
subject to Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs.
    LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: In no event will NOAA or the Department of 
Commerce be responsible for proposal 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.
    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 the following 
NOAA NEPA website: http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/, including our NOAA 
Administrative Order 216-6 for NEPA, http://www.nepa.noaa.gov/NAO216_
6_TOC.pdf, 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.
    THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 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 February 11, 2008 (73 FR 
7696), are applicable to this solicitation.
    PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT: This document contains collection-of-
information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). 
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) under the 
respective control numbers 0348-0043, 0348-0044, 0348-0040, 0348-0046, 
and 0605-0001. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is 
required to, nor shall a 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: This notice has been determined to be 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, loans, grants, benefits, and contracts (5 U.S.C. 
553(a)(2)). Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements 
for the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are 
inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis has not been 
prepared.

    Dated: March 13, 2008.
Steven A. Murawski,
Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor, NOAA/
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E8-5567 Filed 3-18-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S