National Science Foundation
Earth Sciences Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program—The program supports research by undergraduate students in any scientific area funded by NSF’s Division of Earth Science. The research may be part of an ongoing program or a project designed specifically for the REU Program. The program funds approximately 215 students per year and had a budget of $1,500,000 in FY 2012. The REU Program has existed for more than 20 years, and each REU site is funded for 3–5 years.
Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG) Program—The goals are to increase participation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities in earth science, and to increase the perceived relevance of earth science in underrepresented groups. Typically, NSF receives 80–100 proposals and funds about 35 percent of them. The program, which was created in 2002, funds about 14,000 students per year and had a budget of $3,600,000 in FY 2012.
Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships—The goal of the program is to provide early-career investigators with research and education experience that will help them establish leadership positions in the scientific community. Applicants submit proposals to carry out a research project and an education activity for 2 years at an institution of their choosing. Created in 2008, the program has funded at least 10 fellows per year at $85,000/year for each fellowship.
Geoscience Education (GeoEd) Program—The program supports projects to improve formal and informal earth science education, to increase the number of students pursuing earth science, to broaden participation of underrepresented groups, and to engage the public in Earth system science. The number of students varies by project, and the program’s budget was $1,500,000 in FY 2012. The program began in 1997.
Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program; in collaboration with NOAA and NASA)—The program connects students, teachers, and scientists through inquiry-based investigations of the Earth system. Program goals include improving student understanding of environmental and Earth system science, building a global community, and engaging the next generation of scientists and global citizens in activities to benefit the environment. The program has involved about 1.5 million students in approximately 24,000 schools since its inception in 1994. NSF’s contribution to the budget was $1,100,000 in FY 2012.
Geoscience Teacher Training (GEO-Teach) Program—This one-time competition in 2006 funded two programs designed to improve the quality of middle school and high school instruction in earth science. GEO-Teach focused on providing teachers with curricular materials and preservice teacher training, and creating in-service professional development programs to enhance students’ understanding of earth science. The program funded approximately 2,000 preservice teachers and had an annual budget of $2,000,000.
Department of Energy
Relevant programs are offered at the agency, national laboratory, facility, and research project levels. Examples are described below.
Office of Science Graduate Fellowship (SCGF) Program—The program provides 3 years of support to students pursuing graduate training in basic research in fields of study relevant to DOE’s Office of Science, including earth science. The ultimate objective is to encourage the development of the next generation of scientific and technical talent in the United States. The program was established in 2009 and supported 150 fellows in 2010. The budget for FY 2012 was $5,000,000.