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RDPP: Accelerating Diversity in DOE Climate Science and Resilience Research

Active Dates 9/1/2022-6/30/2024
Program Area Atmospheric System Research
Project Description
To address the scope and scale of the dual environmental crisis faced by people and nature, we answer this call with our biggest and most ambitious plans to mitigate rapid climate change and biodiversity loss while increasing underrepresented Minorities (URMs) inclusion in climate science. Howard University (HU), a prominent Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU), is a powerhouse for training and connecting workforce ready URMs to climate positions; ~54% of the African Americans PhDs over the past two decades. The proposed Research Development and Partnership Pilot (RDPP) program is designed to catalyze partnerships with the Department of Energy (DOE) Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division (EESSD) Offices: to address HBCU barriers to science funding; to gain understanding climate impacts in urban-rural environments; and to build institutional capacity with impacts to teaching and research. The thrust of this RDPP consists of two main aims (i) Develop transformative partnerships with DOE/EESSD offices to broaden existing capabilities, (ii) Develop sustainable capabilities at HU to establish a competitive advantage for future DOE research solicitations that are co-designed and fit-for-purpose. We have identified four key pillars for research that align with EESSD interest that will be accelerated with this RDPP: (i) citizen science (observations/apps), ii) modeling, iii) health impacts, and iv) partnerships. This RDPP expects tol accelerate the inclusion of diversity into the DOE/EESSD relevant climate science and resilience research to inclusively advance solutions. Further, it will address knowledge gaps related to the understudied capacity of urban-rural municipalities in the United States (US) Eastern South Atlantic (ESA) region by utilizing data from HUs peri-urban research facility, statewide surveys, interviews, and secondary data on municipal participation.  

HBCU barriers to funding will be addressed to bridge these gaps over the two-year term with in-person (tri-quarterly) and virtual (monthly) meetings. The project aims will be achieved with RDPP team members visiting each other's facilities (host site tours) to share science communications (oral and posters) that result in co-developed competitive proposals. This RDPP will capitalize on previously expressed interest to have an official forum of collaboration, with DOE Office of Science Laboratories, e.g., Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Beneficial outcomes of the RDPP program will be new fundamentally inclusive partnerships with DOE and HU tasked to understand the urban-rural impacts due to climate change in the US ESA, related to energy issues driven by heat stress and the water cycle that can be scaled. The overall impacts of the RDPP will be in paving the way to ensure the inclusion of diverse voices to increase climate resilience with a transdisciplinary partnership that will minimize impacts on our most vulnerable communities while constraining barriers to HBCUs and URMs.
Award Recipient(s)
  • Howard University (PI: Wilkins, Joseph)