Ocean Exploration FY 2017 Funding Opportunity

NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration & Research (OER) seeks to enhance ocean exploration and scientific knowledge of the unknown or poorly known areas of the ocean.

This entails identifying, describing and creating baseline characterizations of new ocean habitats, marine resources and/or



In this Announcement, OER is seeking proposals focused on four themes:
1. Exploration of physical, chemical and biological environments and processes within the oceanic water column below ~200m; 2. Exploration of geological, physical, and biological environments as well as biogeochemical processes associated with seamounts; 3. Novel or innovative technologies and methodologies that could increase the pace and scope of ocean exploration, especially exploration of the water column, seamounts, and archaeological sites; and 4. Proposals focused on the discovery and exploration of historically significant submerged marine heritage sites, features and artifacts associated with WWII.

Proposals that combine more than one of these exploration themes are encouraged.

OER’s overarching objective is to investigate and document poorly known and unknown ocean areas through interdisciplinary exploration, and to advance and disseminate knowledge of the ocean’s physical, geological, chemical, biological, and archaeological environments.

Findings from projects and expeditions are anticipated to result in new baseline characterizations; provide better scientific understanding of the processes on U. S. continental margins and the deep ocean; offer new insights into climate variability and marine ecosystems; reveal new or unconventional energy, mineral, biological, and archaeological resources; help identify hazards resulting from extreme events such as submarine volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis; and deliver technology advancements (platforms, sensors, methodologies, etc.) that will increase observational capabilities in the ocean.

OER is interested in characterization of seamounts located within regions of the U. S. EEZ or ECS, including the Gulf of Alaska, the NW Atlantic, and the deep regions of Marine Protected Areas.

Characterization of physical, chemical, and biological ocean environments associated with seamounts in areas where ocean mining may occur (e.g., regions along the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture) is also of particular interest.

OER may also consider proposals focused on other areas that are relevant to OER's and NOAA's missions and priorities that would include significant leveraged resources.

Archaeology proposals are not restricted to any depth or geographic area.
Related Programs

Ocean Exploration

Department of Commerce

Agency: Department of Commerce


Estimated Funding: $3,000,000

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:

Additional Information of Eligibility:
Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education; non-profit institutions; for-profit organizations; state, local, and tribal governments, and U. S. territories that possess the statutory authority to accept funding for this type of work.

Federal agencies that possess the statutory authority to accept funding for this type of work may also apply.

Federal and state agencies are strongly encouraged to collaborate with partners from a non-federal eligible entity.

OER funding will not be used to hire and/or fund the salaries and associated overhead of any permanent federal employees.

Federal award recipients may use their funding to cover only travel, equipment, supplies, and contractual personnel costs associated with the proposed work.

Foreign researchers may participate by submitting a sub-award through collaboration with an eligible U. S. entity.

The DOC and NOAA support cultural and gender diversity and encourage women and minority individuals and groups to submit applications to this Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity.

In addition, DOC/NOAA is strongly committed to broadening the participation of historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions that work in underserved areas.

DOC/NOAA encourages applications involving any of the above institutions to apply.

PLEASE NOTE: Before non-NOAA Federal applicants may be funded, they must demonstrate that they have legal authority to receive funds from another Federal agency in excess of their appropriation.

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