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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Mississippi
  • Brian F Platt
  • (662) 915-5440
Award Date:12/02/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 174,430
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 174,430
  • FY 2020=$174,430
Start Date:12/01/2019
End Date:11/30/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.083
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RII Track-4: Establishing Baseline Critical Zone Conditions in Mississippi Prior to the Onset of Paleocene-Eocene Hyperthermals
Federal Award ID Number:1929145
DUNS ID:067713560
Parent DUNS ID:067713560
Program:EPSCoR Research Infrastructure
Program Officer:
  • Timothy VanReken
  • (703) 292-7378

Awardee Location

Street:100 BARR HALL
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Continental Scientific Drilling Coordination Office
Street:116 Church Street SE
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

Predicting impacts of future global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems often relies on ancient climate data from the geologic record. Such data are particularly useful for providing information over long time spans that are not possible to obtain from historical records. The best ancient analogs for the current rates of rising global temperatures and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are warming episodes known as hyperthermals, a number of which occurred between 55 and 52 million years ago. Accurately reconstructing the impacts and magnitude of ancient climate change during hyperthermals, however, requires knowledge of the "normal" background conditions before the climate extremes occurred. The goal of this research is to provide crucial information about background conditions in ancient soil ecosystems from geological cores that sample pre-hyperthermal intervals in Mississippi. At the same time, the principle investigator will receive training on processing geologic core samples at a world-class core laboratory that will enable him to continue this important research at his home institution. In addition to advancing climate and soil science, this research will contribute to domestic prosperity by training students to perform the skills that are in demand by US employers who rely on geological coring associated with well drilling (oil & gas and groundwater industries). This fellowship will enable the PI and a graduate assistant to make two extended visits to the Continental Scientific Drilling Coordination Office (CSDCO), a world-class, NSF-funded geological core lab. Existing core from Mississippi will be transported to the CSDCO and used for training, while generating multiple datasets that will satisfy the research objectives of 1) characterizing early Paleocene paleosols and 2) associated facies, and 3) improving chronostratigraphic control within these sediments. This research seeks to establish baseline physical, chemical, and biological aspects of Earth's critical zone prior to the hyperthermals that are commonly used as analogs for projected climate change. This will enable more precise evaluation of the magnitude of climate-driven changes in terrestrial systems. Training will be overseen by the CSDCO director, who will ensure that the following training objectives are met: 1) gain knowledge of proper archival storage techniques for core, 2) learn efficient, standardized workflows for sampling core, 3) become proficient at 14 new methods of core analysis and associated data interpretation, 4) become familiar with logistics of independently arranging contractual services to drill future core samples to sustain the PI's post-fellowship research program. The PI's newly learned skills will be easily transferrable to his research lab at the University of Mississippi. Furthermore, his enhanced research-based perspective on climate change will enable him to provide recommendations for national carbon emission policy to mitigate harmful impacts of future increases in atmospheric CO2 levels. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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