For inquiries regarding the University of Idaho's federal priorities, please contact Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Janet E. Nelson, at [email protected] or 111-111-6689.
Contents (programs listed by committee):
Energy and Water Appropriations
Idaho is well-positioned to increase its participation in the Department of Energy's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DOE EPSCoR). The University of Idaho and its partners in the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, including Idaho National Laboratory, are solidifying plans to submit to the next call for proposals for DOE EPSCoR Implementation Grants.
DOE Nuclear Energy University Program
Idaho's public universities and the Idaho National Laboratory, through collaborations fostered by the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, are conducting research and educating the future workforce that supports the nation's and world's increasing demand for affordable, safe, reliable and environmentally sound nuclear energy. Support from the highly competitive Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy University Program (DOE NEUP) has enabled the revitalization of the universities' nuclear engineering, science, and related research and educational programs.
The University of Idaho (U of I) College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) conducts research critical to Idaho's agriculture, an important foundation of the state's economy. CALS is home to the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station, founded in 1892 to help the state's farmers and ranchers benefit from research focused on resolving problems and discovering new opportunities. Hatch Act funding provided $2,722,886 to support agricultural research at U of I in FY17.
McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program
McIntire-Stennis funding supports critical forestry and natural resources research in Idaho and the Inland Northwest, which results in a greater understanding of best management practices and their effect on public policy and economic and social systems. The University of Idaho (U of I) receives about $600,000 annually through this program. Through these funds, aligned with other state and private research funding, U of I researchers address issues vital to Idaho, such as decreasing wildfire hazards, protecting forests against insects and disease, improving grazing practices, utilizing wood and other forest products, ongoing reforestation, and supporting other research and education needs of the forest products industry.
Potato Research Programs
Potatoes are Idaho's most noted crop, generating cash receipts in excess of $900 million annually. Idaho produces more potatoes than any other state. The University of Idaho's team of nearly three dozen potato researchers and Extension specialists work closely with the state's potato industry to provide high quality, nutritious potatoes for the nation. Variety development, potato storage, agronomy and other research initiatives in Idaho and collaborations through the Tri-State Potato Program with Washington and Oregon render this region influential in potato production and processing methods.
The Smith-Lever Act established a system of cooperative Extension services connected to land-grant universities such as the University of Idaho (U of I). U of I Extension and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences carry out activities to make practical, research-based knowledge available to help people live healthy, productive lives. U of I receives $2.9 million annually from Smith-Lever funding.
USDA Agricultural Research Service
The University of Idaho and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) cooperate to advance the sustainability and competitiveness of agriculture in Idaho and nationally. Key ARS- university collaborations focus on potato variety development and agronomy and small grains at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, viticulture at the Parma Research and Extension Center, and irrigation management and water use efficiency at the Kimberly Research and Extension Center. U of I researchers also collaborate with Washington State University on the ARS Animal Disease Research Unit in Pullman, Washington, and with the ARS-operated U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho.
USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
The University of Idaho partnered in recent years with other Western universities on seven major U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative research proposals of varying sizes and terms. These projects will have lasting effects on the economy, communities and the environment in Idaho, the Northwest and beyond.
Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations
Idaho NASA EPSCoR Program
Idaho receives $125,000 in core funding annually from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NASA EPSCoR) and receives competitive research grants. This funding improves Idaho's national research competitiveness and engages faculty and industry in research that benefits NASA and the state. Idaho NASA EPSCoR is based at the University of Idaho. The core grant of $125,000 enables program development, coordination with NASA labs and other efforts.
NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium
Through the Idaho Space Grant Consortium (ISGC), Idaho receives $760,000 annually from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to improve the STEM pipeline and engage Idaho's students, researchers, educators and citizens in NASA's mission of exploration and discovery. ISGC is led by the University of Idaho and brings together 19 affiliate institutions and organizations.
NSF EPSCoR Program
In Idaho, the National Science Foundation's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) brings together the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University and Idaho's two- and four-year colleges as Idaho EPSCoR to provide lasting improvements to academic research infrastructure and increase Idaho's research competitiveness. Idaho EPSCoR currently receives $4 million per year in core federal funding for the NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) award. Idaho has submitted a new Track 1 proposal to NSF.
Idaho Water Resources Research Institute
The Idaho Water Resources Research Institute (IWRRI) conducts and directs water research to support the water resource needs of the state of Idaho. IWRRI research addresses vital topics such as water supply, quality and management, leading to a greater understanding of the critical role water resources play in shaping Idaho's economy, communities, watersheds, aquifers and ecosystems. IWRRI is eligible for a $92,335 annual federal base grant administered by the U.S. Geological Survey 104(b) program to support Idaho water resource research.
Federal Student Financial Aid Programs
The federal grant and loan programs operated by the U.S. Department of Education provide college access and affordability for thousands of Idaho students. These programs help students from low- and middle- income Idaho families gain access to college. They add significant value to Idaho's economy by developing a trained workforce for future economic development and retraining existing workers to meet new and changing job needs.
NIH Institutional Development Award
Idaho has three awards under the National Institutes of Health Institutional Development Award Program (IDeA). As a statewide program through the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), Idaho INBRE has been awarded $60 million since 2001. The University of Idaho is home to two Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence awards. The Center for Research on Processes in Evolution has received $26.7 million since 2002, and the Center for Modeling Complex Interactions was awarded an initial $10.6 million in 2015.
Idaho Regional Optical Network
The Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON), founded in 2007, is a dedicated high-speed fiber optic network infrastructure owned and operated by a group of Charter Associates, including the University of Idaho, Idaho National Laboratory, and other higher education, research and health care institutions. IRON's strategy is to continuously develop its network to meet the associates' needs for capacity, reliability and cost management. IRON aims to upgrade its backbone network segments to provide greater bandwidth capacity to at least 100 Gigabits per second by 2020.
Wildland Fire Science New and Continuing Request
Threats of wildfires and devastation from them continue to increase across the United States, particularly in the West. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is the primary fire suppression entity for wildfires and also a major source of funding for research on forests and forest fires. It is uniquely positioned to apply research results in support of wildfire prevention, suppression and response, and restoration. The agency is actively engaged in efforts to curtail damage from wildfires. A renewed effort to identify and apply the best science to these areas is a next logical step. The University of Idaho is requesting funding within the USFS for a workshop and comprehensive report on fire research challenges.
NOAA Saltwater Aquaculture
Idaho has a robust and diverse aquaculture industry that produces over 70 percent of the rainbow trout farmed for food in the United States. The University of Idaho's (U of I) Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI), an inter-disciplinary research team that focuses on sustainable farming of fish for human consumption, is internationally-recognized as a leader in development of sustainable plant-based fish feeds and genetic improvement of rainbow trout through selective breeding. ARI has the opportunity to capitalize on its successes with freshwater rainbow trout and take leadership in marine aquaculture nutrition, fish health management and breeding with the construction of new facilities at U of I in Moscow, Idaho. ARI's Moscow fish research laboratory will address challenges associated with rearing marine fish species. The growing demand for fish due to population growth, limited growth capacity in traditional fishing and increasing incomes in developing countries can only be met by increasing aquaculture production. Extending research knowledge and capacity to marine fish aquaculture will contribute to the expansion of marine aquaculture in the U.S.
HHS Northwest Regional Center in Vector-Borne Diseases
The Pacific Northwest is an underserved region for federal funding and representation in the Regional Centers of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases network recently established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ecology, disease transmission dynamics, and resources for vector-borne disease training, surveillance and control in the Northwest region differ significantly from those in the five regional centers funded in New York, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas and California. The University of Idaho, in collaboration with six neighboring states, proposes a network that includes nearly 50 researchers from nine state universities, and public health officials and vector control officials from across the region to study and increase understanding of endemic vector-borne diseases, such as tick-borne rickettsioses, and Lyme disease, and potentially introduced diseases, such as Japanese encephalitis and western equine encephalitis. The proposal would establish a network for collaboration, sharing knowledge and increasing the workforce in vector-borne diseases in the Northwest. The regional core units developed would provide cost-effective vector identification and pathogen detection, insecticide resistance monitoring and critical disease modeling infrastructure for improved surveillance and outbreak prediction that do not currently exist in the region.