Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $23,913 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available
Principal Investigators: Shahram Khosrowpanah
Abstract: The Water and Environmental Research Institute (WERI) Advisory Council is the body, which determines research goals and priorities for WERI in general and the USGS 104B program in particular. The Research Advisory Council (RAC) for Guam consists of representatives from all Guam governmental agencies involved with water resources development or regulation, members of U.S. Federal agencies, military organizations on Guam that deal with water resources issues and members of the university research community. The RAC for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consist of representatives from various government departments that deal with water resources, representatives from the local colleges, private sector engineers, environmentalists, and planners, and University of Guam research faculty. WERI held RAC meetings in September through October 2013. Twenty six (26) people attended the Guam meeting, fourteen (14) attended the FSM meeting, and nineteen (19) attended the CNMI meeting (Tables 1-3). The meetings provided a scientific forum for information exchange on new and recently completed projects. Each RAC group examined the research education and training priorities identified in past years and added or amended where appropriate. In early November, a Request for Proposals (RFP) letter was sent out by e-mail to over two hundred (200) regional representatives in Guam, the CNMI and FSM. Recipients included all past and present RAC members; faculty members at the University of Guam, the Northern Marianas College in Saipan and the College of Micronesia in Pohnpei, and water resource professionals from several government agencies. Accompanying the RFP message were: a) a blank proposal form for submittal on the USGS Web Site, b) detailed instructions on how to fill out the form, and c) the critical water resource research, education and training needs identified for Guam, the CNMI and FSM. Nine (9) research proposals, three (3) for Guam, four (4) for the CNMI and two (2) for the FSM; four (4) environmental educational programs, three (3) for Guam, one (1) for the FSM; and two (2) information transfer and training program, one (1) for Guam, and one (1) for FSM, were submitted for consideration in response to the RFP. Three regional review panels, each composed of well qualified water resources professionals and RAC members were tasked with evaluating each proposals regional relevance in accordance with the long-standing criteria listed in the RFP. The appropriate proposals were e-mailed separately to each reviewer along with the critical needs list for the region and a scoring form. The reviewers were advised to work independently and given two weeks to submit their scores and comments to the WERI Director. The proposal scores were then tabulated and the projects ranked in descending order of average score. Projects approved for funding were selected based on their regional ranking and availability of funds.