Feds fund geophysical energy research



Amid the current confusion surrounding the pending fate of the United States Department of Energy (President Reagan proposed a plan to ‘dismantle’ it), a rather large program, sometimes called ‘Physical Research in the Geosciences,’ survives in financially healthy condition. According to the recent report ‘Summary Outline of DOE Geoscience and Geoscience-Related Research (DOE/ER-0120, Feb. 1982), the amount of funding granted to university researchers for the current fiscal year is $16 million.

In a procedure similar to other federal government unsolicited grant research proplate grams, funds are awarded to successful university applicants on the basis of research proposals. An interesting note is that apparently because of the uncertainties surrounding the futures of several federal programs, including the DOE, some researchers have assumed, incorrectly, that many sources of research funding may be discontinued. Meanwhile, program directors of the National Science Foundation have told Eos that their programs are experiencing a large increase in research proposals because investigators are apparently seeking other sources of funding. As the Office of Management Budget request for fiscal year 1983 stands at the present time, funding for geophysical energy research will be increased substantially under the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.