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Requests for Proposals

Conservation Technologies

New Methods of Monitoring Ecosystem Health

An ROV inspects sugar kelp being raised at an aquaculture farm off Vancouver Island.

Photograph by Brian Skerry

National Geographic supports the development of cutting-edge technologies that open our eyes to different viewpoints, help us see the world in a new light and explore it in new ways, and transform the fields of exploration, science, and conservation. The planet’s ecological systems are in peril due to climate change and other anthropogenic effects. Our ability to understand how these systems respond to these disturbances is limited by our ability to observe these systems.

The goal of this RFP is to create novel tools and technologies to monitor ecosystem health. In the same way that human health is monitored in real time (e.g., thermometer, MRI, blood pressure), environmental diagnostic monitoring techniques are needed to provide practical measurements correlated with ecosystem health. Because of the complexity and interconnectedness of global environmental systems, scalability is crucial for global monitoring. Examples of the types of tools that could be employed are new processing techniques for satellite data, advanced wildlife camera traps, or globally networked chemical and physical sensors.

Details

Priority will be given to projects that use technology to do one or more of the following:

  • Develop tools or capabilities needed to generate data and insights on ecosystem health, biodiversity distribution, patterns, and trends
  • Create or reimagine sensing modalities that can be applied to determine ecological health
  • Implement new processing techniques that can apply breakthroughs in data mining and machine learning to glean new ecosystem health insights from existing data streams
  • Develop low-cost, scalable, long-term, robust in-situ or remote sensing modalities

Typical proposal requests should be less than $50,000; however, applicants may request up to $150,000. Up to 20 percent of the total can be used as a stipend for the applicant and/or team members. (Please see the Preparing Your Proposal page regarding stipend eligibility and other budgetary guidance.) Up to 15 percent can be used for institutional overhead (applicable only for awarded grants of at least $50,000). All applications should include a clear review of the state of knowledge about the topic and a plan for evaluating the outcomes of the proposed work.

When applying for this RFP, please select Our Changing Planet in the Lens dropdown menu on the Project Description tab of the application.

Sample Applications

Click below to view and download a sample application for each primary project focus supported by the Conservation Technologies RFP. 

Ready to Apply?

Learn more about what you will need to prepare your grant proposal
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