Please send communication regarding this opportunity to


The University of Vermont
The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
George D. Aiken Center
81 Carrigan Drive
Burlington, VT 05405
(802) 656-2620


TO:             Vermont's Water Resources Researchers and Information Specialists

FROM:   Breck Bowden, Director

RE:             FY 2006 Annual Water Institute Grant Program

DATE:   October 28, 2005

The National Institute for Water Resources invites you to submit a research proposal under the FY 2006 Annual Institute Program funded through the U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Institute Program. This annual grant program is designed to promote research, training, information dissemination, and other activities meeting the needs of the State of Vermont and the Nation.  The program encourages submission of research projects that address water resources problems important to Vermont; and research projects that stimulate the development of new and innovative areas.

This year there is an important new aspect of the program.  The Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center is collaborating in a joint RFP with the River Management Program in the Department of Environmental Conservation (Agency of Natural Resources).  This partnership is designed to address key research needs in the River Management Program that are also consistent with the mission of the Water Center.  The joint RFP creates two important new opportunities that potential respondents should note.  First, the joint Water Center-River Management Program RFP will be able to support 3-4 new projects this year, unlike the 1-2 projects that the Water Center alone has been able to support in previous years.  Second, the partnership between the Water Center and the River Management Program will generate most of the required matching funds for successful proposals.  Thus, potential respondents can focus on proposing the best possible science without having to worry about finding the necessary matching funds.  Finally, the upper limit on annual project costs has been increased compared to previous years.

In recognition of the support being provided by the River Management Program, the RFP for 2006 is designed to specifically address several broad aspects of river management that are of direct interest to the Department of Environmental Conservation.  Proposals on any topic relevant to the mission of the Water Center will be considered.  However, proposals that address some aspect of the research needs expressed by the River Management Program (see framework, attached) will be given priority for funding.

In future years the Water Center and the Department of Environmental Conservation hope to see the scope and size of this joint RFP increase.

The deadline for submission of proposals to the Water Center is Monday, November 21, 2005.  Projects of up to $60,000 per year will be considered.  Proposals may range from 12 to 24 months in duration, with second year funding contingent upon progress during the first year and on continued funding from ANR.  The start date for the program will be March 1, 2006.  You should work with the Water Center Director to formulate the matching portion of your budget.  To the extent possible, Project Leaders should try to apply at least two-weeks per year of their institutional support to management of their proposed project, as a contribution to the required matching funds. Instructions and the format for proposal preparation are posted on the Water Center website at in PDF format.  Submit ten hardcopies of your proposal to the Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center and include it on a PC format disk/CD.  Alternatively, you may use the UVM File Transfer utility ( to send the electronic version of your proposal to  Be sure to clearly identify your file as a Water Center proposal.  In addition, please send an email to alerting her to the fact that you are submitting a proposal to the Water Center.  Please be aware that ten hardcopies of the proposal are still required.

Please feel free to contact the Water Center (8026564057) if you have any questions.

Framework for the 2006 Joint Water Center/ANR River Management Research Collaborative 

General objectives include: 

1)      Advance scientific understanding that helps describe and quantify the contribution of sediment and nutrients derived from fluvial processes;

2)      Establish the socio-economic justifications, costs, and benefits associated with or represented by river corridor protection; and

3)      Contribute to Vermont's river corridor management, restoration, and protection infrastructure.

Areas of particular interest for the 2006 RFP

Science Interests: Strengthening and validating Vermonts draft fluvial geomorphic-based model  ( for describing sediment regime departures from reference or equilibrium conditions, which may influence the magnitude of sediment and nutrient production, transport, and attenuation or storage on a watershed scale.  A draft description of this conceptual model is posted on the web site for the Vermont Water Resouces and Lake Studies center at  For additional information please contact Mike Kline, Fluvial Geomorphologist at the VT DEC River Management Program at 802-241-4309, or

Suggested research areas include:

  1. Collect new and/or use existing data to test the draft fluvial-geomorphic-based model currently being developed by the River Management Program and generate innovative new map products.
  2. Quantify how sediment and nutrient reductions may be achieved by managing river systems toward equilibrium conditions, and alleviating constraints to sediment load attenuation at a watershed scale. 
  3. Examine and quantify the P available to be mobilized by fluvial processes and represented in various alluvial soil classifications.
  4. Quantify sediment and P production in selected meso/macro scale examples.  Relate to extant of fluvial geomorphic evolution or adjustment processes and the driving forces and stressors for such adjustments.
  5. Place fluvial adjustment processes and sediment/P production rates on a geologic time scale/continuum such that a comparison of rates of sediment/P delivery to the lake can be made (are there thresholds of land use and channel /floodplain geometry change that should be considered).

Socio-Economic Interests:  Socio-economic analyses are desired which build upon the River Management Alternatives White Paper and other VT DEC River Management Program fact sheets and papers published by the RMP and available at  Suggested research areas include the following:

  1. Quantify the socio-economic costs and benefits of river corridor protection.
  2. What economic factors have driven river and river corridor management historically (nineteenth and twentieth centuries) as compared with current day economic drivers and how can differences be highlighted to change public perception/values?  What trends or new factors are likely to be drivers in the future?
  3. Identify/test/validate innovative voluntary landowner and municipal incentives that could be created in Vermont to enhance participation in river corridor protection initiatives.