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Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

Research Approach

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) program develops unique, foundational scientific insights about the terrestrial biosphere’s role in the global cycling of carbon, nutrients, and water.

Why the Program's Research is Important

A significant fraction of the CO2 released to the atmosphere during energy production is taken up by terrestrial ecosystems. This “sink” for anthropogenic carbon represents an important buffer, offsetting the greenhouse gas effects of CO2 emissions. However, the effects of related processes such as nutrient, water, and energy cycling, in addition to climate variability and change on that uptake remain a mystery. Uncertainties about how terrestrial ecosystems will function in a changing climate hamper efforts to determine long-term impacts and stability of carbon in the biosphere. This limitation makes resolving the role of the terrestrial biosphere in the global carbon cycle a high priority.

Future climatic changes will almost certainly affect critically sensitive ecosystems and their inherently important ecosystem processes. Understanding the foundational properties of these ecosystem processes is essential if we are to improve our ability to predictively model terrestrial ecosystems and potential forcing feedbacks. TES research will continue to navigate the forefront of interactions between terrestrial ecosystems and a changing climate.

Summaries of Funded Projects

Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Projects 2019

Environmental System Science Projects 2018

Environmental System Science Projects 2016

Environmental System Science Projects 2015

2014 Interagency Solicitation for Carbon Cycle Science: NASA Research Opportunity in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES)

Collaborative Research in Support of GOAmazon Campaign 2013

Terrestrial Ecosystem Science 2013

Terrestrial Ecosystem Science 2012

Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Carbon Cycle Research 2011 and 2010

Funding Announcement

Early Career Research Program Pre-Application Due: January 7, 2020, at 5:00 pm Eastern Time (PDF) [11/19]

2019 TES Awards Announced

Summary of projects awarded in summer 2019 (PDF) [9/19]

2019 ESS PI Meeting

Research summaries from the April 30-May 1, ESS PI Meeting are now available.

DE-FOA-0002173-Early Career Research Program
Now accepting applications. Pre-Application Due: January 7, 2020, at 5:00 pm Eastern Time

DE-FOA-0002184 – Environmental System Science
Now accepting applications. Pre-Application Due: December 5, 2019, 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

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Now Featuring

2019 in Review

Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2) [11/18]

Disturbance and Vegetation Dynamics in Earth System Models Workshop [11/18]

CESD Strategic Plan 2018

Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD) Strategic Plan 2018 (PDF; 14MB)