The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) is an international treaty organization, created to coordinate and promote scientific research related to global change in the Americas. The Institute has an evolving Science Agenda identifying particular areas for research that have been defined by the scientific community of the Americas. The Science Agenda is complementary to the research priorities of the US Global Change Research Program.
This grant supports the US contribution to the third round of the IAI Collaborative Research Program (CRN3). The program support 10-12 regional research networks addressing global change issues of regional relevance that advance the understanding of global change phenomena and their socio-economic impacts. All projects are highly interdisciplinary. Each network involves Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators from institutions in at least four IAI member countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela). The networks were selected on the basis of submitted proposals evaluated for technical merit using a peer-review system. Results from this research will be available to the US scientific community, as a condition of US funding, through an electronic data and information system. The IAI receives additional support for its activities from the other Parties. This additional support takes the form of direct contributions to the IAI Budget, in-kind contributions, or in-kind contribution pledges made at the time of proposal submission in the form of investigator salaries, ship-time, computer time, logistical support, etc.
The program is integrative, involving the natural and the social sciences in a collaborative way and seeking to provide sound scientific understanding of global change issues in support of sustainable development in the region. CRN3 promotes applied science with a focus on emerging issues and themes that have not been dealt with under previous IAI programs or that are not yet (fully) explored. The CRN program brings together multinational and multidisciplinary teams of researchers to carry out regional-level research projects that no one country or institution could carry out individually. The collective research capacity of the participating institutions is huge, making possible an entirely new structure for participation in multinational and multidisciplinary projects focused on global change.
The outcomes of the individual projects contribute to the development and strengthening of regional capacity to deal with global change. The program provides a scientific basis for documenting, understanding and projecting changes in the Earth system, and specifically to facilitate the full use of scientific information in policy and decision making. CRN3 includes a strong capacity building component in terms of graduate and post-graduate education and enhancement of institutional infrastructure, and also promotes the participation of scientists from countries with less developed global change research communities. The first and second rounds of CRN showed that the multinational component of the projects provides an excellent opportunity for dialogue and exchanges among top researchers, students, decision makers and institutions from across the Americas, which in many cases led to partnerships that lasted and evolved far beyond the end of the individual CRN1 and CRN2 projects. CRN3 also promotes partnerships with other regional and/or international projects and programs. Under the first rounds of CRN, those linkages were very effective not only in terms of coordination of associated efforts, but also as a medium to distribute the results of CRN science to a very broad audience. The synthesis of CRN3 will be done through a technical synthesis for the scientific community and a non-technical synthesis for policy and decisions makers. This second synthesis is part of the IAI's strategy of communicating scientific information, models, and conclusions to and among researchers, educators, students, resource and industrial managers, policy makers and the public.