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In January 2007 the USGS Mineral Resources Program offered a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity (Word file, 163 KB) through its Mineral Resources External Research Program (MRERP) to any individual who had the ability to conduct research consistent with MRP goals and who was not employed by a Federal agency. Applicants could be affiliated (but were not required to be affiliated) with universities, State agencies, Tribal governments or organizations, industry, or other private sector groups. The 2007 MRERP received thirty-eight proposals that were reviewed by a panel of 7 research scientists (3 from USGS and 4 external to the USGS). The expected funding for the 2007 MRERP was not available because of a $1.5 million cut to the Program's FY 2007 budget. Nevertheless, the review panel recommended a short list of ranked proposals for final funding consideration from FY 2008 funds, pending final FY 2008 Congressional appropriation.

The Mineral Resources Program received its FY 2008 budget as part of the omnibus bill that funded most Federal agencies. The Program's total FY 2008 funding was $800,000 below FY 2007 and $1.9 million below FY 2006. With these funds, the Program funded the MRERP at $250,000. At this level, funding for the top three ranked proposals was awarded. The Program is pleased to announce that it supported the following three proposals, listed in alphabetical order by principal investigator:

Principal Investigator: Mark Barton, Lukas Zürcher, and Eric Seedorff
Affiliation: University of Arizona
Proposal Title: Comparative Study of Jurassic To Early Tertiary Igneous-Related Metallogeny in the Basin and Range Province

Principal Investigator: Jean S. Cline and Haroldo L. Lledo
Affiliation: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Proposal Title: The Searchlight Mining District: Linking Low Sulfidation Epithermal Mineralization with an Underlying Granitic Pluton Using Melt and Fluid Inclusion Chemistry

Principal Investigator: Paul O’Sullivan and Raymond Donelick
Affiliation: Apatite to Zircon, Inc., Viola, Idaho
Proposal Title: Thermal History and Landscape Evolution of the Pebble Deposit, Southwest Alaska: Applying Thermochronology to the Study of Concealed Mineral Deposits

The use of firm, trade, and brand names is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. government.

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