Funding Opportunities

Conduct Archeological (Geophysical) Survey of 1868 Treaty Encampment Area at Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Fort Laramie, Wyoming

Background and Overview:

FOLA served as a commercial and social hub of the Northern Plains for much of the 19th century. It was the location of one of the first fur trading posts in the central Rocky Mountains and was instrumental in the establishment of trade relationships with many of the Northern Plains tribes. Continuously operating between 1834 and 1890, FOLA influenced the exploration and settlement of the West. Here, the Laramie and North Platte River Valleys created a natural migration corridor that influenced the location of historic trails and contributes to the historic scene and sense of place. Among the most significant of the park’s cultural resources, its archeology illustrates a vast period of human history. Thousands of Euro-Americans and Native Americans camped on these grounds over the years. Nothing is known about the archeology associated with the tribes who signed the treaties of 1851 and 1866-68 and camped at the fort during the negotiations. Likewise, there have never been any archeological investigations on the various overland trail campgrounds known to have existed around Fort Laramie during the 1840s-1850s, nor, using modern techniques, the actual physical remains of the various trails and roads which passed through Fort Laramie.

Fort Laramie continues to be regarded by Northern Plains tribes as the gathering site for negotiations. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs) have recognized that careful stewardship of federally protected cultural resources has become a critical component in preservation of Wyoming state history and heritage. Consultation with the SHPO and the THPOs of the park’s 25 traditionally associated tribes indicates both entities have expressed strong support for a plan that preserves FOLA’s resources. Furthermore, Laramie and North Platte River dynamics have changed considerably with severe flood events and unpredictable erosion and sediment deposition within the river channel and floodplain. Development of a river corridor management plan would be an ideal opportunity to include members of the tribes in the assessment of resource impacts and alternative identification from the cultural perspective of the site’s descendants.

Anticipated Start Date: May 2024

End Date: September 31st, 2025(or as appropriate for the academic year). NOTE: all applicable field work must be completed in CY 2024. Analysis and reporting/cataloging deliverables may be submitted at a later determined date.  

Materials Requested for Statement of Interest/Qualifications

Please prepare a 2-3 page summary of how you would envision implementing this project. Include your name, department, university or organization, and contact information, as well as information about any relevant experience, past projects, and staff, faculty, or students who would be available to work on the project. For additional information or questions, please reach out to the park contact listed below.

Statements of Interest should be submitted to Chris Mather no later than April 1st, 2023. Note: a proposed budget is not requested with the summary.


Contact Information

Chris Mather

Cultural Resources Program Manager

Fort Laramie National Historic Site

965 Gray Rocks Road

Fort Laramie, WY 82212


Office: 370-837-2221 ext. 3018


NPS Notice of Funding Opportunity – Effects of Sound on Wildlife, Ecosystems, and Visitors in Units of the National Park System

Program Background, Objectives and Goals: The National Park Service “preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” A key consideration for protecting park resource, values, and visitor enjoyment is ability to hear the natural and cultural sounds of parks. Excessive noise influences many animal species with effects that can cascade through park ecosystems, such as altering wildlife distribution and reducing the listening area for predator/prey relationships. Further, the National Parks Air Tour Management Act (NPATMA, Public Law 106-181) requires the NPS, in cooperation with the FAA, to manage air tours over NPS units. Critical to this management is ensuring compliance of air tour operations, including the number, routes, altitudes, and times of day of air tours. A key component of the Air Tour Management Planning process includes the identification of audible sounds and their sources. The Public Purposes of this financial assistance include strengthening scientific support for NPS management of national park resources and visitor experience; increasing public awareness of national park soundscapes; stimulating scientific research and the development of emerging technologies that can reduce noise; and educating and training of students and young scientists. Improved management of noise within parks will increase habitat availability to wildlife and increase opportunities for visitors to view wildlife in a natural setting, and experience the health benefits of spending time in nature. The Overall Goals are to provide direct support to park managers by measuring and interpreting responses of wildlife to noise, monitoring noise levels in parks and protected areas, and quantifying the benefits of managing or mitigating noise. The Objectives are to 1)  to advance sound source identification beyond its current manual state by developing and using machine learning techniques, 2) to provide scientific support to NPS staff in parks, regions, and national offices by analyzing park acoustic monitoring data, and publishing scientific reports and papers that elevate conservation, 3) to engage a cadre of trained students of varying levels to analyze, interpret, and research acoustic analyses, and 4) to support career development for young scientists. 

Preference will be given to proposals that emphasize equity and inclusion, providing opportunities for historically underserved communities, in keeping with U.S. Department of Interior priorities of equity and environmental justice. Preference will also be given to proposals that describe demonstrated experience with machine learning or image/signal processing.   

Expected outcomes include: 

•    Develop data processing workflow to optimize coding efficiency and data organization.

•    Analyze data collected in parks (following established Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division [NSNSD] protocols), identifying audible sound sources and their durations, categories.

o    Improve efficiency of techniques and methods for sound source identification.

o    Report on process errors and methodological weaknesses of the existing protocol.

•    Quality assurance/ quality control: efficient analysis of acoustic data collected in parks, with appropriate quality control review. o    A report, summarizing analysis of the sensitivity of current and future annotation methods, inter-user variation, and software.

•    Meet rapid analysis and reporting turnaround needs of NPS and develop improved workflows to enhance performance.

•    Develop, test, and document new automated machine learning workflows.

•    Provide multiple reports (4 - 6) per year to parks, including small customization, for parks that have incoming data following approved templates and 508 accessibility requirements.

Submission Dates and Times
Applicants are held responsible for their proposals being submitted to the National Park Service. Applications must be received by June 1, 11:59 PM, MT. Applicants are encouraged to submit the application well before the deadline. Note: Per 2 CFR 1402.204 (f) Bureaus and offices must consider the timeliness of the application submission. Applications that are submitted beyond the announced deadline date must be removed from the review process.

Application preparation time may take several weeks, so please start the application process as soon as possible. If it is determined that a proposal was not considered due to lateness, the applicant will be notified during the selection process.

Other Submission Requirements

Applications must be submitted via to the National Park Service by the deadline. Applications submitted by other means or not received by the deadline will not be considered.

Applications must be sent to:

Applicants may be required to provide their proposal electronically, or hard copy, but not both (per Appendix 1 of 2 C.F.R § 200; paragraph D.7.).] In the event the applicant experiences technical difficulties with submitting their application, please contact: Steve Livingston at  

Please see Section D of the .pdf document for all Application and Submission requirements.