Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU)

April 24, 2019

USACE Funding Opportunity: Leptospira in CA Sea Lions


NUMBER W9132T-19-SOI-0003


Project Title: Investigating the Influence of Environmental Non-Stationarity on the Observed Fadeout and Reemergence of Leptospira in California Sea Lions

Responses to this Request for Statements of Interest will be used to identify potential investigators for a project to be funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), which seeks a field, laboratory and modeling research to investigate the influence of environmental non‐stationarity on the observed fadeout and re‐emergence of Leptospira in California sea lions. Approximately $350,000 is expected to be available to support this project for a period of thirty six (36) months after award.  Approximately $200,000 is expected to be available to support this project for a period of twelve (12) months after award with another $100,000 expected to be available in the following twelve (12) month period and an additional $50,000 expected to be available in the final 12 months.

Note that the CESU F&A rate will be applied to any awards that result from this Request for SOIs.


The Northeastern Pacific Ocean recently experienced highly anomalous oceanographic conditions arising from an extreme warm‐temperature anomaly followed by a strong El Niño event. This period coincided with an unprecedented shift in the dynamics of Leptospira circulation in California sea lions (CSL). Four years later, as oceanographic conditions returned to normal, the pathogen again re‐emerged in the sea lion population. DoD seeks research into this apparent phenomena because of its implications on protected species for which it holds management responsibility. Specifically, research is sought which addresses the following four research questions: what factors gave rise to the fadeout of Leptospira in the CSL population, what conditions enabled the re‐emergence of Leptospira, what were the lasting impacts, and have system dynamics returned to pre‐fadeout patterns?

Brief Description of Anticipated Work: 

The Government seeks to fund basic research into understanding the phenomenon of environmental regulation of Leptospira incidence in California seal lions.  Objectives include:

  1. Identify environmental factors influencing Leptospira fadeout in California sea lion populations.
  1. Identify environmental factors influencing Leptospira emergence in California sea lion populations.
  1. Identify the long-term impacts of factors identified in Objectives 1 and 2 on the relationship of Leptospira and California sea lions.
  1. Identify current conditions of the Leptispira/California sea lion interaction and determine if conditions resemble those prior to the observed fadeout.
  1. Communicate results of study through publications and presentations at meetings.

Substantial Government involvement is anticipated for this project.  The Government’s participation efforts include:

  1. Provide input into and approval of all research tasks.
  1. Review all findings and assist in interpretation for DoD applicability.
  1. Participate in technology transfer and disseminate findings to other Government agencies.

Materials Requested for Statement of Interest/Qualifications:

Please provide the following via e-mail attachment (Maximum length: 2 pages, single-spaced 12 pt. font).

  1. Name, Organization and Contact Information
  1. Brief Statement of Qualifications (including):
    1. Biographical Sketch,
    2. Relevant past projects and clients with brief descriptions of these projects,
    3. Staff, faculty or students available to work on this project and their areas of expertise,
    4. Any brief description of capabilities to successfully complete the project you may wish to add (e.g. equipment, laboratory facilities, field facilities, etc.). 

Note:  A proposed budget is NOT requested at this time. 

Review of Statements Received:  Based on a review of the Statements of Interest received, an investigator or investigators will be invited to prepare a full study proposal.  Statements will be evaluated based on the investigator’s specific experience and capabilities in areas related to the study requirements. 

Please send responses or direct questions to:

Ms. Angela Holcomb

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)

Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL)

P O Box 9005

Champaign, IL 61826-9005

Timeline for Review of Statements of Interest:  Review of Statements of Interest will begin ten working days after posting of SOI.

Posting Date: 4/24/2019