About the BER Program
The Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program supports transformative science and scientific user facilities examining complex biological, Earth, and environmental systems for clean energy and climate innovation. BER research seeks to understand the fundamental biological, biogeochemical, and physical principles needed to predict a continuum of processes occurring across scales, from molecules and genomes at the smallest scales to environmental and Earth system change at the largest scales. This research—conducted at universities, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories, and research institutions across the country—is contributing to a future of reliable, resilient energy sources and evidence-based climate solutions. Essential to these missions are research practices and a scientific workforce that embrace belonging, accessibility, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. As part of DOE-wide initiatives to advance these values, BER is pursuing new avenues to engage historically underrepresented individuals and institutions and piloting new models of support for research and training.
BER’s Biological Systems Science Division (BSSD) seeks to understand, predict, manipulate, and design plant and microbial systems for advances in renewable energy, insights into environmental processes, and biotechnological breakthroughs supporting the U.S. bioeconomy. To expand knowledge of biological systems, BSSD supports basic research and capabilities in foundational genomic science, systems biology, genome engineering, computational analysis, molecular imaging, and structural characterization.
BER’s Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division supports research to characterize and understand feedbacks between Earth and energy systems, including studies on atmospheric physics and chemistry, ecosystem ecology, and biogeochemistry. Research also includes developing and validating Earth system models that integrate information on the biosphere, atmosphere, terrestrial land masses, oceans, sea ice, land ice, subsurface, and human components.