9720634 Shreeve EPSCoR involves Idaho's three universities - University of Idaho (UI), Idaho State University (ISU), and Boise State University (BSU) - as well as all other two and four year institutions in the state working in the research areas of molecular ecology and environmental science and engineering. Project funds will be directed to the research areas under this broad umbrella which have been carefully nurtured and which will continue to be strengthened. A portion of EPSCoR funds will be allocated on a competitive basis to junior faculty who direct research in these focus areas of importance to Idaho and its research universities. Funds will also be used specifically to increase the long-term productivity of Idaho's young research faculty by improving the research tools and human talent available to them for furthering their ongoing investigations. In some instances, this improvement will be achieved by providing startup funds to our newest, tenure track faculty for research program initiation. In addition, multiuser instruments that will improve the research capabilities of several investigators or of multidisciplinary faculty research teams will be purchased. A significant portion of the available funds will be reserved to support individual researchers including faculty development positions at Idaho State University and Boise State University that will allow newer, less experienced faculty to gain sufficient research expertise to increase their confidence and their ability to compete. A least one new joint (UI/ISU) professorship at the Idaho Falls campus will be created. A competitive seed grant program to stimulate new initiatives by beginning investigators and undergraduate research experience programs to provide top quality Idaho undergraduates the opportunity to work with university researchers will also be conducted as will programs for high quality undergraduate women and minority students.