ESMC Technical RFPs

The Ecosystem Services Market Research Consortium (ESMRC) Working Groups are focused on the research, development, demonstration and deployment of cost-effective, scalable technologies and approaches to launch an ecosystem services market. The Asset Quantification component of this work is led by Working Groups 1 and 2 who have been tasked with developing accurate, cost-effective and scalable quantification of agricultural management system impacts on soil C, net GHG (carbon, methane and nitrous oxide), water quality and water quantity. Working Group 1 (Carbon and GHG Assets) and Working Group 2 (Water Assets) have released the following RFPs.


Request for Proposals: Policy Paper on Ecosystem Service Asset Generation through Livestock Grazing on Public Lands
PROJECT SUMMARY: ESMC seeks development of a white paper on policies relevant to private, voluntary ecosystem services markets, to include carbon/GHG, water quality, and water quantity credits. The white paper should assess the policy landscape to further inform the refinement of ESMC’s protocols, business plan, pilot projects – including projects launched, soon to launch, and in planning stages, across the continental US – and ultimately the full market. For this assessment, grazing on public lands encompasses the management of livestock on range, pasture, and silvopasture owned by state or federal government under a valid permit or lease with the appropriate agency. Since soil health is one important component of ecosystem services from agricultural working lands, we include the USDA NRCS definition of soil health as “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans.” The geographic scope of the assessment is limited to the agricultural working lands of the lower 48 states. View the full RFP here.

Working Group 1, Project 3 – N2O Quantification Through Surrogate Measurements
PROJECT SUMMARY: The purpose of this RFP is to find surrogate measurements for N2O to generate credits based on these measurements. The group would also like to quantify the tradeoffs and correlations between ecosystem services – e.g. correlations among GHG fluxes and correlations between GHG fluxes and water quality/quantity measurements. Much as a single GHG flux may be estimated from another measurement, there is a strong potential that improvements in one ecosystem service will tend to improve another. Whether this is generalizable or whether there are risks that market-driven solutions for GHG or water will not have unintended consequences is not fully understood. View full RFP here.

Working Group 1, Project 4 – Pilot Project Soil Sampling Protocol Evaluation
PROJECT SUMMARY: The purpose of this RFP is to design and implement comparative research studies in the context of ESMC pilot projects – pre-soil sampling stratification across selected ESMC pilot projects, evaluate soil sampling SOPs, associated uncertainties, and sampling costs; compare options for an ESMC Scope 3 Soil Sampling SOP against the full Scope 1 soil sampling SOP for model calibration/validation and uncertainty in asset generation; test sampling intensity for optimal and accurate determination of baseline SOC stocks for prediction of Scope 3 SOC accretion using DNDC. The results of this are to determine a soil sampling SOP that will satisfy asset certification requirements equal to or better than current accepted protocols. View full RFP here.

The proposal submission period is now closed.


Working Group 1 Project 2: Soil Stratification App
PROJECT SUMMARY: This RFP seeks to engage one or multiple partners to build a web and/or mobile platform that generates a set of points for soil sampling based on publicly available input data that produces high accuracy estimates of soil carbon stock changes due to management at a reasonable cost. View full RFP here.

Proposals must be submitted as a PDF document by email to Caroline Wade, ESMRC Program Director, at by July 3rd, 8pm ET. Final decisions will be made by July 17th and all vendors will be notified by July 20th. If you have questions regarding this RFP, please contact Stephen Wood at

Working Group 1 Project 1: Advanced Quantification Technology Assessment
PROJECT SUMMARY: This RFP seeks to engage one or multiple partners to identify, assess, test, and map the development of advanced tools and technologies that can more efficiently and cost effectively measure and quantify soil C changes and net GHG reductions to help ESMC generate carbon and GHG assets. The work will include in-field testing of promising innovative tools and technologies on ESMC pilot project sites. View full RFP here.

UPDATE: Awards for this RFP have made. A team led by Repliculture, LLC with support from Regen Network Development, Inc. was awarded a contract for Phase 1 work. They will work collaboratively with the Phase 3 awardee, a team led by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) with support from Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies (ACSESS). Phase 2 work has been postponed and the RFP may be reissued later this summer, so stay tuned!

Working Group 2 Project 1: Evaluation, improvement and scaling of water quality quantification approaches for water asset generation in ESMC’s Integrated Protocol
PROJECT SUMMARY: This RFP seeks to engage one or multiple partners to design and implement testing and evaluation of the APEX water quality model and WQIAg tool approaches as part of ESMC’s Integrated Protocol for water quality credit generation on pilot project sites. The work will cover ESMC’s 2020 pilot regions to demonstrate viable water asset generation, discover needed modeling improvements or adaptations, recommend Protocol refinements, while identifying opportunities to support model calibration, validation, expansion and automation. View full RFP here.

UPDATE: Awards for this RFP have made. A team led by Tetra Tech with support from Texas A&M Agrilife and Stone Environmental was awarded a contract for Modules 1 and 2. Module 3 work has been postponed and the RFP may be reissued at a later time, so stay tuned!