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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Society and Environment

Because humans both affect and are affected by their environment, the social and behavioral sciences have important insights to contribute to questions about environmental decision making and management of national resources. Our projects have explored issues such as how public participation affects the quality of environmental decisions, how the federal government can communicate effectively about climate change to local decision-makers, and why people choose to either sustain or deplete commonly held resources.  See also:


Reports

Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal SystemThe Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast  (BESR,OSB,BECS)
2018

The U.S. Gulf Coast provides a valuable setting to study deeply connected natural and human interactions and feedbacks that have led to a complex, interconnected coastal system. The physical landscape... Read more


The Human Factors of Process Safety and Worker Empowerment in the Offshore Oil IndustryProceedings of a Workshop  (BOHSI)
2018

Since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill, efforts to improve safety in the offshore oil industry have resulted in the adoption of new technological controls, increased promotion of... Read more


Review of the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment  (BASC,BECS)
2018

Climate change poses many challenges that affect society and the natural world. With these challenges, however, come opportunities to respond. By taking steps to adapt to and mitigate climate change,... Read more


A Decision Framework for Managing the Spirit Lake and Toutle River System at Mount St. Helens  (BESR,WSTB,BECS)
2017

The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington State radically changed the physical and socio-economic landscapes of the region. The eruption destroyed the summit of the volcano,... Read more


Integrating Social and Behavioral Sciences Within the Weather Enterprise  (BASC,BECS,BOHSI)
2017

Our ability to observe and forecast severe weather events has improved markedly over the past few decades. Forecasts of snow and ice storms, hurricanes and storm surge, extreme heat, and other severe... Read more


Forum on Investing in Young Children GloballyA Synthesis of Nine Global Workshops Exploring Evidence-Based, Strategic Investments in Young Children  (BGH,BOCYF)
2017

Focusing on young children in a global context is an approach to end the cycle of poverty and improve the well-being of nations. Improving well-being necessarily begins with core elements such as... Read more


Valuing Climate DamagesUpdating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide  (BECS)
2017

The social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) is an economic metric intended to provide a comprehensive estimate of the net damages - that is, the monetized value of the net impacts, both negative and positive -... Read more


Communicating Science EffectivelyA Research Agenda  
2017

Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, people face an increasing need to integrate information from science with their personal values and other... Read more


Accomplishments of the U.S. Global Change Research Program  (BASC,BECS)
2017

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is an interagency program, established by the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990, mandated by Congress to “assist the Nation and the world to... Read more


Characterizing Risk in Climate Change AssessmentsProceedings of a Workshop  (BECS,BASC)
2016

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established in 1990 to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of... Read more


Beyond Compliance: Strengthening the Safety Culture of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry  (PS,BOHSI,MB)
2016

Beyond Compliance: Strengthening the Safety Culture of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry summarizes recommendations to industry and regulators to strengthen and sustain the safety culture of the... Read more


Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Update to the Strategic Plan Document  (BASC,BECS)
2016

The Update to the Strategic Plan (USP) is a supplement to the Ten-Year Strategic Plan of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) completed in 2012. The Strategic Plan sets out a research... Read more


Assessment of Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of CarbonPhase 1 Report on a Near-Term Update  (BECS)
2016

The social cost of carbon (SCC) for a given year is an estimate, in dollars, of the present discounted value of the damage caused by a 1-metric ton increase in CO2 emissions into the atmosphere in... Read more


Enhancing Participation in the U.S. Global Change Research Program  (BASC,BECS)
2016

The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a collection of 13 Federal entities charged by law to assist the United States and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to... Read more


Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program PremiumsReport 1  (WSTB,BMSTA,BMSA,CNSTAT)
2015

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is housed within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and offers insurance policies that are marketed and sold through private insurers, but with... Read more


Trust and Confidence at the Interfaces of the Life Sciences and SocietyDoes the Public Trust Science? A Workshop Summary  (BLS,BOSE)
2015

Does the public trust science? Scientists? Scientific organizations? What roles do trust and the lack of trust play in public debates about how science can be used to address such societal concerns as... Read more


Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program PremiumsReport 1  (WSTB,BMSTA,BMSA,CNSTAT)
2015

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is housed within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and offers insurance policies that are marketed and sold through private insurers, but with... Read more


Public Engagement on Genetically Modified OrganismsWhen Science and Citizens Connect: Workshop Summary  (BLS,BOSE)
2015

The National Research Council's Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences held a 2-day workshop on January 15-16, 2015, in Washington, DC to explore the public interfaces between scientists... Read more


Climate and Social StressImplications for Security Analysis  (BECS)
2013

Climate change can reasonably be expected to increase the frequency and intensity of a variety of potentially disruptive environmental events--slowly at first, but then more quickly. It is prudent to... Read more


Effective Tracking of Building Energy UseImproving the Commercial Buildings and Residential Energy Consumption Surveys  (CNSTAT,BEES)
2012

The United States is responsible for nearly one-fifth of the world's energy consumption. Population growth, and the associated growth in housing, commercial floor space, transportation, goods, and... Read more


A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Draft Strategic Plan  (BECS,BASC)
2012

The U.S. government supports a large, diverse suite of activities that can be broadly characterized as "global change research." Such research offers a wide array of benefits to the nation, in terms... Read more


Climate Change EducationGoals, Audiences, and Strategies: A Workshop Summary  (BECS,BOSE)
2011

The global scientific and policy community now unequivocally accepts that human activities cause global climate change. Although information on climate change is readily available, the nation still... Read more


Facilitating Climate Change ResponsesA Report of Two Workshops on Knowledge from the Social and Behavioral Sciences  (BECS)
2010

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, understanding the need for policy makers at the national level to entrain the behavioral and social sciences in addressing the challenges of global climate... Read more



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