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June 2012


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June 2012

New Releases

Earth Science and Applications from Space
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Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Midterm Assessment of NASA's Implementation of the Decadal Survey

Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Midterm Assessment of NASA's Implementation of the Decadal Survey recommends a number of steps to better manage existing programs and to implement future programs that will be recommended by the next decadal survey. The report also highlights the urgent need for the Executive Branch to develop and implement an overarching multiagency national strategy for Earth observations from space, a key recommendation of the 2007 decadal survey that remains unfulfilled.


Improving the Decision Making Abilities of Small Unit Leaders
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Improving the Decision Making Abilities of Small Unit Leaders

Improving the Decision Making Abilities of Small Unit Leaders recommends operational and technical approaches for improving the decision making abilities of small unit leaders, including any acquisition and experimentation efforts that can be undertaken by the Marine Corps and/or by other stakeholders aimed specifically at improving the decision making of small unit leaders. This report recommends ways to ease the burden on small unit leaders and to better prepare the small unit leader for success. Improving the Decision Making Abilities of Small Unit Leaders also indentifies a responsible organization to ensure that training and education programs are properly developed, staffed, operated, evaluated, and expanded.

Testing of Body Armor Materials
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Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III

Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III provides a roadmap to reduce the variability of clay processes and shows how to migrate from clay to future solutions, as well as considers the use of statistics to permit a more scientific determination of sample sizes to be used in body armor testing. This report also develops ideas for revising or replacing the Prather study methodology, as well as reviews comments on methodologies and technical approaches to military helmet testing. Testing of Body Armor Materials: Phase III also considers the possibility of combining various national body armor testing standards.



2012 Science and Engineering Festival

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The National Academies participated in the 2nd Annual Science and Engineering Festival on April 27-30, 2012 with the Decisiontown exhibit, which included several individual town locations where visitors could participate in activities in science, engineering and medicine. For example, the Home Sweet Home booth tested visitors' knowledge about solid state lighting, thermostat setbacks and other home energy efficiency options, with several questions drawn from the What You Need to Know About Energy website. After completing activities at individual town locations, the exhibit culminated in a visit to town hall, where participants claimed a prize for being effective science citizens and voted on science-themed referenda that affect the community of Decisiontown. The exhibit also included interactive stage presentations, such as Mixed Messages: Communicating Complexity in a Crisis. In this activity, participants-who included simulation engineers, a fire protection engineer, an environmental engineer and Bob Marbourg from WTOP-discussed the dynamics of accurately and immediately communicating vital information during an emergency. The example chemical leak scenario was simulated in a virtual world engineered by the University of Maryland's CATT Lab


Photo: Sharon Segal


DEPS Celebrates "Bring a Child to Work Day" 2012

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DEPS staff participated again this year in the national “Bring A Child To Work Day” program. Approximately 100 budding scientists and engineers between the ages of 8 and 12 took part in the day’s events, which included a presentation by the “Mad Scientist” who explains scientific concepts in a fun and engaging style for young people as well as workshops sponsored by several NRC divisions.

The DEPS workshop centered on the use of space technology for earth applications with a focus on the climate. The session was led by Lewis Groswald, a Research Associate with the Space Studies Board and Emily Ann Meyer, a Program Officer with the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board. The students learned about recycling and water purification on the space Shuttle and how that technology is used on earth. In performing an experiment called “Cool Suits” we also measured the heat absorption of a white envelop and a black envelop to understand why the Shuttle, the International Space Station and the astronauts “suits” were white rather than black. We also talked about how that affects our choices for clothing and construction. The students seemed to have a great time and we learned a lot from them!

Photo: Sharon Segal

Upcoming Meetings

June 4-5, 2012
Committee to Review the U.S. Drive Research Program
Board on Energy and Environmental Systems
Washington, D.C.

June 4-6, 2012
Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics Spring Meeting
Board on Physics and Astronomy/Space Studies Board
Keck Center
Washington, DC

June 18-19, 2012
Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics (CATS) Meeting
Board on Mathematical Sciences & Their Applications
Washington, DC

June 20-21, 2012
Committee on the Fuel Economy of Light-Duty Vehicles, Phase 2
Board on Energy and Environmental Systems
Washington, D.C.

June 25-27, 2012
NASA's Strategic Direction
Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board/Space Studies Board
Keck Center
Washington, DC






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