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Landscape Approaches and Multi-Resource Assessments for Natural Resource Management
June 2, 2015
Washington, DC

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Sustainability-related meetings at The National Academies

Recent Events

Network for Emerging Leaders in Sustainability (NELS) 
April 8, 2015
Washington, DC

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities, Meeting 2
April 29-30, 2015
Long Beach, CA


People and Their Communities Large

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Ongoing ACTIVITIES

View a list of Sustainability-related ongoing activities at The National Academies

People & Their Communities

"People-centered development focuses on the "quantity" of life as seen in the survival of children or increased life expectancy, and on the quality of life in terms of education, equity, and equal opportunity."
Our Common Journey
 

PUBLICATIONS                                                                                                  

Review of California's Risk-Assessment Process for Pesticides (2015)
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) conducts human health risk assessments as part of its mission to ensure the protection of workers and public health in the state. This report examines DPR's processes of hazard identification, exposure assessment, dose-response analysis, and risk characterization to determine whether they are consistent with best practices. This report also evaluates the methods used for setting priorities among pesticides for risk assessment and identifies possible options for improving efficiency and productivity.



Business Engagement in Building Healthy Communities: Workshop Summary (2014)
This report is the summary of a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Population Health Improvement in July 2014 to consider the role of business in improving population health beyond the usual worksite wellness and health promotion activities. The workshop followed previous roundtable discussions on the importance of applying a health lens to decision making in non-health sectors and the need for cross-sector collaborations to advance population health.




The Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Symposium 2014: Antimicrobial Resistance: A Problem Without Borders (2014)
Institute of Medicine (IOM) launched an innovative outreach program in 1988. Through the generosity of the Rosenthal Family Foundation (formerly the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation), a discussion series was created to bring greater attention to some of the significant health policy issues facing our nation today. Each year a major health topic is addressed through remarks and conversation between experts in the field. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified antimicrobial resistance as one of five urgent health threats facing the United States this year. This report highlights the crosscutting character of antimicrobial resistance and the needs for many disciplines to be brought together to be able to deal with it more effectively.



The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics: Workshop Summary (2014)
The twentieth century witnessed an era of unprecedented, large-scale, anthropogenic changes to the natural environment. This report is the summary of a workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine to explore the scientific and policy implications of the impacts of global environmental change on infectious disease emergence, establishment, and spread. This report examines the observed and potential influence of environmental factors, acting both individually and in synergy, on infectious disease dynamics. The report considers a range of approaches to improve global readiness and capacity for surveillance, detection, and response to emerging microbial threats to plant, animal, and human health in the face of ongoing global environmental change.



Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop SummaryUnderstanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary (2014)
This report discusses the connection of ecosystem services and human health. This report looks at the state of the science of the role of oceans in ensuring human health and identifies gaps and opportunities for future research. The report summarizes a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. Participants discussed coastal waters and ocean ecosystem services in the United States in an effort to understand impacts on human health.



Livable Cities of the Future: Proceedings of a Symposium Honoring the Legacy of George BugliarelloLivable Cities of the Future: Proceedings of a Symposium Honoring the Legacy of George Bugliarello (2014)
At the beginning of the 20th century an estimated five percent of the world's population lived in cities. Today, half the world's population is urbanized. Urban sustainability is multifaceted and encompasses security, economics, environment and resources, health, and quality of life. A symposium honoring the legacy of George Bugliarello, was hosted October 2012 by the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), to discuss how his vision manifests itself in innovative urban planning for the cities of tomorrow. This report is a summary of the presentations and discussion at that event. The symposium objectives were to cultivate ideas for best practices and innovative strategies for sustainable urban development and to facilitate the evolution of New York City to a real-life laboratory for urban innovation.

Identifying and Reducing Environmental Health Risks of Chemicals in Our Society - Workshop Summary (2014)
On November 7-8, 2013, the IOM's Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine held a workshop to discuss approaches related to identifying and reducing potential environmental public health risks to new and existing industrial chemicals, which include chemicals used in industrial processes or commercial products, not those found in food, pesticides, or pharmaceuticals. Speakers at the workshop examined successes and areas for improvement within current regulatory programs for assessing industrial chemical safety, frameworks for chemical prioritization to inform targeted testing and risk management strategies, concepts of sustainability and green chemistry that support the design and use of safer alternatives, and efforts to reduce the risk of chemicals in our society. This document summarizes the workshop.

Applying a Health Lens to Decision Making in Non-Health Sectors: Workshop SummaryApplying a Health Lens to Decision Making in Non-Health Sectors: Workshop Summary (2014)
Health is influenced by a wide range of factors, many of which fall outside of the health care delivery sector. These determinants of health include, for example, the characteristics of how people live, work, learn, and play. Decision and policy making in areas such as transportation, housing, and education at different levels of government, and in the private sector, can have far-reaching impacts on health. This report is the summary of a workshop convened in September 2013 by the IOM Roundtable on Population Health Improvement to foster cross-sectoral dialogue and consider the opportunities for and barriers to improving the conditions for health in the course of achieving other societal objectives (e.g., economic development, efficient public transit).



Health Impact Assessment of Shale Gas Extraction: Workshop SummaryHealth Impact Assessment of Shale Gas Extraction-Workshop Summary (2014) 
Health impact assessments provide a structured process that uses scientific data, professional expertise, and stakeholder input to identify and evaluate the public health consequences of policy and program proposals. The Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine held a workshop in 2012 to examine the state of the science regarding shale gas extraction, the direct and indirect environmental health effects of shale gas extraction, and the use of health impact assessment as a tool to help identify the public health impact of shale gas extraction. This document summarizes the workshop.   




Global Development Goals and Linkages to Health and Sustainability: Workshop SummaryGlobal Development Goals and Linkages to Health and Sustainability: Workshop Summary
(2013)
In September 2012, the IOM Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine established the Global Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Innovation Collaborative to provide an adaptable pathway for discussing sustainable development and for sharing scientific information across the United Nations (UN) system entities, international and governmental organizations, academia, the private sector, and civil society. Following the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the roundtable held a series of webinars to help inform the UN post-2015 development agenda process. The webinars covered lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals process and offered insights on topics and goals that may be considered for global development frameworks being debated and negotiated.

Engaging the Public in Critical Disaster Planning and Decision Making: Workshop SummaryEngaging the Public in Critical Disaster Planning and Decision Making-Workshop Summary (2013)
Public engagement allows citizens to give government officials input about pending policy decisions that can require difficult choices between competing values in the development of disaster plans. Building on recommendations and guidance from the 2012 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report,
Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response, the IOM sponsored an interactive workshop at the National Association of County and City Health Officials Public Health Preparedness Summit in 2013. This report summarizes the workshop proceedings.




Public Health Linkages with Sustainability: Workshop Summary (2013)
In preparation to the 2012 Earth Summit, the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine held a workshop to inform some the policies that were discussed. The workshop, held in July 2011, focused on the issue of sustainability and health as well as the linkages that are currently present between the two. The workshop included presentations and discussions which are summarized in this report. The report presents how different areas of public health, such as food and water resources, link to sustainability and opportunities or venues that can be examined.

 

Disaster Resilience:  A National ImperativeDisaster Resilience: A National Imperative (2012)
One way to reduce the impacts of disasters on the nation and its communities is to invest in enhancing resilience--the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from and more successfully adapt to adverse events. This report addresses the broad issue of increasing the nation's resilience to disasters. It defines "national resilience", describes the state of knowledge about resilience to hazards and disasters, and frames the main issues related to increasing resilience in the United States. It also provide goals, baseline conditions, or performance metrics for national resilience and outlines additional information, data, gaps, and/or obstacles that need to be addressed to increase the nation's resilience to disasters.

Sustainability and the U.S. EPA (2011)
A report from the National Research Council presents a framework for incorporating sustainability into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's principles and decision making.  The framework, which was requested by EPA, is intended to help the agency better assess the social, environmental, and economic impacts of various options as it makes decisions. The recommended sustainability approach both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980s. The report recommends that EPA formally adopt as its sustainability paradigm the widely used "three pillars" approach, which means considering the environmental, social, and economic impacts of an action or decision.

Climate Change Education Goals, Audiences, and Strategies: A Workshop Summary (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 seems unprepared or unwilling to respond effectively to climate change, due partly to a general lack of public understanding of climate change issues and opportunities for effective responses. Congress, in its 2009 and 2010 appropriation process, requested that the National Science Foundation create a program in climate change education to provide funding to external grantees to improve climate change education in the United States. To support and strengthen these education initiatives, the Board on Science Education of the National Research Council created the Climate Change Education Roundtable. This report is a summary of the discussions and presentations from the first workshop, held October 21-22, 2010. 

In recent years, significant advances have been made in the science and technology of earthquake engineering, but problems, barriers, and bottlenecks still stand in the way of making the nation earthquake resilient. To help plan future research investments in the field, the NRC hosted a workshop to discuss next-generation U.S. needs for basic earthquake engineering research. Workshop participants from a variety of disciplines assembled to identify high-priority grand challenges that define the frontiers in basic earthquake engineering research, and to describe the networks of experimental facilities and cyberinfrastructure tools that could help address these challenges.

 
Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop (2011)
Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coast, and all Americans are at risk from such hazards as fires, earthquakes, floods, and wind. This report reviews the effects of Hurricane Katrina and other natural and human-induced disasters on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi and to learn more about the resilience of those areas to future disasters. Topics explored in the workshop range from insurance, building codes, and critical infrastructure to private-sector issues, public health, nongovernmental organizations and governance.


Waste Forms Technology and Performance: Final Report (2011)
The Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) is responsible for cleaning up radioactive waste and environmental contamination resulting from five decades of nuclear weapons production and testing that are stored at over 100 sites across the United States. A major focus of this program involves the retrieval and processing of stored waste to reduce its volume and incorporate it into suitable waste forms to facilitate safe handling and disposal. Waste forms immobilize radioactive and hazardous constituents of wastes in a stable, solid matrix. This report was produced to assist DOE in making decisions for improving current methods for processing radioactive wastes and for selecting and fabricating waste forms for disposal.  
 
 
The Emerging Threat of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Southern Africa: Global and Local Challenges and Solutions (2011)
Tuberculosis (TB) kills approximately 4,500 people worldwide every day. TB is the leading killer of people with HIV, and it is also a disease of poverty-the majority of TB deaths occur in the developing world. Although antibiotics are effective in treating many cases, some strains have developed resistance to these drugs. The treatments for drug-resistant TB are less effective, more expensive, and more toxic to the patient than antibiotics are for drug-susceptible TB. The IOM Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation and the Academy of Science of South Africa held a workshop March 3-4, 2010, in Pretoria, South Africa-the first in a series of international meetings designed to gather information from experts on the threat of drug-resistant TB and ways it can be combated. 
 
  
Preparing for the Future of HIV/AIDS in Africa: A Share Responsibility (2010)
HIV/AIDS is a catastrophe globally but nowhere more so than in sub-Saharan Africa, which in 2008 accounted for 67 percent of cases worldwide and 91 percent of new infections. The Institute of Medicine recommends that the United States and African nations move toward a strategy of shared responsibility such that these nations are empowered to take ownership of their HIV/AIDS problem and work to solve it.
 
 
 

Antibiotic Resistance: Implications for Global Health and Novel Intervention Strategies: Workshop Summary (2010)
Years of using, misusing, and overusing antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs has led to the emergence of multidrug-resistant 'superbugs.' The IOM's Forum on Microbial Threats held a public workshop April 6-7 to discuss the nature and sources of drug-resistant bacteria and viruses and their implications for global health. Speakers explored the evolutionary, genetic, and ecological origins of antimicrobial drug resistance and its effects on human and animal health worldwide. This document summarizes the workshop.



Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration (2010)
Natural disasters--including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods--caused over 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from natural and human-caused disasters, it is essential that citizens and communities work together to anticipate threats, limit their effects, and rapidly restore functionality after a crisis. This book assesses the current state of private-public sector collaboration dedicated to strengthening community resilience, identifies gaps in knowledge and practice, and recommends research that could be targeted for investment. Specifically, the book finds that local-level private-public collaboration is essential to the development of community resilience.



Engineering, Social Justice, and Sustainable Community Development: Summary of a Workshop (2010)
This report is the first in a series of biennial workshops on the theme of engineering ethics and engineering leadership. This workshop addresses conflicting positive goals for engineering projects in impoverished areas and areas in crisis. These conflicts arise domestically as well as in international arenas. The goals of project sponsors and participants, which are often implicit, include protecting human welfare, ensuring social justice, and striving for environmental sustainability alongside the more often explicit goal of economic development or progress.

  


Facilitating Climate Change Responses: A Report of Two Workshops on Insights from the Social and Behavioral Sciences (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 change, called on the National Research Council to organize two workshops to showcase some of the decision-relevant contributions that these sciences have already made and can advance with future efforts. Facilitating Climate Change Responses documents the information presented in the workshop presentations and discussions. This material illustrates some of the ways the behavioral and social sciences can contribute to the new era of climate research.



Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World: Workshop Summary (2010)
As a result of our global interconnectedness, infectious diseases emerge more frequently; spread greater distances; pass more easily between humans and animals; and change rapidly into new and more virulent strains. To explore issues related to infectious disease movement in a borderless world, The Institute of Medicine (IOM)'s the Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a workshop December 16-17, 2008, summarized in this document.




NOAA's Education Program: Review and Critique (2010)
There is a national need to educate the public about the ocean, coastal resources, atmosphere and climate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the Earth's environment and conserving and managing coastal and marine resources to meet the nation's economic, social and environmental needs, has a broad mandate to engage and coordinate education initiatives on these topics. Since its creation in 1970, the NOAA has supported a variety of education projects that cover a range of topics related to the agency's scientific and stewardship mission. This book provides a summary of the national education context for NOAA's role in education which is twofold: first is to advance the environmental literacy of the nation, and second is to promote a diverse workforce in ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, atmospheric and climate sciences.

Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health (2010)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), once thought to be confined primarily to industrialized nations, has emerged as a major health threat in developing countries. Cardiovascular disease now accounts for nearly 30 percent of deaths in low and middle income countries each year, and is accompanied by significant economic repercussions. Yet most governments, global health institutions, and development agencies have largely overlooked CVD as they have invested in health in developing countries. Recognizing the gap between the compelling evidence of the global CVD burden and the investment needed to prevent and control CVD, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) turned to the IOM for advice on how to catalyze change. 

 

Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report (2010)
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, spilling millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf before it was successfully capped in mid-July. It is as yet uncertain how the spill itself and the use of chemical dispersants to remove the oil will affect the health of clean-up workers, residents, and visitors in the Gulf region. The IOM recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focus on researching psychological and behavioral health, exposure information to oil and dispersants, seafood safety, communication methods for health studies, and methods for conducting research in order to better understand and mitigate the effects on human health for this oil spill and for future disasters.


The Causes and Impacts of Neglected Tropical and Zoonotic Diseases - Implications for Global Health and Opportunities for Novel Intervention Strategies (2010)
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, causing an oil leak one mile beneath the ocean's surface. The explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed one of the largest offshore oil spills in history. The oil well was plugged in mid-July, but the effects of the spill on the short- and long-term health of individuals-including workers, volunteers, residents and visitors-remain uncertain. At the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the IOM convened a public workshop June 22-23 to begin planning for the surveillance of the Gulf oil spill's effects on human health. Speakers explored the potential adverse health effects for at-risk populations living in the Gulf region or assisting with clean-up activities. Participants considered effective ways to communicate potential health risks to the public and to engage them in research on the spill's effects. This document summarizes the workshop. Presentations from the meeting as well as full video and transcripts are available online.


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