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Upcoming Events

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities, Meeting 3
July 28-29, 2015

View a list of
Sustainability-related meetings at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine


Recent Events

Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability
June 4-5, 2015
Washington, DC

Landscape Approaches and Multi-Resource Assessments for Natural Resource Management

June 2, 2015
Washington, DC


Ongoing Activities: Sustainability across the National Academies

VIEW ONGOING ACTIVITIES BY SUSTAINABILITY TOPICS:

Sustainability - the IssueNatural Systems
People & Their CommunitiesInstitutions & Indicators
Life Support Systems: Atmosphere, Water & FoodSustainability, Research & Development
Economy & Industry

Sustainable Energy


Sustainability - The Issue  

The Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability
Established in 2002, the National Academies’ Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability provides a high-level forum for sharing views, information, and analyses related to harnessing science and technology for sustainability. Members of the Roundtable include leading experts from research institutions as well as senior decision-makers from government and industry who deal with issues of sustainable development, and who are in a position to mobilize new strategies and resources for sustainability. (Science and Technology for Sustainability Program) 

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities
An expert committee under the STS Program will conduct a study by using examples from metropolitan regions to understand how sustainability practices can contribute to the continued growth and regeneration of major metropolitan regions in the United States. The study will provide a paradigm that incorporates the social, economic, and environmental systems that exist in metropolitan regions that are critical in the transition to sustainable metropolitan regions. As part of its evidence-gathering process, the committee will organize a series of public data-gathering meetings in different metropolitan regions to examine issues relating to urban sustainability. (Science and Technology for Sustainability Program)  

Transition toward Sustainability after 15 Years: Where Do We Stand in Advancing the Scientific Foundation
A distinguished committee under the STS program, in collaboration with the Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate (BASC), will organize a meeting of leading scientists to discuss progress in sustainability science during the last 15 years, potential opportunities for advancing the research and use of scientific knowledge to support a transition toward sustainability, and challenges specifically related to establishing metrics/indicators and observations to support sustainability research and practice. (Science and Technology for Sustainability Program)

The Practice of Sustainability Science: The Landscape Perspective
An expert committee under the STS Program will plan and conduct a workshop in Spring 2015 on the practice of sustainability science, focusing on how landscape analysis may be used as an organizing principle by federal agencies as they conduct research to better inform decision making. The goal of the workshops is to identify ways to better integrate landscape analysis principles across several focus areas including adaptive management, ecosystem services and resilience—which together form a scientific foundation for making sustainable natural resource management decisions (e.g., coastal and marine resources). (Science and Technology for Sustainability Program)  

Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability
An expert committee under the STS Program, in collaboration with the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR), completed a report that identifies research priorities to sustainably meet expected increase in global demand for animal protein. The report assesses the global demand for products of animal origin in 2050 within the framework of ensuring global food security; evaluates how climate change and natural resource constraints may impact the ability to meet future global demand for animal products in sustainable production systems; and identifies factors that may impact the ability of the United States to meet demand for animal products, including the need for trained human capital, product safety and quality, and effective communication and adoption of new knowledge, information, and technologies. See the press release here(Science and Technology for Sustainability Program) 

Homelessness and Urban Sustainability: Implications of Changes to the US Health System on a Vulnerable Population
On November 12, 2014, the STS Program, in collaboration with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Equity and Health Disparities, held a workshop focusing on the impact of the changing US health care system under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on homeless populations in urban areas. The goal of the workshop was to identify models of success as well as challenges in using the ACA as a tool to decrease homelessness, increase health care enrollment, and improve health outcomes and the lives of homeless individuals. Participants were asked to identify what specific actions relevant bodies can take address the problem of homelessness using the ACA. The meeting provided an opportunity to engage policy makers, health care professionals, philanthropic organizations, private sector entities, and academicians in a lively discussion of these complex issues. (Science and Technology for Sustainability Program) 

Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connections and Governance Linkages

In June 2013, the STS Program released a landmark consensus report that provides a decision framework for policymakers to examine the consequences and operational benefits of sustainability-oriented programs. The report also recommends priority areas for interagency cooperation on specific sustainability challenges; identifies impediments to interdisciplinary, cross-media federal programs; and highlights scientific research gaps as they relate to these interdisciplinary, cross-media approaches to sustainability. A booklet provides a brief summary of the report. In January 2014, the STS Program hosted two sessions to discuss the report at the annual National Council for Science and the Environment Conference in Arlington, VA. (Science and Technology for Sustainability Program) 

Symposium on Science, Innovation, and Partnerships for Sustainability Solutions 
An ad hoc committee under the STS Program held a three day public symposium, May 16-18, 2012, on fostering partnerships and linkages between disciplines, sectors, agencies and nations in sustainability science and innovation. The symposium featured invited presentations and discussions to showcase federal investments and institutional structures regarding sustainability, identify opportunities to help promote practices that would lead communities toward sustainability, and address communication issues needed to recognize science and innovation as central to the understanding and adoption of sustainable practices.  Video of the sessions, PowerPoint presentations, and the symposium summary are available. (Science and Technology for Sustainability Program) 

The Network for Emerging Leaders in Sustainability (NELS)
The Network for Emerging Leaders in Sustainability (NELS) is an organization for early-career professionals who are interested in building bridges with peers in DC-area agencies and organizations. The Network includes leaders with diverse backgrounds and expertise, from natural resource management to energy policy to public health. NELS members share a common interest in taking a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability challenges -considering the economic, environmental, social, and cultural dimensions of these problems. Through NELS, these emerging leaders will foster relationships that enable them to more effectively bring about a sustainable future. (Science and Technology for Sustainability Program) 


People and Their Communities
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Community-based Flood Insurance Options
The National Research Council will issue a report that examines future prospects for community-based flood insurance policies for the United States. Given the lack of experience with community-based flood insurance in the U.S., the committee's report will identify and discuss topic areas and questions that it concludes will require further evaluation—and explain why—in order for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and others to better evaluate strengths and weaknesses of community-based flood insurance. (Board on Mathematical Sciences & Their Applications; Water Science and Technology Board)

Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions

Scientific discoveries, new tools, and improved approaches have rapidly expanded the field of environmental health—the study of environmental influences on human health and disease. Evaluating the utility and importance of findings derived from these new tools and new approaches in guiding public health decisions can be a daunting challenge. At the request of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the National Academies formed the Standing Committee on Use of Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions to facilitate communication among government, industry, environmental groups, and the academic community about scientific advances that may be used in the identification, quantification, and control of environmental impacts on human health. (Board on Life SciencesBoard on Environmental Studies and Toxicology)

Post-Disaster Recovery of a Community's Public Health, Medical, and Social Services
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and issue a report on how to improve the short, intermediate and long-term health outcomes and public health impact for individuals in a community of place (as contrasted with communities of faith, identity, etc). The committee will investigate and identify key activities that impact health and public health outcomes in a community of place recovering from a disaster, and develop recommendations for their implementation.  In doing so, the committee will consider the determinants of health and how various activities could leverage those determinants to improve health in the post-disaster setting, including the needs of at-risk populations. (Board on Health Sciences Policy)

Review of the Draft Interagency Report on the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States
An ad hoc committee of the National Research Council will conduct an independent review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) initiated report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. The review will provide an overall critique of the draft report and address whether the report meets its stated goals and is responsive to the nation's needs for information on the health impacts of climate change and their potential implications. (Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice)

Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine
The Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine was established to provide a mechanism for parties interested in environmental health from the academic, industrial, and federal research perspectives to meet and discuss sensitive and difficult environmental health issues of mutual interest in a neutral setting. The purpose is to foster dialogue, but not to provide recommendations.  (Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice

Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities
The IOM's Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities was created to enable dialogue and discussion of issues related to: 1) the visibility of racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care as a national problem; 2) the development of programs and strategies to reduce disparities; and 3) the emergence of new leadership. Members of the Roundtable include its sponsors and additional experts from the health and social sciences industry, and the community. (Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice


Life Support Systems: Atmosphere, Water, and Food
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America's Climate Choices
In response to a request from Congress, the National Academies have launched America's Climate Choices, a suite of studies designed to inform and guide responses to climate change across the nation. Experts representing various levels of government, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and research and academic institutions have been selected to serve on four panels and an overarching committee.  (Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate)

Evaluation of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
The National Research Council will convene an ad hoc committee to examine the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC). This committee will evaluate the purpose, goals, and scientific merits of the program within the context of similar programs, and whether the LCC has resulted in measurable improvements in the health of fish, wildlife, and their habitats. (Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate; Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources)

Genetically-Engineered Crops: Past Experience and Future Prospects
Building on and updating the concepts and questions raised in previous National Research Council reports addressing food safety, environmental, social, economic, regulatory, and other aspects of genetically-engineered (GE) crops, an ad hoc committee will conduct a broad review of available information on GE crops in the context of the contemporary global food and agricultural system. The study will examine the history of the development and introduction of GE crops in the United States and internationally, including GE crops that were not commercialized, and the experiences of developers and producers of GE crops in different countries. (Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources; Board on Life Sciences; Food and Nutrition Board)  

Guidance for NSF on National Ocean Science Research Priorities: Decadal Survey for Ocean Sciences
The committee for the Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences 2015 (DSOS) will develop a list of the top ocean science priorities for the next decade in the context of the current state of knowledge, ongoing research activities, and resource availability. The DSOS committee's report will present a compelling research strategy for increased understanding of the oceans over the decade 2015-2025. (Ocean Studies Board)

Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle (Eighth Revised Edition)
A committee will prepare a report that reviews the scientific literature on the nutrition of beef cattle. All life phases and types of production will be addressed. The report will include the following elements: a comprehensive analysis of recent research on feeding and nutrition of beef cattle including research on the amounts of amino acids, lipids, minerals, vitamins, and water needed by growing and reproducing beef cattle; a summary of recent research on energy systems used in beef cattle nutrition;; a summary of the composition of feed ingredients, mineral supplements, and feed additives routinely fed to beef cattle; a summary of information about coproducts from the biofuels industry, which will include information about the various types of products and their most effective use and information about phosphorus and sulfur contents; and a review of nutritional and feeding strategies to minimize nutrient losses in manure and reduce greenhouse gas production. (Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources)

Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle, 8th edition
The National Research Council (NRC) will prepare a report that reviews the scientific literature on the nutrition of dairy cattle and updates the nutrient requirements contained in the 2001 NRC publication Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle.  The report will contain a comprehensive analysis of recent research on the feeding and nutrition ; of dairy cattle, including research on the amounts of amino acids, lipids, fiber, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water needed by preweanling, growing, reproducing, and lactating dairy cattle. (Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate; Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources)

On-site Reuse of Graywater and Stormwater: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and prepare a report that will analyze the risks, costs, and benefits of on-site water reuse of stormwater and graywater and approaches needed for its safe use. The study will address quantity and suitability; treatment and storage; risks; costs and benefits; and implementation. As part of its review, and to help benchmark U.S. standing worldwide, the committee will consider international experiences in onsite stormwater and graywater management, as it deems relevant. (Water Science and Technology Board)


Review of the Florida Aquifer Storage and Recovery Regional Study Technical Data Report
The National Research Council's Water Science and Technology Board will review and evaluate the scientific methods, principles, and data that form the basis for the Corps of Engineers' Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Regional Study Technical Data Report (TDR). This technical report was prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District in cooperation with the South Florida Water Management District. The TDR is divided generally into the following four focus areas: 1) regional hydrogeological framework, 2) water quality changes during cycle testing, 3) groundwater flow simulations, and 4) ecotoxicology. (Water Science and Technology Board)

Review of the National Science Foundation's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) Draft Science Goals and Objectives
An ad hoc NRC committee will review the draft Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) draft science goals and objectives in a two-part process (Phase 1 and 2). Phase 1 will consist of planning and hosting a public workshop to engage the atmospheric sciences community and others as appropriate to provide feedback on the draft. The workshop will be designed to seek specific input on the draft by asking invited workshop speakers and other participants to share their views in the context of the questions above. A recap of workshop will be produced by NRC staff. In Phase 2, the committee will write a letter report reviewing the AGS draft goals and objectives by addressing the questions above from its own standpoint. (Board on Atmospheric Sciences & ClimateSpace Studies Board)


Economy and Industry 
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Review of USDOT Report on Connected Vehicle Initiative Communications Systems Deployment
As required in Section 53006 of P.L. 112-141 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, July 6, 2012), a National Research Council committee shall conduct a peer review of a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications system deployment. The study committee will assess whether the USDOT report addresses the charge set forth by Congress in Section 53006.

Making Value for America: Foundational Study
In the 21st century, "making things" (i.e., the production of physical goods) cannot be considered in isolation from innovation, product design, and the production and bundling of software and services--all are integrated global activities. To succeed in the current complex environment, companies must focus holistically on "making value" by producing positive customer experiences. The purpose of this project is to clearly define this new context by examining business best practices in the integrated innovation-design-manufacturing value chain. (National Academy of Engineering)

Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Safety Culture: A Framing Study
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study in order to frame the issues and knowledge gaps that would need to be addressed in subsequent industry and government efforts, research, and future studies to strengthen offshore industry safety culture.  In addressing its task, the committee will gather information from safety culture experts, industry, regulators, workers, and the public in order to identify the essential characteristics of a strong safety culture; barriers to achieving a strong safety culture in the offshore industry; and possible ways of overcoming these challenges.  The committee will also identify potential effective strategies to measure and assess company and industry safety culture. (Board on Human-System Integration; Studies and Special Programs Division)

Overcoming Barriers to Electric Vehicle Deployment
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study identifying the market barriers slowing the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs, which for this study include pure battery electric vehicles [BEVs] and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles [PHEVs]) and hindering the deployment of supporting infrastructure in the United States.  The study will draw on input from state utility commissions, electric utilities, automotive manufacturers and suppliers, local and state governments, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, federal agencies, and others, including previous studies performed for the Department of Energy (DOE), to help identify barriers to the introduction of electric vehicles, particularly the barriers to the deployment of the necessary vehicle charging infrastructure, and recommend ways to mitigate these barriers. The study will focus on light-duty vehicles but also draw upon experiences with EVs in the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle market segment. (Board on Energy & Environmental Systems, Studies and Special Programs Division)


Natural Systems
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Development of a Strategic Vision and Implementation Plan for the U.S. Antarctic Program at the National Science Foundation
An ad hoc committee will identify priorities and strategic steps forward for Antarctic research and observations for the next decade, in the context of the current state of knowledge, ongoing research activities, and resource availability. The committee's report will present a compelling research strategy for increased understanding of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The report will analyze the research infrastructure needed to address the priority research topics as well as the current research portfolio of U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) investments. The final report will articulate a strategic vision commensurate with U.S. national interests in Antarctica and identify a prioritized suite of science questions or topical areas that the USAP should consider. (Polar Research Board)

Effective Approaches for Monitoring and Assessing Gulf of Mexico Restoration Activities
An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the National Research Council will inform monitoring and evaluation of restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico. In particular, the committee will identify best practices (i.e., existing, proven, cost-effective approaches) for monitoring and evaluating restoration activities to improve the performance of restoration programs and increase the effectiveness and longevity of restoration projects. (Ocean Studies Board; Water Science and Technology Board)

Gulf Research Program
´╗┐Over its 30-year duration, the Gulf Research Program will work to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas by seeking to improve understanding of the region’s interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems and fostering application of these insights to benefit Gulf communities, ecosystems, and the Nation.

Review of the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Program
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and issue three reports that review the many different scientific initiatives underway to support the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan (EAHCP). The committee will focus on the adequacy of the body of scientific information to reliably inform assessments of the EAHCP biological goals and objectives; ensuring that best-available science is utilized. The NRC review will be conducted from 2013-2018. The committee will issue its first report in 2014, its second report in 2016, and its third and final report in 2018. (Water Science and Technology Board)


Institutions and Indicators (back to top)

Assessing Toxicologic Risks to Human Subjects Used in Controlled Exposure Studies of Environmental Pollutants
An ad hoc committee of the National Research Council will address scientific issues and provide guidance on the conduct of controlled human-exposure studies designed to inform policy decisions and set air-pollutant standards to protect public health. The committee will consider U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office of Inspector General report titled Improvements to EPA Policies and Guidance Could Enhance Protection of Human Study Subjects, which recommends improvements to EPA’s conduct of studies and outlines how the agency intends to address the recommendations. (Board on Environmental Studies & Toxicology)

Developing a U.S. Research Agenda to Advance Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasting
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study that will identify opportunities to increase forecasting skill on subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescales based on the 2010 NRC report Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability  and progress since. The report will describe a strategy to increase the nation's scientific capacity for research on S2S forecasting. The committee will develop a 10-year scientific research agenda to accelerate progress on extending prediction skill for weather and ocean forecasts at spatial and temporal resolutions to aide in decision making. (Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate; Ocean Studies Board)

Evaluation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E)
An ad hoc committee of the National Research Council will review and evaluate the progress that the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has made toward achieving its goals since its establishment in 2009. The committee will develop a methodology and framework for an operational assessment as well as a retrospective and technical assessment of ARPA-E and then conduct both. The operational assessment will appraise the appropriateness and effectiveness of ARPA-E's structure to position it to achieve its mission and goals. (Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy; DEPS Board on Energy & Environmental Systems)

Identifying Transformative Research in the Geographical Sciences: A Workshop
Transformative science drives significant advances by providing new theoretical or technical frameworks that re-orient existing fields or even create new fields. Yet, the history of science shows many transformative concepts were very difficult to identify when initially introduced. An ad hoc committee will organize a public workshop as a primary source of information to examine transformative research as it has influenced the evolution of the geographical sciences to provide insight into how transformative research evolved in the past so that it can be encouraged in the future.  (Board on Earth Sciences & Resources)

Methods for Integrating Multiple Data Sources to Improve Crop Estimates
The National Research Council will review, assess, and make recommendations on methods for integrating multiple data sources to improve county-level crop estimates produced by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The goal is to provide more precise estimates with appropriate measures of uncertainty for current county-level estimates of acreage, yield, and cash rents for major crops. Multiple sources of data are potentially available for county-level crop estimates, including NASS surveys, data from other agencies, and automated field-level information collected by farm equipment dealers. (Committee on National Statistics)

Models of the World for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
An ad hoc committee of the National Research Council will identify types of mathematical, numerical, and statistical models and spatial-temporal analytical methods (e.g., coupled models, inverse models, agent-based models, machine learning, statistical inference) used to understand complex adaptive systems, such as those found in the natural or built environment, and in health, political, social, or economic systems. (Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate; Board on Earth Sciences & Resources; DEPS Board on Mathematical Sciences & Their Applications)

Review of the Risk Assessment Process for Pesticides in the California EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation
An ad hoc committee will conduct an independent scientific and technical evaluation of the California EPA's risk-assessment process for pesticides. The committee will examine documents provided by the California EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) on the processes it uses for hazard identification, exposure assessment, dose-response analysis, and risk characterization. Consideration will be given to whether the methods and approaches are consistent with best practices, such as those outlined in recent NRC risk-assessment reports. (Board on Environmental Studies & Toxicology)


Sustainability Research and Development 
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Grand Challenges for Engineering
In a fourteen-month project, the NAE will convene a select, international committee to evaluate ideas on the greatest challenges and opportunities for engineering. The committee will draw upon many sources of engineering expertise (including the NAE membership and foreign associates, the NAE's international Frontiers of Engineering program, and engineering societies worldwide) as well as ideas from the broader public.  (National Academy of Engineering)

Incorporating 21st Century Science into Risk-Based Evaluations
The National Research Council will provide recommendations on integrating new scientific approaches into risk-based evaluations. Specifically, a committee will first consider the scientific advances that have occurred following the publication of the NRC reports
Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy and Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy. Given the various ongoing lines of investigation and new data streams that have emerged, the committee will then propose how best to integrate and use the emerging results in evaluating chemical risk and identify how traditional human-health risk assessment can incorporate the new science. (Board on Life Sciences; Board on Environmental Studies & Toxicology)

The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research
The National Research Council will identify priorities and strategic steps forward for atmospheric chemistry research for the next decade, in the context of the current state of knowledge, ongoing research activities, and resource availability. The committee will issue a research strategy and identify where additional investments in research infrastructure could best advance scientific understanding. (Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate) 

Value and Sustainability of Biological Field Stations, Marine Laboratories, and Natural Reserves in 21st Century Science, Education, and Public Outreach
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and prepare a report that will review and assess the role of field stations, marine laboratories, and natural reserves (FSMLNRs) in science and engineering research, innovation, education, training, and public outreach and engagement. The committee will evaluate FSMLNR effectiveness as individual entities and as collaborative networks to address local, national, or global challenges; their value as resources for environmental research; and provide suggestions for financially feasible approaches for the sustained operation and management in support of their often multifaceted roles. (Board on Life Sciences; Ocean Studies Board)


Sustainable Energy
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Assessment of Technologies for Improving Fuel Economy of Light-Duty Vehicles - Phase 2
The committee formed to carry out this study will continue the work of the National Research Council for the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the assessment of technologies and programs for improving the fuel economy of light-duty vehicles. While the committee will need to consider the development and deployment of fuel economy technologies up to 2019, it is tasked with providing updated estimates of the cost, potential efficiency improvements, and barriers to commercial deployment of technologies that might be employed from 2020 to 2030. It will reassess the technologies analyzed in NRC reports, Impact and Effectiveness of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards (2002) and Assessment Fuel Economy Technologies for Improving Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy (2011). It will reflect developments since these reports were issued and investigate any new technologies that may become important by 2030. The committee will also examine and make recommendations for improvements to the CAFE program. (Board on Energy & Environmental Systems, Studies and Special Programs Division)

America's Energy Future
There is a growing sense of national urgency about the role of energy in long-term U.S. economic vitality, national security, and climate change. The U.S. has the resources to combat this energy challenge; the dilemma is to identify which solutions will be right for our country, and how to address the massive technological and social changes to come. To fill this information gap, the National Academies launched the America’s Energy Future study in 2007. This four-year project will explore energy technologies, providing authoritative estimates and analysis of the current and future supply of and demand for energy; new and existing technologies to meet those demands; their associated impacts; and their projected costs.  (Division on Earth and Life Studies; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences; National Academy of Engineering; Transportation Research Board)

Determinants of Market Adoption of Advanced Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Technologies
An ad hoc committee of experts with industrial, financial, academic, and public policy backgrounds will hold a series of workshops, commission research, and prepare a report with recommendations. The study will focus on whether the federal government should and can play a role in accelerating market adoption of advanced energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. The committee will analyze market imperfections in different stages of the deployment chain for different technologies and seek to identify the appropriate extent of federal involvement and what policy instruments can help overcome the market imperfections and catalyze private investment. (Board on Energy & Environmental Systems; Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy)

Effects of Diluted Bitumen on the Environment: A Comparative Study
The National Research Council will analyze whether the properties of diluted bitumen differ sufficiently from those of other crude oils commonly transported in U.S. transmission pipelines to warrant modifications of the regulations governing spill response plans, spill preparedness, or clean up. (Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology)

Energy Resource Potential on DOE Lands
A National Research Council-appointed committee will review a study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Legacy Management of the potential development of energy resources on lands managed by DOE. This study may include assessments of oil, gas, coal, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, uranium, and other resources, and is likely to include consideration of market barriers, practical constraints, economics, and access to markets in estimating the potential for energy supply. (Board on Energy & Environmental Systems)

Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety and Security of U.S. Nuclear Plants 
The National Research Council will provide an assessment of lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident for improving the safety and security of nuclear plants in the United States. This assessment will address the following issues: 1) causes of the Fukushima nuclear accident, particularly with respect to the performance of safety systems and operator response following the earthquake and tsunami; 2) re-evaluation of the conclusions from previous NAS studies on safety and security of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste storage, particularly with respect to the safety and security of current storage arrangements and alternative arrangements in which the amount of commercial spent fuel stored in pools is reduced; 3) lessons that can be learned from the accident to improve commercial nuclear plant safety and security systems and operations; and 4) lessons that can be learned from the accident to improve commercial nuclear plant safety and security regulations, including processes for identifying and applying design basis events for accidents and terrorist attacks to existing nuclear plants. The study may examine policy options related to these issues but should not make policy recommendations that involve non-technical value judgments (Board on Energy & Environmental Systems, Committee on International Security and Arms Control, Office of the Foreign Secretaries, Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board)

Real-Time Monitoring of Offshore Oil and Gas Operations
The National Research Council will conduct a study to advise the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), U.S. Department of the Interior, on the use of real-time monitoring systems (RTM) by industry and government to reduce the safety and environmental risks of offshore oil and gas operations. The final report shall address the critical operations and specific parameters that should be monitored to manage and mitigate environmental and safety risks (e.g., to reduce the risk of well kicks, blowouts, and other sources of casualties). (Studies and Special Programs Division)

Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership, Phase 3  
The National Research Council will conduct a third review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership. During this Phase 3 review, a committee of experts will review the high-level technical goals, targets, and timetables for research and development (R&D) efforts, which address such areas as heavy vehicle systems; hybrid electric propulsion; advanced internal combustion engines (ICEs); and materials technologies. The committee will also review and evaluate progress and program directions since the inception of the Partnership towards meeting the Partnership's technical goals, and examine on-going research activities and their relevance to meeting the goals of the Partnership. (Board on Energy & Environmental Systems)



Other Activities
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Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Program
The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program within the Policy and Global Affairs Division of the National Academies is designed to engage its Fellows in the analytical process that informs U.S. science and technology policy.  Fellows develop basic skills essential to working or participating in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels.  Graduate and professional school students and those who have completed graduate studies (degree awarded) within the last five years may apply.  Areas of study may include any social/behavioral science, medical/health discipline, physical or biological science, any field of engineering, law/business/public administration, or any relevant interdisciplinary fields.  (The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program)

PNAS Sustainability Science, Special Features
PNAS has launched a new section of the journal dedicated to sustainability science, an emerging field of research dealing with the interactions between natural and social systems, and with how those interactions affect the challenge of sustainability: meeting the needs of present and future generations while substantially reducing poverty and conserving the planet's life support systems. PNAS seeks original research contributions for this new section on both the fundamental character of interactions among humans, their technologies, and the environment, and on the use of such knowledge to advance sustainability goals relevant to water, food, energy, health, habitation, mobility, and ecosystem services.