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U.S. National Member Organization for iiasa

The National Academy of Sciences is the U.S. adhering body of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and it maintains its relationship with IIASA through the U.S. National Member Organization (USNMO). Founded in 1972, IIASA conducts policy-oriented research into problems of a global nature that are too large or too complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline.

What's New                                                                                                   

Former USNMO/IIASA Chair Simon Levin Wins the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
Simon Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology at Princeton University, has received the 2014 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Levin was Chair of IIASA’s Governing Council from 2003 until 2009, Vice-Chair from 2009-2013, and Chair of the USNMO/IIASA throughout this time.

The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is one of the first international premier awards for environmental science, environmental health, and energy. Simon Levin received the prize "for his research revealing the complexity of, and relationships between, species and ecosystems. His work has been fundamental in the crafting of environmental policies and advancing the study of complex ecosystems – the myriad relationships and interactions in nature." More details can be found on the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement website.

IIASA's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Upcoming Review Deadline: June 30, 2014

IIASA’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is an annual program that provides funding for four postdoctoral researchers for a 12-24 month period. Applications are accepted all year round, with specific review dates announced on the website. Application details can be found on IIASA's website.

The program serves to:

  • Encourage and promote the development of young researchers.
  • Offer young researchers the opportunity to further their careers by gaining hands-on professional research experience in a highly international scientific environment.
  • Enrich IIASA’s intellectual environment and help achieve research program goals.
  • Successful candidates are expected to conduct their own research within one of IIASA's research programs or special projects on topics related to IIASA's agenda.

Recent winners of IIASA’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program from the United States include Wendy Francesconi, from the US Department of Agriculture, and Daniel Jessie, from the University of California. Francesconi is the recipient of the newly established Peter de Janosi Fellowship, which supports one post-doc each year. More details can be found on the IIASA website.

Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program Includes Two U.S. Participants
The USNMO/IIASA would like to congratulate the two U.S. participants of this year’s Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP): Simon Nampindo from the University of Massachusetts and Nathaniel Tindall from the Georgia Institute of Technology. SA-YSSP is a capacity-building and academic training program modeled on IIASA’s Young Scientists Summer Program, jointly conducted by IIASA and its South African National Member Organization (NMO). On February 22, 2014 Nathaniel Tindall, Simon Nampindo, and 32 other young researchers completed the three-month program, now in its second year. For more details, please visit the IIASA Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program webpage.

IIASA's First Alumni Day: April 29th, 2014
The USNMO/IIASA would like to encourage IIASA alumni from the United States to participate in the upcoming IIASA Alumni Day, April 29th, 2014. Over 2,000 alumni from around the world are being invited to Laxenburg to meet former colleagues and share memories, experience and stories of success while connecting with current IIASA researchers and staff. More details and a glimpse of the event’s speakers can be found on the IIASA Alumni Day website.

IIASA Young Scientists Summer Program
Each summer, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), located in Schloss Laxenburg near Vienna, Austria, hosts a selected group of graduate students, primarily doctoral, from around the world in its Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP). These students work closely with IIASA’s senior scientists on projects related both to their thesis research and one or more IIASA research programs. The application period for the summer of 2014 is now closed. More details can be found on IIASA’s website.

IIASA is known for its interdisciplinary research, combining natural and social sciences with integrated assessment techniques and advanced mathematical methodologies, with a goal of providing policy insight on issues of regional and global importance in the following fields:

GLOBAL PROBLEM AREAS: Energy and Climate Change, Food and Water, and Poverty and Equity

PROGRAM AREAS: Energy, Transitions to New Technologies, Advanced Systems Analysis, Ecosystem Services and Management, Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases, Evolution and Ecology, World Population, Risk Policy and Vulnerability, and Water

Participants are able to develop and expand their research topics and partake in a worldwide network of specialists with broad interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives. Since the program’s conception in 1977, more than 1400 participants from over 70 countries have collaborated with IIASA researchers and engaged in scientific research of regional and global importance.

This past summer advanced graduate students from U.S. institutions travelled to Austria to take part in the YSSP. The YSSP fellows worked closely with IIASA’s senior scientists on projects within the Institute’s research areas.

2013 Young Scientists Summer Program Participants and Program Areas
 Eleanor Brush, Evolution and Ecology

Kandice Harper, Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases

Kalai Ramea,

Nicholas Lam,

Mathieu Leduc,
Advanced Systems Analysis

Benjamin Leibowicz,

Joshua Ramos,
World Population

David Shanafelt,
Evolution and Ecology

Jacob Teter,

Melissa Whitaker,
Evolution and Ecology

Three 2013 Young Scientists Summer Program participants from the United States have received Peccei and Mikhalevich Awards. These awards provide financial support for the winners to return to IIASA to continue their research projects. These U.S. participants are Benjamin Leibowicz, Eleanor Brush, and Matt Leduc. More details can be found on the IIASA website.

U.S. NMO Collaborates with the Russian NMO
The U.S. NMO is working closely with the Russian NMO to foster international research collaborations between the two countries. In April 2013, Alexey Gvishiani, the Russian NMO Deputy-Chair, visited California to meet with Don Saari and representatives from the U.S. NMO. In June, Don Saari and Simon Levin, the former U.S. NMO Chair, visited Russia and met with the Russian NMO. A number of complex, global systems problems were discussed that are of interest to the two NMOs. These include the Eurasian economic space project being explored by IIASA and the Russian NMO, and systems analysis of global health and infectious disease questions. A number of options are currently being pursued.

Worlds Within Reach: From Science to Policy

IIASA’s 40th Anniversary Conference was held October 24-26, 2012 at the Hofburg Congress Center in Laxenburg, Austria. The conference examined the many sustainability and development challenges such transformations impose and explore options for resolving them. It explored new ‘future worlds’: Worlds that accommodate our collective needs and aspirations, while living within, and respecting, planetary boundaries. For more information on the conference please visit the 40th Anniversary Conference website.

Global Energy Assessment
IIASA launched its Global Energy Assessment (GEA) at Rio+20 in 2012. The GEA involved 500 scientists, energy experts, and policymakers from all regions of the world. This important assessment outlines a range of viable sustainable development pathways, and strategies and policies that support the attainment of GEA objectives, including the UN SE4All goals.
Climate Policies Can Resolve Energy and Air Pollution Challenges
Policies to protect the global climate offer the most effective entry point for achieving energy sustainability, simultaneously reducing air pollution and improving energy security. By integrating climate and energy policies, major synergies and cost co-benefits can be realized. The findings are published in the latest issue of Nature Climate Change, in a commentary authored by IIASA’s David McCollum, Volker Krey and Keywan Riahi. More
World Energy Outlook 2012 Air Pollutants Scenarios
IIASA researchers contributed to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2012 with an assessment of global emissions of major air pollutants under three different scenarios. IIASA’s report, based on the GAINS model, projects emissions to 2035 for 25 regions and demonstrates the synergies between climate change and air pollution control policies.
Feasible Emission Scenarios to Limit Temperature Rise
A comprehensive re-analysis of GHG emission pathways finds that in scenarios that limit temperature change to below 2°C, emissions peak before 2020 then fall to 41-46 GtC and continue to fall. Global emissions are currently 48 GtC and rising. The study, co-authored by IIASA’s Keywan Riahi and published in Nature Climate Change 23 October 2011, aims to inform the identification of short-term emission targets compatible with the 2°C limit.


Dr. Michael Obersteiner, New Program Leader of the Ecosystem Services & Management (ESM) Program at IIASA
IIASA recently appointed Michael Obersteiner as the new Leader for the ESM program. Dr. Obersteiner joined IIASA's Forestry Program (FOR) in 1993 and has been leading the Group on Global Land-Use Modeling and Environmental Economics since 2001. Dr. Obersteiner's research experience stretches from plant physiology and biophysical modeling in the areas of ecosystems, forestry and agriculture to environmental economics, bioenergy engineering and climate change sciences.

New UN Group to implement Sustainable Energy for All initiative
Nebojsa Nakicenovic has been appointed to the Technical Group of the UN Secretary-General’s (SG) High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. The Group will develop a Global Strategy for launch by the SG at the RIO+20 Summit. Nakicenovic presented options for achieving the SG’s access, efficiency, and renewable targets at the Groups inaugural meeting in New York.


Energy Security and Energy Access - Interconnected Global Challenges

Energy access and energy security are critical issues for policymakers globally, affecting livelihoods in the developed and the developing world. IIASA’s Shonali Pachauri is coeditor of a special edition of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability that explores many aspects of energy including: the scale of the energy access challenge, gender dimensions, and financing options to ensure the sustainability of energy access efforts.
Education - A Key Determinant of Population Growth and Well-being
Future trends in global population growth could be significantly affected by improvements in both the quality and quantity of education, particularly female education. Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed, according to research by IIASA’s Wolfgang Lutz and Samir K. C. published in Science (29 July 2012). More.







Activities and Events
IIASA Research Opportunities
IIASA International Webpage






Core support for USNMO/IIASA is provided by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OISE-1246585, with policy involvement of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of State, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce (NOAA), the USDA Forest Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  U.S. Government Agencies providing directed support for IIASA projects include the Department of Energy, and the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service of the Department of Commerce. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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