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U.S. National Member Organization for iiasa

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 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.

Click here to view "IIASA in Pictures," an helpful introductory video highlighting various IIASA activities and events.

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.

What's New

IIASA Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2017 YSSP
The Young Scientists Summer Program, held annually in Laxenburg, Austria, is hosted by IIASA and funded by its National Member Organizations. The application period for the next YSSP in Summer 2017 opened on October 1, and will close on January 11, 2017. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance in March 2017.

To apply and learn more about YSSP research areas, please visit the IIASA YSSP webpage.

Remembering Howard Raiffa, First IIASA Director
The U.S. NMO for IIASA's thoughts are with the family and colleagues of Howard Raiffa, who passed away on July 8, 2016. Dr. Raiffa was instrumental in IIASA's founding in 1972. Motivated by his desire to solve real-world problems in developing countries, he was an inspiration to many systems analysis scientists and researchers who followed in his footsteps. For more on the life of Howard Raiffa and to leave a message in the Book of Condolences, please visit the IIASA website.

IIASA-NAS Symposium Summary Now Available for Download
The IIASA-NAS Symposium on Cooperation for Global Sustainability, held February 11, 2016 in Washington D.C., brought industry and academic professionals together with policymakers. The symposium, which addressed three topics relating to climate change policy, aligned ongoing IIASA research with U.S. government aims. Click here to download the summary PDF.

Congratulations to the 2016 YSSP Cohort! 
The 2016 Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP), held from June 1 to August 31 in Laxenburg, Austria, allowed young researchers from all over the world to partner with IIASA scientific staff and explore an area of interest, build contacts, and advance ongoing research.

The students selected from U.S. universities were:

1. Phillip Cantu, University of Texas - Austin: World Population (POP)
2. Omid Mazdiyasni, University of California - Irvine: Water (WAT)
3. Vera Pfeiffer, University of Wisconsin - Madison: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
4. Stephanie Roe, University of Virginia: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
5. Marcus Thomson, University of California - Los Angeles: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
6. Mingshu Wang, University of Georgia: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
7. Easton White, University of California - Davis: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)

The application period for the Summer 2017 cohort is now open. For information on program areas, application criteria, and previous YSSP participants, visit the IIASA YSSP webpage.

Videos and Presentations from IIASA-NAS Symposium, February 11, 2016 in Washington, DC, Now Available
"International Scientific Cooperation for Global Sustainability," a three-topic symposium co-sponsored by IIASA, the National Academy of Sciences' U.S. NMO, and the Embassy of Austria, was held on Thursday, February 11, in the Athens Ballroom at the Hotel Monaco DC. Click here to view the complete agenda for the symposium and reception.

IIASA has made all symposium videos and accompanying presentation PDFs available on their website. Scroll down to view all topics in order as they appear on the agenda.

2015 Call for Exploratory Projects
The IIASA System Analysis Forum (SAF) call for exploratory project proposals is now closed. Applicants can expect to be notified of their acceptance by March 1, 2016, and may begin projects after April 1, 2016.

Established in 2013, the SAF is responsible for innovations and advances within system analysis. This year's call is inspired by topics from the System Analysis Conference in Laxenburg. IIASA teams, in collaboration with outside researchers (including SA Conference speakers) are invited to submit proposals. Project proposals should involve at least two IIASA Research Programs, operate on a budget of less than 60,000 Euros, and take place over up to one year. The five themes from the SA conference acting as framework for all proposals are as follows:

Trans-disciplinary inspiration in systems thinking: Projects emphasizing multidisciplinary approaches to systems analysis, cutting across areas like neuroscience, quantum theory, engineering sciences, ecology, economics, psychology, sociology, and computer science.

The art and craft of systems analysis: Projects focused on the creative processes of asking questions, drawing assumptions, defining boundaries, and communicating results.

New methods for understanding complex systems: Projects highlighting new perspectives and approaches to enhance systems analysis in the 21st century.

Addressing diversity in social systems: Projects exploring the benefits of diversity, the connection between science and art, and the study of human behavior with the goal of increasing stakeholder involvement in systems analysis.

Devising integrated solutions: Projects strengthening communication between scientists, decision-makers, and the public.

"Building Bridges Between Science and Policy": IIASA Systems Analysis Conference 2015
November's Systems Analysis Conference in Laxenburg, Austria featured three days of speakers and posters jointly organized by IIASA and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. On November 12, Director of Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Study Robbert Dijkgraaf presented a lecture on "Building Bridges Between Science and Policy." Dr. Dijkgraaf maintains that science and policy are two fundamentally opposed arenas with distinct sets of interests, and must "build bridges" to better understand each other. He also discusses inequities in global scientific research output, disconnects between scientific community and general public consensus, and and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in solving global problems. Watch Dr. Dijkgraaf's complete lecture below.

IIASA Systems Analysis Conference, November 11-13

Globalization, economic and political shifts, environmental challenges, and social conflicts all challenge our world today. Systems analysis offers a way to look at these issues broadly and in depth, and to identify possible solutions. IIASA's Systems Analysis 2015 conference highlighted "recent advances, current lacunas, and untapped disciplinary potentials in the field of systems analysis, with the aim of demonstrating the unique prowess of systems thinking for navigating a swiftly changing and increasingly complex world." The conference, sponsored by Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the Complexity Institute at Nanyang Technological University, and the Santa Fe Institute, was webcast live.

All conference sessions, which can be sorted by date and location, are currently available to view on the Program webpage.

U.S. and Mexican National Committees Meet Jointly
U.S.-Mexico Feb 2015Water and climate change were the two primary topics at a joint meeting of the U.S. and Mexican National Member Organizations (NMOs) for IIASA, held February 15-17 in Irvine, California. Pavel Kabat, IIASA Director, Eric Reichard, Director of USGS’s California Water Science Center, and Henry Vaux, representing the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science (IANAS), also attended. The goal of the meeting was to develop a set of recommendations for IIASA that would reflect joint priorities of the two NMOs. Needs, opportunities, and best practices were also shared by the two committees. Mexico joined IIASA in June 2014. The newly-formed Mexican National Committee for IIASA includes both the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).

In addition, IIASA and the U.S. NMO sponsored a reception for IIASA alumni, friends, and potential partners in the southern California area on the evening of February 15.

On the last day of the U.S.-Mexico Joint Meeting, IIASA researchers posted related research on the IIASA blog.

IIASA's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

IIASA’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is an annual program that provides funding for several postdoctoral researchers for a 12-24 month period. The review deadline for 2016 has passed, but applications for 2017 will be accepted through April 1, 2016 and October 1, 2016. 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.

IIASA Represented at PAA Conference -- April 30 - May 3, 2015
Researchers from IIASA’s World Population Program presented new findings to nearly 2,300 attendees at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) in San Diego, USA from April 28 to May 3, 2015. In conjunction with the PAA conference, the United Nations Population Division hosted “World Population Projections: Comparison and Discussion of Alternative Approaches,” on Thursday, April 30, a presentation and discussion session featuring research by World Population Program Director Wolfgang Lutz. For a complete review of presentations and poster sessions, please visit the event page. The next annual meeting will be held in 2016 in Washington, DC.

Donald Saari is IIASA Governing Council’s Chairman
USNMO/IIASA Chair Donald Saari became the Chairman of IIASA’s governing Council on November 11, 2014. This role complements his position as Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and of Economics at the University of California, Irvine, where he also directs the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Saari’s international experience will be of great benefit as he works with the 22 national members that make up IIASA’s governing Council. As well as being a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Saari is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. For more information, please see the IIASA announcement.

U.S.-IIASA Fact Sheet
Interested in learning more about the research collaborations between the United States and IIASA? IIASA participates in more activities related to the U.S. than with any of its other member countries. To learn more about these collaborations and connections, please consult the U.S.-IIASA Fact Sheet (PDF).

Simon Levin Gives IIASA Public Lecture
Simon Levin, former IIASA Council Chair and former USNMO/IIASA Chair, has won numerous awards for his interdisciplinary research in environmental sciences, economics, and evolutionary biology. On November 10, 2014, the Princeton University professor gave a public lecture on Obstacles and Opportunities in Environmental Management at IIASA, at which he was named an IIASA Distinguished Visiting Fellow. To watch the full one hour nine minute lecture, please click here or the video image below.

IIASA Research Contributions to IPCC 5th Assessment Report
IIASA researchers were major contributors to the third part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 5th Assessment Report, “Mitigation of Climate Change,” which was released on April 13, 2014. Fifteen IIASA researchers served as authors and reviewers of the Working Group III report, including IIASA’s Deputy Director Nebojsa Nakicenovic, who served as a lead author. In addition to this extensive involvement by its researchers, IIASA also serves as the repository for two IPCC databases: the IPCC Scenarios database and for the historical database on energy and emissions. For more details, please visit the IIASA website.
Activities and Events
IIASA Research Opportunities
IIASA International Webpage

Contact the USNMO/IIASA
Kathie Bailey, Director
Pam Gamble, Administrative Associate







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. 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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