The National Science Foundation's Division of Atmospheric Sciences (ATM) supports research to develop new understanding of the Earth's atmosphere and how the Sun impacts it. Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation's Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report provides preliminary guidance to ATM on its strategy for achieving its goals in the atmospheric sciences, including cutting-edge research, education, and workforce development; service to society; computational and observational objectives; and data management. The book reviews how the atmospheric sciences have evolved over the past several decades and analyzes the strengths and limitations of the various modes of support employed by ATM, such as principal investigator grants, small and large centers, and cooperative agreements to support observing or computational facilities. Based on this preliminary analysis, the book concludes that the current support reflects the current needs of the community. Given the changing research environment for the atmospheric sciences, the book recommends that ATM engage the community in the development of a strategic plan to enable determination of the appropriate balance of activities and modes of support into the future. A strategic planning process will also help ATM plan for large or long-term investments; facilitate appropriate allocation of resources to cross-disciplinary, interagency, and international research efforts; ensure that the United States will continue to be a leader in atmospheric research; and enhance the transparency of the rationale behind ATM decisions.
National Research Council. Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation's Support of the Atmospheric Sciences: An Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2005.
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