Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 129
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Appendix A ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS OF FEDERAL RESEARCH AGENCIES INTRODUCTION The descriptions of agency environmental research programs in this appendix were prepared by committee members and staff on the basis of information obtained in presentations by agency representatives, interviews with agency personnel, agency publications, and other published material. Unless specified otherwise, the financial data presented in this appendix were obtained from the American Association for the Advancement of Science report Federal Funding for Environmental R&D (Gramp et al., 1992). The existence of a large number of environmental research programs spread among many parts of the federal government makes it difficult to describe these activities comprehensively or with the same emphasis and detail that some agencies might see as appropriate. The descriptions in this appendix illustrate the breadth of environmental research activity in the federal government, but should not be assumed to be inclusive; nor should the lengths of descriptions be taken to indicate greater or less importance of some programs or sets of programs than of others. Agency descriptions were sent for review to persons in the agencies described. Not all agencies responded. In some instances, agencies requested inclusion of additional information that was too detailed for use in a brief report. We thank the agency reviewers for their help in correcting and revising the descriptions. However, the committee takes responsibility for the information presented.
OCR for page 130
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS1 The committee has used the figures published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Gramp et al., 1992) to gain perspective on the distribution of federal funds for environmental research. The AAAS report shows expenditures of about $4.5 billion for environmental research in four categories: environmental sciences (life and physical sciences), $3.1 billion; engineering and other sciences related to the impacts of natural and anthropogenic activities in the environment, $1.2 billion; social sciences related to the environment, such as environmental economics, and adaptation to global change, less than $50 million; and information and data related to the environment, $200 million. The AAAS report states that about $0.7 billion is expended for studies of human health related to the environment in addition to the $4.5 billion of the above-described expenditures. The analysis excludes funding for operational activities related to the environment, such as environmental-policy studies, training, technical assistance, and waste cleanup and $0.3 billion for extraterrestrial environmental sciences. Figure 4 shows the distribution of funds by disciplinary category. Over 20 agencies provide funds for environmental research and development through hundreds of programs. Six agencies–DOD, DHHS, NASA, DOE, NSF, and USDA–provide 70% of the total. About one-third of the federal funds for environmental R&D is for inhouse government laboratories. The DOI, NOAA, and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Forest Service of USDA do most of their work intramurally, and NOAA and NASA also conduct inhouse research extensively. About 45% of the federal support to extramural performers is expended in industry, contractor-operated national laboratories and other nonprofit R&D centers. The AAAS estimates that the environmental research agencies (NASA, NSF, United States Geological Survey (USGS), NOAA, and the Smithsonian Institution) spend about $2 billion of federal funds for environmental R&D. Sector-specific agencies (including USDA, DOE, DOD, and the Agency for 1 Almost all of the information in this section is abstracted from the report titled Federal Funding for Environmental R&D: A Special Report prepared by Gramp et al. for the American Association for the Advancement of Science with partial support from the Committee on Environmental Research and with the advice of the committee and others. The AAAS report provides additional detail and information on the methodology and caveats concerning their analysis.
OCR for page 131
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Figure 4 Federal funding for environmental research by category and fiscal year, millions of dollars.
OCR for page 132
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment International Development (AID) expend an estimated $1.8 billion. Management agencies that implement most of the nation's environmental and resource laws (EPA; NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and National Ocean Service (NOS); DOI's Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (NPS); the Forest Service; and the Corps of Engineers) account for an estimated $0.8 billion. About 75% of the money spent by research agencies is for R&D in physical environmental sciences. The sector-specific agencies invest over half their environmental R&D money in engineering and other R&D related to environmental impacts. The management agencies devote nearly 60% of their Environmental R&D funds to the life sciences. Figure 5 shows the distribution by agency. Although the AAAS report warns of confounding factors when estimating spending trends by scientific disciplines and alerts the reader to its use of subjective judgments when working with such figures, the report contains informative estimates of funding by scientific focus, as summarized below. The bulk of the $3.1 billion estimated for environmental-sciences supports R&D is oriented toward understanding physical environmental procedures and interactions. Roughly $2.2 billion of the above amount involves such fields as oceanography, geology, chemistry, and atmospheric sciences. Two-thirds of the money derives from programs at research agencies, such as geosciences research at NSF; USGS programs; NASA's earth-sciences R&D; all of NOAA's weather, climate, and atmospheric R&D; and a portion of the latter's marine research. Another quarter of the total comes from programs at sector-specific agencies, notably DOE's carbon dioxide and environmental-sciences research, and DODs R&D on weapons-system environmental research involving oceanography and atmospheric sciences. EPA also funds R&D in atmospheric sciences, chemistry, geology, and marine sciences especially for projects on air quality, Superfund and hazardous wastes, groundwater, and cross-media issues. Funding for R&D on physical environmental processes grew at an average annual rate of 10% from FY 1990 to FY 1992, with two-thirds of the added money going to programs associated with the global change initiative. The profile of environmental life-sciences funding is quite different. A smaller sum, estimated at $0.9 billion, was available in FY 1992 for processes and interactions of living resources, such as environmental biology, including ecology, forestry, biology, and marine biology. Furthermore, sponsorship differs. Environmental management account for 47% of the funding, notably the DOI, primarily via FWS, NOAA through NMFS and NOS, Forest Service, and EPA (mostly for programs on multimedia issues,
OCR for page 133
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Figure 5 Federal funding for environmental research by agency and fiscal year, millions of dollars.
OCR for page 134
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment pesticides, toxic substances, water quality, global change, and acid rain). Research agencies provide 26% of the money, including NSF's environmental-biology programs, various Smithsonian Institution projects, NOAA's sea grants, and about $86 million for NASA's ecological systems and dynamics and related R&D in the global change programs. Sector-specific agencies provide about another 25%, primarily USDA's ARS and Cooperative State Research Service. Programs pertaining to global change account for about one-third of the 12% average annual growth for environmental life sciences from FY 1990 to FY 1992. Engineering and other R&D related to environmental impacts of anthropogenic and natural activities lost ground to inflation from FY 1990 to FY 1992. Over 80% of the $1.2 billion allocated to this type of R&D is provided by sector-specific agencies. The largest programs are at DOE where $0.5 billion was spent in FY 1992 on coal-related technologies and $0.2 billion on cleaning up atomic-defense facility sites. Management agencies–mainly EPA–account for most of the remaining mitigation R&D, addressing such priorities as pollution prevention, waste cleanup, oil-spill mitigation, and wetlands. NSF's share in this category is $26 million for R&D on natural and man-made hazards. On the basis of budgetary and related R&D reports, the AAAS analysis identified about $41 million for social-science R&D in FY 1992, representing yearly increases of 28% from FY 1990 to FY 1992. NSF provided $12 million mainly for studies of the economic and human dimensions of global change. USDA agencies sponsor another $16 million, mostly for economic research related to resource management, including forests. AID's $9 million supports research on economic and social factors affecting the environment in developing nations. R&D on information and data systems related to the environment received an estimated $0.2 billion in FY 1992. The AAAS report notes that these figures are based on judgments because it is often difficult to distinguish between funds devoted to the science and to the data-management component of programs. Included in the AAAS figures are such programs as NASA's information and data systems for the earth-observing satellite system, NOAA's R&D on satellite information systems, DOE's computer hardware and advanced mathematics and modeling physics program, and USGS's mapping, cartographic, and data-analysis R&D. Information and data systems have been one of the fastest growing areas of environmental R&D, increasing at an average annual rate of 54% from FY 1990 to FY 1992. With respect to the character of environmental work supported by federal agencies, the AAAS report notes that:
OCR for page 135
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Management agencies use two-thirds of their funds for applied research to obtain information in support of decisions and actions regarding specific habitats, species, or state and regional environmental strategies. Half the money at sector-specific agencies supports development activities focusing primarily on solutions to environmental programs. Research agencies devote half their funding to basic research but also develop satellites and other technologies needed to support that research. Of the $2.2 billion estimated for R&D in the physical environmental sciences, nearly $1.7 billion (77%) is classified as for research ($1 billion for basic research supported by NSF, DOD, USGS, NASA, and DOE), $0.4 billion as for development, and $0.1 billion as for equipment and facilities. Most of the development costs are associated with NASA's upcoming missions and DODs environmental studies for the Strategic Defense Initiative. Of the $0.9 billion estimated for R&D in the environmental life sciences, $0.8 billion (over 90%) is for research. About $0.5 billion is for applied research. Management-oriented agencies account for two-thirds of the applied research, notably NMFS, EPA, the Forest Service, FWS, NOS, and NPS. USDA is the largest sponsor of basic research in the environmental life sciences, providing over 40% of the $0.3 billion in this category, and NSF provides another 30%. The development work is associated with NASA's Earth Observing System and other programs. Of the $1.2 billion estimated for R&D in engineering related to environmental impacts, 60% is classified as for development and only 7% as for basic research. Sector-specific agencies–primarily DOE and DOD–fund over 90% of the development activities. Those two agencies plus EPA and DOI support most of the applied research and NSF, EPA, and USDA fund most of the basic research in this area. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports and manages environmental research programs through the offices of the Assistant Secretary for Science and Education and the Assistant Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. Because agriculture, forestry, and grazing are so intimately involved with the use and quality of land and water resources, wildlife habitat, potential toxicity of farm chemicals, and other environmental issues, much USDA research can be considered ''environmental." USDA is involved with the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.S. National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP). It is the leading funder of environmental life-science research ($296 million in FY 1992) and
OCR for page 136
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment the sixth largest source of basic-research and applied-research funds in the federal government. USDA, one of the oldest federal agencies, has a long history of research performance and support, beginning with the Morrill Land-Grant College Act of 1862. In 1887, the Hatch Act created the State Agricultural Experiment Stations and assigned administrative responsibility for them to the land-grant institutions. USDA Forest Service research traces its roots to 1876, when Congress required that a Forest Commissioner be appointed to head the USDA Division of Forestry "to study the present and future demand for timber and other forest products, the probable supply for future wants, [and] the means best adapted for preservation and renewal." In the late 1960s, environmental problems were recognized as critical to USDA's mission as concern increased about the use of chemicals and pesticides, about combatting animal and plant diseases, and about increasing the productivity of American farms. USDA research, including environmental research, is performed primarily by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS), in cooperation with the State Agricultural Experiment Stations, and the Forest Service. Although USDA has conducted intramural research since before 1900, ARS was established in 1953. The national program staff in ARS headquarters plans and coordinates research programs, sets priorities, allocates resources, and reviews and evaluates research programs and progress. ARS and the Forest Service have intramural research programs in agriculture and forestry, respectively, with some joint research efforts, such as windbreak forestry and range research. USDA intramural research is performed at federal research centers and by ARS and Forest Service scientists at land grant universities. ARS expenditures for environmental research ($162 million in FY 1992) include programs in soil, plant, water, and nutrient relationships; watershed protection and management; improvement of range resources; adaptation to weather and weather modification; conservation and efficient use of water; remote sensing; alleviation of soil, water, and air pollution; multiple-use potential of forest land; saline and sodic soils and salinity management; wildlife and fish ecology; alternative uses of land; and for environmental sciences supporting other goals. ARS reports $9.5 million in expenditures for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (B.R. Stillings, personal communication, USDA, February 18, 1993). ARS programs in the category of engineering, science, and technology related to pollution issues accounted for $38 million in expenditures in FY 1992 and included programs in alleviation of pollution, watershed protection and
OCR for page 137
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment management, conservation and efficient use of water, improvement of drainage and irrigation systems, and protection from pollution. CSRS supports research scientists primarily associated with land-grant colleges, State Agricultural Experimental Stations (SAESs) other public institutions, and private research organizations. The principal funding sources for CSRS are formula funding to SAESs associated with land-grant colleges and universities, special research grants that are either congressionally earmarked to specific research programs or awarded competitively, and competitive research grants that are open to all qualified research investigators. For example, the CSRS special research grants in water quality are peer-reviewed and competitively awarded. The water quality program is directly relevant to environmental research, and the priorities are set locally by SAES directors on the basis of local needs. The CSRS competitive research grants program under the National Research Initiative (NRI) supports peer-reviewed, investigator-initiated grants in six major categories, two of which-plant systems and natural resources and the environment-are directly relevant to environmental issues. CSRS planned to spend $119 million in FY 1992 for environmental research; funds were distributed to SAESs and other college programs, competitive grants, special grants, and cooperative forestry. CSRS expenditures support environmental programs, including soil and water conservation; soil nutrient management; forest biology and management; water quality; alternative and sustainable agricultural systems; biological control of plant and animal pests and diseases; management of agricultural chemicals, nutrients, and wastes to protect environmental quality; management of soil, water, forests, and air resources; fish and wildlife ecology and management; and social, economic, and policy implications of environmental programs. Expenditures for engineering, science, and technology related to environmental mitigation were for SAESs and other college programs, special grants, animal health, cooperative forestry, and competitive research grants. These CSRS programs support research, such as research in prevention of pollution from agricultural systems; water management, including drainage and irrigation; soil erosion control; land use; geographical information systems and remote sensing for environmental planning; landscape and watershed protection; and alternative energy sources. CSRS's plan for FY 1992 expenditures for the U.S. Global Change Research Program was $11.4 million (B.R. Stillings, personal communication, USDA, February 18, 1993). The mission of Forest Service research (FSR) is to develop and communicate the scientific information and technology needed to protect, manage, and use the natural resources of forest and rangelands. FSR works closely with science agencies, universities, and private and public organizations.
OCR for page 138
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment It also works for and with users–policy makers, natural-resource managers, educators, and industries and other producers. In response to public input and user needs, FSR has developed an environmental research program consisting of a foundation program and efforts to address national problems. The foundation program is the core of basic and applied research that provides essential support for work on each of the national problems. Addressing each national problem involves basic and applied research focused on a specific problem of critical importance. In addition, research focused on one national problem area is often relevant to other national problems. The number and focus of national problems vary from year to year as research provides answers and new topics arise. In FY 1993, FSR is addressing eight national problems concerning the following topics: wetlands; tropical forestry; forest health monitoring; recycling; ecosystem management research; global change; enhancing forest-based economies in rural America; and threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant and animal species. Other objectives of FSR include the following: Improve methods to prevent, predict, control, and reduce damaging effects of wildfire, insects, and disease. Provide a comprehensive, continuing inventory of U.S. forest-land resources. Provide the scientific and technical information on forest ecosystems needed to improve the growth and quality of trees and associated vegetation. Provide the knowledge, techniques, and strategies needed to manage, protect, and enhance forest, rangeland, and associated aquatic ecosystems emphasizing sustained ecological processes, biodiversity, water quality and quantity, wildlife, and fisheries resources. Provide scientific information and technologies to harvest, produce, and use wood products in efficient, safe, and environmentally beneficial ways. A small staff in Washington, D.C., provides policy direction and coordination for FSR, which is managed through eight experiment stations across the nation; a forest products laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin (the world's largest center for forest-products research); and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico. Research laboratories are generally on or near major university and college campuses. FSR scientists have access to 191 million acres of national forest land, 84 experimental forests, and more than 70 research natural areas. Research is
OCR for page 139
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment also international in scope–FSR scientists are working with colleagues in more than 20 countries. FSR employs more than 700 scientists, nearly 500 of whom hold Ph.D.s in a broad array of disciplines from aesthetics to zoology. Their span of expertise includes temperate, boreal, and tropical forests; social systems; and environmental technology. FSR coordinates its research efforts with a broad array of partners interested in environmental science and technology, including: The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the Idaho Fish and Game Department, and the Bureau of Land Management to help restore biological diversity and improve range condition in the interior West. Citizen groups, environmental organizations, industry, and universities in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon and southeast Washington to restore stressed ecological communities. The U.S. Global Change Research Program under the auspices of the Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES) of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET). The Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program, developed by the Forest Service in coordination with EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP). The Forest Service is unique in USDA in that its Congressional appropriation is not considered by agricultural committees but by committees related to the Department of the Interior. Most of the FSR program can be considered environmental research. The FSR environmental research budget for FY 1992 was approximately $152 million; $56 million was spent on priority research programs, and $96 million was spent on basic environmental research programs (J.A. Sesco, personal communication, U.S. Forest Service, February 8, 1993). DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE2 Environmental R&D is a fundamental component of national defense programs, providing knowledge essential to the operation of weapons systems 2 This description of Department of Defense environmental programs consists of excerpts from a report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Gramp et al., 1992), which appear by permission.
OCR for page 190
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment To address those goals, EOS can be considered as having three components: the space-based observatories; the data and information system (EOSDIS), which will help to acquire and analyze data and control the spacecraft and instruments; and the interdisciplinary studies to be carried out by the EOS-funded investigators. The EOSDIS provides the infrastructure to enable continuing interdisciplinary research on the earth system. It will operate with an unrestricted data policy, so that data for research purposes can be made available to anyone at a reasonable cost. EOSDIS will provide geophysical and biological information, not simply radiance measurements from the instruments. The goal is, therefore, that EOSDIS be a useful information system for the earth-science community, not only a data system. The data from EOS space-based observatories and other sources will be processed within a few hours to a few days after observations are made, and researchers will be able to cross-correlate data sets and gain access to data easily through an information management and data distribution system. EOSDIS is the first component of EOS that will be available to the scientific community, offering useful tools at several stages of its evolution. For example, through a precursor system known as Version 0, it will support research and analysis with existing data and establish common protocols for the transfer of data sets. By 1994, EOSDIS will provide improved access to current satellite data with Pathfinder data sets of geophysical and biological products. EOSDIS, based on NASA's existing stores of earth-science data including data from other space missions and from nonspace observations) will help to integrate all agency observations. It will establish a capability for providing easily accessible data sets, and information describing them, for EOS and related non-EOS earth-science data as a whole. The EOSDIS architecture will include operation of the space measurement system (the command and control functions) and the production, archiving, and distribution of data and products in support of the EOS scientific research program and general earth-science research worldwide. EOSDIS will serve as NASA's earth-science data system and will begin with a process of consolidating and improving NASA's existing earth-science data-management capabilities, beginning as soon as possible to improve support for interdisciplinary global-change research efforts. The goals of EOSDIS will be to support the planning and execution of data acquisition from the EOS space measurement system; to support the development of data-analysis products for scientific research; and to process, archive, and distribute data products for EOS and other earth-science data holdings. A related goal is to facilitate extremely wide and easy access to potentially vast holdings. The design is best characterized as flexible and
OCR for page 191
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment resilient, and the implementation will be incremental and evolutionary. EOSDIS will consist of the following components: Flight operations segment. Consisting of the EOS Operations Center (EOC) and Instrument Control Centers (ICCs), this segment will provide mission and instrument planning, scheduling, control, and monitoring. Instrument Support Terminals (ISTs) will provide ICC capabilities at the investigator's home facility; interfaces with international partners will also be provided. Science data-processing segment. This segment will consist of the Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs), including the Product Generation System (PGS), the Data Archive and Distribution System (DADS), and the Information Management System (IMS). The primary purpose of this segment is to perform higher-level science processing of instrument data. Field Support Terminals (FSTs) will provide mobile communication to coordinate platform data acquisition and to support visualization and analysis tasks for field campaigns. Science computing facilities. These facilities will be at investigators' sites and will be used to develop and maintain data-processing software, produce special data products, validate data products, and perform scientific analyses. EOS data operations system. This system will perform first-level processing (Level 0) and archiving of EOS data, distributes Level 0 data to the DAACs. Communication and system management segment. This segment will consist of the System Management Center (SMC) and the EOSDIS Science Network (ESN) and provides overall management, coordination, and adjudication of the ground-system resources. EOSDIS will also provide linkages to non-NASA data centers, which provide related data sets required to support generation of EOS products or of critical importance for the EOS scientific research program, or data centers–Affiliated Data Centers (ADCs)–that perform functions critical to the overall EOS effort and complementary to the functions performed by EOSDIS. Beyond the operational lifespan of EOS, NASA has negotiated agreements for long-term data archiving with NOAA for oceanic and atmospheric data and with USGS for land data. Other space missions offer the opportunity to collect important data before the EOS flight missions. The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite will support the study of atmospheric-chemistry issues. The TOPEX/Poseidon
OCR for page 192
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment mission will collect data on the roughness of the ocean surface. Other earth probes will provide data on ocean-surface wind velocity, total atmospheric ozone concentrations, and tropical rainfall. The data from all these missions will become part of the holdings of EOSDIS. A key component of pre-EOS launch activity is the reassessment of previous satellite and other data sets to produce a longer baseline from which we can determine the rate of global change. For example, one major EOS activity is the reprocessing of the NOAA satellite-temperature data set with a consistent set of algorithms and estimates of instrument variances within the NOAA series. The concept of Pathfinder data sets was initiated by EOS program personnel at NASA headquarters to provide EOS investigators and other researchers access to large data sets applicable to global-change research before the availability of EOS data. Pathfinder data sets are long time-series global or regional data sets from which higher-level geophysical products can be derived that are applicable to the study of global-change questions. National Science Foundation In the case of large, coordinated National Science Foundation (NSF) research programs and projects (e.g., World Ocean Circulation), substantial efforts are made to ensure that data are collected, processed, subjected to quality control, analyzed, archived, and made available to the research community in internationally adopted standard formats. Where standards do not exist, suitable archive and exchange formats are developed within the project. Data- management plans are coordinated with other participating agencies, and the data are archived at existing national and international centers, e.g., the National Center for Atmospheric Research data centers and the World Data Centers. The research data sets produced under such projects are also documented and reviewed by the research community. As a general policy, all research data sets produced with NSF support are available to all other researchers. In the case of individual projects, principal investigators are allowed exclusive use of their own data sets, if desired, for a limited period before deposition in a data center or dissemination to other investigators. Programs also exist in NSF outside the focused USGCRP that support interdisciplinary research and infrastructure for scientific databases relevant to the USGCRP. For example, the Division of Information, Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS) and the UNIDATA program in the Division of
OCR for page 193
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Atmospheric Sciences strive to make the best use of atmospheric and related data for enhancing education and research. The Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites maintain an electronic network linking each other and the network office. Each site also keeps databases on at least five core subjects; archived data are accessible via the Internet. The network office maintains an LTER electronic-mail network (Internet.edu) to facilitate communication among investigators in many institutions. NSF maintains an electronic communication system (NSFNET) that facilitates contact and collaboration among researchers and research institutions. NSF also provides gateways for access both nationally and internationally to other academic and government networks, e.g., the Interim Interagency National Research and Education Network (NREN). FEDERAL GEOGRAPHIC DATA COMMITTEE Under provisions of revised OMB Circular A-16, the DOI, through USGS, chairs the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FDGC) to promote the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of surveying, mapping, and related spatial data. The data resources being compiled are wide-ranging and are potentially of value in environmental research. A report of the National Research Council Mapping Science Committee (NRC, 1990b, p.38) states that in an era of increased awareness of global change (e.g., climatic warming, tropical deforestation, and reduced biological diversity), the scientific community will need to employ new techniques and methodologies for enhancing sustainable development on national, continental, and global scales–advanced cartographic research is imperative. Mapping is the key. Without accurate maps we cannot hope to understand the dynamic social and environmental changes that are occurring in our own country let alone the global system. Fourteen departments and independent agencies are members of the FGDC: USDA, DOC, DOD, DOE, DOI, EPA, NASA, The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of State, the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The committee has developed a concept of
OCR for page 194
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment a National Geographic Data System that would initially provide an index to federal geographic-data holdings. OMB Circular A-16 establishes a process to reduce duplication of effort among federal agencies and to foster the development of a spatial framework for collected data. The geographic-data coordination responsibilities assigned by the circular are as follows: Geographic Data Category: Lead Agency: Base cartographic USGS (DOI) Bathymetric Coast and Geodetic Survey (DOC) Cadastral Bureau of Land Management, (DOI) Cultural and demographic Bureau of the Census, (DOC) Geodetic Coast and Geodetic Survey, (DOC) Geologic USGS, (DOI) Ground Transportation Federal Highway Administration, (DOT) Portrayal of certain international boundaries Office of the Geographer, (DOS) Soils Soil Conservation Service, (USDA) Vegetation Forest Service, (USDA) Wetlands Fish and Wildlife Service, (DOI) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) provided guidance to the heads of executive agencies about water-information coordination in Memorandum 92-01 (M-92-01), signed December 10, 1991. This guidance supersedes Circular A-67 on water-data coordination signed in 1964. The memorandum delegates lead responsibility for the Water Information
OCR for page 195
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Coordination Program (WICP) to USGS, and requires other agencies to assist in the process. The memorandum expands the scope of the previous circular in some significant aspects–including investigations and interpretive products. Specific emphasis is placed on the need to establish more effective working relationships with state and local agencies, Indian tribes, and the private sector. Participants in the WICP are required to collaborate with other groups coordinating related categories of information, including meteorology and spatial data. The requirement to develop consensus standards, guidelines, and procedures is included, as is the need to establish a National Water Information Clearinghouse. Of particular interest is the requirement that agency heads ensure that plans to initiate new water-information programs or expand old ones be coordinated with other agencies in advance. The memorandum specifically requires the participating agencies to conduct a nationwide review and evaluation of water-quality monitoring activities. OTHER FEDERAL AGENCY DATA ACTIVITIES Federal agencies have been collecting data in fulfillment of their missions for decades. Many of the data sets are being used by the consortia of agencies that have been formed to manage data for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the Spatial Data Committee, for example, USDA data on vegetation and soils and DOI data on wetlands. Other focal points for the management of data are being established, for example, the EPA Center for Environmental Statistics. The following describes some of the agency efforts. It is a partial list whose purpose is to show the large amount of effort being expended to collect and manage data. Environmental Protection Agency EPA is expanding or initiating a variety of data-collection and data-management activities related to human exposure and health effects of substances in the environment, as well as ecological measures. A development staff is working within the EPA Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation on an Environmental Statistics Initiative. Impetus has been provided by the draft bill elevating EPA to a Department of the Environment that also calls for a Bureau of Environmental Statistics. However, EPA sees the need for a Center for Environmental Statistics as independent of events related to the creation of a Department of the Environment. The goals of the initiative are to provide critical data on the
OCR for page 196
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment state of the environment to decision-makers inside and outside EPA and the federal government. It is anticipated that the resource will provide the information needed for better resource allocation among different environmental hazards and for targeting efforts on problems of the environment. The center plans to publish reports regularly on national and regional environmental conditions and trends and a directory of federal environmental-data sources. The initial volume in the latter series, A Guide to Selected National Environmental Statistics in the U.S. Government (EPA, 1992b), was published in April 1992. The reports will describe environmental conditions and trends and present statistics showing the current status of and historical trends in selected measures of environmental quality, such as ambient environmental pollution; threats to the environment, such as releases or discharges of pollutants; toxicity of contaminated environmental media; human and other exposure to environmental contaminants; health and ecological damage related to environmental degradation; and demographic factors that could affect environmental quality. The development staff plans to work closely with other EPA program offices, the EPA Office of Research and Development, and other federal agencies to avoid duplication of effort. It sees its activity as complementary to the Council on Environmental Quality's production of an annual report on trends in the environment. The Guide lists data sets from most agencies involved in environmental research. The center includes among its information bases such other extensive resources as the Global Change Master Directory, the Guide to Selected Spatial Environmental Data, and the Guide to Selected Ecological Information and Statistics. In addition to collecting and analyzing data existing in EPA and other federal agencies, the center will concern itself with infrastructural issues, such as the development of statistical methods and training in statistical analysis, and on making information available to the public. The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) is an ambitious program designed to assess the nationwide distribution of ecological resources in the United States and to assess trends in their condition. A unique aspect of the program is its reliance on probability-based selection of sampling locations for both those major goals (NRC, 1992d). EMAP's specific goals are to Estimate the current status, extent, changes, and trends in indicators of the condition of the nation's ecological resources on a regional basis with known confidence.
OCR for page 197
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Monitor indicators of pollutant exposures and habitat condition and seek associations between human-induced stresses and ecological condition. Provide periodic statistical summaries and interpretive reports on ecological status and trends to resource managers and the public (EPA, 1991). The program's objectives are to understand status and trends in environmental measurements, study associations and diagnose problems, and publish findings in annual reports. Input elements include landscape characterization; stressor data on air and deposition; field sampling of wetlands, estuaries, the Great Lakes, arid ecosystems, surface waters, forests, and agrosystems; and data from other sources (E. Martinko, EPA, personal communication, 1992). EMAP envisions itself as a focal point for federal-level data coordination, and it plans to amass the maximal amount of quality data while designing its own data system to be compatible with data being gathered as part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. U.S. Geological Survey The National Geologic Mapping Act (PL 102-285), passed May 18, 1992, directs USGS to establish a national geological-map database. Complementary components of this database include a national geophysical-map database, geochemical-map database, and a geochronological and paleontological data base. USGS maintains other databases that have particular relevance to the environmental community. These include the National Geochemical Data Base, consisting of geochemical information for over two million rock, soil, sediment, plant, and water samples. The Mineral Resources Data System contains information on over 80,000 mineral occurrences in the United States and the world. A geophysics database contains information on the distribution of uranium, thorium, and potassium in surficial materials at a national scale. USGS's Earth Resources Observing System (EROS) Data Center (EDC) is carrying out the goals of PL 98-365 and 102-555 through its satellite-data processing activities. These activities include meeting the following objectives: Establishing and operating a data management facility to acquire, process, archive and distribute products from Landsat satellite remotely sensed data.
OCR for page 198
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Supporting commercial value-added use of Landsat data by distributing minimally processed Landsat data products at the cost of distribution and processing. Producing Landsat data products required for global environmental-change research activities in DOI. Establishing and operating a Distributed Active Archive Center to provide permanent archive support for and process and distribute land processes data acquired by NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) as part of the EOS Data Information System (EOSDIS). The National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program is designed to address national water-quality concerns through comparative studies in a large set of hydrological systems that are distributed in a wide range of environmental settings throughout the nation. The goals of the NAWQA program are to Describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the nation's surface-water and groundwater resources. Provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. The Core Program Hydrologic Research Program uses the sciences of hydrology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, ecology, biology, geology, and engineering to conduct basic and problem-oriented research in the fields of groundwater hydrology and chemistry, surface-water hydrology and chemistry, geomorphology and sediment transport, and ecology. Encompassing a broad spectrum of scientific investigations, the emphasis of research activities changes through time, reflecting the emergence of promising new fields of inquiry and the demand for new tools and techniques with which to address water-resources issues and problems. Research is focused on gaining a fundamental understanding of the processes that affect the availability, movement, and quality of the nation's water resources. USGS administers two research programs authorized by the Water Resources Research Act of 1984: the State Water Resources Research Institute program and a national competitive water resources research grant program. The institute program provides matching grants for partial support of 54 water-resources research institutes at land-grant universities across the nation. The institutes conduct programs of research, education, and information transfer on all topics related to water resources. The Toxic Substances Hydrology program conducts investigations designed to understand the processes affecting the movement and fate of
OCR for page 199
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment hazardous substances in surface water and groundwater. The program provides information needed to prevent future contamination problems and mitigate existing problems. Interdisciplinary studies are conducted at selected field sites that represent the most important types of contaminants. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA's extensive data activities have been described for the most part in the section on global-change data systems. The agency serves as a primary data-collection and data-management agency and engages in cooperative arrangements with, for example, NASA, the Navy, EPA, and USGS. For several cooperative arrangements, it serves as the chair or lead agency. It chairs the interagency working group on global-change data. Its National Climatic Data Center has legal standing as a joint NOAA-Navy-Air Force Weather Records Center. Because of its large role in environmental-data matters, the scope of NOAA's data activities, including and beyond global change, is briefly summarized here. NOAA manages six world data centers, three national data centers, and over 30 centers of data. The world data centers cover the subjects of glaciology, meteorology, marine geology and geophysics, oceanography, solar-terrestrial physics, and solid-earth geophysics. The national data centers maintain data on geophysics, climate, and oceanography. The 30 centers of data span the mission interests of the agency in atmospheric, oceanographic, and fisheries subjects. NOAA categorizes the environmental variables it deals with as follows: Solar (surface) irradiance. Concentrations of radioactively and chemically important trace species, such as carbon dioxide, stratospheric ozone, and nitrogen oxide. Atmospheric response variables, such as temperature, winds, and tropospheric water vapor. Earth-surface data, such as bathymetry, coastline position, and topography. Earth-surface properties, such as index of vegetation cover, snow cover, surface albedo, and soil moisture. Paleoclimate-atmospheric composition, ice volume and extent, land and ocean temperature, and vegetation. Geophysical fields, such as gravity and geoid, magnetic fields, and thermal vents.
OCR for page 200
Research to Protect, Restore, and Manage the Environment Ocean variables, such as sea-surface temperature, surface radiation budget, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and sea level. Marine-resource information, such as primary productivity, survey species composition, fish pathology (heavy metals), and ecosystem surveys. National Science Foundation NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research network has 19 sites from Alaska to Antarctica with a network office in Seattle. Each site gathers data on the five core subjects: primary production, population and tropic structure, organic-matter accumulation, inorganic inputs, and site disturbance. The data sets are published in a Core Data Catalog, and access to them is provided via the Internet. Each site also maintains a geographic information system (GIS) and is capable of analyzing remote-sensing data. NSF also is funding the computerization of data from the nation's natural-history museums. Data models and programs for standardizing databases are being developed for different types of collections (e.g., MUSE for fish collections and SMASCH for botanical collections). Local data are being geo-referenced to allow mapping entry into a GIS. NSF is developing a plan for a National Center for Ecological Synthesis and Analysis. The center would serve as a ''think tank" where single investigators and groups might come for several weeks or months to use computers and data to analyze and model ecological questions. The center is not envisioned as a gatherer of new data, but as a user of existing data.
Representative terms from entire chapter: