Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010

Committee to Review NASA's ESE Science Plan

Space Studies Board

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Ocean Studies Board

Policy Division

National Research Council



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Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 Committee to Review NASA's ESE Science Plan Space Studies Board Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Ocean Studies Board Policy Division National Research Council

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Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The the members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by Contract NASW 96013 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor. Copyright 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 COMMITTEE TO REVIEW NASA'S EARTH SCIENCE ENTERPRISE SCIENCE PLAN SUSAN K. AVERY, University of Colorado, Chair JOHN R. CHRISTY, University of Alabama, Huntsville BRADFORD H. HAGER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology KENNETH C. JEZEK, Ohio State University JOYCE E. PENNER, University of Michigan STEVEN W. RUNNING, University of Montana EDWARD S. SARACHIK, University of Washington ROBERT J. SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research SHARON L. SMITH, University of Miami SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of Arizona JOHN R.G. TOWNSHEND, University of Maryland CARL WUNSCH, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ANNE M. LINN, Study Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Director, Space Studies Board ELBERT W. (Joe) FRIDAY, Director, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate MORGAN GOPNIK, Director, Ocean Studies Board SHERBURNE B. ABBOTT, Policy Division BARBARA W. WRIGHT, Senior Project Assistant, Board on Mathematical Sciences

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Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 Preface NASA's Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) is developing a strategy for guiding future research and selecting space missions. The Committee to Review the Earth Science Enterprise Science Plan was established under the joint auspices of the Space Studies Board, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, Ocean Studies Board, and the Policy Division to review the document NASA Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 (the ESE Research Strategy), with particular emphasis on the following (see Appendix A): the characterization of the issues and primary questions the Plan proposes to address; the criteria and prioritization process described for both the science questions and the definition of mission concepts; and the soundness of the selection of detailed questions to be pursued, partiularly in light of existing NRC reports. The ESE Research Strategy serves as an overview and first chapter of the larger NASA ESE Science Implementation Plan, a detailed description of ESE's science implementation plan and strategy. Because the committee was asked to review just the ESE Research Strategy, it did not consider in detail the extent to which some of the issues raised in its report were dealt with in the other chapters of the Implementation Plan (or in ESE's comprehensive Exploring Our Home Planet: The Earth Science Enterprise Strategic Plan). The committee's review focuses on the scientific foundation for the Implementation Plan, as reflected in the ESE Research Strategy, and on the process proposed for setting priorities. It does not address the resulting missions themselves. In conducting its study, the committee considered several sources of input: previous NRC reports, and comments on the ESE Research Strategy from NRC boards and committees, including the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, Committee on Global Change Research, Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, Ecosystems Panel, Ocean Studies Board, Polar Research Board, Water Science and Technology Board, and the Space Studies Board. In addition to the documents referred to above, NASA provided the following: (1) “Comparison of the 2000-2010 Research Strategy with Relevant Recommendations of the National Academy of Science/National Research Council” (reprinted as Appendix B), which maps elements of the science strategy against key NRC recommendations; (2) “Draft Strategy for Identifying New Earth Exploratory Missions ”; and (3) “Applying Science and Implementation Priorities to Candidate Exploratory Mission Concepts” (reprinted as Appendix C). The committee would like to acknowledge the following individuals who briefed the committee or provided other input: John Amoruso, Ghassem Asrar, Roger Bales, John Bates, Rafael Bras, Ken Brink, Mary Cleave, Steve Clifford, Thomas Dietz, Richard Fiske, Dian Gaffen, Will Graf, Sarah Horrigan, Cindy Lee, William Lewis, Roger Lukas, Elinor Ostrom, Christa Peters-Lidard,

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Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 Roger Pielke, Jr., Michael Prather, Nancy Rabalais, R. Keith Raney, Gene Rasmusson, Kevin Trenberth, Larry Voorhees, Robert Weller, Tom Wilbanks, and Greg Williams. Finally, the committee would like to give special recognition to NRC study director Anne Linn for her invaluable help in the preparation of this report. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Daniel Albritton, NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, Dara Entekhabi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Marvin Geller, State University of New York, Stony Brook, Freeman Gilbert, University of California, San Diego, Louis J. Lanzerotti, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Kai Lee, Williams College, Kuo-Nan Liou, University of California, Los Angeles, Detlef Stammer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Steven Wofsy, Harvard University. While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.