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Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 from, the USGCRP program structure (see Table 1). For example, the ESE disciplinary themes include solid-Earth science (including geodesy and natural hazards), but not social science. The other four disciplinary themes of the ESE address most of the program elements of the USGCRP. Table 1. Comparison of ESE Program Structure with USGCRP Program Elements ESE Research Themes (Program Structure) USGCRP Program Elementsa Oceans and ice in the Earth system Biology and biogeochemistry of ecosystems and the global carbon cycle Atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and solar radiation Global water and energy cycle Solid Earth science Understanding the Earth's climate system Biology and biogeochemistry of ecosystems Carbon cycle science Composition and chemistry of the atmosphere The global water cycle Paleoclimate/paleoenvironment Human dimensions of global change a Subcommittee on Global Change Research, 1999, Our Changing Planet: The FY2000 U.S. Global Change Research Program Implementation Plan and Budget Overview. Washington, D.C., 100 pp. II. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The committee found the NASA Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 to be a useful document for planning the ESE program and budget. The primary science issues form a firm foundation for the ESE, and the detailed science questions are consistent with recommendations of previous NRC reports. Although other research questions are equally important, all the questions in the NASA Plan are worth pursuing. NASA's commitment to answering the detailed science questions by partnering with other agencies (ideally) or by seeking resources for the support of activities that take its space observations into the modeling and analysis phases is commendable. Finally, the prioritization criteria are reasonable, although it is not clear how the criteria were used to select the science questions posed in the Plan. The committee offers three recommendations related to these issues that should be addressed now: NASA should ensure either (a) that the revised Plan's detailed science questions reflect all of the major research and programmatic elements of ESEs current science program (e.g., ENSO, trends in tropospheric chemistry) or (b) that the revised Plan explains clearly why the science questions do not include certain ESE research and program elements. NASA should articulate its leadership responsibility for answering the detailed science questions, including those that involve research not traditionally within the ESE domain, in the revised Plan.
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