PROGRAM TITLE: 	UV-B Monitoring Network
ACTIVITY STREAM:  	Long-Term Observations/Data Management
SCIENCE ELEMENT:  	Solar Influences

 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Cooperative State Research Service 

SCIENTIFIC MERIT: A monitoring network for ground level UV-B 
radiation in the United States is being established to assess trends and 
to identify factors which may be important in determining the risks 
from potential ozone depletion.  High priority is being placed on 
initially developing a pilot UV-B monitoring network.  The database from 
this system is critical to determining if there is a discernible trend in UV-B 
radiation, and if a trend is identified, to assess what impacts on productivity 
of our terrestrial and aquatic resources may be anticipated.

UV-B monitoring instrument characteristics and required 
operating parameters have been identified through an international 
workshop of UV-B experts.  A grant was awarded for development of an 
advanced design UV-B spectroradiometer and contracts for construction were 
made. Final adjustments are being made in the first two instruments 
produced. Site selection will be completed and measurements initiated as 
soon as possible.  Since 1989 competitive research grants have supported 
projects investigating UV-B effects on plants, providing new knowledge in 
this area.

STAKEHOLDERS:  There is a significant group of scientists who are eager for 
the information the new network will provide.  Interests range from human 
health effects to all other types of life sciences affected by solar radiation.  
Others concerned with UV-B effects on various materials are also following 
changes in UV-B levels.  Network linkages are primarily through a Technical 
Committee composed of managers and bench scientists from interested 
Federal agencies and universities. The Committee provides advice and 
guidance for the program.  There have been several international workshops, 
etc., to exchange information and develop cooperative efforts with present 
and future UV-B programs of other countries.

POLICY RELEVANCE:  National efforts to eliminate the destruction of 
stratospheric ozone layer through the international agreements reached at 
Montreal a few years ago were intended to prevent UV-B levels from rising 
rapidly.  This monitoring network is intended to measure ground level UV-B 
and detect trends in this radiation.  It must be established immediately to 
perform the intended measurements.

PROGRAM CONTACT:  Boyd W. Post, Ag Box 2210, Washington, DC 20250-
2210 Telephone:(202)401-5016    Fax:(202)401-1706