Organization: Department of Energy (DOE)

Research Title: Global Change Education

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 2.7
FY95 2.1
FY96 2.6

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%) NSTC Committee on Education and Training R&D
(b) Environmental Issue: Other-Multidisciplinary Education (100%)
(c) Research Activity: System Structure & Function: Understanding (50%), Predictions (10%) Impacts & Adaptation: Ecological Systems (10%), Socioeconomic Systems (10%) Environmental Technologies: R&D (10%) Assessments: Integrated (10%)

Organizational Component:
Environmental Sciences Division
Office of Health and Environmental Research
Office of Energy Research; ER-74
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC 20585

Point of Contact:
Curtis R. Olsen
Phone: 301-903-5329
E-Mail: curtis.olsen@oer.doe.gov

Research Goals:
The major emphasis of the Department of Energy's (Department of Energy) Global Change Educational Program (GCEP) is to award competitive postdoctoral and graduate- level fellowships for training the next generation of scientists with the interdisciplinary skills necessary for conducting global change research. In addition, the DOE is presently modifying GCEP to initiate a faculty/student awards program to strengthen science education at Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and to develop collaborative research ties between HBCUs and DOE Laboratories on global change issues.

Research Description:
During FY 1991, the DOE initiated GCEP to strengthen the human resource base in science and technology and to provide members of the NSTC-Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) with highly trained and educated individuals for advancing the cross-disciplinary science of global change. This program has three coordinated components: research and educational support to postdoctoral scientists, graduate students, and to faculty and undergraduates at HBCUs.

Program Interfaces:
Both the postdoctoral and graduate-level fellows are encouraged to interact with the scientific staff at various Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR)-agency laboratories. About one-third of the DOE Postdoctoral Fellows are conducting research at NASA, NOAA, NSF, and USDA Laboratories, and the remaining two-thirds are at university and DOE Laboratories. In addition, more than half of the DOE Graduate Fellows that have completed their six-week research experience, have done so at NASA, NSF, NCAR, NOAA, USGS, USDA, and other Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR)-agency laboratories.

Program Milestones:
1995: Initiate HBCU Faculty/Student Awards Program. 1995: Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will hold a second workshop on the interdisciplinary exchange of information for assessing global-change issues. 1996: Evaluate success of educational programs in terms of providing the training and cross-disciplinary skills necessary for conducting global change research, and explore other mechanisms for supporting the science- infrastructure needs of young scientists conducting global-change research at various institutions.

Policy Payoffs:
Broad-based education and training strengthens the interdisciplinary problem- solving and modeling skills that are necessary for addressing science, technology, and policy issues. Direct contribution to the evaluation of a policy issue is illustrated by a Graduate Fellow who recently completed a Ph.D. program in macroeconomics. The dissertation, "Modeling Investment Uncertainty in the Costs of Global CO 2 Emission Policy," developed a stochastic model to investigate policy options for optimally abating CO 2 emissions in the face of technological uncertainty. This Graduate Fellow is now a U.S. visiting scientist at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) at Laxenburg, Austria. At IIASA, the model is being used to develop a more detailed picture of the optimal hedging investment strategy necessary to abate CO 2 emissions while still ensuring maximal economic growth. As more of these graduate fellows receive their doctoral degrees and apply their cross-disciplinary and problem-solving skills within the science of global change, the Nation's human resource base in science and technology will be enhanced, and policy decisions to ensure development and environmental sustainability will benefit.