The USGCRP also includes a set of integrating activities and perspectives, which contribute in varying degrees to all of the priority environmental science issues discussed in Chapter 2:
2) Global Change Data, Products, and Information Services, with the goal of providing all users ready and affordable access in useful forms to the full spectrum of global change data, products, and information
3) Earth System Science, with the goal of supporting the long-term, integrated and exploratory research needed to gain a predictive understanding of the interactions among the physical, chemical, geological, ecological, and solar processes that de termine the functioning of the Earth system and its trends and fluctuations on global and regional scales
4) Human Contributions and Responses to Global Change, with the goal of identifying, understanding, and analyzing how human activities contribute to changes in natural systems, how the consequences of natural and human-induced change affect the he alth and well-being of humans and their institutions, and how humans could potentially respond to problems associated with environmental change
5) International Research Cooperation, with the goal of supporting and assisting the program and its participating scientists and agencies in their interactions with related international research, observing, and assessment activities and in the f ull and open international sharing of data and research findings
6) Global Change Education and Communication, with the goal of increasing public awareness of the Earth system and how it is changing and to promote global change education.
Chapter 3 provides an overview of research and program activities and directions for each of these integrative activities and perspectives. For additional information on recent progress in several of these areas, the FY96 edition of Our Changing Planet reported on recent research accomplishments. Additional detail on planning in each of these areas for the next 5 to 10 years will be included in the full National Global Change Research Plan, which is being prepared by i nteragency teams for review by the National Research Council before submission to Congress pursuant to the Global Change Research Act of 1990.
Observations of the global environment are critical for documenting global change and for providing the basis for understanding how and why changes are occurring. For many centuries, humans had information only about what was happening in their immediate vicinity. Starting in the 19th century, accumulated historical records and the advance of communications technology permitted the assembly of information about surface conditions around the world. These capabilities have expanded greatly during the 20th c entury.
During World War II, aircraft and weather balloons began to provide data on the state of the atmosphere, and ships and buoys started providing regular observations of parts of the ocean. Only now, with the development of satellites over the past few decad es and sophisticated instruments over the past several years, do we have the potential to broadly observe and monitor the atmosphere, the oceans, and the land surface on a global scale.
Advancing understanding of the Earth system and our ability to predict how it will change in the future requires detailed knowledge of the behavior and state of the atmosphere, the land and its vegetative cover, the oceans, and the polar regions. Systemat ic monitoring and observation on scales from regional to global are required to document climate fluctuations from season to season and year to year; to detect changes in climate and the environment over years to decades to centuries; to monitor changes i n the composition and chemical make-up of the atmosphere; and to document changes that are occurring in land cover and the state of global ecosystems. This will require not only satellite-based observations, but also a wealth of diverse, detailed observat ions from in situ measurements. Only with information from this full range of observational efforts will a capability be developed to document and understand global change, to determine and understand its consequences for humans and ecosystems, and to plan and evaluate measures to aid in adaptation to and mitigation of change.
Observing and Monitoring Program Goal
The goal of the USGCRP observation and monitoring program is to ensure the availability of a long-term, high-quality observational record of the state of the Earth system, its natural variability, and changes that are occurring over extended time scale s.
This record of the conditions of the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface, and their interactions, will provide the basis for understanding and monitoring changes in the Earth system. Accomplishing this will require a cooperative international effort to s trengthen and augment the existing observational systems in a manner that will provide for the long-term, systematic, global- to regional-scale observation and monitoring of the Earth's environment and natural resources. To be comprehensive and global, su ch an integrated observing system must combine remotely and directly sensed information from satellites, surface stations, and in situ observing platforms such as aircraft, ocean buoys, and balloon soundings, and must be coupled to a data managemen t system that provides ready access to the information gathered and provides analyzed information for use in research and applications (see the data management section).
We are the first generation capable of implementing such an integrated global observing system, observations from which would provide future generations with a stronger basis for sustaining development in a manner that ensures a healthy environment. Once missed, the opportunity for direct observations is lost forever. Delays in deploying instruments or temporary cessation of observations would present significant obstacles to advances in understanding, delaying the gathering of data needed to identify the trends and mechanisms causing and influencing environmental change. As such, maintenance and enhancement of this observing capability is critically important to the international assessments of global change that help guide international policy making.
For example, monitoring of the ozone hole, global ozone depletion, and atmospheric levels of ozone-depleting substances is central to the periodic assessments of ozone depletion prepared under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. Similarly, observations of surface temperature, sea level rise, and other phenomena form the underpinnings of the assessments of climate change carried out under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Indeed, the significant U.S. contributions to observing the global environment and the conditions affecting our Nation must continue if we are to avoid being surprised by changes and fluctuations, and if we are to be prepared to adapt effectively to the changes and fluctuations that occur.
Observing and Monitoring Program Objectives
Many observational programs are currently underway that provide information on various aspects of the Earth's environment. Among these are the operational and mission-focused systems maintained to support weather forecasting [mainly by NOAA, DoD, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)] and to support resource management (e.g., USDA and DOI for land and water resources, and EPA and States for air quality). While the observations from these systems are very important, many gaps exist in the sets of m easurements taken related to observing and monitoring global environmental change. Systematic global observations of key variables are urgently needed to enable the following:
The identification and assembly of data needs are important aspects in determining the specific observations required of an integrated global observing system.
Specific objectives that will be addressed to meet the USGCRP needs for observations and monitoring follow.
Objective 1 - Contribute to the Development of a Strategy that will Lead to an Integrated International System for Observing and Monitoring the Earth's Environment and Natural Resources
During FY96, the Task Force on Observations and Data Management (TFODM) of CENR is leading the Administration initiative to move toward a cooperative effort to design and implement an international strategy in pursuit of an integrated global observing sys tem. The USGCRP, along with the operational agencies, is closely involved with the development of the U.S. contribution to this strategy.
Over the past few years, the scientific community has been considering what the needed measurements are and how best to make the observations. The major scientific programs, both national and international, have been important sources of information. The planning efforts undertaken by the international scientific committees for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), and other organizations, and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), have been identifying the requirements for a global observing system. An international strategy for global observing must facilitate a cohesive integration and augmentation of surface, space, and in-situ measurement ca pabilities in a way that serves multiple needs.
The participation of agencies that fund observations for operational weather forecasting and research, working with the scientific community, is important in the design of a cost-effective and efficient means to acquire the needed data. Working in coordin ation with other agencies, NASA and NOAA are leading the U.S. effort to gain international agreement on an approach to developing such an integrated strategy. During FY96, two international workshops have been organized by CEOS and GCOS to discuss alterna tive approaches to establishing institutional mechanisms for coordinating the space-based and in situ components of this strategy. During FY97, we will work with our international partners to take steps to establish a process for consultation and c oordination that will work toward an integrated global observing strategy.
Objective 2 - Coordinate and Implement the U.S. Satellite Component of the International Integrated Global Observing System
The U.S. contribution to the satellite component of the integrated global observing system will draw upon the satellite resources of NASA, NOAA, and DoD. The NASA component will be carried out through the Earth Observing System series of satellites, which is the centerpiece of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. MTPE is NASA's contribution to the USGCRP and is included within the USGCRP budget. The NOAA and DoD contributions to the satellite observing system are made through their operational weather satellit e programs, a future component of which is being coordinated through the National Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) program; because their principal justification is for operational applications, these efforts are not included within the USGCRP budget.
EOS was recognized as the major component of MTPE and received its authorization from Congress in 1990. Its fundamental goal and objectives are to meet the needs of the USGCRP through the gathering and interpretation of observations of the Earth system fr om the unique vantage point of space. EOS is intended to be part of a long- term observation program, with systematic, accurately calibrated measurement of various Earth system properties over a period of at least 15 years.
MTPE implementation consists of three phases, the first two of which are described here and the third under objective 5. During Phase I (1990-1997), NASA established the Pathfinder Program in collaboration with NOAA, DoD, and EPA to obtain, calibrate, pro cess, and make available Earth observations acquired by NASA research satellites such as the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) and TOPEX/Poseidon, and NOAA and DoD operational environmental monitoring satellites. In addition, NASA and NOAA establ ished joint projects with the space agencies of Canada, Europe, Japan, and Russia to acquire, process, and make available to U.S. scientists the satellite environmental data collected by these agencies. Notable successes have been observations of stratosp heric ozone depletion obtained jointly with Russia and Japan; the observations of sea ice, ocean currents, and terrestrial ecosystems using Synthetic Aperture Radar by Canada, Japan, and Europe; and the observations of terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems w ith Japan. These programs will continue intensively over the next year, and are already making extensive data sets available for analysis of trends and conditions.
In Phase II (1997-2002), NASA will launch a series of missions, including the initial EOS satellites that will, for the first time, obtain a comprehensive range of space-based observations of the interactions between the atmosphere and the continents and oceans, especially the coastal regions. International partners will also play a major role during this phase, through their contribution of instruments that will be launched on U.S. satellites (Canada and Japan), accommodation of U.S. instruments on their satellites (Canada, Japan, and Russia), and/or development of joint satellites (France, Argentina, and South Africa). The MTPE satellites and instruments flown on satellites of our international partners over the next few years include the following:
The table accompanying this section shows how the planned series of measurements from MTPE/EOS satellites will contribute to the research needs of the USGCRP's four key environmental science issue areas.
[see Earth Observing System Contributions to USGCRP Research Goals]
With respect to the operational weather satellite programs, an important step toward an integrated global observing system is the ongoing convergence of the NOAA and DoD satellite programs that gather information for use in initializing weather forecast m odels and other applications. The NPOESS program is setting as its objective the deployment of observing instruments that will meet civilian and defense weather forecast requirements. These data will go a long way in meeting the needs of scientists seekin g to document, understand, and project global environmental change. Such a coordinated effort will result in substantial long-term savings while also providing a greatly increased set of observations of a quality suitable for studies of long-term environm ental change.
These satellite missions, together with coordinated and complementary missions of our international space partners, will ensure the diverse and necessary array of Earth observations needed to document and improve predictions of weather, to identify season al to interannual climate fluctuations, and to document long-term climate variability and change.
Objective 3 - Strengthen the Commitment to and Implementation of an Integrated Surface Observing System for Addressing Global Change Needs
Measurements in and near the surface are critical to understanding the environment that people experience and for identifying changes that cannot be observed remotely. Such measurements require a strong program of airborne, surface, and deep ocean observa tions to provide critical measurements of quantities that cannot be measured with sufficient accuracy from space, and to help calibrate satellite measurements, which are based on indirect rather than direct measures of many of the quantities. Also, becaus e satellites cannot measure below the surface of the land or the oceans, it is vital to have in situ measurements from buoys and ground probes.
Increased coordination of the Nation's environmental monitoring and related research networks and programs is being proposed under the auspices of the CENR and its National Environmental Monitoring and Research Initiative, with which the USGCRP is coopera ting. We anticipate that this initiative, which is proceeding with both national- and regional-level planning activities, will begin a process in FY97 that will, when fully developed, provide the needed baseline information for documenting how ecosystems in the United States are being affected by environmental fluctuations and changes over periods from seasons to decades and longer.
In support of the needs for weather forecasting, air quality and ecosystem monitoring, and natural disaster mitigation, the United States has deployed a number of station networks, only very limited aspects of which are funded by USGCRP:
Objective 4-Obtain Observational and Proxy Data to Provide a Retrospective of Weather and Climatic Conditions in the Past
In addition to strengthening the system for observing the current climate, understanding climatic behavior requires that there be a detailed historical record of the climate, both over the past few decades and further back into the past. While the actual state of the atmosphere and oceans will have changed, there are many indications of past conditions that can be combined with observations that do exist to provide a retrospective picture of the previous climatic states. This effort, which is closely tied to the data analysis and climate system history efforts of the USGCRP, includes efforts to derive measurements for periods ranging from the very distant past (e.g., through the drilling of ice cores where ancient air is trapped) to the more recent decade s (e.g., by measuring temperatures in boreholes drilled into the ground and in the ocean depths).
These records of past conditions are essential in providing the information needed to determine trends in conditions, to identify geographic patterns that can indicate the global consistency of changes seen in one or a few regions, and to improve understa nding of the mechanisms leading to changes.
Objective 5 - Develop and Demonstrate New and More Cost-Effective Instruments for Providing Critical Information in the Future
While providing very significant information of high societal value, observing the full Earth system on a continuing basis is a challenging and expensive process. There are many quantities to keep track of, in the atmosphere and oceans and over and below the land surface. To ensure that the observations are being taken in the most cost-effective manner, while still maintaining the quality and continuity of measurements needed for scientific purposes, continuing efforts are underway to improve and reduce t he cost of observation systems. Much of this effort is occurring under the auspices of NOAA and DoD's operational programs and in cooperation with FAA. For example, a number of systems have been in development to provide moisture and temperature measureme nt on a large scale, including new sensors for automated aircraft measurements during ascent and descent and improved use of existing satellite-based systems.
With regard to development of new satellite measurements - which are the most costly, the most comprehensive, and essential for observations at the global scale - several new initiatives are underway:
Regarding in situ data gathering, the Office of Naval Research is proposing to continue interagency support for a basin-scale ocean measurement program capitalizing on the FY92-96 investments by DoD in the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATO C) research program. The ATOC studies of acoustic travel-time variability along fixed ocean paths were designed to accurately characterize seasonal and long-term trends in ocean temperature. It is expected that a system of acoustic arrays may provide data that could revolutionize understanding of the ocean's interior just as GPS/Met could revolutionize understanding of the atmosphere upward from the mid-troposphere.
Efforts are also underway among USGCRP agencies to improve measurements of various chemicals in the environment and of other quantities, generally as part of the field programs that are focusing on how Earth system processes are working.
Consistent with their respective roles and missions, the Federal agencies are supporting a wide array of observing systems that record the state of the environment. Many of these systems are provided as part of the operational and mission responsibilities of various agencies (including, for example, the weather satellites of NOAA and DoD, and the surface measuring sites of NOAA, DoD, USDA, DOI, and other agencies). Data from these systems, which are maintained primarily for other purposes, are provided to the USGCRP for research on longer term trends and conditions. In addition, in support of their research responsibilities, several of the USGCRP agencies support special efforts to gather the wider set of information needed to study and monitor seasonal t o interannual fluctuations, climate change detection and response, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and atmospheric chemistry:
USDA also maintains a soil climatic data network with 21 sites throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The system is tied through the SNOTEL system, which uses meteor-burst radio communication technology and phone links to collect remote site inform ation. Data monitored includes above-ground climate data and soil temperatures, soil moisture, and other below-ground parameters.
Data and information on the global environment and how it may be varying and changing are needed by a wide range of users for a wide range of purposes, including, but not limited to, the following:
Basic data and derived data products of importance include everything from temperature and pressure in the atmosphere, to currents and salinity in the oceans, to vegetation and population over land. Data needs cover the physical, chemical, biological, eco nomic, and social sciences, and can span domains from the center of the Earth to the Sun. Time and space scales needed include everything from local observations to globally integrated patterns and from instantaneous measurements to multi-century trends. The spectrum of data sources includes observations taken by satellites, aircraft, ships, and surface stations; simulations by models; and measurements taken in research studies. The data are generated by any of a number of sources, including Federal agenc ies, international organizations, individual scientists, State and local governments, public institutions, and private organizations. The types of user needs range from single measurements to specifically designed products that can be immediately applied in ways that will reduce impacts and improve the human condition.
Given this great diversity, the challenge is to provide a flexible and adaptable system that builds from both existing agency capabilities and an underlying set of agreed-upon principles. As one example of such principles, the U.S. Government has establis hed a set of data policy statements that govern how the USGCRP approaches data management. Fundamentally, the intent is to ensure that data are readily available at minimal cost, and are documented and archived so that they may benefit not only current us ers but also future generations.
[see Data Management for Global Change Research Policy Statements]
Global Change Data, Products, and Information Services Program Goal
The goal of the data, products, and information services element of the USGCRP is to provide all users ready and affordable access in useful forms to the full spectrum of global change data, products, and information.
Achieving this goal will accelerate scientific progress while also greatly enhancing public and private sector access to data that can make the economy more resilient to changes and fluctuations, help education at all levels, allow adaptation to changes, and aid resource managers in management and planning.
There are two fundamental components of the data, products, and information services efforts that are being implemented. The first component involves making the data readily accessible, both now and in the future. This responsibility is being met through the interagency Global Change Data and Information System (GCDIS), which is explained more fully later in this section. The second component involves providing useful products (for scientists, for the broader user community, and for other Government activ ities) and is being fulfilled through GCDIS-participating data centers and through the efforts of thousands of scientists who gather, develop, and assemble new information and transform it into useful data products.
Global Change Data, Products, and Information Services Program Objectives
To meet the goal of providing all users ready and affordable access in useful forms to the full spectrum of global change data, products, and information, the USGCRP agencies are pursuing a number of implementation objectives.
Objective 1 - Provide a Coordinated Means by which Users can Readily Find the Global Change Data, Products, and Information They Need
There are thousands of possible sources and massive numbers of potential individual data and information products. It is critical to a user to be able to find the data, products, and information that they need. Over the past few years, significant progres s has been made in addressing this need for information and much of the data, products, and information holdings of the Federal agencies can be found through the GCDIS Home Page on Internet. The USGCRP, as directed by the Global Change Research Act of 1990, has also established the Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO) as the point of contact for all users who need help in finding data held by the U.S. Government relating to global environmental change. During FY9 7, it is planned that GCDIS will pursue the following:
It does no good for a user to find that information exists if it cannot be obtained in time to meet the user's needs or if it is more expensive than can be afforded. Because of the fundamental value of data to advancing science and society, the U.S. Gover nment has instituted a policy that its global change data should be fully available to all at only the cost of distribution. The United States has also been very active in encouraging that this approach be taken by international organizations, thereby mak ing available data from many nations around the world. Since the issues being studied are global in scope, access to these data sets is essential.
To make sure that data are quickly available, the USGCRP agencies have moved rapidly to make their data available over the Internet. At present, global change-related data, products, and information from seven agencies can be located using Internet access to more than 70 of their data centers, libraries, and information service nodes. Included are links to the U.S. World Data Centers, which in turn are linked to similar World Data Centers around the world. Each of these data centers not only archive data from many nations, but also provide for its full and open access through the policies established for this international cooperative system.
During FY97 it is planned that policies for how to provide interfaces with private sector and other non-governmental data, products, and information will be developed.
Objective 3 - Ensure that Data, Products, and Information are Documented and Archived
The U.S. Government has established responsibilities for long-term archiving of global change-related data, products, and information by giving specific responsibilities to the National Archives and Records Administration and to agencies such as DOC and D OI. Agreements for some interagency transfers to meet these policies are in effect, such as DoD sending relevant data to DOC for archiving and use, but others still need to be completed.
Without adequate attention to documenting and archiving data, it is lost or rendered unusable to future users - wasting the investments of both funding and intellectual effort made for the data to be obtained. Further, without documentation of its fundame ntal properties such as data quality, location, and time, the data from diverse sources cannot be used together with confidence, a critical need for study of long-term change. Failing to take actions to document and archive is tantamount to forgetting the past.
During FY97, it is planned that standardized documentation format policies will be identified for the USGCRP.
Objective 4 - Meet the Specific Data, Products, and Information Needs of the Scientific Community to Conduct USGCRP-Related Research, Monitoring, and Assessment Activities
As an integrated and coordinated program, the USGCRP depends upon the data, products, and information services component to provide data sets and derived products needed to monitor the environment, to understand its functioning, to enable predictions, to evaluate the consequences of changes, and to estimate the socioeconomic impacts of change. Each of the USGCRP's focused programs has its own user community that needs data products tailored to meet respective requirements.
An important example of such a derived data product is the reanalysis of past information. While new measurements of the weather of past years cannot be taken, it is possible to use computer models of the atmosphere to process all of the available observa tions, thereby reconstructing a best estimate of past weather. This process, called reanalysis, first requires the assembly and careful checking of all available data from past measurements taken at the surface, by balloon and aircraft, and from satellite s and ships. With such data assembled, the best models currently available for the interpolation and initialization of weather observations for operational forecast purposes can be used to adjust for consistency and to interpolate observed parameters to r egions where observations were not available. That this process works quite well can be readily checked by leaving out some of the available observations and checking how well they are estimated by the reanalysis process. Such efforts are underway in both NOAA and NASA, as well as cooperatively with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, to cover different periods and different regions of the atmosphere. The data provide a very high-quality information base for testing all types of models and for use in determining the character and causes of past climatic fluctuations.
During FY97, it is planned that the data management program will work with the focused program elements of the USGCRP to define and begin to produce the specific derived data products they most need.
Objective 5 - Be Responsive to the Data, Products and Information Needs Identified by the User Community and its Representatives, Including Educators
Data are needed by a wide variety of users in addition to the scientific research community. In addition to simply providing information on what is happening, commercial users of the data provide special products for users ranging from the insurance indus try to agriculture, and from shipping companies to water resource managers. Ready access to information is what makes the Nation's economy more efficient, allows the optimization of economic activities related to the climate, and indicates the degree of r esilience that must be provided. In addition, given that the information plays such an important economic role, the education community needs the data, products, and information to train students for jobs of the future - that the information is also very interesting, and even inspiring, is an additional important benefit.
For several years, GCDIS has worked closely with the National Academy of Sciences as a representative of the user community. In addition, a pilot evaluation of GCDIS for Internet-coupled schools in Virginia is now being completed. These schools spanned th e K-12 to university education levels.
During FY97, it is planned that GCDIS will expand its on-line user evaluation capability and secure critiques by the focused elements of the USGCRP, including global change education, as representatives of their user communities.
Objective 6 - Coordinate Global Change Data Management Activities with Related Activities being Carried Out by Other Parts of the Federal Government and Internationally
The data and information collected for understanding global change are part of the much larger amount of data and information being collected, accessed, and used for other purposes. The needs of the USGCRP cannot be met without working with these other en tities to share data, products, information, and capabilities. Moreover, many other Federal programs could be enhanced by having access to USGCRP data, products, and information. GCDIS is actively coordinating its activities with those of the Federal Geog raphic Data Committee, the Government Information Locator Service, and the National Environmental Data Index. Internationally, global change- related data systems are being planned by global observational coordinating mechanisms such as CEOS, GCOS, GOOS, a nd GTOS.
During FY97, it is planned that cooperative links to these international global observation programs data systems will be expanded. Similarly, it is planned to continue and to expand the close working relationships with the National Environmental Monitori ng Initiative in order to improve access to data on the United States.
Global Change Data and Information System
The key to meeting all of these objectives has been the establishment of the Global Change Data and Information System. As a system, GCDIS embraces the full range of people, infrastructure (e.g., hardware, software, networks, telephones, mail), and proced ures necessary for identifying, assembling, documenting, archiving, and disseminating global change data and information. This system builds on the mission resources and responsibilities of each agency, and links the data and information services of the a gencies to each other and to an open set of users.
Interagency GCDIS implementation is founded on strong coordination and cooperation among the participating Federal agencies, yet recognizes the differences in the types and levels of support they provide to the USGCRP. This has led to the design of GCDIS as a "virtual" system - that is, one that provides a view of the diverse Federal global change-related data and information holdings, with a minimum of cross-cutting new infrastructure to link individual agency data and information systems. This compute rized system is made interoperable (i.e., with the various components capable of being used in a reciprocal, complementary manner) through the use of standards, common approaches, technology sharing, and data policy coordination. GCDIS will emerge through coordinated interagency participation, with portions of each agency's own data and information system serving as that agency's component of the GCDIS. Users can initially enter the data and information system from a single point of contact via the Intern et, through the GCDIS World Wide Web Home Page, using the uniform resource locator http://www.gcdis.usgcrp.gov.
While the initial phase of GCDIS implementation focuses on the Federal agency systems, the system will be broadened to provide increased access to relevant international and State and local holdings. Access to international data and information is now pro vided through existing agency participation in the World Data Center system. This system, conceived and fostered by the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), is responsible for archiving and exchanging important environmental data and informa tion among almost all nations.
To support widespread access to GCDIS, GCRIO provides information resource services to applications users and others outside the research community, both nationally and internationally.
Each of the participating agencies plays a role appropriate to its agency mission, and implements GCDIS consistent with its mission and with available funds:
In addition to these agencies, the Department of State and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences participate in GCDIS planning. The Department of State will maintain and coordinate links with intergovernmental organizations and UN techni cal agencies that have programs relevant to GCDIS. A high-priority objective is to promote wide adoption of a policy of full and open sharing of global change data in multilateral forums, as well as in bilateral agreements.
The data management issues, policies, and plans of GCDIS have been presented in the Data Management for Global Change Policy Statements, issued in 1991 by the Executive Office of the President, and in a series of three documents published in 1992 b y the Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences, in 1994 by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, and in 1995 by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. Each of these reports has benefited significantly from a continuing series of re ports by the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data and from core working relationships with its members. These policy statements have been widely used internationally, particularly as applying to full and open data a ccess.
Within the USGCRP, the study of the global aggregate of interactive linkages among the major systems that affect the environment is defined as Earth system science. Developing a holistic view of the Earth system is essential to the development of the comp rehensive understanding needed to address fundamentally important questions about global environmental change and its impacts and consequences. Improving overall understanding and building the capability to address new questions as they arise in the futur e depends on continued progress in the traditional disciplines of the geophysical and environmental sciences and in the integration-oriented focus provided by the development and use of predictive Earth system models. The research from these studies contr ibutes both to the objectives of the four key interrelated USGCRP environmental science issues - seasonal to interannual climate fluctuations, climate change over decades to centuries, changes in atmospheric chemistry and ozone depletion, and changes in l and cover and in terrestrial and marine ecosystems - and to the overall effort to understand the Earth as an integrated system. Earth system science is a program-wide integration of scientific activities.
Earth System Science Program Goal
The goal of the Earth system science component of the USGCRP is to support the long-term, integrated and exploratory research needed to gain a predictive understanding of the interactions among the physical, chemical, geological, ecological, and solar processes that determine the functioning of the Earth system and its trends and fluctuations on global and regional scales.
Pursuing this goal provides the basis for continuing advances in fundamental understanding of the world around us and helps to identify emerging issues and potential changes of low probability but high impact (often referred to as surprises). It will cont ribute to understanding and improving predictive capabilities on each of the four environmental science issues.
To make progress toward this goal, the USGCRP is supporting programs of ongoing fundamental research by individual and groups of scientists within the disciplinary sciences as a means of strengthening the foundation of understanding of the Earth system. T he broad range of studies being undertaken involves observations, analysis, theory, modeling, and assessment. The scope of these studies ranges from regional to global, and encompasses phenomena and processes within the atmosphere, land, oceans, and biosp here. It includes research on both the current climate and past climates, even of the distant past, to provide context for understanding the significance of human-induced effects on the climate.
Earth System Science Program Objectives
To provide greater focus to the research and to better match research needs to the strengths and disciplines of the scientific community, research is organized around the following broad objectives.
Objective 1 - Gain a Predictive Understanding of the Dynamic, Thermodynamic, and Hydrological Processes that Determine Temperature, Precipitation, and Other Physical Characteristics of the Earth System and their Variability, especially their Extreme Values
The USGCRP sponsors a number of national and cooperative international programs that seek to advance understanding of the physical and dynamic aspects of the Earth system. Under the auspices of the WCRP, the United States participates in GEWEX, the CLIVAR program, the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), Arctic System Science (ACSYS), and international observing programs. A number of these programs have important sub-elements, including the GOALS program, which seeks to extend seasonal to interannua l predictive capabilities, and ISLSCP, which aims to improve representation of land surface processes and interactions. U.S. agencies in a number of cases sponsor programs that have expanded or been incorporated into these international programs because o f their special focus; these include the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program, which seeks to understand cloud-radiation interactions, and the Atlantic Climate Change Program (ACCP), which focuses on the variations in the North Atlantic that st rongly affect European and North American climate. In addition, the United States is active in the overall climate modeling program, including the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) and the Climate Dynamics and Experimental Prediction (CDEP) program.
Objective 2 - Gain a Predictive Understanding of the Chemical and Biogeochemical Processes that Determine Atmospheric Composition and the Chemical Characteristics of the Earth System
The USGCRP sponsors a number of programs nationally and under international auspices that focus on understanding changes in the chemical cycles of the atmosphere and oceans and interactions with the land surface. Internationally, most programs are under t he auspices of the IGBP. JGOFS focuses on measuring the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and oceans, and is done in coordination with the WOCE program. The International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) program focuses on understanding the che mistry contributing to the formation of tropospheric ozone and aerosols. Significant studies also are conducted to improve predictions of changes in stratospheric chemistry; these studies focus on the homogeneous and heterogeneous chemical reactions that affect stratospheric ozone concentrations and the Antarctic springtime ozone hole. The Global Change Terrestrial Ecosystem (GCTE) program includes research on biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients within ecosystems and IGBP's GAIM project, togeth er with the ecosystem and hydrologic modeling, focuses on evaluating the capabilities of current models to simulate terrestrial components of the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. The USGCRP also sponsors a number of modeling activities to explore and enhanc e predictive understanding.
Objective 3 - Gain a Predictive Understanding of the Biological and Ecological Processes that Determine the Distribution, Character, Influence, Interactions, and Trends of the Flora and Fauna of the Land and Oceans
Ecological systems both are affected by their physical and chemical environment and affect this environment through their characteristics and their uptake and release of chemicals. Internationally, ecological programs that study these issues are under the auspices of the IGBP. Studies include GLOBEC, which focuses on the marine environment, and GCTE, which focuses on the terrestrial environment. Within the U.S., TECO, a new interagency program, is focusing on exchanges of carbon and other trace gases as w ell as other cause and effect interactions between terrestrial ecosystems and other natural systems associated with global change. Programs have also been established to look at the polar regions and their particular ecosystems.
Objective 4 - Gain a Quantitative Understanding of the History of the Earth's Environmental and Biological Systems, and Determine the Full Range and Character of Natural Environmental Variability
Understanding the past provides context for the future. Internationally, research in this area is coordinated under the IGBP-sponsored program on Past Global Changes (PAGES). USGCRP-sponsored research is underway to contribute to these efforts by determin ing past rates of climate change, the ecological and biogeochemical characteristics of past warm and cold periods, and regional climate patterns when the world's climate was different than at present. Model simulations are conducted [e.g., under the Paleo climatic Model Intercomparison Project (PMIP)] in order to test both the models and scientific understanding.
Objective 5 - Gain a Quantitative Understanding of the Geophysical, Geochemical, Geological, and Cryospheric Processes that Determine Global Sea Level, Volcanic Activity and Intensity, the Dynamics of Ice Sheets and Glaciers, and Related Interactions with the Earth's Surface Features and the Effects of these Processes upon the Global Environment
While the USGCRP sponsors some programs relating to the natural geological and geochemical aspects of the Earth, the USGCRP relies in many ways on the continuation of significant complementary research being carried out for many other purposes (e.g., haza rd assessment, resource identification, seismology). USGCRP research generally focuses on natural factors (e.g., volcanic emissions) that accelerate or diminish human-induced effects on the global environment (e.g., volcanic aerosols can accelerate the oz one destruction caused by CFCs). A major responsibility is to ensure an integrated consideration of the human-induced and natural factors affecting the climate.
Objective 6 - Gain a Predictive Understanding of the Solar and Upper Atmosphere Processes that Determine the External Forcing Factors Influencing the Biosphere and Climate System
The Sun is the major heat source for the Earth. Small changes in its output can alter the Earth's climate and affect the biosphere. Solar changes can be either direct or indirect: Direct changes are those that change the solar irradiance itself, while ind irect changes are induced as a result of changes in the upper atmosphere that result from changes in the solar output. The USGCRP augments the extensive research on the Sun through its ongoing basic research programs into solar behavior, which seek to und erstand how solar changes may be amplifying or masking changes resulting from human activities.
Earth System Intercouplings and Modeling
The knowledge gained from disciplinary studies in these six areas is being applied to the development of predictive capabilities for the USGCRP's four key interrelated environmental science issues:
While each serves as a distinct focus, these areas also are intercoupled, and advances in understanding in any area will benefit each of the others. Changes in land cover (e.g., deforestation) and terrestrial and marine ecosystems influence climate change . Climate change, in turn, will likely alter the frequency and intensity of short- term climate fluctuations and their associated extreme events (such as severe storms, hurricanes, droughts, and floods). Changes in land cover also will alter soil moisture patterns, which strongly affect seasonal (summertime) continental climates. Stratospheric ozone depletion increases the amount of UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface, which in turn may alter terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Earth system science th us provides the paradigm for integrating diverse sets of knowledge developed within the elements of the USGCRP to derive a comprehensive natural science view of the Earth's environment as a whole.
The integration, testing, and application of existing and new knowledge produced by the full suite of USGCRP programs proceeds by means of developing, testing, and applying fully coupled and interactive Earth system models. We have progressed from relativ ely simple to highly sophisticated coupled atmosphere-ocean models that include plausibly realistic representations of land-surface and sea ice processes. These models are now being used to make simulations lasting centuries and longer, an order of magnit ude longer than was possible with the simpler models of several years ago. While the results of these climate simulations still include significant simplifications and shortcomings, the newest models do provide quite realistic representations of many atmo spheric, oceanic, and land-surface processes and features of the observed Earth system. Work is in progress to include direct human-induced changes in land cover, dynamic ecological succession, and tropospheric chemistry, and representation of biogeochemi cal cycling, into Earth system models. The USGCRP is committed to creating an Earth system modeling structure that will provide for a suite of cutting- edge models capable of making increasingly credible predictions of environmental changes.
Earth system science provides a context for physical, chemical, biological, and geological research relating to the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and the overall environment. The research of all participating agencies contributes to Earth system scien ce, both through programs formally within the USGCRP and those carried out by the agencies in related fields that contribute less directly to the USGCRP. Primary emphases of the agencies follow:
Humans are an important component of the global environment - their lives and activities are not only affected by it, they are also reshaping it. Humans depend on the environment for their food, fiber, forest products, water, and habitat. Human activities alter local, and even the global, environment through the long-term cumulative effects of individual and collective actions, which are influenced by social and economic institutions throughout the world. Understanding the relationships between human acti vities and environmental systems is essential in coming to terms with the meaning of global environmental change for society, as well as for gaining insight into the potential effectiveness of measures to mitigate or adapt to change.
To gain more knowledge about the human contributions to global change, as well as about possible human consequences and responses, the USGCRP undertakes research on the human contributions and responses to global change. This research is being conducted b y leading researchers in universities, research institutions, and Government laboratories all over the United States, in both basic and applied settings. It will enhance our ability to understand the implications of global change, and the advantages and r isks of different strategies for responding to it. Research on the human dimensions of global change will accomplish the following:
Success in this area of research requires the talents and contributions of the full range of agencies involved in the USGCRP. It requires fundamental advances in the social and economic sciences (e.g., to improve our understanding of the factors that affe ct the demographic transition from high to low birthrates), in interdisciplinary research linking ecological and physical sciences with economics and other social science disciplines (e.g., to better account for the value of goods and services provided by ecosystems that are not traded in the marketplace), and in modeling to better integrate the diverse dimensions of global change and to improve our estimates of the sensitivity of global environmental systems to changes in human management and behavior.
Research on these issues of human contributions and responses is a small, but critical and growing, research component of the USGCRP. As described below, the USGCRP agencies are developing an interesting and diverse range of research programs to contribut e to improved understanding of the human dimensions of global change.
Human Contributions and Responses Program Goal
The goal of this USGCRP activity is to identify, understand, and analyze how human activities contribute to changes in natural systems, how the consequences of natural and human-induced change affect the health and well-being of humans and their instit utions, and how humans could potentially respond to problems associated with environmental change.
Progress toward this goal will provide an improved scientific basis for decision makers considering how society should respond to global-scale environmental change. USGCRP priorities for research on the human dimensions of climate change follow:
U.S. research in these areas is coordinated with related efforts in other nations through such mechanisms as the International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Programme (IHDP), thus providing a broader capability for considering the comple xity of the global social and economic structure.
Human Contributions and Responses Program Objectives
In order to develop an enhanced capability to address certain fundamental issues, research on human contributions and responses to global change will address the following objectives.
Objective 1 - Understand How Human Activities Interact with Natural Ecological Systems and Managed Natural Resource Systems in Ways Related to Global Environmental Change
In the coming century, activities aimed at maintaining and raising living standards for a growing human population will contribute to global environmental change. Currently, in some locations, resource degradation and shortages interact with increased dem ands, thereby seriously straining local and regional environmental systems and human institutions. Developing an improved understanding of the dynamics that contribute to these trends is important both for projecting future change and ultimately for under standing how best to reconcile attainment of human needs and wants with protection of the long-term ability of environmental systems to renew themselves. Research focuses on the following:
Objective 2 - Understand How Individuals and Institutions Anticipate, Adapt, Mitigate, and Respond in Other Ways to Global Change
Throughout history, people have shown the capacity to alter their behavior when they perceive their activities to be hazardous or detrimental to their own interests. An important facet of research on human contributions and responses to global change is t he identification and analysis of current and proposed strategies for responding to environmental change.
A special form of human response is the development and implementation of environmental policies by governments and other institutions. As part of NSF's ongoing leadership of an interagency-initiated human dimensions research thrust, NSF includes a specia l Policy Sciences program component within its HDGC program. This activity emphasizes studies to enhance methods and knowledge used in environmental policy analysis.
The broader set of USGCRP agencies focus their programs on specialized response frameworks and strategies closely related to their missions:
Objective 3 - Understand How Methods for Monitoring, Modeling, and Predicting Critical Interactions between Human and Natural Systems can be Improved
The advancement of knowledge about human contributions and responses to global change requires significant progress in essential research capabilities and methods, especially data assembly and methods for comprehensive analysis.
Identification, collection, and archiving of critical human systems data needed for research on the human contributions and responses to global change and on interactions among human and natural systems is carried out by the Consortium for International E arth Science Information Network (CIESIN) and major NSF-sponsored data- collection efforts, as well as through the efforts of many individual researchers.
Research on integrated modeling and assessment of human-environment interactions includes a range of approaches for examining the complex interactions among Earth's physical, biological, and human systems. The integrated assessment approach uses quantitat ive models and other methods to understand individual component systems and their interactions, with particular emphasis on how changes in one or more component systems will affect other systems. Research is supported on a variety of proposed approaches, ranging from quite general to regionally and sectorally specific.
Objective 4 - Understand How the Infrastructure Supporting Research and Management Capabilities Related to Human Contributions and Responses to Global Change can be Strengthened
In addition to conducting and sponsoring research, agencies participating in the USGCRP work together to support an infrastructure that encourages the active exchange of ideas and the development of research agendas that deal with human contributions and responses to global change:
Several USGCRP agencies support research on issues of human contributions and responses to global change:
The USGCRP seeks to improve understanding of global change and to improve capabilities for predicting and dealing with such change in response to new trends and challenges. This objective, common to many nations, can best be achieved through cooperative i nternational programs that aggregate and coordinate the capabilities and resources of various nations. In support of this cooperative effort, the USGCRP participates in and supports the three major international global change research programs that have b een initiated within the scientific community: The World Climate Research Programme; the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme; and the International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Programme. Coordination of funding for these progra ms is provided through the informal International Group of Funding Agencies, which matches available funding to the set of proposed activities.
Cooperation depends on open communication. Improved communications systems enable U.S. scientists to interact directly with foreign colleagues on a daily or even an hourly basis. Progress is greatest when there is an ability to exchange data and results o f studies openly and rapidly. Recently, however, some countries have subordinated the interests of long-term basic research to shorter term objectives relating to recovery of data-collection costs through sale of data and products. U.S. scientists and age ncies are thus finding it necessary to undertake new efforts to maintain the long-standing policy of full and open international exchange of data.
The USGCRP has also developed a range of global, regional, and bilateral mechanisms to provide a framework within which U.S. scientists and colleagues in other countries cooperate to address specific research issues and to study specific regions of mutual interest. The value of such cooperation is well illustrated by international contributions to NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program, which are estimated to exceed $3.5 billion between 1995 and 2002.
International Research Cooperation Goal
The goal of the international research cooperation element of the USGCRP is to support and assist the program and its participating scientists and agencies in their interactions with related international research, observing, and assessment activities and in the full and open international sharing of data and research findings.
Progress toward this goal will enhance the cooperative effort to improve understanding of global change, which can best be achieved by aggregating and coordinating the capabilities and resources of various nations.
Key Examples of International Cooperation
This section provides examples of significant international cooperative research activities in which the USGCRP and its participating agencies are currently active.
Example 1 - Participate in the International Research Institute: A Global Concept with Regional Applications
The USGCRP, with NOAA leading this effort, is working with the scientific community, international research and development organizations, and governments to develop the International Research Institute, a critical component of the seasonal to interannual climate variability thrust of the USGCRP. The IRI will provide an integrating point for modeling, observations, process studies, and social science research conducted by many nations, including many activities sponsored by the USGCRP, with the following specific objectives:
At the widely attended "International Forum on Forecasting El Niño: Launching an International Research Institute," held in Washington, DC, in November 1995, the United States offered to provide a site for the core facility of the IRI. Regional appli cations activities will be developed through existing networks, such as the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), the European Network for Research in Global Change (ENRICH), the Asia-Pacific Network (APN), and the Global Change Syste m for Analysis, Research, and Training (START).
Example 2 - Develop Scientific Input to the International Policymaking Process
Descriptions of two key assessment activities in which the USGCRP is intimately involved follow:
Internationally, consideration is being given to undertaking a Third Assessment Report for completion in the year 2000. In addition, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice of the UNFCCC has recently asked the IPCC to prepare over the next 6 to 18 months a number of special assessments to clarify issues under negotiation in the UNFCCC or to further articulate and integrate the vulnerability assessments presented in the Second Assessment Report.
The United States has served as co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II, and the USGCRP provided the resources to support Working Group II's Technical Support Unit.
The U.S. Government coordinates its IPCC-related activities on an interagency basis. USGCRP research programs and USGCRP-supported scientists provide scientific and technical input to the assessments. A number of U.S. scientists served as lead authors for chapters of the Second Assessment Report and many U.S. scientists served as co-authors, contributors, and reviewers. The U.S. Government, in developing its comments on this report and its individual chapters, invited input from a wide variety of sources, including many non-governmental organizations.
As a follow-up to the overall assessment, a special assessment on the effects of subsonic and supersonic aircraft is currently underway under the leadership of NASA. It is expected that the next assessment in this series will be completed in 1997.
Example 3 - Bilateral Arrangements
The USGCRP agencies participate in a large number of bilateral arrangements for research collaboration:
Example 4 - Observations and Data for Global Change Research
Examples of new efforts to enhance international cooperation and collaboration follow:
This strategy is intended to contribute to development of an international effort to organize systematic programs for global observation of atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial variables from the surface, space, and in situ.
Example 5 - The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
Seventeen countries, including the United States, have signed an agreement to establish the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. Following the entry into force of the agreement in 1994, the IAI Conference of the Parties selected a Scientif ic Advisory Committee, an Executive Council, an IAI Director, and a site for the IAI Directorate (at the National Space Research Institute of Brazil). The Director officially assumed his position and the Directorate was inaugurated in March 1996.
The IAI has issued two calls for scientific proposals, and grants are currently being awarded. The results of these awarded proposals will serve as the first examples of IAI-fostered regional cooperation, which is expected to promote optimal use of availa ble resources for global change research and to augment the scientific capacity of the region. Scientific data and information provided by IAI researchers will be managed as a common resource for the region and should provide baseline information for use in regional planning.
Example 6 - Capacity-Building
START is a joint effort of the IGBP, IHDP, and WCRP. The United States continues to provide strong leadership and funding support for START, which reflects our international commitment to build capacities for global change research in the developing world . START regional research networks promote focused research and training on regional issues of global relevance, integrate and synthesize results, and provide input to decision makers at national and regional levels. START networks in Asia and Africa have initiated studies on land-use and -cover change; climate variability and agriculture; and regional modeling of climate and biospheric changes. START regional centers have been established in Beijing, Bangkok, New Delhi, and Accra. Scientific assessments on global change issues of relevance to regional decision makers have been initiated, and science policy forums are being conducted.
Global environmental change is, increasingly, an essential part of the context in which social, economic, and technological development take place. From now on, choices about these activities will be influenced by environmental considerations and, in turn , will affect the global environment. Societal decision making will need to be based on an informed understanding of the factors driving global change, how the changes may manifest themselves, and how society can most effectively adapt to or limit future changes.
Global change education and communication seeks to provide useful information on the results of scientific research. In addition, it is an effort to help lay the underlying foundation for the understanding that is needed in order to interpret and apply sc ientific findings appropriately. The application of knowledge from research and assessments to the challenges faced by society calls for a broad-based public understanding of global change.
In addition, society has a vital interest in the education of talented young scientists who can question, investigate, and develop the ability to carry forward the development of scientific understanding. For scientific ability to achieve its full potenti al, interests and skills must be developed early in life.
Thus, the education and communication component of the USGCRP is responsible for fostering public understanding and the development of the next generation of scientists.
Global Change Education and Communication Goal
The goal of the education and communication component of the USGCRP is to increase public awareness of the Earth system and how it is changing and to promote global change education.
Progress toward this goal will help ensure that societal decision making is based on an informed understanding of global change, and will serve society's vital interest in the education of young scientists.
To achieve this goal, the USGCRP has a multi-pronged approach to reach a diverse set of information users. To train the next generation of scientists, USGCRP supports undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral participation in ongoing scientific research activities. To meet the needs of formal educators, the USGCRP provides resources for statewide action planning, teacher enhancement, curriculum support, and select student support programs. Informal education is another approach to reach a broad communit y with the results of global change research. Multimedia communication resources provide a valuable mechanism for communicating the complex, interdisciplinary nature of global change science.
In global change education, the emphasis of the individual agencies has historically been aimed broadly at the university undergraduate and graduate level. Our current programs, while continuing the focus on higher level education, are working more compre hensively to make available educational resources at levels from kindergarten onward, not only to inspire students to undertake scientific careers but also to stimulate non-career scientific literacy.
Global Change Education and Communication Objectives
USGCRP leadership in global change education is working to promote coordination among participating Federal agencies and to enhance the effectiveness of available resources.
Objective 1 - Promote the Dissemination and Use of Global Change Research and Information
The USGCRP has established infrastructure and capability for communication through the Global Change Research Information Office, which is mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990, "...to disseminate to foreign gove rnments, businesses, and institutions, as well as to citizens of foreign countries, scientific research information available in the United States which would be useful in preventing, mitigating, or adapting to the effects of global change." In addition, the USGCRP has developed unique products and resources with specific target audiences in mind.
USGCRP agencies have produced a number of global change education and communication products, including the Global Change Education Resource Guide, videotapes, overhead transparencies, and a CD-ROM; the NOAA Monograph Series, Journalist Guide, and Interne t Activities Using Scientific Data; NASA lithographs depicting remotely sensed and visualized images, and NASA global change education national video conferences; the USDA Global Change Information Packet; the DOI/USG Global Change Teaching Packet and His torical Landsat Data Comparisons monograph; and exhibits at national professional conferences such as the National Science Teachers Association.
These activities promote interagency coordination and leveraging of communication resources, and promote the accurate and timely transmission of relevant and age-appropriate information to public information users. For additional information, the USGCRP W orld Wide Web Home Page may be accessed at http://www.usgcrp.gov.
Objective 2 - Promote the Development of the Next Generation of Scientists, and Ensure an Understanding of the Multidisciplinary Nature of Global Change Science for All through Real-World Experiential Learning Activities
Students today are both interested and concerned about the state of the environment. One way to encourage and empower them to participate in problem-solving and to become comfortable with science is to engage them in the process of authentic scientific in vestigation. Active participation in the ongoing investigation of Earth and the environment in a global context is applicable at differing levels of sophistication for children in elementary school through post-doctoral graduate research programs.
The Global Learning to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program has multi-agency support, and has established school and private sector partnerships to offer a long-term, hands-on environmental monitoring program on global change for students worldwide.
The International Science and Engineering Fair, offered a new category of projects on global change in 1995, supported by the USGCRP. Students in grades 9-12 in every school district in the United States and in countries around the world were encouraged t o design experiments related to global change research. The USGCRP again provided support for this effort in 1996, while seeking to obtain private sector support for continuing this activity. Students from 20 countries and all 50 States participated in th e 1996 Fair, culminating in Tucson, Arizona. The global change division of the Fair had 114 entrants (10% of all participants).
Graduate and post-doctoral fellowships continue to be a major budget allocation for agency education efforts. Graduate and post-doctoral fellows contribute to the research and knowledge base about global change and promote the development of a cadre of sc ientists who cooperate with educators to translate scientific information for diverse audiences.
Objective 3 - Integrate Global Change Information into the Existing Formal and Informal Educational Systems
This effort builds on the USGCRP relationship with Global Change Education State Teams (initiated in 1994 at the National Educators Conference on Global Change), and action plans developed by each State at NASA-sponsored regional forums in 1995. The aim i s to integrate global change content into statewide core curricula, professional and association meetings at regional and national levels, and programs conducted in museums, science centers, and community groups.
Objective 4 - Support Professional Development Programs for Educators on Earth Eystem Science
Educating educators is a highly effective method for translating complex scientific research for use by non-technical audiences. Educators in both formal and informal programs identify training as a primary need for increasing the probability that materia ls will actually be used.
The USGCRP agencies have developed and supported complementary teacher training programs for in-service education. NOAA supported a 4-year national train-the-trainers effort for informal educators through the Sea Grant College Program. NASA funds teacher training programs through universities along with projects like Discover Earth and Classroom of the Future. DoD promoted education of minority teachers and teachers of minority students through Operation Pathfinder. NSF supports teacher training in global change education through grants for national and regional programs.
Pre-service education has been identified as an approach to train emerging teachers from schools of education. NASA's Project NOVA is an example of providing support to university teams (from Education and Science Departments) to develop courses and/or co urse modules for students seeking teacher certification.
Go To Appendix A