BOX1 NASA and NRC Milestones Relevant to Post-2002 Mission Planning
1National Research Council, Space Studies Board, "On Climate Change Research Measurements from NPOESS," letter report to Dr. Ghassem Asrar, NASA, and Mr. Robert S. Winokur, NOAA, May 27, 1998. This letter report may be viewed at <
group perceives as shortcomings in the Easton process are, in fact, reflections of larger problems within the USGCRP.
The USGCRP was established in 1989 and codified by Congress “to provide for development and coordination of a comprehensive and integrated U.S. research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” 3 This effort requires planning and coordinating research and policy development interests of several U.S. government departments and agencies, including the Executive Office of the President. 4 Thus, the USGCRP provides a mechanism for obtaining the necessary scientific knowledge to document global change phenomena and enabling informed decision making on potential response strategies. These responses include such international agreements as the Montreal Protocol and the Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The importance of NASA’s role in the USGCRP cannot be overstated. For example, NASA’s role in understanding the causes of global and polar stratospheric ozone depletion stands as one of the outstanding scientific accomplishments of the last two decades. In addition, the agency’s development and implementation of satellite altimetry and scatterometry have made today’s approach to global oceanography possible. Overall, NASA accounts for nearly 75 percent of the resources made available under the USGCRP, with some 60 percent devoted to
Public Law 101-606, 1990. The text of this act is reproduced as Appendix A of the Pathways report. See footnote 4.
Overall direction and executive oversight of the USGCRP are provided by the interagency Subcommittee on Global Change Research of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Representatives to the USGCRP include the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Institute of Standards and Technology), Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services (the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences), Interior, Transportation, and State as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the intelligence community, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget.