Page 112

more than one research category, if that option had been allowed. Others were in categories that were not listed (e.g., hydrology). The committee's response was to create several new research focus categories that better reflect the disciplines of most respondents who marked “other.” Multiple choices were also allowed. The resulting breakdown of research foci in Table B-1.

“Sea ice or ocean” researchers were the most frequent respondents, more than double the next category. “Ice sheets or sea level” researchers were the second most frequent respondents. These category names are somewhat misleading, however, since very few oceanographers responded to this survey. This begs the question, “Where do high latitude oceanographers seek support?” The answer is in a variety of global and other programs. This may serve to enhance cross-latitude oceanography at NASA, but it also limits cross-disciplinary research in the polar community. An example of this situation is the lack of coherent surface-temperature data sets that include open water and other surfaces (i.e., ice, snow, land).

Table B-2 shows the breakdown of “types of research data sets used” by the survey respondents, broken down by whether they use only NASA data sets or some combination of data supplied by NASA and others. These two lists are fairly similar, perhaps showing that NASA is generally

TABLE B-1 Areas of Primary Research Focus as Indicated by Survey Respondents

Research Focus

Number of Respondents

Sea ice/ocean

41

Ice sheets/sea level

20

Terrestrial—physics, hydrology, and land-atmosphere linkages

13

Terrestrial—biology and biogeochemistry

9

Terrestrial—physical and biology

4

Other

6

Atmospheric circulation, planetary boundary layers, climate, and upper air studies

3

Clouds/radiation

3

Sea ice/oceans, atmospheric circulation etc.

3

Sea ice/oceans and terrestrial—biology

2

Glaciers

2

Snow cover

2

Sea ice/oceans and terrestrial—physics

1

TOTAL

109



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement