NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was jointly sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation, American Geological Institute, Department of Energy–Fossil Energy (DE-AP75-00SW48036), Department of Energy–Yucca Mountain (DE-FG09-97NV12056), Geological Society of America, National Science Foundation (EAR-0071061), Paleontological Society (00-22-US-3548), Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation, Schlumberger, Ltd, Smithsonian Institution, and U.S. Geological Survey (00HQAG0145). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

International Standard Book Number: 0-309-08341-9

Library of Congress Control Number: 2002106850

Additional copies of this report are available from:
The National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu

Front cover: Geoscience data and collections examples and storage facilities. Background left: Flexible-space shelving at Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin. SOURCE: David Stephens, BEG, University of Texas at Austin. Background right top: Inside the National Ice Core Laboratory, at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado. SOURCE: Geoffrey Hargreaves, NICL. Background right bottom: Interior of the Ocean Drilling Program’s Gulf Coast Repository (GCR) at Texas A&M University in College Station. SOURCE: Ocean Drilling Program. Foreground left to right: Fossil fish and trilobite. SOURCE: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; Foraminifera microfossils. SOURCE: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; Rock and mineral specimens. SOURCE: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; and Tapes containing data from boreholes. SOURCE: Phillipe Theys, Schlumberger, Ltd., Sugarland, Texas.

Backcover: Background top: Inside the National Ice Core Laboratory, at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado. SOURCE: Geoffrey Hargreaves, NICL. Background bottom: Interior of the Ocean Drilling Program’s Gulf Coast Repository (GCR) at Texas A&M University in College Station. SOURCE: Ocean Drilling Program. Foreground: Fossil fish and trilobite. SOURCE: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company.

Cover designed by Van Nguyen

Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America



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