other processes. (Although a speaker from NSF was not able to participate in this meeting, committee members and staff interviewed a number of NSF staff during the study.) To facilitate its work, the Committee divided into three panels—on astrophysics (to address SAO), on ecology, environmental science and conservation (to address NZP, STRI, and SERC), and on museum and materials research (to address NMNH and SCMRE). Each panel met with facility directors and other research unit representatives for data-gathering and discussion. After the first meeting, the panels and the Committee’s executive group (composed of the Committee chair and the panel leaders) met often by teleconference to draft the Committee’s report. The Committee met for a second and final time on July 30-31, 2002, to discuss its findings, reach consensus on its recommendations, and agree on the final report. Throughout the process, the Committee also kept in close contact with the staff and committee that were conducting the parallel NAPA study. (See Appendix B for the NAPA panel’s charge and membership).

Chapter 2 of this report describes the SI scientific research units, including their funding structure, research, and outreach activities. Chapter 3 contains the Committee’s overall findings, conclusions, and recommendations. Although each panel developed text for this report relevant to the centers it examined, this report constitutes a consensus of the full Committee as agreed to at its final meeting.

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