BOX 1.2
Statement of Task

Committee on the Geologic Record of Biosphere Dynamics: The Key to Understanding the Biotic Effects of Future Environmental Change

The committee will describe the potential of the geologic record as a means of understanding biotic interactions with environmental change and the coupling of earth/life processes, and develop strategies for integrating earth and biological sciences and transferring their combined insights to the policy community. In particular, it will undertake the following tasks:

  1. Assess the current state of biogeologic analysis relevant to biosphere dynamics;

  2. Identify the most promising directions for collaborative research and the sharing of methodologies; and

  3. Describe the programmatic themes and research and data infrastructures required to accomplish these objectives.

environmental parameters (Chapter 2), described three research themes where the rich and detailed geological record provides information on the response of past ecosystems to environmental and climatic change at a variety of timescales (Chapter 3), described the collaborative culture that will be required to make optimum use of the considerable capabilities of these two communities (Chapter 4), and made a series of conclusions and recommendations designed to achieve enhanced integration of the geological and biological sciences (Chapter 5).

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