NATIONAL NEEDa

2004 STATUS AND CRITICAL ISSUES

UNRESOLVED ISSUES AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES

Frontier Exploration and Development

Status: NSF, NASA, USGS, and oil companies are pursuing research in these areas. However, geoengineers are often not involved in these ventures.

 

  • Fundamental knowledge and understanding

  • New sources of natural resources (long term)

  • New habitats (very long term)

Critical Issues: Exploration at the frontiers of the natural universe ultimately leading to new frontiers for natural resource recovery and human habitation.

aAs defined by the Geotechnical Board (NRC, 1989).

these areas. The unresolved issues and the opportunities to address them are discussed in more detail in subsequent sections of this chapter. The chapter concludes with the committee’s perspective on the major knowledge gaps that need to be closed for geoengineering to realize its potential in addressing these issues and opportunities.

2.1 WASTE MANAGEMENT

As one of the least mature areas of geotechnical practice in 1989, it is not surprising that waste management is one of the areas in which substantial progress has been made since that time. The 1989 report identified an urgent need for rapid, effective, and economical cleanup of waste-contaminated sites. While progress has been made, many sites remain to be remediated, particularly large complex sites such as Pit 9 at



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