A
Statement of Task

At the request of the Division of Atmospheric Sciences (ATM), this committee will perform a study that will provide guidance to ATM on its strategy for achieving its goals in the atmospheric sciences (e.g., cutting-edge research, education and workforce development, service to society, computational and observational objectives, data management). In doing so, the committee will seek to engage the broad atmospheric science community to the fullest extent possible. The committee will provide guidance on the most effective approaches for different goals and on determining the appropriate balance among approaches. In essence, the committee is asked to consider how ATM can best accomplish its mission of supporting the atmospheric sciences into the future. Specifically, this study will consider the following questions:

  1. What are the most effective activities (e.g., research, facilities, technology development, education and workforce programs) and modes of support (e.g., individual principal investigators, university-based research centers, large centers) for achieving the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) range of goals in the atmospheric sciences?

  2. Is the balance among the types of activities appropriate and should it be adjusted? Is the balance among modes of support for the atmospheric sciences effective and should it be adjusted?

  3. Are there any gaps in the activities supported by the Division and are there new mechanisms that should be considered in planning and facilitating these activities?



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OCR for page 179
Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences A Statement of Task At the request of the Division of Atmospheric Sciences (ATM), this committee will perform a study that will provide guidance to ATM on its strategy for achieving its goals in the atmospheric sciences (e.g., cutting-edge research, education and workforce development, service to society, computational and observational objectives, data management). In doing so, the committee will seek to engage the broad atmospheric science community to the fullest extent possible. The committee will provide guidance on the most effective approaches for different goals and on determining the appropriate balance among approaches. In essence, the committee is asked to consider how ATM can best accomplish its mission of supporting the atmospheric sciences into the future. Specifically, this study will consider the following questions: What are the most effective activities (e.g., research, facilities, technology development, education and workforce programs) and modes of support (e.g., individual principal investigators, university-based research centers, large centers) for achieving the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) range of goals in the atmospheric sciences? Is the balance among the types of activities appropriate and should it be adjusted? Is the balance among modes of support for the atmospheric sciences effective and should it be adjusted? Are there any gaps in the activities supported by the Division and are there new mechanisms that should be considered in planning and facilitating these activities?

OCR for page 179
Strategic Guidance for the National Science Foundation‘s Support of the Atmospheric Sciences Are interdisciplinary, foundation-wide, interagency, and international activities effectively implemented and are there new mechanisms that should be considered? How can NSF ensure and encourage the broadest participation and involvement of atmospheric researchers at a variety of institutions? The study will not make budgetary recommendations. The committee will deliver its results in two parts: (1) a short interim report in fall 2005 that provides a preliminary sense of the committee’s overarching conclusions; and (2) a final report by fall 2006 that further considers community input and provides the committee’s full analysis and recommendations.