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Interacademy Programs Between the United States and Eastern Europe 1967-2009: The Changing Landscape
In 1992, 10 young U.S. investigators spent 3 weeks in Poland examining issues associated with Poland’s energy sector. Of special interest were energy-efficient technologies, emission standards, development of energy policies, and related public awareness programs. In general, the environmental situation in many areas of Poland was quite poor, particularly in regions heavily dependent on low-grade coal.
The second phase of the program involved visits by Polish counterparts to industrial and research centers in California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. The young investigators from the two countries then compared U.S. energy problems and policies with challenges faced in Poland and developed future collaborative projects. Most of the U.S. participants published papers on developments in Poland or developed follow-on research activities, or both. Several of the Polish participants soon assumed important positions within their government and research institutions.
Czech Republic and Slovakia
Ten American young investigators traveled to the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993 to discuss environmental health issues and to visit relevant facilities. In the Czech Republic the visits focused on health impacts of coal mining, heavy manufacturing industries, lead smelting, and related ground water pollution that entered the food chain. In Slovakia the group visited a cellulose plant and paper mill that discharged heavily contaminated effluents, and the Americans toured a controversial hydropower station that raised issues about the effectiveness of water management schemes.
The reciprocal visit for the counterparts from the two Eastern European countries took place the following year with visits to North Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. An important emphasis was on exposure of children to organic chemicals and heavy metals. At the conclusion of the visits, the Americans and their counterparts jointly examined activities in the two countries concerning risk assessment models, environmental health problems and possible solutions, and opportunities for future collaboration.
Six American specialists on coastal ecology spent 2 weeks in Zagreb and on the Adriatic coast of Croatia in 1996. They met with a number of government officials and researchers to discuss environmental issues, including discharge standards, measures for protecting ecosystems, and the international dimensions of environmental protection. In Istria, the