training, including proposals to establish a National Institutes for the Environment (NIE);
address the development and funding of institutional mechanisms to support the full range of research, training and education needed to increase the science base in the environmental regulatory process; and
examine how the results of environmental research are used to inform environmental policy decisions made by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and other federal agencies with missions that affect environmental quality and natural resources.
If, in the course of the study, other critical issues arise the committee will consider them in an appropriate manner.
In this report, Chapter 2 provides a perspective on environmental problems in the nation and world. Chapter 3 assesses the strengths and weaknesses of current environmental research programs. Chapter 4 describes the desirable characteristics of an environmental research program that would lead to effective organization of research, training, and education. Chapters 3 and 4 contain commentary on issues mentioned in the charge, such as the balance of intramural and extramural funding of environmental research and the means for using the scientific findings of environmental research to inform environmental policy decisions. Chapter 5 uses the needs identified in Chapter 3 and the desirable characteristics described in Chapter 4 to construct a series of recommendations for changing the culture for the performance of environmental research and for organizing it within the federal government.
Appendixes contain essential information that guided the deliberations of the committee. Appendix A describes current environmental research programs in the federal agencies and provides data on trends in financial support of the research. Appendix B deals with biodiversity and its loss and expands on a briefer discussion in Chapter 2. Appendix C reproduces the proposal by the Committee for the National Institute for the Environment.
Concern for the environment and for environmental research has been reflected in several nearly coincident studies of different aspects of the field. A 1992 report of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Federal Funding for Environmental R&D (Gramp et al. 1992), analyzes the