RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994

Committee on Research Programs of the U.S. Bureau of Mines

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C.
1994



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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 Committee on Research Programs of the U.S. Bureau of Mines Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1994

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this study was provided by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Copies of this report are available from Board on Earth Sciences and Resources National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 Cover: Stormy seas are depicted in this original sketch by Shelley Myers. Copyright ©1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 Committee on Research Programs of the U.S. Bureau of Mines ROBERT R. BEEBE, Chairman, Consultant, Tucson, AZ EARL H. BENNETT, Idaho Geological Survey, Moscow CORALE L. BRIERLEY, Consultant, Salt Lake City, UT MAURICE C. FUERSTENAU, University of Nevada, Reno DONALD W. GENTRY, Colorado School of Mines, Golden RHEA L. GRAHAM,* Science Applications International, Inc., Albuquerque, NM DONALD C. HANEY, Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington FREDERICK C. JOHNSON, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD MICHAEL E. KARMIS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg HAROLD W. PAXTON, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA ROBERT W. PULS, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ada, OK DALE F. STEIN, Michigan Technological University (retired), Tucson, AZ NRC Staff JONATHAN G. PRICE, Staff Director THOMAS M. USSELMAN, Associate Staff Director SHELLEY MYERS, Project Assistant U.S. Bureau of Mines Liaison Representative ROBERT S. KAPLAN *   Resigned October 1994.

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 Board on Earth Sciences and Resources FREEMAN GILBERT, Chair, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA GAIL M. ASHLEY, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ THURE CERLING, University of Utah, Salt Lake City MARK P. CLOOS, University of Texas at Austin NEVILLE G. W. COOK, University of California, Berkeley JOEL DARMSTADTER, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC DONALD J. DEPAOLO, University of California, Berkeley MARCO EINAUDI, Stanford University, Stanford, CA NORMAN H. FOSTER, Independent Petroleum Geologist, Denver, CO CHARLES G. GROAT, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge DONALD C. HANEY, Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington ANDREW H. KNOLL, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA PHILIP E. LAMOREAUX, P. E. LaMoreaux and Associates, Inc., Tuscaloosa, AL SUSAN LANDON, Thomasson Partner Associates, Denver, CO MARCIA K. MCNUTT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge J. BERNARD MINSTER, University of California, San Diego JILL D. PASTERIS, Washington University, St. Louis, MO EDWARD C. ROY, JR., Trinity University, San Antonio, TX NRC Staff JONATHAN G. PRICE, Staff Director THOMAS M. USSELMAN, Associate Staff Director WILLIAM E. BENSON, Senior Program Officer KEVIN CROWLEY, Senior Program Officer ANNE LINN, Program Officer LALLY A. ANDERSON, Staff Assistant JUDITH L. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant SHELLEY MYERS, Project Assistant

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 Commission on Geosciences,Environment, and Resources M. GORDON WOLMAN, Chairman, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, PA EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC JAMES P. BRUCE, Canadian Climate Program Board, Ontario WILLIAM L. FISHER, University of Texas at Austin EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena PERRY L. MCCARTY, Stanford University, Stanford, CA JUDY L. MEYER, University of Georgia, Athens RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ELLEN K. SILBERGELD, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, DC STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parson, Tallahassee, FL WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO NRC Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 Preface The U.S. Bureau of Mines, in a letter dated July 12, 1993, from Dr. David R. Forshey, Associate Director of Research, requested that the National Research Council (NRC) consider establishing a committee for ongoing assessments of the bureau's research programs. The stated overall objective of the effort was to provide advice that would help to continuously improve the quality of the bureau's research programs. Within its research division, the Bureau pursues a spectrum of activities ranging from fundamental processes involving minerals and materials to applications of new and existing technologies in the mining and minerals industries. Programs in the bureau's Information and Analysis Division are not included in the NRC's charge. In part, the bureau was responding to a recommendation in Competitiveness of the U.S. Minerals and Metals Industry (National Materials Advisory Board, National Research Council, Washington, DC, 1990, 140 pp.), stating that the bureau “should ensure that organizations or groups of individuals will serve as visiting committees to review and evaluate the research programs of the bureau's in-house mining and metallurgical laboratories in terms of their scientific merit and research operations.” The Competitiveness report also provided a brief summary of a debate over U.S. minerals and metals policy and pointed out three consistent themes. These were (1) international free markets; (2) interdependence of the United States and its trading partners, backed up by stockpiles of strategic materials; and (3) a national minerals and materials policy mandated by Congress and implemented by the executive branch. Embedded in this last item was a general belief that cross-cutting management was needed to coordinate research, regulation, and other activities involved in the production, use, and recycling of minerals and metals and in the disposal of their waste products. The Committee on Research Programs of the Bureau of Mines was established by the NRC in early 1994. The committee operates under the aegis of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources within the NRC's Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources. With the help of panels, the main committee oversees assessment of the bureau's research and research infrastructure. A panel was established to assess facilities and research at the bureau's research centers through a series of intensive center visits. Three of the bureau's centers (those in Salt Lake City, Reno, and Albany, Oregon) were visited in 1994. In addition, the committee established a panel to conduct an in-depth review of the bureau's occupational health program.

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 The committee intends to provide its input to the bureau through annual reports, of which this is the first. The present report incorporates the committee's overall findings and assessment of the bureau's research organization and the quality of its products, along with findings of the specific panels. The report contains recommendations that the committee believes will improve the quality of the bureau 's research programs. The appendixes contain panel reports prepared for the committee to use in the preparation of this report. Many of the findings and conclusions in the appendixes have been incorporated into the main report. However, the committee did not attempt to reach a consensus on the entire content of the appendixes, particularly some of the highly detailed material on the bureau's occupational health program in Appendix A. During 1994 the U.S. Bureau of Mines was in the process of reorganizing much of its operations, following government-wide recommendations within the National Performance Review prepared under the direction of Vice President Gore. Because of this reorganization, questions were raised concerning the bureau's structure and how its research programs are managed. While this caused some difficulty, the committee trusts and expects that future annual reports will be able to deal with an established organizational structure for the bureau. The committee will have to replace one of its members: Rhea Lydia Graham was confirmed as the Director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines in October 1994 and resigned from the committee. Prior to her nomination in August 1994, she participated at the first meeting of the committee and meetings of the Occupational Health Panel and the Salt Lake City Panel; however, she did not participate in revision of the draft panel reports or in the preparation of this report. 1994 Committee Activities The committee held three meetings in 1994: March 17-18 in Washington, D.C.; June 27-29 in Salt Lake City; and September 25-27 at the NRC 's Beckman Center in Irvine, California. The first meeting involved discussion of the charge to the committee, a discussion with bureau staff about expectations, and a series of briefings on the bureau 's organizational structure and highlights of the three research divisions —(1) Health, Safety, and Mining Technology, (2) Minerals and Materials Sciences; and (3) Environmental Technology. The committee's second meeting was primarily devoted to the first center visit (at the Salt Lake City Research Center). The third meeting was devoted to consideration of the committee's findings and overall recommendations. Input to this meeting included information provided by the bureau (e.g., program descriptions, staff profiles, budget documents) and reports from the Occupational Health Panel and the three panels that visited the research centers.

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES—FIRST ASSESSMENT, 1994 Occupational Health Panel This panel (three members of the committee and three guest panelists) was established to conduct an in-depth technical review of the occupational health program of the bureau. The panel held two formal meetings, one at the Pittsburgh Research Center (May 1994) and one at the Twin Cities Research Center (June 1994). During these meetings, the research center directors described their programs and several investigators summarized their individual research projects. The panel visited the research facilities and laboratories; met with user groups in Pittsburgh (regulatory agencies, mine operators, and labor unions were represented); reviewed research reports, documents on project selection, and memoranda of agreement; and examined publication and technology transfer activities. The panel report is contained in Appendix A. Panels on Facilities and Research Panels (comprised of several committee members and invited guests) visited three of the bureau's research centers to assess their facilities and research programs. The Salt Lake City Research Center was visited first (June 27-29, 1994), and all 12 members of the committee participated as the panel. This was followed by visits to the Reno Research Center (July 18-20, 1994) and the Albany (Oregon) Research Center (August 18-19, 1994). All three visits included briefings and discussions on the operations of the individual centers, highlights of their research projects, their research staffs, and technology transfer activities. Each visit involved also tours of the facilities and laboratories, where selected individual researchers provided short summaries of their research. The panels held closed discussions (without bureau supervisors and managers) with center employees; similar discussions were also held with bureau cooperators (e.g., industry, universities, and other government agencies). Final discussions were held with the respective center directors. The reports of the panels appear in Appendix B, Appendix C, and Appendix D. Future Committee Activities The committee will continue operations through at least 1996, focusing on visits to the remaining bureau research centers, additional in-depth reviews of specific research programs, and assessments of the broader program areas. These program areas will probably be Health and Safety, Environmental Remediation, Pollution Prevention and Control, and Materials Partnerships. The three in-depth program reviews by the committee tentatively scheduled for 1995 include research on ground control, biotechnology, and in situ mining.

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