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Review of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 The discussion of the detailed science questions should include references to the scientific literature, NRC reports, and particularly to NASA internal reports (e.g., EOS Science Plan).43 Incorporating references would (1) show the heritage of the science questions, (2) give credit to the hundreds of contributors, and (3) permit much of the discussion to be deleted, resulting in a shorter, more readable document. All the criteria in the Plan for setting priorities are important for science and implementation. However, the bidirectional linear arrow used to illustrate the prioritization process suggests that the sequence of the priorities of the criteria is the same for all scientific questions and mission categories and for the implementation of all programs. The committee does not believe that a single sequence is optimal and suggests that the application of the order of the criteria should be adjusted appropriately for each science question and mission category. VIII. CONCLUSIONS The committee found the Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010 to be a useful planning document. The science questions presented in the Plan are important and are consistent with NASA plans and NRC reports, although there are some gaps that the ESE should address. NASA is to be commended for planning future research activities and missions of the Earth Science Enterprise around science questions, rather than missions, and for accepting the leadership responsibility for answering them. The criteria for selecting the science questions and future missions are sound and appropriate for NASA, although NASA should not feel constrained to use the sequence presented in the Plan for all science and implementation issues. Moreover, it is not clear how the criteria were used to select the science questions posed in the Plan. Distributed among the documents that the committee received are the elements of a more effective research strategy that includes the science questions and criteria, as well as strategic issues, such as a long-term observational strategy and considerations of modeling, and data assimilation. However, other strategic elements, such as managing data and information in the post-EOSDIS era and formulating partnerships with relevant national and international organizations, will have to be incorporated in the research strategy. By bringing together the science and implementation issues in a single, carefully revised, concise document, NASA's ESE Research Strategy should serve NASA, its partners, and the broader community well for many years. 43 NASA, 1999, EOS Science Plan: The State of Science in the EOS Program. Washington, D.C., 397 pp.
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