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A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Draft Strategic Plan (2012)

Chapter: Appendix A: Statement of Task for the NRC Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task for the NRC Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program." National Research Council. 2012. A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Draft Strategic Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13330.
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A

Statement of Task for the
NRC Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program

An expert committee will provide ongoing and focused advice to the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The committee will be broadly constituted to bring expertise in all the areas addressed by the multi-agency, multi-dimensional USGCRP and will be supported by expertise housed in many units across the National Research Council. The committee will, over time, organize ongoing discussions, take on specific tasks, and issue reports.

In its role as a single entry source of contact to the National Research Council and source of strategic discussion with appropriate experts, the Committee to Advise the US Global Change Research Program will:

1.   Provide ongoing, integrated advice to the USGCRP on broad, program-wide issues when requested. This will begin with a review of the 2011 USGCRP Strategic Plan (see below) and is expected to include other tasks such as a review of the national climate assessment and/or an evaluation of USGCRP progress toward its Strategic Plan objectives.

2.   Provide a forum for informal interaction between the USGCRP and the relevant scientific communities.

3.   Provide a forum for exchange of experience and insights for integrating across science communities and improving linkages between officials of the Program and the science communities.

4.   Improve the internal coordination across existing and future NRC entities related to global change (including coordination across NAS, NAE, and IOM).

5.   Help identify issues of importance for the global change research community. This implies a proactive role that goes beyond simply responding to requests from the USGCRP.

6.   Interact with and help USGCRP with its international activities, such as shaping the future of relevant international global environmental change programs.

7.   In addition to producing NRC reports as tasked, the committee may help develop other work requests and ensure that they are conducted by the appropriate NRC units in a collaborative fashion.

Statement of Task for the Review of the Draft USGCRP Strategic Plan

The committee will conduct an independent review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s draft strategic plan (concurrent with public review). The review will address the following questions about the draft plan:

1.   Is the plan responsive to the nation’s needs for information on climate change and global change, their potential implications, and the potential effects of different response options?

2.   Are the plan’s goals clear and appropriate?

3.   Is there an appropriate balance between short-term and longer-term goals, among

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task for the NRC Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program." National Research Council. 2012. A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Draft Strategic Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13330.
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substantive research areas, and between research and non-research activities, such as observations, modeling, and communication?

4.   Are there adequate mechanisms for coordinating and integrating issues that involve multiple disciplines and multiple agencies?

5.   Does the plan adequately describe the relationships between the Program and its agency participants, and between the Program and the public, the private sector, academia, state/local governments, and international communities?

6.   Does the written document describing the program effectively communicate with both stakeholders and the scientific community?

7.   Are there any content areas missing from the plan that should be present if the Program is to achieve its overall vision and mission?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task for the NRC Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program." National Research Council. 2012. A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Draft Strategic Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13330.
×
Page 49
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task for the NRC Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program." National Research Council. 2012. A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Draft Strategic Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13330.
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Page 50
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The U.S. government supports a large, diverse suite of activities that can be broadly characterized as "global change research." Such research offers a wide array of benefits to the nation, in terms of protecting public health and safety, enhancing economic strength and competitiveness, and protecting the natural systems upon which life depends. The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which coordinates the efforts of numerous agencies and departments across the federal government, was officially established in 1990 through the U.S. Global Change Research Act (GCRA). In the subsequent years, the scope, structure, and priorities of the Program have evolved, (for example, it was referred to as the Climate Change

Science Program [CCSP] for the years 2002-2008), but throughout, the Program has played an important role in shaping and coordinating our nation's global change research enterprise. This research enterprise, in turn, has played a crucial role in advancing understanding of our changing global environment and the countless ways in which human society affects and is affected by such changes.

In mid-2011, a new NRC Committee to Advise the USGCRP was formed and charged to provide a centralized source of ongoing whole-program advice to the USGCRP. The first major task of this committee was to provide a review of the USGCRP draft Strategic Plan 2012-2021 (referred to herein as "the Plan"), which was made available for public comment on September 30, 2011. A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Strategic Plan addresses an array of suggestions for improving the Plan, ranging from relatively small edits to large questions about the Program's scope, goals, and capacity to meet those goals.

The draft Plan proposes a significant broadening of the Program's scope from the form it took as the CCSP. Outlined in this report, issues of key importance are the need to identify initial steps the Program will take to actually achieve the proposed broadening of its scope, to develop critical science capacity that is now lacking, and to link the production of knowledge to its use; and the need to establish an overall governance structure that will allow the Program to move in the planned new directions.

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