Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proposal To Merge NOAA And US Geological Survey To Form An Earth Systems Science Agency

Date:
July 7, 2008
Source:
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Summary:
In a new article in the journal Science, a group of former senior federal officials call for the establishment of an independent Earth Systems Science Agency to meet the unprecedented environmental and economic challenges facing the nation. They propose forming the new agency by merging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Geological Survey.

In an article published in the journal Science, a group of former senior federal officials call for the establishment of an independent Earth Systems Science Agency (ESSA) to meet the unprecedented environmental and economic challenges facing the nation. They propose forming the new agency by merging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Charles Kennel, former Associate Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Director of Mission to Planet Earth, says, "Earth system science focuses on understanding current processes and predicting changes that will take place over the next hundred years. It merges earth, atmospheric, and ocean science into a panorama of the earth system as it is today and as it will be tomorrow. We need it to predict climate change and its impacts, and to help us mitigate and adapt to other changes that have the potential to affect our quality of life and economic well-being."

The article points to the many scientific advantages of linking the atmospheric and marine programs of NOAA with the terrestrial, freshwater, and biological programs of USGS. Former NOAA administrator D. James Baker and former USGS director Charles Groat, among the seven coauthors of the paper, see important synergies in linking the two agencies.

According to Baker, "Population pressure, development impact, and resource extraction affect land and sea alike. Just as the science of the Earth is seamless, so should the government responsibility be merged for these separate Earth agencies."

Groat points to the breadth of capabilities the agency would possess. "The USGS, in bringing not only its geologic, biologic, hydrologic and geospatial expertise to the understanding of natural systems, but also its research capabilities in energy, mineral, water, and biologic resources, gives the new organization a comprehensive perspective on both environmental and resource systems. If we effectively link these capabilities with those of NOAA, we will have a powerful research institution," he says.

The authors express concern that federal environmental research, development, and monitoring programs are not presently structured to address such major environmental problems as global climate change, declines in freshwater availability and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to Donald Kennedy, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and past president of Stanford University, "It isn't often that we are offered a real opportunity to make government work better. But the modest, sensible reorganization proposed here brings a new science-rich focus on some of our biggest contemporary challenges."

Kennedy also stresses the importance of linking ESSA's activities with the tremendous talent in the nation's universities.

The authors recommend that no less than 25 percent of the new agency's budget be devoted to grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements with academic and nonprofit institutions.

ESSA's success will also hinge on the collaborative arrangements the agency makes with other federal departments and agencies. According to former presidential science adviser John H. Gibbons, "ESSA's effectiveness will depend upon the bridges it builds to other federal agencies, from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Science Foundation, to the Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

David Rejeski, who worked in both the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Council on Environmental Quality, emphasizes the importance of setting aside some of ESSA's budget to fund research and development with breakthrough potential. "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has demonstrated the value of funding high-risk, high-reward research and development. ESSA should foster similar ventures in the environmental arena," Rejeski says.

The paper points to the direct link between research and development and economic growth. The work of NOAA and USGS already fuels a large, multi-billion dollar private sector enterprise.

Mark Schaefer, a former official at the Department of the Interior and the White House science office, adds that "the quality of life of future generations will be defined by the quality of the environment we hand down to them. Our nation's research and development enterprise must be better structured and directed if we are to have any chance of solving the tremendous environmental challenges of our time."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. An Earth Systems Science Agency. Science, July 4, 2008

Cite This Page:

Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "Proposal To Merge NOAA And US Geological Survey To Form An Earth Systems Science Agency." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703140725.htm>.
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. (2008, July 7). Proposal To Merge NOAA And US Geological Survey To Form An Earth Systems Science Agency. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703140725.htm
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. "Proposal To Merge NOAA And US Geological Survey To Form An Earth Systems Science Agency." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080703140725.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins