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Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs), as defined in the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, fires, or accidents involving railroad cars or trucks used in transporting these substances, or intentionally through terrorist activities. It is also feasible that these substance can be released by improper storage and/or handling. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial facilities where EHSs are manufactured, used, or stored and in communities along the nation’s railways and highways are potentially at risk of being exposed to airborne EHSs during accidental and intentional releases. This report provides technical guidance on establishing community Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) for certain hazardous chemicals. It reviews the scientific validity of AEGLs developed by the national Advisory Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances, identifies research priorities, and identifies guidance issues that may require modification or further development based on the toxicological database for the chemicals reviewed. This twelfth interim report offers recommendations for improving AEGLs for the following 15 chemicals: toluene, xylenes, ammonia, bromine, aniline, methyl ethyl ketone, hydrazine, iron pentacarbonyl, phosphine, chlorine, trifluoride, ethyleneimine, propyleneimine, allyl alcohol, ethylene oxide, and nickel carbonyl.
Conventional prompt global strike (CPGS) is a military option under consideration by the U.S. Department of Defense. This book, the final report from the National Research Council’s Committee on Conventional Prompt Global Strike Capability, analyzes proposed CPGS systems and evaluates the potential role CPGS could play in U.S. defense. U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike provides near-, mid-, and long-term recommendations for possible CPGS development, addressing the following questions: Does the United States need CPGS capabilities?What are the alternative CPGS systems, and how effective are they likely to be if proposed capabilities are achieved?What would be the implications of alternative CPGS systems for stability, doctrine, decision making, and operations? What nuclear ambiguity concerns arise from CPGS, and how might they be mitigated? What arms control issues arise with CPGS systems, and how might they be resolved? Should the United States proceed with research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) of the Conventional Trident Modification (CTM) program5 and, ultimately, with CTM production and deployment? Should the United States proceed with the development and testing of alternative CPGS systems beyond CTM?
U.S.-Iran Engagement in Science, Engineering, and Health (2000-2009): Opportunities, Constraints, and Impactsby National Research Council of the National Academies
During the first decade of the 21st century, the National Academies, working with a number of partner organizations in Iran, carried out a program of U.S.-Iran engagement in science, engineering, and health (herein referred to as science engagement). This book reviews important aspects of the science engagement program, including: (a) objectives of the program, (b) opportunities and constraints in developing the program, and (c) scientific and political impacts of the activities. Suggestions for future activities that draw on the conclusions and recommendations that have emerged from workshops and other types of interactions are set forth. Of course, the political turmoil within Iran and uncertainties as to the direction of U.S.-Iran government-to-government relations will undoubtedly complicate initiation and implementation of new science engagement activities in the near term. At the same time, many American and Iranian participants and important government officials in the United States and Iran have believed that science engagement can contribute to the evolution of an improved political environment for development of less adversarial relations between the two governments.
Great advances have been made in our understanding of the climate system over the past few decades, and remotely sensed data have played a key role in supporting many of these advances. Improvements in satellites and in computational and data-handling techniques have yielded high quality, readily accessible data. However, rapid increases in data volume have also led to large and complex datasets that pose significant challenges in data analysis. Uncertainty characterization is needed for every satellite mission and scientists continue to be challenged by the need to reduce the uncertainty in remotely sensed climate records and projections. The approaches currently used to quantify the uncertainty in remotely sensed data lack an overall mathematically based framework. An additional challenge is characterizing uncertainty in ways that are useful to a broad spectrum of end-users. In December 2008, the National Academies held a workshop, summarized in this volume, to survey how statisticians, climate scientists, and remote sensing experts might address the challenges of uncertainty management in remote sensing of climate data. The workshop emphasized raising and discussing issues that could be studied more intently by individual researchers or teams of researchers, and setting the stage for possible future collaborative activities.
The National Academies Press (NAP)--publisher for the National Academies--publishes more than 200 books a year offering the most authoritative views, definitive information, and groundbreaking recommendations on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. Our books are unique in that they are authored by the nation's leading experts in every scientific field.
Understanding and Managing Risk in Security Systems for the Doe Nuclear Weapons Complex: (Abbreviated Version)by National Research Council of the National Academies
A nuclear weapon or a significant quantity of special nuclear material (SNM) would be of great value to a terrorist or other adversary. It might have particular value if acquired from a U.S. facility--in addition to acquiring a highly destructive tool, the adversary would demonstrate an inability of the United States to protect its nuclear assets. The United States expends considerable resources toward maintaining effective security at facilities that house its nuclear assets. However, particularly in a budget-constrained environment, it is essential that these assets are also secured efficiently, meaning at reasonable cost and imposing minimal burdens on the primary missions of the organizations that operate U.S. nuclear facilities. It is in this context that the U.S. Congress directed the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)--a semi-autonomous agency in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) responsible for securing nuclear weapons and significant quantities of SNM--asked the National Academies for advice on augmenting its security approach, particularly on the applicability of quantitative and other risk-based approaches for securing its facilities. In carrying out its charge, the committee has focused on what actions NNSA could take to make its security approach more effective and efficient. The committee concluded that the solution to balancing cost, security, and operations at facilities in the nuclear weapons complex is not to assess security risks more quantitatively or more precisely. This is primarily because there is no comprehensive analytical basis for defining the attack strategies that a malicious, creative, and deliberate adversary might employ or the probabilities associated with them. However, using structured thinking processes and techniques to characterize security risk could improve NNSA's understanding of security vulnerabilities and guide more effective resource allocation.
The U.S. economy is highly dynamic: businesses open and close, workers switch jobs and start new enterprises, and innovative technologies redefine the workplace and enhance productivity. With globalization markets have also become more interconnected. Measuring business activity in this rapidly evolving environment increasingly requires tracking complex interactions among firms, establishments, employers, and employees. Understanding Business Dynamics presents strategies for improving the accuracy, timeliness, coverage, and integration of data that are used in constructing aggregate economic statistics, as well as in microlevel analyses of topics ranging from job creation and destruction and firm entry and exit to innovation and productivity. This book offers recommendations that could be enacted by federal statistical agencies to modernize the measurement of business dynamics, particularly the production of information on small and young firms that can have a disproportionately large impact in rapidly expanding economic sectors. It also outlines the need for effective coordination of existing survey and administrative data sources, which is essential to improving the depth and coverage of business data.
The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in brain size; and the emergence of Homo sapiens, tools, and culture. The Earth's geological record suggests that some evolutionary events were coincident with substantial changes in African and Eurasian climate, raising the possibility that critical junctures in human evolution and behavioral development may have been affected by the environmental characteristics of the areas where hominins evolved. Understanding Climate's Change on Human Evolution explores the opportunities of using scientific research to improve our understanding of how climate may have helped shape our species. Improved climate records for specific regions will be required before it is possible to evaluate how critical resources for hominins, especially water and vegetation, would have been distributed on the landscape during key intervals of hominin history. Existing records contain substantial temporal gaps. The book's initiatives are presented in two major research themes: first, determining the impacts of climate change and climate variability on human evolution and dispersal; and second, integrating climate modeling, environmental records, and biotic responses. Understanding Climate's Change on Human Evolution suggests a new scientific program for international climate and human evolution studies that involve an exploration initiative to locate new fossil sites and to broaden the geographic and temporal sampling of the fossil and archeological record; a comprehensive and integrative scientific drilling program in lakes, lake bed outcrops, and ocean basins surrounding the regions where hominins evolved and a major investment in climate modeling experiments for key time intervals and regions that are critical to understanding human evolution.
Changes over time in the levels and patterns of crime have significant consequences that affect not only the criminal justice system but also other critical policy sectors. Yet compared with such areas as health status, housing, and employment, the nation lacks timely information and comprehensive research on crime trends. Descriptive information and explanatory research on crime trends across the nation that are not only accurate, but also timely, are pressing needs in the nation's crime-control efforts. In April 2007, the National Research Council held a two-day workshop to address key substantive and methodological issues underlying the study of crime trends and to lay the groundwork for a proposed multiyear NRC panel study of these issues. Six papers were commissioned from leading researchers and discussed at the workshop by experts in sociology, criminology, law, economics, and statistics. The authors revised their papers based on the discussants' comments, and the papers were then reviewed again externally. The six final workshop papers are the basis of this volume, which represents some of the most serious thinking and research on crime trends currently available.
Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities To Pursue Research Careers: Summary Of A Workshopby National Research Council of the National Academies
Minority groups are severely underrepresented in the scientific workforce. To encourage minorities to pursue careers in research, a variety of "intervention programs" have been created at the pre-college, college, and graduate school levels. While there is a belief that these programs often achieve their goals, there is relatively little understanding of the factors that contribute to that success. The Division of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health has established a grant program to support research to better understand the factors that contribute to the success of intervention programs. The MORE Division asked the National Academies to organize a workshop focusing on issues addressed by the grant program. This workshop summary presents examples of previous research on intervention programs, describes ways to formulate effective research questions and conduct research to identify the key elements that lead to successful intervention programs, and outlines ways to foster a community of researchers in this area.
The research of the last decade has demonstrated that ecosystems and human systems are influenced by multiple factors, including climate, land use, and the by-products of resource use. Understanding the net impact of a suite of simultaneously occurring environmental changes is essential for developing effective response strategies. Using case studies on drought and a wide range of atmosphere-ecosystem interactions, a workshop was held in September 2005 to gather different perspectives on multiple stress scenarios. The overarching lesson of the workshop is that society will require new and improved strategies for coping with multiple stresses and their impacts on natural socioeconomic systems. Improved communication among stakeholders; increased observations (especially at regional scales); improved model and information systems; and increased infrastructure to provide better environmental monitoring, vulnerability assessment, and response analysis are all important parts of moving toward better understanding of and response to situations involving multiple stresses. During the workshop, seven near-term opportunities for research and infrastructure that could help advance understanding of multiple stresses were also identified.
Many nations are currently adopting a variety of directed strategies to launch and support research parks
From the oceans to continental heartlands, human activities have altered the physical characteristics of Earth's surface. With Earth's population projected to peak at 8 to 12 billion people by 2050 and the additional stress of climate change, it is more important than ever to understand how and where these changes are happening. Innovation in the geographical sciences has the potential to advance knowledge of place-based environmental change, sustainability, and the impacts of a rapidly changing economy and society. Understanding the Changing Planet outlines eleven strategic directions to focus research and leverage new technologies to harness the potential that the geographical sciences offer.
Despite efforts to reduce drug consumption in the United States over the past 35 years, drugs are just as cheap and available as they have ever been. Cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines continue to cause great harm in the country, particularly in minority communities in the major cities. Marijuana use remains a part of adolescent development for about half of the country's young people, although there is controversy about the extent of its harm.Given the persistence of drug demand in the face of lengthy and expensive efforts to control the markets, the National Institute of Justice asked the National Research Council to undertake a study of current research on the demand for drugs in order to help better focus national efforts to reduce that demand. This study complements the 2003 book, Informing America's Policy on Illegal Drugs by giving more attention to the sources of demand and assessing the potential of demand-side interventions to make a substantial difference to the nation's drug problems. Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs therefore focuses tightly on demand models in the field of economics and evaluates the data needs for advancing this relatively undeveloped area of investigation.
In 2004, the NRC released a workshop report about the future direction of the U.S. civil space program. At the same time, the Administration announced the Vision for Space Exploration, and in June 2004, it issued a report that articulated a balanced space program for human and robotic exploration and science. Subsequent NRC reports, however, have noted that NASA has not been given the resources to carry out this broad-based program. This challenge, along with others faced by the U.S. civil space program, stimulated the NRC to form an ad hoc committee to organize a second workshop, held in November 2007, to address the space program’s future directions. The workshop’s goal was to air a range of views and perspectives so as to inform discussions of these questions by policymakers and the public. This book presents a summary of the workshop.
The rapid conversion of land to urban and suburban areas has profoundly altered how water flows during and following storm events, putting higher volumes of water and more pollutants into the nation's rivers, lakes, and estuaries. These changes have degraded water quality and habitat in virtually every urban stream system. The Clean Water Act regulatory framework for addressing sewage and industrial wastes is not well suited to the more difficult problem of stormwater discharges. This book calls for an entirely new permitting structure that would put authority and accountability for stormwater discharges at the municipal level. A number of additional actions, such as conserving natural areas, reducing hard surface cover (e.g., roads and parking lots), and retrofitting urban areas with features that hold and treat stormwater, are recommended.
Using the American Community Survey for the National Science Foundation's Science and Engineering Workforce Statistics Programsby National Research Council of the National Academies
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has long collected information on the number and characteristics of individuals with education or employment in science and engineering and related fields in the United States. An important motivation for this effort is to fulfill a congressional mandate to monitor the status of women and minorities in the science and engineering workforce. Consequently, many statistics are calculated by race or ethnicity, gender, and disability status. For more than 25 years, NSF obtained a sample frame for identifying the target population for information it gathered from the list of respondents to the decennial census long-form who indicated that they had earned a bachelors or higher degree. The probability that an individual was sampled from this list was dependent on both demographic and employment characteristics. But, the source for the sample frame will no longer be available because the census long-form is being replaced as of the 2010 census with the continuous collection of detailed demographic and other information in the new American Community Survey (ACS). At the request of NSF’s Science Resources Statistics Division, the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council formed a panel to conduct a workshop and study the issues involved in replacing the decennial census long-form sample with a sample from the ACS to serve as the frame for the information the NSF gathers. The workshop had the specific objective of identifying issues for the collection of field of degree information on the ACS with regard to goals, content, statistical methodology, data quality, and data products.
Beginning in the early 1980s, new technologies, began to permit evaluation of the expression of individual genes. Recent technological advances have expanded those evaluations to permit the simultaneous detection of the expression of tens of thousands of genes and to support holistic evaluations of the entire genome. The application of these technologies has enabled researchers to unravel complexities of cell biology and, in conjunction with toxicologic evaluations, the technologies are used to probe and gain insight into questions of toxicologic relevance. As a result, the use of the technologies has become increasingly important for scientists in academia, as well as for the regulatory and drug development process.
Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing development, it is essential to consider both the value of the development and the value of the ecosystem services that could be lost. Despite a growing recognition of the importance of ecosystem services, their value is often overlooked in environmental decision-making. This report identifies methods for assigning economic value to ecosystem services—even intangible ones—and calls for greater collaboration between ecologists and economists in such efforts.
The Small Business Administration issued a policy directive in 2002, the effect of which has been to exclude innovative small firms in which venture capital firms have a controlling interest from the SBIR program. This book seeks to illuminate the consequences of the SBA ruling excluding majority-owned venture capital firms from participation in SBIR projects. This book is part of the National Research Council's study to evaluate the SBIR program's quality of research and value to the missions of five government agencies. The other books in the series include: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11989 An Assessment of the SBIR Program (2008) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11929 An Assessment of the SBIR Program at the National Science Foundation (2007) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11964 An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the National Institutes of Health (2009) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12052 An Assessment of Small Business Innovation Research Program at the Department of Energy (2008) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12441 An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2009) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11963 An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the Department of Defense (2009).
The world's nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor changes over time. In this context, the present book focuses on the greenhouse gases that result from human activities, have long lifetimes in the atmosphere and thus will change global climate for decades to millennia or more, and are currently included in international agreements. The book devotes considerably more space to CO2 than to the other gases because CO2 is the largest single contributor to global climate change and is thus the focus of many mitigation efforts. Only data in the public domain were considered because public access and transparency are necessary to build trust in a climate treaty. The book concludes that each country could estimate fossil-fuel CO2 emissions accurately enough to support monitoring of a climate treaty. However, current methods are not sufficiently accurate to check these self-reported estimates against independent data or to estimate other greenhouse gas emissions. Strategic investments would, within 5 years, improve reporting of emissions by countries and yield a useful capability for independent verification of greenhouse gas emissions reported by countries.
Scientists and engineers have long relied on the power of imaging techniques to help see objects invisible to the naked eye, and thus, to advance scientific knowledge. These experts are constantly pushing the limits of technology in pursuit of chemical imaging&#8212the ability to visualize molecular structures and chemical composition in time and space as actual events unfold&#8212from the smallest dimension of a biological system to the widest expanse of a distant galaxy. Chemical imaging has a variety of applications for almost every facet of our daily lives, ranging from medical diagnosis and treatment to the study and design of material properties in new products. In addition to highlighting advances in chemical imaging that could have the greatest impact on critical problems in science and technology, Visualizing Chemistry reviews the current state of chemical imaging technology, identifies promising future developments and their applications, and suggests a research and educational agenda to enable breakthrough improvements.
Vital statistics, the records of birth and death, are a critical national information resource for understanding public health. Over the past few decades, the specific program that gathers the data has evolved into a complex cooperative program between the federal and state governments for social measurement. The Vital Statistics Cooperative Program (VSCP) is currently maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The U.S. vital statistics system relies on the original information reported by myriad individuals, channeled through varying state and local information systems, and coordinated and processed by a federal statistical agency that has experienced relatively flat funding for many years. The challenges facing the vital statistics system and the continuing importance of the resulting data make it an important topic for examination. A workshop, held by the National Academies and summarized in this volume, considered the importance of adequate vital statistics. In particular, the workshop assessed both current and emerging uses of the data, considered the methodological and organizational features of compiling vital data, and identified possible visions for the vital statistics program.
Without major changes, the current air transportation system will be unable to accommodate the expected increase in demand by 2025. One proposal to address this problem is to use the Global Positioning System to enable aircraft to fly more closely spaced. This approach, however, might be limited by the wake turbulence problem, which can be a safety hazard when smaller aircraft follow relatively larger aircraft too closely. To examine how this potential hazard might be reduced, Congress in 2005 directed NASA to request a study from the NRC to assess the federal wake turbulence R&D program. This book provides a description of the problem, an assessment of the organizational challenges to addressing wake turbulence, an analysis of the technical challenges in wake turbulence, and a proposal for a wake turbulence program plan. A series of recommendations for addressing the wake turbulence challenge are also given.
In December 2002, a group of specialists on water resources from the United States and Iran met in Tunis, Tunisia, for an interacademy workshop on water resources management, conservation, and recycling. This was the fourth interacademy workshop on a variety of topics held in 2002, the first year of such workshops. Tunis was selected as the location for the workshop because the Tunisian experience in addressing water conservation issues was of interest to the participants from both the United States and Iran. This report includes the agenda for the workshop, all of the papers that were presented, and the list of site visits.