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The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by the U.S. Congress. The goals of the USIP are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts; promote post-conflict stability and development; and to increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. One way the USIP meets those goals is through the Jennings Randolph Program for International Peace, which awards Senior Fellowships to outstanding scholars, policymakers, journalists, and other professionals from around the world to conduct research at the USIP. The Fellowship Program began in 1987, and 253 Fellowships have been awarded through 2007. This book presents a preliminary assessment of the Fellowship Program, and recommends certain steps to improve it, including more rigorous and systematic monitoring and evaluation of the Fellowship in the future. The committee also makes several recommendations intended to help USIP gain further knowledge about the perceptions of the Fellowships in the wider expert community.
Nutrient Control Actions for Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexicoby National Research Council of the National Academies
A large area of coastal waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico experiences seasonal conditions of low levels of dissolved oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia. Excess discharge of nutrients into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers causes nutrient overenrichment in the gulf's coastal waters and stimulates the growth of large algae blooms. When these algae die, the process of decomposition depletes dissolved oxygen from the water column and creates hypoxic conditions. In considering how to implement provisions of the Clean Water Act to strengthen nutrient reduction objectives across the Mississippi River basin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested advice from the National Research Council. This book represents the results of the committee's investigations and deliberations, and recommends that the EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture should jointly establish a Nutrient Control Implementation Initiative to learn more about the effectiveness of actions meant to improve water quality throughout the Mississippi River basin and into the northern Gulf of Mexico. Other recommendations include how to move forward on the larger process of allocating nutrient loading caps -- which entails delegating responsibilities for reducing nutrient pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus -- across the basin.
Detailed weather observations on local and regional levels are essential to a range of needs from forecasting tornadoes to making decisions that affect energy security, public health and safety, transportation, agriculture and all of our economic interests. As technological capabilities have become increasingly affordable, businesses, state and local governments, and individual weather enthusiasts have set up observing systems throughout the United States. However, because there is no national network tying many of these systems together, data collection methods are inconsistent and public accessibility is limited. This book identifies short-term and long-term goals for federal government sponsors and other public and private partners in establishing a coordinated nationwide "network of networks" of weather and climate observations.
In October 2007, the U.S. National Academies and the Iranian Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Science organized the first of a series of planned U.S.-Iranian workshops on the topic "Science as a Gateway to Understanding." This new workshop series is a component of the broader effort of the National Academies to support bilateral workshops and exchange visits in a variety of fields with a number of Iranian institutions that began in 2000. This book includes papers that were presented at the workshop and summaries of the discussions that followed some of the presentations. At the conclusion of the workshop there was general agreement that the presentations on many aspects of science and scientific cooperation that have a bearing on mutual understanding were an important first step. Several participants underscored that the next workshop should emphasize how scientific cooperation can lead in concrete terms to improved understanding among both academic and political leaders from the two countries.
The NCI-sponsored cooperative groups have made important contributions to improving treatment for many types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, colorectal, and childhood cancers. Cooperative group research has been instrumental in establishing innovative treatments that improve outcomes and quality of life. Despite these successes, the Cooperative Group Program has faced a number of challenges that threaten its effectiveness. To address this problem, the National Cancer Policy Forum (NCPF) convened a workshop titled "Multi-Center Phase III Clinical Trials and NCI Cooperative Groups" in Washington, DC, on July 1-2, 2008. The purpose of the workshop was to outline the challenges that the public clinical cancer research enterprise faces, and to identify possible solutions to these challenges.
Researchers, policymakers, sociologists and doctors have long asked how to best measure the health of a nation, yet the challenge persists. The nonprofit State of the USA, Inc. (SUSA) is taking on this challenge, demonstrating how to measure the health of the United States. The organization is developing a new website intended to provide reliable and objective facts about the U.S. in a number of key areas, including health, and to provide an interactive tool with which individuals can track the progress made in each of these areas. In 2008, SUSA asked the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the State of the USA Health Indicators to provide guidance on 20 key indicators to be used on the organization's website that would be valuable in assessing health. Each indicator was required to demonstrate: a clear importance to health or health care, the availability of reliable, high quality data to measure change in the indicators over time, the potential to be measured with federally collected data, and the capability to be broken down by geography, populations subgroups including race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Taken together, the selected indicators reflect the overall health of the nation and the efficiency and efficacy of U.S. health systems. The complete list of 20 can be found in the report brief and book.
CATALYSIS FOR ENERGY: Fundamental Science and Long-Term Impacts of the U.S. Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Catalysis Science Programby National Research Council of the National Academies
This book presents an in-depth analysis of the investment in catalysis basic research by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) Catalysis Science Program. Catalysis is essential to our ability to control chemical reactions, including those involved in energy transformations. Catalysis is therefore integral to current and future energy solutions, such as the environmentally benign use of hydrocarbons and new energy sources (such as biomass and solar energy) and new efficient energy systems (such as fuel cells). Catalysis for Energy concludes that BES has done well with its investment in catalysis basic research. Its investment has led to a greater understanding of the fundamental catalytic processes that underlie energy applications, and it has contributed to meeting long-term national energy goals by focusing research on catalytic processes that reduce energy consumption or use alternative energy sources. In some areas the impact of the research has been dramatic, while in others, important advances in catalysis science are yet to be made.
Evaluation Of Quantification Of Margins And Uncertainties Methodology For Assessing And Certifying The Reliability Of The Nuclear Stockpileby National Research Council of the National Academies
Maintaining the capabilities of the nuclear weapons stockpile and performing the annual assessment for the stockpile's certification involves a wide range of processes, technologies, and expertise. An important and valuable framework helping to link those components is the quantification of margins and uncertainties (QMU) methodology. In this book, the National Research Council evaluates: how the national security labs were using QMU, including any significant differences among the three labs its use in the annual assessment whether the applications of QMU to assess the proposed reliable replacement warhead (RRW) could reduce the likelihood of resuming underground nuclear testing This book presents an assessment of each of these issues and includes findings and recommendations to help guide laboratory and NNSA implementation and development of the QMU framework. It also serves as a guide for congressional oversight of those activities.
Construction Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Healthby National Research Council Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts construction-relevant research activities. From 1996 through 2005, the program focused on four research goals: reducing traumatic injuries and fatalities; reducing exposure to health hazards; reducing major risks associated with musculoskeletal disorders; increasing the understanding of construction industry attributes and factors for improving health and safety outcomes. In this book, the National Research Council evaluates the relevance and impact of the NIOSH Construction Research Program in terms of its research priorities and its connection to improvements in the protection of workers in the workplace. It also assesses the program' s identification and targeting of new research areas, to identify emerging research issues, and to provide advice on ways that the program might be strengthened. The book finds that the efforts of the Construction Research Program have made meaningful contributions to improving construction worker safety and health, and provides overreaching and specific recommendations for continuing progress. While NIOSH cannot set and enforce research-based standards on its own, the program can be expected to help reduce construction workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through its research, its research dissemination, and transfer into practice.
NASA is aware of the potential toxicologic hazards to crew that might be associated with prolonged spacecraft missions. Despite major engineering advances in controlling the atmosphere within spacecraft, some contamination of the air appears inevitable. NASA has measured numerous airborne contaminants during space missions. As the missions increase in duration and complexity, ensuring the health and well-being of astronauts traveling and working in this unique environment becomes increasingly difficult. As part of its efforts to promote safe conditions aboard spacecraft, NASA requested the National Research Council to develop guidelines for establishing spacecraft maximum allowable concentrations (SMACs) for contaminants and to review SMACs for various spacecraft contaminants to determine whether NASA's recommended exposure limits are consistent with the guidelines recommended by the committee. This book is the fifth volume in the series Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentrations for Selected Airborne Contaminants, and presents SMACs for acrolein, C3 to C8 aliphatic saturated aldehydes, C2 to C9 alkanes, ammonia, benzene, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, 1,2-dichloroethane, dimethylhydrazine, ethanol, formaldehyde, limonene, methanol, methylene dichloride, n-butanol, propylene glycol, toluene, trimethylsilanol, and xylenes.
People are exposed to a variety of chemicals throughout their daily lives. To protect public health, regulators use risk assessments to examine the effects of chemical exposures. This book provides guidance for assessing the risk of phthalates, chemicals found in many consumer products that have been shown to affect the development of the male reproductive system of laboratory animals. Because people are exposed to multiple phthalates and other chemicals that affect male reproductive development, a cumulative risk assessment should be conducted that evaluates the combined effects of exposure to all these chemicals. The book suggests an approach for cumulative risk assessment that can serve as a model for evaluating the health risks of other types of chemicals.
NASA maintains an active interest in the environmental conditions associated with living and working in spacecraft and identifying hazards that might adversely affect the health and well-being of crew members. Despite major engineering advances in controlling the spacecraft environment, some water and air contamination is inevitable. Several hundred chemical species are likely to be found in the closed environment of the spacecraft, and as the frequency, complexity, and duration of human space flight increase, identifying and understanding significant health hazards will become more complicated and more critical for the success of the missions. To protect space crews from contaminants in potable and hygiene water, NASA requested that the National Research Council NRC provide guidance on how to develop water exposure guidelines and subsequently review NASA's development of the exposure guidelines for specific chemicals. This book presents spacecraft water exposure guidelines (SWEGs) for antimony, benzene, ethylene glycol, methanol, methyl ethyl ketone, and propylene glycol.
The use of animals in research adheres to scientific and ethical principles that promote humane care and practice. Scientific advances in our understanding of animal physiology and behavior often require theories to be revised and standards of practice to be updated to improve laboratory animal welfare. Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals, the second of two reports revising the 1992 publication Recognition and Alleviation of Pain and Distress in Laboratory Animals from the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR), focuses on pain experienced by animals used in research. This book aims to educate laboratory animal veterinarians; students, researchers and investigators; Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee members; and animal care staff and animal welfare officers on the current scientific and ethical issues associated with pain in laboratory animals. It evaluates pertinent scientific literature to generate practical and pragmatic guidelines for recognizing and alleviating pain in laboratory animals, focusing specifically on the following areas: physiology of pain in commonly used laboratory species; pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic principles to control pain; identification of humane endpoints; and principles for minimizing pain associated with experimental procedures. Finally, the report identifies areas in which further scientific investigation is needed to improve laboratory animal welfare.
The 2nd International Forum on Biosecurity: Summary of an International Meeting Budapest, Hungary March 30 to April 2, 2008by National Research Council of the National Academies
The 2nd International Forum on Biosecurity, held in Budapest, Hungary on March 30 - April 2, 2008, represents the efforts of a number of individuals and organizations, over the last five years, to engage the international community of life scientists in addressing how to reduce the risk that the results of their work could be used for hostile purposes by terrorists and states. The participants who gathered in Budapest were already engaged in this challenging task, and, therefore, the focus of the meeting was on what had been accomplished and what challenges remained. There was no attempt to achieve consensus, since there exist real and important differences among those involved concerning the appropriate policies and actions to be undertaken. But there was a serious effort to identify a range of potential next steps, and also an effort to identify opportunities where international scientific organizations could make substantive contributions and offer their advice and expertise to policy discussions. The Forum's presentations, discussions, and results are summarized in this book.
The census coverage measurement programs have historically addressed three primary objectives: (1) to inform users about the quality of the census counts; (2) to help identify sources of error to improve census taking, and (3) to provide alternative counts based on information from the coverage measurement program. In planning the 1990 and 2000 censuses, the main objective was to produce alternative counts based on the measurement of net coverage error. For the 2010 census coverage measurement program, the Census Bureau will deemphasize that goal, and is instead planning to focus on the second goal of improving census processes. This book, which details the findings of the National Research Council's Panel on Coverage Evaluation and Correlation Bias, strongly supports the Census Bureau's change in goal. However, the panel finds that the current plans for data collection, data analysis, and data products are still too oriented towards measurement of net coverage error to fully exploit this new focus. Although the Census Bureau has taken several important steps to revise data collection and analysis procedures and data products, this book recommends further steps to enhance the value of coverage measurement for the improvement of future census processes.
Every year at the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 100 of this country's best and brightest engineers, ages 30 to 45, have an opportunity to learn from their peers about pioneering work being done in many areas of engineering. The symposium gives early career engineers working in academia, industry, and government in many different engineering disciplines an opportunity to make contacts with and learn from individuals they would not meet in the usual round of professional meetings. This networking may lead to collaborative work and facilitate the transfer of new techniques and approaches. It is hoped that the exchange of information on current developments in many fields of engineering will lead to insights that may be applicable in specific disciplines and thereby build U.S. innovative capacity. Different topics are covered each year, and, with a few exceptions, different individuals participate. The four general topics covered at the 2008 meeting were: drug delivery systems, emerging nanoelectronic devices, cognitive engineering, and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The intent of this book is to convey the excitement of this unique meeting and to highlight cutting-edge developments in engineering research and technical work.
Achieving Sustainable Global Capacity For Surveillance And Response To Emerging Diseases Of Zoonotic Origin: Workshop Reportby Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies
One of the biggest threats today is the uncertainty surrounding the emergence of a novel pathogen or the re-emergence of a known infectious disease that might result in disease outbreaks with great losses of human life and immense global economic consequences. Over the past six decades, most of the emerging infectious disease events in humans have been caused by zoonotic pathogens--those infectious agents that are transmitted from animals to humans. In June 2008, the Institute of Medicine's and National Research Council's Committee on Achieving Sustainable Global Capacity for Surveillance and Response to Emerging Diseases of Zoonotic Origin convened a workshop. This workshop addressed the reasons for the transmission of zoonotic disease and explored the current global capacity for zoonotic disease surveillance.
The Board of Testing and Assessment established the committee in 2002 during the early implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and charged it with examining research related to the use of incentives and to synthesize its implications for the use of test-based incentives in education. The report covers basic research on incentives, tests as performance measures, evidence on the use of test-based incentives, and recommendations for policy and research. It is not indexed. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Early childhood mathematics is vitally important for young children's present and future educational success. Research has demonstrated that virtually all young children have the capability to learn and become competent in mathematics. Furthermore, young children enjoy their early informal experiences with mathematics. Unfortunately, many children's potential in mathematics is not fully realized, especially those children who are economically disadvantaged. This is due, in part, to a lack of opportunities to learn mathematics in early childhood settings or through everyday experiences in the home and in their communities. Improvements in early childhood mathematics education can provide young children with the foundation for school success. Relying on a comprehensive review of the research, Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood lays out the critical areas that should be the focus of young children's early mathematics education, explores the extent to which they are currently being incorporated in early childhood settings, and identifies the changes needed to improve the quality of mathematics experiences for young children. This book serves as a call to action to improve the state of early childhood mathematics. It will be especially useful for policy makers and practitioners-those who work directly with children and their families in shaping the policies that affect the education of young children.
Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers are being prepared and how they ought to be prepared. Yet, teacher preparation is often treated as an afterthought in discussions of improving the public education system. Preparing Teachers addresses the issue of teacher preparation with specific attention to reading, mathematics, and science. The book evaluates the characteristics of the candidates who enter teacher preparation programs, the sorts of instruction and experiences teacher candidates receive in preparation programs, and the extent that the required instruction and experiences are consistent with converging scientific evidence. Preparing Teachers also identifies a need for a data collection model to provide valid and reliable information about the content knowledge, pedagogical competence, and effectiveness of graduates from the various kinds of teacher preparation programs. Federal and state policy makers need reliable, outcomes-based information to make sound decisions, and teacher educators need to know how best to contribute to the development of effective teachers. Clearer understanding of the content and character of effective teacher preparation is critical to improving it and to ensuring that the same critiques and questions are not being repeated 10 years from now.
A Scientific Assessment of Alternatives for Reducing Water Management Effects on Threatened and Endangered Fishes in California's Bay-Deltaby National Research Council of the National Academies
California's Bay-Delta estuary is a biologically diverse estuarine ecosystem that plays a central role in the distribution of California's water from the state's wetter northern regions to its southern, arid, and populous cities and agricultural areas. Recently, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service required changes (reasonable and prudent alternatives, or RPAs) in water operations and related actions to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence and potential for recovery of threatened species of fish. Those changes have reduced the amount of water available for other uses, and the tensions that resulted have been exacerbated by recent dry years. The complexity of the problem of the decline of the listed species and the difficulty of identifying viable solutions have led to disagreements, including concerns that some of the actions in the RPAs might be ineffective and might cause harm and economic disruptions to water users, and that some of the actions specified in the RPAs to help one or more of the listed species might harm others. In addition, some have suggested that the agencies might be able to meet their legal obligation to protect species with less economic disruptions to other water users. The National Research Council examines the issue in the present volume to conclude that most of the actions proposed by two federal agencies to protect endangered and threatened fish species through water diversions in the California Bay-Delta are "scientifically justified." But less well-supported by scientific analyses is the basis for the specific environmental triggers that would indicate when to reduce the water diversions required by the actions.
Designed to protect the privacy of individual student test scores, grades, and other education records, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 places limits the access of educational researches, and slows research not only in education but also in related fields, such as child welfare and health. Recent trends have converged to greatly increase the supply of data on student performance in public schools. Education policies now emphasize education standards and testing to measure progress toward those standards, as well as rigorous education research. At the same time, private firms and public agencies, including schools, have replaced most paper records with electronic data systems. Although these databases represent a rich source of longitudinal data, researchers' access to the individually identifiable data they contain is limited by the privacy protections of FERPA. To explore possibilities for data access and confidentiality in compliance with FERPA and with the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects, the National Academies and the American Educational Research Association convened the Workshop on Protecting Student Records and Facilitating Education Research in April 2008.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) profoundly affects the lives of all Americans. Its agencies and programs protect against domestic and global health threats, assure the safety of food and drugs, advance the science of preventing and conquering disease, provide safeguards for America's vulnerable populations, and improve health for everyone. However, the department faces serious and complex obstacles, chief among them rising health care costs and a broadening range of health challenges. Over time, additional responsibilities have been layered onto the department, and other responsibilities removed, often without corresponding shifts in positions, procedures, structures, and resources. At the request of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, HHS in the 21st Century assesses whether HHS is "ideally organized" to meet the enduring and emerging health challenges facing our nation. The committee identifies many factors that affect the department's ability to address its range of responsibilities, including divergence in the missions and goals of the department's agencies, limited flexibility in spending, impending workforce shortages, difficulty in retaining skilled professionals, and challenges in effectively partnering with the private sector.
Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs: Phase I. Proposed Approach for Recommending Revisionsby Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
The National School Breakfast Program feeds 10 million children each day, and the National School Lunch Program feeds more than 30 million students. Yet the national nutrition standards and meal requirements for these meals were created more than a decade ago, making them out of step with recent guidance about children's diets. With so many children receiving as much as 50 percent of their daily caloric intake from school meals, it is vital for schools to provide nutritious food alongside the best possible education for the success of their students. At the request of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Institute of Medicine assembled a committee to recommend updates and revisions to the school lunch and breakfast programs. The first part of the committee's work is reflected in the December 2008 IOM report Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs: Phase I. Proposed Approach for Recommending Revisions. Phase II of the report is expected in Fall 2009. This first report provides information about the committee's approach as it reviews the school lunch and breakfast programs. In the report's second part, the committee will share its findings and recommendations to bring these meals more in line with today's dietary guidelines. The committee welcomes public comments about its intended approach. An open forum will be held January 28, 2009 in Washington, DC to receive input from the public. Please go to http://www.iom.edu/fnb/schoolmeals for details or email FNBSchoolMeals@nas.edu with any input.
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