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Certifiably Sustainable?: The Role of Third-Party Certification Systems - Report of a Workshop

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Consumption of goods and services represents a growing share of global economic activity. In the United States, consumption accounts for more than two-thirds of gross domestic product. This trend of increasing consumption has brought with it negative consequences for the environment and human well-being. Global demand for energy, food, and all manner of goods is on the rise, putting strains on the natural and human capital required to produce them. Extractive industries and production processes are prominent causes of species endangerment. Modern economies are underpinned by substantial energy consumption, a primary contributor to the current climate crisis. Expanding international trade has led to many economic opportunities, but has also contributed to unfair labor practices and wealth disparities. While certain processes have improved or become more efficient, and certain practices have been outlawed or amended, the sheer scale of global consumption and its attendant impacts continue to be major challenges we face in the transition to sustainability. Third-party certification systems have emerged over the last 15 years as a tool with some promise. There has been anecdotal evidence of success, but to date the overall impact of certified goods and services has been small. Moreover, definitions of sustainable vary across sectors and markets, and rigorous assessments of these programs have been few and far between. In order to take a step in learning from this field of practice, the National Academies' Science and Technology for Sustainability Program held a workshop to illuminate the decision making process of those who purchase and produce certified goods and services. It was also intended to help clarify the scope and limitations of the scientific knowledge that might contribute to the economic success of certified products. The workshop, summarized in this volume, involved presentations and discussions with approximately 40 invited experts from academia, business, government, and nongovernmental organizations.

Protecting and Accessing Data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates: A Workshop Summary

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) collects data on the number and characteristics of individuals receiving research doctoral degrees from all accredited U.S. institutions. The results of this annual survey are used to assess characteristics and trends in doctorate education and degrees. This information is vital for education and labor force planners and researchers in the federal government and in academia. To protect the confidentiality of data, new and more stringent procedures were implemented for the 2006 SED data released in 2007. These procedures suppressed many previously published data elements. The organizations and institutions that had previously relied on these data to assess progress in measure of achievement and equality suddenly found themselves without a yardstick with which to measure progress. Several initiatives were taken to address these concerns, including the workshop summarized in this volume. The goal of the workshop was to address the appropriateness of the decisions that SRS made and to help the agency and data users consider future actions that might permit release of useful data while protecting the confidentiality of the survey responses.

Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan

by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Vaccination is a fundamental component of preventive medicine and public health. The use of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases has resulted in dramatic decreases in disease, disability, and death in the United States and around the world. The current political, economic, and social environment presents both opportunities for and challenges to strengthening the U.S. system for developing, manufacturing, regulating, distributing, funding, and administering safe and effective vaccines for all people. Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan examines the extraordinarily complex vaccine enterprise, from research and development of new vaccines to financing and reimbursement of immunization services. Priorities for the National Vaccine Plan examines the extraordinarily complex vaccine enterprise, from research and development of new vaccines to financing and reimbursement of immunization services. The book makes recommendations about priority actions in the update to the National Vaccine Plan that are intended to achieve the objectives of disease prevention and enhancement of vaccine safety. It is centered on the plan's five goals in the areas of vaccine development, safety, communication, supply and use, and global health.

An Assesment of NASA's National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The National Research Council of the National Academies was requested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to perform an independent assessment of NASA's National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS) project, which was a survey administered to pilots from April 2001 through December 2004. The NRC reviewed various aspects of the NAOMS project, including the survey methodology, and conducted a limited analysis of the publicly available survey data. An Assessment of NASA's National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service presents the resulting analyses and findings.

Biographical Memoirs: Volume 91

by National Academy of Science the National Academies

Biographical Memoirs is a series of essays containing the life histories and selected bibliographies of deceased members of the National Academy of Sciences. The series provides a record of the life and work of some of the most distinguished leaders in the sciences, as witnessed and interpreted by their colleagues and peers. They form a biographical history of science in America--an important part of our nation's contribution to the intellectual heritage of the world.

Data on Federal Research and Development Investments: A Pathway to Modernization

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Two surveys of the National Science Foundation's Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS) provide some of the most significant data available to understand research and development spending and policy in the United States. These are the Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development and the Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions. These surveys help reach conclusions about fundamental policy questions, such as whether a given field of research is adequately funded, whether funding is balanced among fields, and whether deficiencies in funding may be contributing to a loss of U.S. scientific or economic competitiveness. However, the survey data are of insufficient quality and timeliness to support many of the demands put on them. In addition the surveys are increasingly difficult to conduct in times of constrained resources, and their technological, procedural, and conceptual infrastructure has not been modernized for procedure or content. Data on Federal Research and Development Investments reviews the uses and collection of data on federal funds and federal support for science and technology and recommends future directions for the program based on an assessment of these uses and the adequacy of the surveys. The book also considers the classification structure, or taxonomy, for the fields of science and engineering.

Sixteenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, and other accidents, or intentionally through terrorist activities. 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 or intentional releases. To help understand the risk involved with EHSs, the National Advisory Committee (NAC) on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances developed Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) for approximately 200 EHSs. The present volume is the sixteenth interim report evaluating the AEGLs. It summarizes conclusions and recommendations for improving NAC's AEGL documents for 26 chemicals. The report also summarizes the committee's conclusions and recommendations for improving the http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10122 Standing Operating Procedures for Developing Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances published in 2001.

Interacademy Programs between the United States and Eastern Europe 1967-2009: The Changing Landscape

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Interacademy Programs Between the United States and Eastern Europe 1967-2009 documents how interacademy programs have played a significant role in establishing and maintaining American scientific contacts with colleagues in Eastern Europe prior to and following the lifting of the Iron Curtain. The book also discusses the changing roles of the academies of the region and the changing nature of interacademy cooperation that has emerged since 1991. The countries of interest are Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the former German Democratic Republic, and the countries that previously were united politically within the framework of the former Yugoslavia. The book should be of interest to officials and specialists in both the United States and the countries of Eastern Europe who are actively engaged in promoting scientific cooperation through bilateral and other channels. Also, an emerging audience for this book is the growing group of analysts in the United States interested in "science diplomacy" involving U.S. cooperation with countries that have political agendas that differ in important respects from the objectives of U.S. policies.

Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The United States is currently the only country with an active, government-sponsored effort to detect and track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs). Congress has mandated that NASA detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 1 kilometer in diameter or larger. These objects represent a great potential hazard to life on Earth and could cause global destruction. NASA is close to accomplishing this goal. Congress has more recently mandated that by 2020 NASA should detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 140 meters in diameter or larger, a category of objects that is generally recognized to represent a very significant threat to life on Earth if they strike in or near urban areas. Achieving this goal may require the building of one or more additional observatories, possibly including a space-based observatory. Congress directed NASA to ask the National Research Council to review NASA's near-Earth object programs. This interim report addresses some of the issues associated with the survey and detection of NEOs. The final report will contain findings and recommendations for survey and detection, characterization, and mitigation of near-Earth objects based on an integrated assessment of the problem.

Avoiding Technology Surprise for Tomorrow'S Warfighter: A Symposium Report

by National Research Council of the National Academies

On April 29, 2009 the National Research Council held a 1-day symposium titled, 'Avoiding Technology Surprise for Tomorrow's Warfighter.' This volume, a report of the symposium, highlights key challenges confronting the scientific and technical intelligence (S & TI) community and explores potential solutions that might enable the S & TI community to overcome those challenges. The symposium captured comments and observations from representatives from combatant commands and supporting governmental organizations, together with those of symposium participants, in order to elucidate concepts and trends, knowledge of which could be used to improve the Department of Defense's technology warning capability. Topics addressed included issues stemming from globalization of science and technology, challenges to U.S. warfighters that could result from technology surprise, examples of past technological surprise, and the strengths and weaknesses of current S & TI analysis.

Vital Statistics: Summary of a Workshop

by National Research Council of the National Academies

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.

National Emergency Care Enterprise: Advancing Care through Collaboration - Workshop Summary

by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

In 2006, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a series of three books on the Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System. These reports contained recommendations that called on the federal government and private stakeholders to initiate changes aimed at improving the emergency care system. Three years later, in May 2009, the IOM convened a workshop to examine the progress to date in achieving these objectives, and to help assess priorities for future action. The May 2009 workshop, summarized in this volume, brought stakeholders and policy makers together to discuss which among the many challenges facing emergency care are most amenable to coordinated federal action. The workshop sought to foster information exchange among federal officials involved in advancing emergency care and key stakeholder groups from around the country.

America'S Energy Future: Technology and Transformation - Summary Edition

by National Academy of Science National Academy of Enegineering National Research Council of the National Academies

Energy touches our lives in countless ways and its costs are felt when we fill up at the gas pump, pay our home heating bills, and keep businesses both large and small running. There are long-term costs as well: to the environment, as natural resources are depleted and pollution contributes to global climate change, and to national security and independence, as many of the world's current energy sources are increasingly concentrated in geopolitically unstable regions. The country's challenge is to develop an energy portfolio that addresses these concerns while still providing sufficient, affordable energy reserves for the nation. The United States has enormous resources to put behind solutions to this energy challenge; the dilemma is to identify which solutions are the right ones. Before deciding which energy technologies to develop, and on what timeline, we need to understand them better. The summary edition of America's Energy Future summarizes the full analyses of the potential of a wide range of technologies for generation, distribution, and conservation of energy found in the complete edition of America's Energy Future. This summary edition also succinctly considers technologies to increase energy efficiency, coal-fired power generation, nuclear power, renewable energy, oil and natural gas, and alternative transportation fuels. It assesses the associated impacts and projected costs of implementing each technology and categorizes them into three time frames for implementation.

America's Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs

by National Research Council of the National Academies

As civil space policies and programs have evolved, the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically. Although the U.S. space program was originally driven in large part by competition with the Soviet Union, the nation now finds itself in a post-Cold War world in which many nations have established, or are aspiring to develop, independent space capabilities. Furthermore discoveries from developments in the first 50 years of the space age have led to an explosion of scientific and engineering knowledge and practical applications of space technology. The private sector has also been developing, fielding, and expanding the commercial use of space-based technology and systems. Recognizing the new national and international context for space activities, America's Future in Space is meant to advise the nation on key goals and critical issues in 21st century U.S. civil space policy.

Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshop

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Numerous countries and regions now have very active space programs, and the number is increasing. These maturing capabilities around the world create a plethora of potential partners for cooperative space endeavors, while at the same time heightening competitiveness in the international space arena. This book summarizes a public workshop held in November 2008 for the purpose of reviewing past and present cooperation, coordination, and competition mechanisms for space and Earth science research and space exploration; identifying significant lessons learned; and discussing how those lessons could best be applied in the future, particularly in the areas of cooperation and collaboration. Presentations and initial discussion focused on past and present experiences in international cooperation and competition to identify "lessons learned." Those lessons learned were then used as the starting point for subsequent discussions on the most effective ways for structuring future cooperation or coordination in space and Earth science research and space exploration. The goal of the workshop was not to develop a specific model for future cooperation or coordination, but rather to explore the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches and stimulate further deliberation on this important topic.

Report of the Treasurer of the National Academy of Sciences

by National Academy of Science the National Academies

This Report of the Treasurer of the National Academy of Sciences presents the financial position and results of operations, as well as a review of the endowment, trust, and other long-term investments pool activities of the Academy for the year ended December 31, 2008.

Frontiers in Soil Science Research: Report of a Workshop

by National Research Council of the National Academies

There has been renewed interest in soil and soil science in recent years as the recognition that biogeochemical processes that occur at the Earth's surface influence global climate change, land degradation and remediation, the fate and transport of nutrients and contaminants, soil and water conservation, soil and water quality, food sufficiency and safety, and many other issues pertinent to the stewardship and conservation of land and water resources. In some areas of the Earth we have approached near irreversible soil conditions that may threaten the existence of future generations. Understanding the long-term implications of decreased soil quality and addressing the aforementioned challenges will require new information based on advances and breakthroughs in soil science research that need to be effectively communicated to stakeholders, policy makers, and the general public. On December 12-14, 2005, the National Academies convened the Frontiers in Soil Science Research Workshop, summarized in this volume, to identify emerging areas for research in soil science by addressing the interaction of soil science subdisciplines, collaborative research with other disciplines, and the use of new technologies in research. The workshop focused around seven key questions addressing research frontiers for the individual soil science disciplines, and also addressing the need for integration across soil science with other disciplines.

Prudent Practices in the Laboratory

by The National Academy of Sciences

The National Research Council published two guides during the early 1980s, updated and combined them in 1995, and in 2007 began the process of creating a new edition. Throughout its history, the reference has been intended to be useful to laboratory workers and managers, but also to help inform regulatory policy. Among the topics are the culture of laboratory safety, emergency planning, managing chemicals, working with laboratory equipment, laboratory security, and relevant safety laws and standards. The accompanying disk contains supplemental materials such as a sample incident report form, and procedures for the laboratory-scale treatment of surplus and waste chemicals. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Spacecraft require electrical energy. This energy must be available in the outer reaches of the solar system where sunlight is very faint. It must be available through lunar nights that last for 14 days, through long periods of dark and cold at the higher latitudes on Mars, and in high-radiation fields such as those around Jupiter. Radioisotope power systems (RPSs) are the only available power source that can operate unconstrained in these environments for the long periods of time needed to accomplish many missions, and plutonium-238 (238Pu) is the only practical isotope for fueling them. Plutonium-238 does not occur in nature. The committee does not believe that there is any additional 238Pu (or any operational 238Pu production facilities) available anywhere in the world.The total amount of 238Pu available for NASA is fixed, and essentially all of it is already dedicated to support several pending missions--the Mars Science Laboratory, Discovery 12, the Outer Planets Flagship 1 (OPF 1), and (perhaps) a small number of additional missions with a very small demand for 238Pu. If the status quo persists, the United States will not be able to provide RPSs for any subsequent missions.

The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System: Assessing Pre-Katrina Vulnerability and Improving Mitigation and Preparedness

by National Academy of Engineering National Research Council of the National Academies

Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans and surrounding areas in August 2005, ranks as one of the nation's most devastating natural disasters. Shortly after the storm, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established a task force to assess the performance of the levees, floodwalls, and other structures comprising the area's hurricane protection system during Hurricane Katrina. This book provides an independent review of the task force's final draft report and identifies key lessons from the Katrina experience and their implications for future hurricane preparedness and planning in the region.

Evaluating Occupational Health and Safety Research Programs: Framework and Next Steps

by Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies

Each year, approximately 5,000 fatal work-related injuries and 4 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses occur in the United States. This number represents both unnecessary human suffering and high economic costs. In order to assist in better evaluating workplace safety and create safer work environments, the Institute of Medicine conducted a series of evaluations of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research programs, assessing the relevance and impact of NIOSH's work on improving worker safety and health.

Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

by National Academy of Engineering National Research Council of the National Academies

Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other "STEM" subjects--science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness of engineering and the work of engineers, boost youth interest in pursuing engineering as a career, and increase the technological literacy of all students. The teaching of STEM subjects in U.S. schools must be improved in order to retain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and to develop a workforce with the knowledge and skills to address technical and technological issues. Engineering in K-12 Education reviews the scope and impact of engineering education today and makes several recommendations to address curriculum, policy, and funding issues. The book also analyzes a number of K-12 engineering curricula in depth and discusses what is known from the cognitive sciences about how children learn engineering-related concepts and skills. Engineering in K-12 Education will serve as a reference for science, technology, engineering, and math educators, policy makers, employers, and others concerned about the development of the country's technical workforce. The book will also prove useful to educational researchers, cognitive scientists, advocates for greater public understanding of engineering, and those working to boost technological and scientific literacy.

Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations

by Institute of Medicine

The health and economic costs of tobacco use in military and veteran populations are high. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) make recommendations on how to reduce tobacco initiation and encourage cessation in both military and veteran populations. In its 2009 report, Combating Tobacco in Military and Veteran Populations, the authoring committee concludes that to prevent tobacco initiation and encourage cessation, both DoD and VA should implement comprehensive tobacco-control programs.

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Many coastal areas of the United States are at risk for tsunamis. After the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, legislation was passed to expand U.S. tsunami warning capabilities. Since then, the nation has made progress in several related areas on both the federal and state levels. At the federal level, NOAA has improved the ability to detect and forecast tsunamis by expanding the sensor network. Other federal and state activities to increase tsunami safety include: improvements to tsunami hazard and evacuation maps for many coastal communities; vulnerability assessments of some coastal populations in several states; and new efforts to increase public awareness of the hazard and how to respond. Tsunami Warning and Preparedness explores the advances made in tsunami detection and preparedness, and identifies the challenges that still remain. The book describes areas of research and development that would improve tsunami education, preparation, and detection, especially with tsunamis that arrive less than an hour after the triggering event. It asserts that seamless coordination between the two Tsunami Warning Centers and clear communications to local officials and the public could create a timely and effective response to coastal communities facing a pending tsuanami. According to Tsunami Warning and Preparedness, minimizing future losses to the nation from tsunamis requires persistent progress across the broad spectrum of efforts including: risk assessment, public education, government coordination, detection and forecasting, and warning-center operations. The book also suggests designing effective interagency exercises, using professional emergency-management standards to prepare communities, and prioritizing funding based on tsunami risk.

Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics: Workshop Summary

by Institute of Medicine

New discoveries in genomics--that is, the study of the entire human genome--are changing how we diagnose and treat diseases. As the trend shifts from genetic testing largely being undertaken for rare genetic disorders to, increasingly, individuals being screened for common diseases, general practitioners, pediatricians, obstetricians/gynecologists, and other providers need to be knowledgeable about and comfortable using genetic information to improve their patients' health. To address these changes, the Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health held the public workshop "Innovations in Service Delivery in the Age of Genomics" on July 27, 2008.

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