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The U.S. government supports programs to combat global HIV/AIDS through an initiative that is known as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This initiative was originally authorized in the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 and focused on an emergency response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic to deliver lifesaving care and treatment in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with the highest burdens of disease. It was subsequently reauthorized in the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (the Lantos-Hyde Act). Evaluation of PEPFAR makes recommendations for improving the U.S. government's bilateral programs as part of the U.S. response to global HIV/AIDS. The overall aim of this evaluation is a forward-looking approach to track and anticipate the evolution of the U.S. response to global HIV to be positioned to inform the ability of the U.S. government to address key issues under consideration at the time of the report release.
When, in late 2011, it became public knowledge that two research groups had submitted for publication manuscripts that reported on their work on mammalian transmissibility of a lethal H5N1 avian influenza strain, the information caused an international debate about the appropriateness and communication of the researchers' work, the risks associated with the work, partial or complete censorship of scientific publications, and dual-use research of concern in general. Recognizing that the H5N1 research is only the most recent scientific activity subject to widespread attention due to safety and security concerns, on May 1, 2012, the National Research Council's Committee on Science, Technology and Law, in conjunction with the Board on Life Sciences and the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats, convened a one-day public workshop for the purposes of 1) discussing the H5N1 controversy; 2) considering responses by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which had funded this research, the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), scientific publishers, and members of the international research community; and 3) providing a forum wherein the concerns and interests of the broader community of stakeholders, including policy makers, biosafety and biosecurity experts, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the general public might be articulated. Perspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza: Scientific Enquiry, Communication, Controversy summarizes the proceedings of the workshop.
The National Academy of Engineering's 2012 forum, "Educating Engineers: Preparing 21st Century Leaders in the Context of New Modes of Learning," opened with presentations by six speakers who looked at the future of engineering and engineering education from their perspectives as educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Each speaker focused on just one facet of a tremendously complex picture. Yet together they outlined a new vision for engineering education based on flexible, interactive, lifelong learning and the merge of activities long held to be distinct. This summary of a forum recaps the six speaker's presentations.
The Standing Committee on Defense Materials Manufacturing and Infrastructure (DMMI) conducted a workshop on July 23-24, 2012, to share information and gather perspectives on issues concerning Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems. This workshop, held at the headquarters building of the National Academies, 2101 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington D.C., was conducted according to the procedures of the National Research Council (NRC) for a convening activity. That is, all workshop participants--including presenters, members of the DMMI standing committee, Reliance 21, invited guests, and visitors--spoke as individuals, and no overall findings, conclusions, or recommendations were developed during or as a result of the workshop. All statements and views summarized in this publication are attributable only to those individuals who expressed them. It is worth noting that the sponsor, Reliance 21, is a Department of Defense group of professionals that was established to enable the DOD science and technology (S&T) community to work together to enhance Defense S&T programs, eliminate unwarranted duplication, and strengthen cooperation among the military services and other DOD agencies. The DMMI standing committee named a workshop planning group to develop the workshop agenda and decide on invited guests and presenters, in accordance with the statement of task approved by the Governing Board of the NRC. The planning group also consulted with the Reliance 21 materials and processing community of interest. The presentations and discussions during the workshop are summarized sequentially in the main part of this report. As an aid to readers, nine themes have been identified by the author that recurred in multiple presentations and discussions. Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems: Summary of a Workshop explains these nine themes and summarizes the two day workshop.
In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council's TIGER standing committee and asked it to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. From the list of topics given to DIA, three were chosen to be developed by the Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests. The first in a series of three workshops was held on April 23-24, 2012. This report summarizes that first workshop which explored the phenomenon known as big data. The objective for the first workshop is given in the statement of task, which explains that that workshop will review emerging capabilities in large computational data to include speed, data fusion, use, and commodification of data used in decision making. The workshop will also review the subsequent increase in vulnerabilities over the capabilities gained and the significance to national security. The committee devised an agenda that helped the committee, sponsors, and workshop attendees probe issues of national security related to so-called big data, as well as gain understanding of potential related vulnerabilities. The workshop was used to gather data that is described in this report, which presents views expressed by individual workshop participants. Big Data: A Workshop Report is the first in a series of three workshops, held in early 2012 to further the ongoing engagement among the National Research Council's (NRC's) Technology Insight-Gauge, Evaluate, and Review (TIGER) Standing Committee, the scientific and technical intelligence (S&TI) community, and the consumers of S&TI products.
The Workshop on the Future of Antennas was the second of three workshops conducted by the National Research Council's Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U. S. National Security Interests. The objectives of the workshop were to review trends in advanced antenna research and design, review trends in commercials and military use of advanced antennas that enable improved communication, data transfer, soldier health monitoring, and other overt and covert methods of standoff data collection. The first day's sessions, consisting of five presentations and discussions on antennas and wireless communications and control, were open to committee members, staff, guests, and members of the public. The second day was a data-gathering session addressing vulnerabilities, indicators, and observables; presentations and discussions during this session included classified material and were not open to the public. The committee's role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. This report is organized by topic in the order of presentation and discussion at the workshop. For Day 1 the topics were Future of Antennas, Commercial State of the Art of Wireless Communications and Control, Military State of the Art of Wireless Communications and Control, and Future Trends in Antenna Design and Wireless Communications and Control. For Day 2 the topics were Vulnerabilities of Ubiquitous Antennas, and Indicators and Observables, followed by a wrap-up discussion. Summary of a Workshop on the Future of Antennasdescribes what happened at the workshop.
The American Time Use Survey (ATUS), conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, included a subjective well-being (SWB) module in 2010 and 2012. The module, funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), is being considered for inclusion in the ATUS for 2013. The National Research Council was asked to evaluate measures of self-reported well-being and offer guidance about their adoption in official government surveys. The charge for the study included an interim report to consider the usefulness of the ATUS SWB module, specifically the value of continuing it for at least one more wave. Among the key points raised in this report are the value, methodological benefits, and cost and effects on the ATUS and new opportunities. Research on subjective or self-reported well-being has been ongoing for several decades, with the past few years seeing an increased interest by some countries in using SWB measures to evaluate government policies and provide a broader assessment of the health of a society than is provided by such standard economic measures as gross domestic product. NIA asked the panel to prepare an interim report on the usefulness of the SWB module of the ATUS, with a view as to the utility of continuing the module in 2013. The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey is intended to fulfill only one narrow aspect of the panel's broader task. It provides an overview of the ATUS and the SWB module, a brief discussion of research applications to date, and a preliminary assessment of the value of SWB module data. The panel's final report will address issues of whether research has advanced to the point that SWB measures-and which kinds of measures-should be regularly included in major surveys of official statistical agencies to help inform government economic and social policies.
Among the poorest and least developed regions in the world, sub-Saharan Africa has long faced a heavy burden of disease, with malaria, tuberculosis, and, more recently, HIV being among the most prominent contributors to that burden. Yet in most parts of Africa-and especially in those areas with the greatest health care needs-the data available to health planners to better understand and address these problems are extremely limited. The vast majority of Africans are born and will die without being recorded in any document or spearing in official statistics. With few exceptions, African countries have no civil registration systems in place and hence are unable to continuously generate vital statistics or to provide systematic information on patterns of cause of death, relying instead on periodic household-level surveys or intense and continuous monitoring of small demographic surveillance sites to provide a partial epidemiological and demographic profile of the population. In 1991 the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences organized a workshop on the epidemiological transition in developing countries. The workshop brought together medical experts, epidemiologists, demographers, and other social scientists involved in research on the epidemiological transition in developing countries to discuss the nature of the ongoing transition, identify the most important contributors to the overall burden of disease, and discuss how such information could be used to assist policy makers in those countries to establish priorities with respect to the prevention and management of the main causes of ill health. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from a workshop convened in October 2011 that featured invited speakers on the topic of epidemiological transition in sub-Saharan Africa. The workshop was organized by a National Research Council panel of experts in various aspects of the study of epidemiological transition and of sub-Saharan data sources. The Continuing Epidemiological Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa serves as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop in October 2011.
SMART Vaccines--Strategic Multi-Attribute Ranking Tool for Vaccines--is a prioritization software tool developed by the Institute of Medicine that utilizes decision science and modeling to help inform choices among candidates for new vaccine development. A blueprint for this computer-based guide was presented in the 2012 report Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Framework: Phase I. Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Software Tool,Phase II extends the proof-of-concept presented in the Phase I report, which was based on multi-attribute utility theory. This report refines a beta version of the model developed in the Phase I report and presents its next iteration, SMART Vaccines 1.0. Ranking Vaccines: Phase II discusses the methods underlying the development, validation, and evaluation of SMART Vaccines 1.0. It also discusses how SMART Vaccines should--and, just as importantly, should not--be used. The report also offers ideas for future enhancements for SMART Vaccines as well as for ideas for expanded uses and considerations and possibilities for the future.
In this brilliant, multi-layered conclusion to the Unbound trilogy, Emma Townsend journeys to Paris and discovers her own choices echoed within the labyrinthine love story The Phantom of the Opera . . . Senior year in Paris means dazzling architecture, gorgeous cafs, and a hefty workload. But no matter how busy her days, Emma Townsend misses her Coast Guard boyfriend, Gray. That lonely ache might explain the unsettling whispers Emma hears in the school's empty corridors, and the flickering images in her room's antique mirror. Her foreboding only increases as she reads Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera and becomes lost in the gothic masterpiece. When Gray goes missing during a rescue at sea, Emma refuses to believe the worst. In her strange waking dreams, Gray is very much alive, drawing Emma into a mysterious otherworld beyond her mirror. Friends worry that she's losing her grip on reality. Emma half wonders if they're right. . . and if her own story will end in a way she never envisioned. . . Praise for Eve Marie Mont's Unbound series Richly satisfying. . . a smart and rewarding ode to literature. -- Kirkus on A Breath of Eyre (starred review) Exceptional and unique. . . A breath of fresh air for hungry readers looking for that special touch that makes a book stand out from the rest of the pack. -- The New York Journal of Books on A Breath of Eyre A delightful story that makes classic literature appealing and relevant to today's teens. . . terrific. --VOYA on A Touch of Scarlet
Hot shape-shifters and even hotter passion. -- New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life's irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad's untimely and unexplained demise. That's where Vic Barinov comes in--or his house does. Vic can't step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he'll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge. . .
Deep in the heart of Texas, the firefighters are hotter, sexier, and totally out of control. . . Singe Stephen is an adrenaline junkie. And then he meets Julia and her sexy curves. He's on fire with the need for her, a Texas-sized blaze that jumps from one to five alarms the moment their lips touch. . . Smolder Marcus lost everything--his wife, his family, his business. Then nearly his life fighting fires. But out of the ashes he found something that never stopped burning. And this time he won't let go. . . Spark Childhood friends Talia and Dylan have been putting out fires as long as they've been in denial about their feelings. But one night everything changes, a fire's lit, and it's too hot to ever go out. . . Fans of heated contemporary romance will surrender to the seductive spell of author Lynn LaFleur. --Genre Go Round Reviews This book contains adult content
The quaint Midwestern town of Serenity is about to hit the small screen. Brandy Borne and her dramatically ditzy mother, Vivian, will be starring in Antique Sleuths, a reality TV show based on the duos antiquarian adventures--and their troubling talent for solving deadly crimes. What better shooting set than a creepy old house, the site of a 60-year-old unsolved axe murder?The location is perfect until Bruce Spring, the shows producer, meets a fatal axe-ident, mortally mauled just like the homes previous owner. The first suspect on the chopping block seems typecast for the role of killer--he was found at the scene of the attack, clutching a stained axe. But as Brandy and Vivian chop around for clues, plenty of other suspects stick out their necks. . . It seems the shows cameraman clashed with Bruce--could he be the culprit? What about the acrimony between Andrew, the harried homeowner, and Bruce, whose dirt-digging documentary all but accused Andrew of the original unsolved crime? And whos driving that blood-red Toyota that keeps making unscripted cameo appearances? If Brandy and Vivian are going to get to the bottom of this mystery, theyll have to be extra careful not to wind up on the cutting room floor--in pieces Dont miss Brandy Bornes tips on antiques "One of the funniest cozy series going. " --"Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine"
An innocent Beauty. A fearsome Beast. A dangerous passion. Mystery and speculation surround "the Dark Prince," a sorcerer who dwells in a kingdom cursed by endless winter. Though shunned by all, Prince Stellan secretly crusades against a zombie plague unleashed by his tyrannical father against the Five Lands. But only an alliance with Aldebaran will provide the support he needs to eradicate the plague once and for all Clarysa, daughter of the Aldebaran king, struggles under the weight of her role as princess. She yearns for adventure, but her father prefers to keep his youngest daughter safe within the palace walls. During one of her rare sanctioned trips beyond the walls of the castle, Clarysa comes face to face with the answer to her prayers. She's heard the tales of Stellan's dangerous nature. She knows a romance with him is forbidden. But one smoldering glance draws her deep into a world of dark magic and sensuous rapture. CONTENT WARNING: Magic, mayhem, and epic snowfall. A Lyrical Press Fantasy Romance | Once Upon
What happens undercover, stays under covers. Jessica Hartley is looking for answers surrounding the mysterious car accident that nearly claimed the life of her best friend. She's willing to risk it all, even her fledgling business, to find the person responsible and bring them to justice. Nate Steele is more than willing to help Jessica, but for reasons all his own. He's been watching the infamous Maxwell Office Solutions for some time now, convinced there's more going on than meets the eye. When his chief issues a cease and desist order yet again, Nate has no choice but to accept inexperienced Jessica as an undercover partner outside the letter of the law. Will Jessica and Nate be able to flush out Maxwell's elusive villain, or will their growing attraction for each other sabotage their undercover ploy? Motives aren't always what they seem when Jessica finds herself armed with Steele. CONTENT WARNING: Beware drool-worthy men in uniform, touchy-feely coworkers, and vindictive ex-girlfriends.
Nervous system diseases and disorders are highly prevalent and substantially contribute to the overall disease burden. Despite significant information provided by the use of animal models in the understanding of the biology of nervous system disorders and the development of therapeutics; limitations have also been identified. Treatment options that are high in efficacy and low in side effects are still lacking for many diseases and, in some cases are nonexistent. A particular problem in drug development is the high rate of attrition in Phase II and III clinical trials. Why do many therapeutics show promise in preclinical animal models but then fail to elicit predicted effects when tested in humans? On March 28 and 29, 2012, the Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders convened the workshop "Improving Translation of Animal Models for Nervous System Disorders" to discuss potential opportunities for maximizing the translation of new therapies from animal models to clinical practice. The primary focus of the workshop was to examine mechanisms for increasing the efficiency of translational neuroscience research through discussions about how and when to use animal models most effectively and then best approaches for the interpretation of the data collected. Specifically, the workshop objectives were to: discuss key issues that contribute to poor translation of animal models in nervous system disorders, examine case studies that highlight successes and failures in the development and application of animal models, consider strategies to increase the scientific rigor of preclinical efficacy testing, explore the benefits and challenges to developing standardized animal and behavioral models. Improving the Utility and Translation of Animal Models for Nervous System Disorders: Workshop Summary also identifies methods to facilitate development of corresponding animal and clinical endpoints, indentifies methods that would maximize bidirectional translation between basic and clinical research and determines the next steps that will be critical for improvement of the development and testing of animal models of disorders of the nervous system.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)--recognizing that information and insights gained through continual examination of practices for organizational assessment are useful for decision makers at organizations across the deferral, industrial, academic, and national laboratory sectors-recently requested that the National Research Council (NRC) organize a panel to review best practices in assessment of research and development (R&D) organizations. In response, the NRC established the Panel for Review of Best Practices in Assessment of Research and Development Organizations. The panel was charged to consider means of assessing the following in a manner that satisfies the requirements of NIST to perform effective assessments but also identifies assessment methods that can be applied selectively to other R&D organizations. These methods include: technical merit and quality of the science and engineering work, the adequacy of the resources available to support high-quality work, the effectiveness of the agency's delivery of the services and products required to fulfill its goals, the degree to which the agency's current and planned R&D portfolio supports its mission, as well as the agency's flexibility to respond to changing economic, political, social and technological contexts. As one means of data gathering, among others that the panel is performing toward development of a final report of its findings, the panel organized a planning committee for a workshop on best practices in assessment of R&D organizations. Best Practices in Assessment of Research and Development Organizations: Summary of a Workshop reviews the workshop conducted at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C., on March 19, 2012.
The United States has seen major advances in medical care during the past decades, but access to care at an affordable cost is not universal. Many Americans lack health care insurance of any kind, and many others with insurance are nonetheless exposed to financial risk because of high premiums, deductibles, co-pays, limits on insurance payments, and uncovered services. One might expect that the U.S. poverty measure would capture these financial effects and trends in them over time. Yet the current official poverty measure developed in the early 1960s does not take into account significant increases and variations in medical care costs, insurance coverage, out-of-pocket spending, and the financial burden imposed on families and individuals. Although medical costs consume a growing share of family and national income and studies regularly document high rates of medical financial stress and debt, the current poverty measure does not capture the consequences for families' economic security or their income available for other basic needs. In 1995, a panel of the National Research Council (NRC) recommended a new poverty measure, which compares families' disposable income to poverty thresholds based on current spending for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and a little more. The panel's recommendations stimulated extensive collaborative research involving several government agencies on experimental poverty measures that led to a new research Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which the U.S. Census Bureau first published in November 2011 and will update annually. Analyses of the effects of including and excluding certain factors from the new SPM showed that, were it not for the cost that families incurred for premiums and other medical expenses not covered by health insurance, 10 million fewer people would have been poor according to the SPM. The implementation of the patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a strong impetus to think rigorously about ways to measure medical care economic burden and risk, which is the basis for Medical Care Economic Risk. As new policies - whether part of the ACA or other policies - are implemented that seek to expand and improve health insurance coverage and to protect against the high costs of medical care relative to income, such measures will be important to assess the effects of policy changes in both the short and long term on the extent of financial burden and risk for the population, which are explained in this report.
Developing and Strengthening the Global Supply Chain for Second-Line Drugs for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosisby Institute of Medicine Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation Anne B. Claiborne Board on Health Sciences Policy Rebecca A. English Rita S. Guenther Anna Nicholson
To effectively treat patients diagnosed with drug-resistant (DR) tuberculosis (TB) and protect the population from further transmission of this infectious disease, an uninterrupted supply of quality-assured (QA), second-line anti-TB drugs (SLDs) is necessary. Patients diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB)--a disease caused by strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb.) resistant to two primary TB drugs (isoniazid and rifampicin)--face lengthy treatment regimens of 2 years or more with daily, directly observed treatment (DOT) with SLDs that are less potent, more toxic, and more expensive than those used to treat drug-susceptible TB. From 2000 to 2009, only 0.2-0.5 percent of the estimated 5 million MDR TB cases globally were treated with drugs of known quality and in programs capable of delivering appropriate care (Keshavjee, 2012). The vast majority of MDR TB patients either died from lack of treatment or contributed to the spread of MDR TB in their communities. A strengthened global supply chain for SLDs could save lives by consistently delivering high quality medicines to more of the people who need them. This public workshop explored innovative solutions to the problem of how to get the right SLDs for MDR TB to people who critically need them. More specifically, the workshop examined current problems and potential opportunities for coordinated international efforts to ensure that a reliable and affordable supply of high-quality SLDs is available. Developing and Strengthening the Global Supply Chain for Second-Line Drugs for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Workshop Summary covers the objectives of the workshop, which were to review: -To what extent and in what ways current mechanisms are or are not effectively accomplishing what is needed, including consideration of bottlenecks. -The advantages and disadvantages of centralization in the management of the global drug supply chain, and potential decentralized approaches to improve operations of the supply chain. -What can be learned from case studies and examples from other diseases (e.g., the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm) and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR]) - The current allocation of responsibilities and roles of the private (including industry and nonprofit public health organizations) and public sectors, and examination of opportunities for enhancing and optimizing collaboration -Identification of potential innovative solutions to the problem
The Food Forum convened a public workshop on February 22-23, 2012, to explore current and emerging knowledge of the human microbiome, its role in human health, its interaction with the diet, and the translation of new research findings into tools and products that improve the nutritional quality of the food supply. The Human Microbiome, Diet, and Health: Workshop Summary summarizes the presentations and discussions that took place during the workshop. Over the two day workshop, several themes covered included: The microbiome is integral to human physiology, health, and disease. The microbiome is arguably the most intimate connection that humans have with their external environment, mostly through diet. Given the emerging nature of research on the microbiome, some important methodology issues might still have to be resolved with respect to undersampling and a lack of causal and mechanistic studies. Dietary interventions intended to have an impact on host biology via their impact on the microbiome are being developed, and the market for these products is seeing tremendous success. However, the current regulatory framework poses challenges to industry interest and investment.
In communities all around the world, water supplies are coming under increasing pressure as population growth, climate change, pollution, and changes in land use affect water quantity and quality. To address existing and anticipated water shortages, many communities are working to increase water conservation and are seeking alternative sources of water. Water reuse- the sue of treated wastewater, or "reclaimed" water, for beneficial purposes such as drinking, irrigation, or industrial uses- is one option that has helped some communities significantly expand their water supplies. Understanding Water Reuse summarizes the main findings of the National Research Council report Water Reuse: Expanding the Nation's Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater. The report provides an overview of the options and outlook for water reuse in the United States, discusses water treatment technologies and potential uses of reclaimed water, and presents a new analysis that compares the risks of drinking reclaimed water to those of drinking water from traditional sources.
Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward reviews the science that underpins the Bureau of Land Management's oversight of free-ranging horses and burros on federal public lands in the western United States, concluding that constructive changes could be implemented. The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros, to model the effects of management actions on the animals, or to assess the availability and use of forage on rangelands. Evidence suggests that horse populations are growing by 15 to 20 percent each year, a level that is unsustainable for maintaining healthy horse populations as well as healthy ecosystems. Promising fertility-control methods are available to help limit this population growth, however. In addition, science-based methods exist for improving population estimates, predicting the effects of management practices in order to maintain genetically diverse, healthy populations, and estimating the productivity of rangelands. Greater transparency in how science-based methods are used to inform management decisions may help increase public confidence in the Wild Horse and Burro Program.
Following a 2011 report by the National Research Council (NRC) on successful K-12 education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Congress asked the National Science Foundation to identify methods for tracking progress toward the report's recommendations. In response, the NRC convened the Committee on an Evaluation Framework for Successful K-12 STEM Education to take on this assignment. The committee developed 14 indicators linked to the 2011 report's recommendations. By providing a focused set of key indicators related to students' access to quality learning, educator's capacity, and policy and funding initiatives in STEM, the committee addresses the need for research and data that can be used to monitor progress in K-12 STEM education and make informed decisions about improving it. The recommended indicators provide a framework for Congress and relevant deferral agencies to create and implement a national-level monitoring and reporting system that: assesses progress toward key improvements recommended by a previous National Research Council (2011) committee; measures student knowledge, interest, and participation in the STEM disciplines and STEM-related activities; tracks financial, human capital, and material investments in K-12 STEM education at the federal, state, and local levels; provides information about the capabilities of the STEM education workforce, including teachers and principals; and facilitates strategic planning for federal investments in STEM education and workforce development when used with labor force projections. All 14 indicators explained in this report are intended to form the core of this system. Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education: A Nation Advancing? summarizes the 14 indicators and tracks progress towards the initial report's recommendations.
Over the past century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has built a vast network of water management infrastructure that includes approximately 700 dams, 14,000 miles of levees, 12,000 miles of river navigation channels and control structures, harbors and ports, and other facilities. Historically, the construction of new infrastructure dominated the Corps' water resources budget and activities. Today, national water needs and priorities increasingly are shifting to operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, much of which has exceeded its design life. However, since the mid-1980s federal funding for new project construction and major rehabilitation has declined steadily. As a result, much of the Corps' water resources infrastructure is deteriorating and wearing out faster than it is being replaced. Corps of Engineers Water Resources Infrastrucutre: Deterioration, Investment, or Divestment? explores the status of operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of Corps water resources infrastructure, and identifies options for the Corps and the nation in setting maintenance and rehabilitation priorities.
From the use of personal products to our consumption of food, water, and air, people are exposed to a wide array of agents each day--many with the potential to affect health. Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy investigates the contact of humans or other organisms with those agents (that is, chemical, physical, and biologic stressors) and their fate in living systems. The concept of exposure science has been instrumental in helping us understand how stressors affect human and ecosystem health, and in efforts to prevent or reduce contact with harmful stressors. In this way exposure science has played an integral role in many areas of environmental health, and can help meet growing needs in environmental regulation, urban and ecosystem planning, and disaster management. Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy explains that there are increasing demands for exposure science information, for example to meet needs for data on the thousands of chemicals introduced into the market each year, and to better understand the health effects of prolonged low-level exposure to stressors. Recent advances in tools and technologies--including sensor systems, analytic methods, molecular technologies, computational tools, and bioinformatics--have provided the potential for more accurate and comprehensive exposure science data than ever before. This report also provides a roadmap to take advantage of the technologic innovations and strategic collaborations to move exposure science into the future.
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