Environmental Research: Consensus Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Showing results 6 - 10 of 32

Nutrient Control Actions for Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico (2009)

For more than two decades, a large area of oxygen-depleted water -- often referred to as a "dead zone" -- has appeared each year in the Gulf of Mexico. The dead zone is the result of algal growth fueled by excess nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, which flow into the Gulf from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers from various sources -- including agriculture, municipal water treatment works, industries, and urban runoff. At th... More >>

Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California (2009)

Drakes Estero, 25 miles northwest of San Francisco, is a marine estuary home to harbor seals, waterfowl, fish, and other marine organisms. Congress designated the estuary a Potential Wilderness in 1976, signifying the intention to incorporate the area into an existing Wilderness area in Point Reyes National Seashore. Drakes Estero is also the site of commercial oyster farming since the 1930s, and Drakes Bay Oyster Company continues to operat... More >>

Evaluating Research Efficiency in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2008)

A new report from the National Research Council recommends changes in how the federal government evaluates the efficiency of research at EPA and other agencies. Assessing efficiency should be considered only one part of gauging a program's quality, relevance, and effectiveness. The efficiency of research processes and that of investments should be evaluated using different approaches. Investment efficiency should examine whether an agency'... More >>

Environmental Data Management at NOAA: Archiving, Stewardship, and Access (2007)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects, manages, and disseminates a wide range of climate, weather, ecosystem and other environmental data that are used by scientists, engineers, resource managers, policy makers, and others in the United States and around the world. The increasing volume and diversity of NOAA's data holdings - which include everything from satellite images of clouds to the stomach contents of fish ... More >>

Report in Brief

River Science at the U.S. Geological Survey (2007)

Rivers provide about 60 percent of the nation's drinking water and irrigation water and 10 percent of the nation's electric power needs. The multiple and sometimes incompatible services demanded of rivers often lead to policy and management conflicts that require the integration of science-based information. This report advises the U.S. Geological Survey on how it can best address river science challenges by effectively using its resources an... More >>