Consensus Reports

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.

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Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf (2019)

Scientists strive to develop clear rules for naming and grouping living organisms. But taxonomy, the scientific study of biological classification and evolution, is often highly debated. Members of a species, the fundamental unit of taxonomy and evolution, share a common evolutionary history and a common evolutionary path to the future. Yet, it can be difficult to determine whether the evolutionary history or future of a population i... More >>

Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations (2019)

The American chestnut, whitebark pine, and several species of ash in the eastern United States are just a few of the North American tree species that have been functionally lost or are in jeopardy of being lost due to outbreaks of pathogens and insect pests. New pressures in this century are putting even more trees at risk. Expanded human mobility and global trade are providing pathways for the introduction of nonnative pests for which nativ... More >>

Report in Brief

Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges (2018)

Environmental engineers support the well-being of people and the planet in areas where the two intersect. Over the decades the field has improved countless lives through innovative systems for delivering water, treating waste, and preventing and remediating pollution in air, water, and soil. These achievements are a testament to the multidisciplinary, pragmatic, systems-oriented approach that characterizes environmenta... More >>

Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda (2018)

To achieve goals for climate and economic growth, "negative emissions technologies" (NETs) that remove and sequester carbon dioxide from the air will need to play a significant role in mitigating climate change. Unlike carbon capture and storage technologies that remove carbon dioxide emissions directly from large point sources such as coal power plants, NETs remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or enhance natural carbon sinks.... More >>

Report in Brief

Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030 (2018)

The United States has been the world's leading agricultural producer for many years. Today the U.S. food and agriculture system faces formidable challenges and will be tested as world food production must double to meet the needs of a global population expected to reach 8.6 billion by 2030. In addition, natural systems in many regions are stressed by water scarcity, increased weather variability, floods, and droughts. This report concludes tha... More >>

Report in Brief