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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Showing results 1 - 5 of 115

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 >>

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 >>

A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs (2018)

Around the world, coral reefs have seen major declines due to problems including climate change and widespread disease, in addition to local stress from pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction. Reduction and mitigation of carbon emissions will be required for successful global management of marine ecosystems. Even with such reductions, committed warming from the current accumulation of greenhouse gases is expected to expose the majorit... More >>

Report in Brief

Microbiomes of the Built Environment: A Research Agenda for Indoor Microbiology, Human Health, and Buildings (2017)

People in developed countries spend the vast majority of their time indoors. That time is shared with a large and diverse community of microorganisms that find their way into homes, workplaces, schools, and other buildings. Research on indoor environments, microorganisms, and human health has been conducted for decades, but new molecular tools and collaborative efforts that bridge microbiology, engineering, architecture, and public health ar... More >>

Report in Brief

Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology (2017)

As the U.S. biotechnology economy grows rapidly, the scale, scope, and complexity of products is increasing. More types of organisms will likely be engineered, and the kinds of traits introduced with biotechnology will also increase. Future biotechnology products will range from familiar applications, such as modifying agricultural crops, to products that are entirely new –plants that can serve as sentinels of environmental contamination, fo... More >>