Saturday, November 07, 2009

NSF releases vision for the geosciences

Another goodie from the AGI Government Affairs Program monthly report:

The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Advisory Committee for Geosciences (AC-GEO) released GEO Vision: Unraveling Earth’s Complexities through the Geosciences, a new long-term strategy document for the Geosciences Directorate (GEO). AC-GEO found the top challenges for the geosciences in the future to be: understanding and forecasting Earth system behavior, reducing vulnerability and sustaining life, and growing the geoscience workforce. The report shows that geoscientists are well-suited to bring the insight needed to address the pressing issues facing the Earth.

AC-GEO believes the NSF is the only research agency in the U.S. with the breadth and capability to understand the broad challenges in Earth systems to protect resources, environment, energy supplies, human health and the economy. The recommendations for GEO involve maintaining fundamental and interdisciplinary geoscience research, conducting groundbreaking research, communicating the science to the public and policymakers, engaging K-12 students, and coordinating within NSF and with other agencies. The report highlights several key research areas for GEO, including natural hazards, ocean acidification, gas hydrates, EarthScope, the Ocean Observatories Initiative, atmospheric observations, and Earth science literacy.

This vision document reflects four years of work by AC-GEO, and replaces the 1999 document NSF Geosciences Beyond 2000. The updated GEO Vision incorporates new science, new technology, and new opportunities for GEO.

The GEO Vision document is available for download from NSF:

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