: Expert 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 1 - 5 of 8

Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean (2011)

Although the icy landscape of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean may seem distant, scientific research in this region can yield insights on changes that are important to the entire planet. The Antarctic region also holds the promise of novel discovery: ice and sediment records hold clues to Earth’s history, the region’s living organisms may hold genetic secrets to surviving in extreme environments, and the Antarctic plateau offers an unparallele... More >>

Report in Brief

Earth Observations from Space: The First 50 Years of Scientific Achievements (2008)

Over the past 50 years, thousands of satellites have been sent into space on missions to collect data about the Earth. Today, the ability to forecast weather, climate, and natural hazards depends critically on these satellite-based observations. At the request of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Research Council convened a committee to examine the scientific accomplishments that have resulted from space-base... More >>

Report in Brief

Exploration of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments: Environmental and Scientific Stewardship (2007)

Antarctica is renowned for its extreme cold; yet surprisingly, radar measurements have revealed a vast network of lakes, rivers, and streams several kilometers beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Sealed from Earth's atmosphere for millions of years, they may provide vital information about microbial evolution, the past climate of the Antarctic, and the formation of ice sheets, among other things. The next stage of exploration requires direc... More >>

Report in Brief

Polar Icebreakers in a Changing World: An Assessment of U.S. Needs (2006)

The United States has enduring national and strategic interests in the polar regions, including citizens living above the Arctic circle and three year-round scientific stations in the Antarctic. Polar icebreaking ships are needed to access both regions. Over the past several decades, the U.S. government has supported a fleet of four icebreakers -- three multi-mission U.S. Coast Guard ships (the POLAR SEA, POLAR STAR, and HEALY) and the Nationa... More >>

Report in Brief

A Vision for the International Polar Year 2007-2008 (2004)

The vision of the U.S. National Committee is to recognize the International Polar Year by presenting an overview of potential science themes, enabling new technologies, and providing public outreach opportunities to both individuals and scientific communities. The committee recommends that the U.S. scientific community and other agencies use the IPY to initiate environmental change and variability in the polar regions; explore new scientifi... More >>

Report in Brief