Expert 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 889

Effective Monitoring to Evaluate Ecological Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico (2016)

A tremendous number of restoration projects are planned and underway in the Gulf of Mexico to help mitigate damage done by the 2010 Macondo Well Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In order to ensure that restoration goals are met and money is well spent, restoration monitoring and evaluation should be an integral part of those projects. However, evaluations of past restoration efforts have shown that monitoring is often inadequate or even absent.... More >>

Report in Brief

Evaluation of the Predictive Ecological Model for the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan: An Interim Report as Part of Phase 2 (2016)

The Edwards Aquifer is the primary source of water for drinking in the San Antonio area, and supplies the two largest freshwater springs in Texas, Comal Springs and San Marcos Springs. Both spring systems are used for recreation and are home to several species of fish, amphibians, insects, and plants found nowhere else. Eight Edwards Aquifer species are on the federal Endangered Species List because they are vulnerable to reduced spring flow... More >>

Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values (2016)

Gene drives are systems of biased inheritance that enhance the ability of a genetic element to pass from an organism to its offspring through sexual reproduction. A wide variety of gene drives occur in nature. Researchers have been studying these natural mechanisms throughout the 20th century but, until the advent of CRISPR/Cas91 for gene editing, have not been able to develop a gene drive. Since early 2015, laboratory scientists hav... More >>

Report in Brief

Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Accident for Improving Safety and Security of U.S. Nuclear Plants: Phase 2 (2016)

The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident should serve as a wake-up call to nuclear plant operators and regulators on the critical importance of measuring, maintaining, and restoring cooling in spent fuel pools during severe accidents and terrorist attacks. This final phase of a 2-part study on lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident provides findings and recommendations for improving U.S. nuclear plant security and spen... More >>

Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects (2016)

Since their introduction in the mid-1990s, genetically engineered (GE) crops have been the topic of much debate. This report reviews evidence accumulated from experiences on the most widely grown GE crops to date: herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant varieties of maize, soybean, and cotton. While recognizing the inherent difficulty of detecting subtle or long-term effects on health or the environment, the study committee found n... More >>

Report in Brief