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Suggested Citation:"4. Other Issues." National Research Council. 1990. The U.S. Global Change Research Program: An Assessment of the FY 1991 Plans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1606.
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Suggested Citation:"4. Other Issues." National Research Council. 1990. The U.S. Global Change Research Program: An Assessment of the FY 1991 Plans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1606.
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Suggested Citation:"4. Other Issues." National Research Council. 1990. The U.S. Global Change Research Program: An Assessment of the FY 1991 Plans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1606.
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Suggested Citation:"4. Other Issues." National Research Council. 1990. The U.S. Global Change Research Program: An Assessment of the FY 1991 Plans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1606.
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4 Other Issues ~ Other Issues Require Particular Attention in the Implementation of the Program? INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH The ability of the USGCRP to secure data that are available or must be acquired elsewhere in the world, to conduct the process research, to build the analytical models needed to meet its goals, and to meet the demands that the program wm place on human and financial resources will require a truly international effort. The International Geosphere-Biosphere Program organized under the auspices of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and the World Climate Research Program organized under ICSU and the World Meteorological Organization are the international counterparts of-the USGCRP, and they share the same objectives as the USGCRP. Coordination between USGCRP activities and internationally- organized programs of research should be strengthened. Collaboration with other countries should be encouraged as well, on a bilateral or multinational basis. (See Chapter 5 for a discussion of the need for an internationally coordinated observational strategy.) In many coutries, national research activities that parallel those of the USGCRP are now under way. In others, research programs that deal with global change are currently very limited. It is obviously necessary for the ~5

26 success of the U.S. program that such national activities be encouraged and helped, where needed, either bilaterally or through sharing of international program expenses. In particular, we recommend that cooperation with developing countries in global change research be strengthened to ensure their involvement and that plans for doing so be developed by agencies involved in the program. These international endeavors are not included as explicit elements of the FY 1991 program. The degree to which each element of the USGCRP contributes to or benefits from related international, multinational, or bilateral efforts should be made more explicit in future descriptions of program elements and in future budgets for the program. U.S. support for international efforts, including the appropriate share of this nation in support of program and project offices and necessary interational travel of involved U.S. scientists are investments in the goals of the USGCRP and should be made an explicit element of annual budgets for the program. AVAILABILITY OF HUMAN RESOURCES The availability of sufficient human resources to carry out the program may well prove the most important determinant of the success or failure of the USGCRP. Plans for the USGCRP recognize the vital need to provide opportunities for recruiting and educating students who will become the next generation of research scientists and technicians needed to sustain the program. In many areas of science the USGCRP will require substantially larger research communities than those that currently exist. Examples are found in the fields of global ecology, hydrology, biogeochemistIy, and in other areas of interaction that link conventional academic disciplines, and in the emerging area of human interactions. We can assume that increased, sustained levels of funding in these and other areas will attract an increasing number of scientists. Innovative programs to encourage specific careers in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary specialties will also be required. Increased attention will have to be paid to education and to the rates at which these communities can grow. As noted above, a first step toward this end can be taken by entraining the academic research community in the program, through agency programs of extramural research support. DEFINITION OF "CONTRIBUTING" PROGRAMS The FY 1991 program plan and earlier documents of the CEES divide the USGCRP into "focused" (e.g., those programs whose goals are regarded by the CEES as central to the USGCRP) and "contributing" (e.g., those programs that CEES regards as supportive of the goals of the USGCRP

27 but that were initiated for other reasons) elements. Funds for "focused" programs are included within the overall USGCRP budget, while funds for "contributing" projects are not. The "focused" elements do not attempt to provide the entirety of the research that will be required to meet the aims and goals of the program. Vital "contributing" programs and additional complementary activities con- ducted through other federal programs for example, the program of op- erational meteorological satellites within NOAA must also be sustained if the program is to succeed. It follows that any critical review of the overall program must be guided by a more explicit identification of "contributing" programs, and a distinction between "focused" and "contributing" elements that is consistent across participating agencies. PRINCIPAL RECOMMENDATIONS The panel makes the following recommendations regarding three issues that should receive particular attention in future plans for the USGCRP: (1) international collaboration between programs within the USGCRP and programs within existing international research programs on global change should be strengthened and explicitly defined; in addition, bilateral and multilateral research endeavors on global change should be vigourously pursued, particularly with developing countries; (2) innovative plans to encourage careers in global change research should be undertaken to develop the human resources necessary to carry out the program; as a first step, support for academic research on global change is needed to attract students to choose careers in this area; and (3) "contributing" programs essential to the success of the USGCRP should be more clearly defined and distinctions between "focused" and "contributing" programs should be made consistent across the contributing agencies.

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