EARTH SYSTEMS SCIENCE
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Committee on Advancing a Systems Approach to Studying the Earth:
A Strategy for the National Science Foundation
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Policy and Global Affairs
A Consensus Study Report of
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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This activity was supported by Grant No. 2022844 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-22446-8
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-22446-2
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/26042
Library of Congress Control Number: 2021949309
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26042.
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COMMITTEE ON ADVANCING A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO STUDYING THE EARTH: A STRATEGY FOR THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
RUTH S. DeFRIES (NAS) (Co-Chair), Columbia University
GEORGE M. HORNBERGER (NAE) (Co-Chair), Vanderbilt University
CLAUDIA BENITEZ-NELSON, University of South Carolina
ASMERET ASEFAW BERHE, University of California, Merced
MELISSA A. BURT, Colorado State University
JAMES J. ELSER (NAS), University of Montana
COURTNEY G. FLINT, Utah State University
ROYCE A. FRANCIS, The George Washington University
INEZ Y. FUNG (NAS), University of California, Berkeley
WILLIAM D. GROPP (NAE), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MELISSA A. KENNEY, University of Minnesota
JERRY X. MITROVICA, Harvard University
CONSTANTINE SAMARAS, Carnegie Mellon University
KRISTEN ST. JOHN, James Madison University
FIAMMA STRANEO, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
DUANE E. WALISER, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff
ANNE LINN, Study Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
LAUREN EVERETT, Senior Program Officer, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate JENELL WALSH-THOMAS, Program Officer, Board on Environmental Change and Society AMANDA STAUDT, Senior Board Director, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
DEBORAH GLICKSON, Board Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources MARIA LUND DAHLBERG, Senior Program Officer, Board on Higher Education and Workforce
KERRY BRENNER, Senior Program Officer, Board on Science Education
BRENT HEARD, Program Officer, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems
EMILY TWIGG, Senior Program Officer, Ocean Studies Board
LYNETTE MILLETT, Senior Program Manager, Gulf Research Program
ANDREW BREMER, Associate Program Officer, Board on Life Sciences
TAMARA DAWSON, Program Associate, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by CORALE L. BRIERLEY, Brierley Consultancy LLC, and NORMAN H. SLEEP, Stanford University. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.
The committee also wishes to thank the following Boards for their valuable contributions to this study: Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, Board on Environmental Change and Society, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Board on Higher Education and Workforce, Board on Life Sciences, Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics, Board on Science Education, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Ocean Studies Board, Polar Research Board, and Water Science and Technology Board.
In Memory of Francis Bretherton
Dr. Francis Bretherton, a guiding force in the field of Earth Systems Science, passed away in June 2021. The committee wishes to acknowledge the many accomplishments and contributions of Dr. Bretherton, as a distinguished scientist and mentor.
Dr. Bretherton chaired the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Earth System Science Committee, which highlighted the complexity of not only the Earth system but also the interactions between its various components, the planet’s systems, and its components, parts. The committee developed an integrated interdisciplinary research program that would contribute ultimately to a scientific understanding of the entire Earth system on a global scale through the use of (at the time) emerging space-based remote sensing technologies and quantitative global climate models.1
Ruth DeFries and George Hornberger, Committee Co-Chairs on
behalf of the committee members and staff
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3.4 CHARACTERISTIC 4: Prioritize engagement and partnerships with diverse stakeholders to benefit society and address Earth systems–related problems at community, state, national, and international scales