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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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NEXT GENERATION
EARTH SYSTEMS SCIENCE
AT THE
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

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

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

Additional copies of this publication are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2022 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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Reviewers

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:

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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In Memory of Francis Bretherton
1935–2021

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

Image
The NASA Bretherton conceptual model of the Earth system, originally developed in 1985.
SOURCES: NRC (National Research Council). 1986. Earth System Science. Overview: A Program for Global Change. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Reprinted by permission from Nature: Steffen, W., K. Richardson, J. Rockström, H.J. Schellnhuber, O.P. Dube, S. Dutreuil, T.M. Lenton, and J. Lubchenco. 2020. The emergence and evolution of Earth System Science. Nature Reviews 1:54–63. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-019-0005-6.

___________________

1 See https://www.aos.wisc.edu/news/Francis_Bretherton_1935-2021.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26042.
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has played a key role over the past several decades in advancing understanding of Earth's systems by funding research on atmospheric, ocean, hydrologic, geologic, polar, ecosystem, social, and engineering-related processes. Today, however, those systems are being driven like never before by human technologies and activities. Our understanding has struggled to keep pace with the rapidity and magnitude of human-driven changes, their impacts on human and ecosystem sustainability and resilience, and the effectiveness of different pathways to address those challenges.

Given the urgency of understanding human-driven changes, NSF will need to sustain and expand its efforts to achieve greater impact. The time is ripe to create a next-generation Earth systems science initiative that emphasizes research on complex interconnections and feedbacks between natural and social processes. This will require NSF to place an increased emphasis on research inspired by real-world problems while maintaining their strong legacy of curiosity driven research across many disciplines – as well as enhance the participation of social, engineering, and data scientists, and strengthen efforts to include diverse perspectives in research.

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