The importance and popularity of this topic led to the formation
of two concurrent and independent sections. Each section
(A and B) developed its own set of recommendations.
Section B: Global Environmental Change
1. Infrastructure for National Assessments
The United States Global Change Research Program
(USGCRP) should establish a permanent infrastructure for
national assessments, including secretariat functions with permanent
scientific staff and outreach capability.
2. Extreme Climate Effects
The USGCRP should expand research programs at regional
levels on the probability and consequences of extreme climate
3. Interdisciplinary Research
The National Science Foundation (NSF) should enhance
incentives for interdisciplinary research integrating natural and
4. Land Use, Land-use Change, and Forestry
Congress should direct and fund the Department of
Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Interior (DOI),
and other relevant departments and agencies to develop
a highly integrated, multi-agency program for the study
of land use, land use change, and forest management.
5. Communication Plan
The scientific community and end users should develop a
communication plan outlining criteria for a delivery system
through which scientific information may be presented to the
public and policy makers in a digestible form.
6. Observational and Research Efforts
Federal agencies need to fund long-term (50-100 years)
observational and research efforts through endowments
established by Congress.
7. Teacher Training
The NSF and the Department of Energy (DOE) should fund
teacher training programs in global environmental change that
involve international components.
8. Environmental Vulnerability Index
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), and NSF should fund
the development of an “Environmental Vulnerability Index”
that is relevant to human populations, and comprehensive in
scope, integrating major human activities that degrade local,
regional, and global environments.