Grand Challenges for Biological and Environmental Research: A Long-Term Vision

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The interactions and feedbacks among plants, animals, microbes, humans, and the environment ultimately form the world in which we live. This world is now facing challenges from a growing and increasingly affluent human population whose numbers and lifestyles are driving ever greater energy demand and impacting climate. These and other contributing factors will make energy and climate sustainability extremely difficult to achieve over the 20-year time horizon that is the focus of this report. Despite these severe challenges, there is optimism that deeper understanding of our environment will enable us to mitigate detrimental effects, while also harnessing biological and climate ... continued below

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Arkin, A.; Baliga, N.; Braam, J.; Church, G.; Collins, J; Cottingham, R. et al. December 1, 2010.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 17 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

The interactions and feedbacks among plants, animals, microbes, humans, and the environment ultimately form the world in which we live. This world is now facing challenges from a growing and increasingly affluent human population whose numbers and lifestyles are driving ever greater energy demand and impacting climate. These and other contributing factors will make energy and climate sustainability extremely difficult to achieve over the 20-year time horizon that is the focus of this report. Despite these severe challenges, there is optimism that deeper understanding of our environment will enable us to mitigate detrimental effects, while also harnessing biological and climate systems to ensure a sustainable energy future. This effort is advanced by scientific inquiries in the fields of atmospheric chemistry and physics, biology, ecology, and subsurface science - all made possible by computing. The Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) within the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science has a long history of bringing together researchers from different disciplines to address critical national needs in determining the biological and environmental impacts of energy production and use, characterizing the interplay of climate and energy, and collaborating with other agencies and DOE programs to improve the world's most powerful climate models. BER science focuses on three distinct areas: (1) What are the roles of Earth system components (atmosphere, land, oceans, sea ice, and the biosphere) in determining climate? (2) How is the information stored in a genome translated into microbial, plant, and ecosystem processes that influence biofuel production, climate feedbacks, and the natural cycling of carbon? (3) What are the biological, geochemical, and physical forces that govern the behavior of Earth's subsurface environment? Ultimately, the goal of BER science is to support experimentation and modeling that can reliably predict the outcomes and behaviors of complex biological and environmental systems, leading to robust solutions for DOE missions and strategic goals. In March 2010, the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee held the Grand Challenges for Biological and Environmental Research: A Long-Term Vision workshop to identify scientific opportunities and grand challenges for BER science in the coming decades and to develop an overall strategy for drafting a long-term vision for BER. Key workshop goals included: (1) Identifying the greatest scientific challenges in biology, climate, and the environment that DOE will face over a 20-year time horizon. (2) Describing how BER should be positioned to address those challenges. (3) Determining the new and innovative tools needed to advance BER science. (4) Suggesting how the workforce of the future should be trained in integrative system science. This report lays out grand research challenges for BER - in biological systems, climate, energy sustainability, computing, and education and workforce training - that can put society on a path to achieve the scientific evidence and predictive understanding needed to inform decision making and planning to address future energy needs, climate change, water availability, and land use.

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  • Report No.: DOE/SC-0135
  • Grant Number: None
  • DOI: 10.2172/1006492 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1006492
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc836160

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Jan. 23, 2018, 9:10 p.m.

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Arkin, A.; Baliga, N.; Braam, J.; Church, G.; Collins, J; Cottingham, R. et al. Grand Challenges for Biological and Environmental Research: A Long-Term Vision, report, December 1, 2010; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc836160/: accessed July 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.