Category Archives: General Topics

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Zika Virus

zik-world-map_active_01-26-2016_web_2

On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the Zika virus was “spreading explosively” and estimated that as many as four million people could be infected by the end of the year. The WHO will be holding an emergency meeting on Monday to determine whether this outbreak should be declared an international health emergency. This decision would allow countless resources to be mobilized towards more effectively combating this global health crisis.

We’ve collected our resources that provide an overview of infectious diseases and address this growing global challenge. All are free to download.

Photo Source: CDC

Rapid Medical Countermeasure Response to Infectious Diseases: Enabling Sustainable Capabilities Through Ongoing Public- and Private-Sector Partnerships: Workshop Summary

Emerging infectious disease threats that may not have available treatments or vaccines can directly affect the security of the world’s health since these diseases also know no boundaries and will easily cross borders. Sustaining public and …

[more]

International Infectious Disease Emergencies and Domestic Implications for the Public Health and Health Care Sectors: Workshop in Brief

Emerging infectious disease events present a threat to U.S. national security, and we need improved efforts to coordinate a response both domestically and with global partners. The most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa is …

[more]

Emerging Viral Diseases: The One Health Connection: Workshop Summary

In the past half century, deadly disease outbreaks caused by novel viruses of animal origin – Nipah virus in Malaysia, Hendra virus in Australia, Hantavirus in the United States, Ebola virus in Africa, along with HIV (human immunodeficiency …

[more]

Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World: Workshop Summary

Modern transportation allows people, animals, and plants–and the pathogens they carry–to travel more easily than ever before. The ease and speed of travel, tourism, and international trade connect once-remote areas with one another, eliminating …

[more]

Global Health Risk Framework: Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems to Respond to Global Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Workshop Summary

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the …

[more]

Global Health Risk Framework: Pandemic Financing: Workshop Summary

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the …

[more]

Global Health Risk Framework: Governance for Global Health: Workshop Summary

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the …

[more]

Global Health Risk Framework: Research and Development of Medical Products: Workshop Summary

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the …

[more]

The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the …

[more]

2015 Climate Change

201512

The unusual warmth of December seems like a distant memory after this weekend’s blizzard on the east coast. However NOAA’s most recent State of the Climate report revealed that 2015 was the Earth’s warmest year by the widest margin on record. The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880, and the December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the highest on record for any month in the 136-year period.

Explore our reports on climate change to learn more. All are free to download.

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes is a jointly produced publication of The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society. Written by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists and reviewed by climate scientists and others, the …

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Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that …

[more]

Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop

The Arctic has been undergoing significant changes in recent years. Average temperatures are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere in the world. The extent and thickness of sea ice is rapidly declining. Such changes may have an impact on …

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Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth

The growing problem of changing environmental conditions caused by climate destabilization is well recognized as one of the defining issues of our time. The root problem is greenhouse gas emissions, and the fundamental solution is curbing those …

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Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration

The signals are everywhere that our planet is experiencing significant climate change. It is clear that we need to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from our atmosphere if we want to avoid greatly increased risk of …

[more]

The Science Behind ‘Making a Murderer’

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The Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer” has inspired serious debate around the case of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey. For those of you who aren’t already hooked on the show, Avery was exonerated by DNA evidence after serving 18 years for a sexual assault and attempted murder that he did not commit. Our reports explain the strengths and weaknesses of forensic evidence and eyewitness identification.

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification

Eyewitnesses play an important role in criminal cases when they can identify culprits. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of eyewitnesses make identifications in criminal investigations each year. Research on factors that affect the …

[more]

Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward

Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and …

[more]

Forensic Analysis Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence

Since the 1960s, testimony by representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in thousands of criminal cases has relied on evidence from Compositional Analysis of Bullet Lead (CABL), a forensic technique that compares the elemental …

[more]

Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition, assists judges in managing cases involving complex scientific and technical evidence by describing the basic tenets of key scientific fields from which legal evidence is typically …

[more]

Human Gene Editing: The Issues Behind the Progress in Genetics

gene_169470

A major component of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine’s Human Gene-Editing Initiative was the International Summit on Human Gene Editing that took place this past week. Co-hosted with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the U.K.’s Royal Society, the summit convened experts from around the world to discuss the scientific, ethical, and governance issues associated with human gene-editing research. The Summit Statement is available here, and the video and slides of the Summit will be permanently available at the summit website.

Below is a list of our titles that were either directly mentioned in presentations, or are related to this topic. All are free to download.

2008 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (2008)


ISBN 978-0-309-12220-7

In 2005, the National Academies released the report Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, which offered a common set of ethical standards for a field that, due to the absence of comprehensive federal funding, was lacking national …

[more]

Potential Risks and Benefits of Gain-of-Function Research: Summary of a Workshop (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-36783-7

On October 17, 2014, spurred by incidents at U.S. government laboratories that raised serious biosafety concerns, the United States government launched a one-year deliberative process to address the continuing controversy surrounding so-called …

[more]

Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism (2004)


ISBN 978-0-309-08977-7

In recent years much has happened to justify an examination of biological research in light of national security concerns. The destructive application of biotechnology research includes activities such as spreading common pathogens or …

[more]

Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences (2006)


ISBN 978-0-309-10032-8

Biomedical advances have made it possible to identify and manipulate features of living organisms in useful ways&#8212leading to improvements in public health, agriculture, and other areas. The globalization of scientific and technical expertise …

[more]

Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Genomic Science Translation: Workshop Summary (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-29453-9

The process for translating basic science discoveries into clinical applications has historically involved a linear and lengthy progression from initial discovery to preclinical testing, regulatory evaluation and approval, and, finally, use in …

[more]

Conflict of Interest and Medical Innovation: Ensuring Integrity While Facilitating Innovation in Medical Research: Workshop Summary (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-30168-8

Scientific advances such as the sequencing of the human genome have created great promise for improving human health by providing a greater understanding of disease biology and enabling the development of new drugs, diagnostics, and preventive …

[more]

A Survey of Attitudes and Actions on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences: A Collaborative Effort of the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009)


ISBN 978-0-309-12510-9

The same technologies that fuel scientific advances also pose potential risks–that the knowledge, tools, and techniques gained through legitimate biotechnology research could be misused to create biological weapons or for bioterrorism. This is …

[more]

Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-15840-4

The Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences workshop was held to engage the life sciences community on the particular security issues related to research with dual use potential. More than 60 …

[more]

Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Embedding a Culture of Science and Technology Throughout the Department of State (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-37313-5

Diplomacy for the 21st Century recommends steps that the Department of State should embrace to take full advantage of the leading science and technology (S&T) capabilities of the United States. These capabilities provide the department …

[more]

Public Engagement on Genetically Modified Organisms: When Science and Citizens Connect: A Workshop Summary (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-37421-7

The National Research Council’s Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences held a 2-day workshop on January 15-16, 2015, in Washington, DC to explore the public interfaces between scientists and citizens in the context of genetically …

[more]

Trust and Confidence at the Interfaces of the Life Sciences and Society: Does the Public Trust Science? A Workshop Summary (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-37792-8

Does the public trust science? Scientists? Scientific organizations? What roles do trust and the lack of trust play in public debates about how science can be used to address such societal concerns as childhood vaccination, cancer screening, and …

[more]

Improving Genetics Education in Graduate and Continuing Health Professional Education: Workshop Summary (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-31605-7

Many health care providers do not have either the knowledge or the tools they need in order to apply genetic information in their day-to-day practices. This lack of support is contributing to a substantial delay in the translation of genetic …

[more]

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies: Workshop Summary (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-15771-1

Knowing one’s genetic disposition to a variety of diseases, including common chronic diseases, can benefit both the individual and society at large. The IOM’s Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health held a workshop on March …

[more]

Genomics-Enabled Learning Health Care Systems: Gathering and Using Genomic Information to Improve Patient Care and Research: Workshop Summary (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-37112-4

The inclusion of genomic data in a knowledge-generating health care system infrastructure is one promising way to harness the full potential of that information to provide better patient care. In such a system, clinical practice and research …

[more]

Assessing Genomic Sequencing Information for Health Care Decision Making: Workshop Summary (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-30494-8

Rapid advances in technology have lowered the cost of sequencing an individual’s genome from the several billion dollars that it cost a decade ago to just a few thousand dollars today and have correspondingly greatly expanded the use of genomic …

[more]

Integrating Large-Scale Genomic Information into Clinical Practice: Workshop Summary (2012)


ISBN 978-0-309-22034-7

The initial sequencing of the human genome, carried out by an international group of experts, took 13 years and $2.7 billion to complete. In the decade since that achievement, sequencing technology has evolved at such a rapid pace that today a …

[more]

Assessing Genetic Risks: Implications for Health and Social Policy (1994)


ISBN 978-0-309-08660-8

Raising hopes for disease treatment and prevention, but also the specter of discrimination and “designer genes,” genetic testing is potentially one of the most socially explosive developments of our time. This book presents a current assessment of …

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Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security: A Framework for Addressing Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-29334-1

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security is a study on the ethical, legal, and societal issues relating to the research on, development of, and use of rapidly changing technologies with low barriers of entry that …

[more]

Flooding and Resilience in Charleston, South Carolina

Image Credit: Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Image Credit: Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Catastrophic flooding in South Carolina during the past several days has claimed multiple lives and prompted President Obama to declare a major disaster in the State of South Carolina and order federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts. The Charleston, SC, metropolitan region is one of four American communities working closely with the Resilient America Roundtable to build resilience to such disasters.

“For the Charleston region, any loss of life is too much,” said Resilient America Roundtable Director Lauren Alexander Augustine. “The extent of the flood’s impact isn’t yet clear, and we hope that when the floodwaters recede, damage will not be as bad as feared. We also hope to channel energy around this flood into efforts that increase flood resilience in Charleston and other flood-prone communities.”

Meetings, workshops, and discussions with community groups in Charleston have identified some key priorities for building resilience in the area, including:
— measuring both flood risk and resilience to flooding;
— linking flood resilience, infrastructure, and economic growth in the community;
— improving communication about risk, perhaps through public art;
— rethinking the role of flood insurance in building resilience; and
— learning from other communities about ways to improve flood resilience.

The Resilient America Roundtable’s work builds upon the recommendations in a 2012 National Research Council report, Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative, which identifies strategic steps the United States can take to reduce impacts on the nation’s communities from natural and human-induced disasters.

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation …

[more]

Launching a National Conversation on Disaster Resilience in America: Workshop Summary

With the increasing frequency of natural and human-induced disasters and the increasing magnitude of their consequences, a clear need exists for governments and communities to become more resilient. The National Research Council’s 2012 report …

[more]

Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice

Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety …

[more]

Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal …

[more]

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery …

[more]

An Intro to Altmetrics

If you’ve looked at any of the book pages on the NAP website in the last few months, you probably noticed a new feature: the Stats tab. This addition to the catalog page shows the number of total PDF downloads, downloads by country, and Altmetrics.

But what are Altmetrics? Researchers strive to show the impact their papers, books, and datasets are having beyond citations. Altmetrics (Alternative metrics) were created to address this need by locating and measuring attention to research from traditional and non-traditional media sources. Each indicator employed by this system can shed light on how a piece of research is read, reused, and built upon.

The Altmetric score is based on the amount of attention the article receives from social media and mainstream news media. As more people mention it, the score rises. However, each source contributes a different base amount to the final score. For instance, a newspaper article contributes more than a tweet. This data gives valuable insight as to who is reading these articles and how they are being shared. This information then reveals the scope of the article’s reach and influence, and allows researchers to learn more about their audience.

If you’re curious about which Academies reports had the highest Altmetric scores, so were we. Here’s the top five.





Lessons from Katrina for Community Disaster Recovery

Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in southeast Louisiana. Katrina had a disaster area of 90,000 square miles, creating community-wide and regional response issues. In the devastation that followed, there was an acute need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. A new report from the Institute of Medicine aims to increase the nation’s resilience at federal, state, local, and community levels through actionable recommendations and guidance on the best approaches to reduce adverse impacts from hazards and disasters.

According to Reed Tuckson, Chair of the authoring committee of Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters:

“As the nation focuses on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we should appreciate the important lessons learned from this tragedy that other communities can use to enhance the resiliency of their health infrastructures and lead to better health for all community members. The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Post-Disaster Recovery of a Community’s Public Health, Medical and Social Services utilized the Katrina experience as an important component in formulating its recommendations on the importance and processes of preparing for disasters, and how to thoughtfully use the resources associated with disaster recovery to advance the long-term health of communities and their residents. It is our hope that, as we remember the Katrina experience, the community leaders will take the opportunity to review the 12 recommendations in our report, Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters, and apply them as appropriate to their circumstances.”

This book and all our reports on disaster resilience are free to download.

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery …

[more]

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation …

[more]

Launching a National Conversation on Disaster Resilience in America: Workshop Summary

With the increasing frequency of natural and human-induced disasters and the increasing magnitude of their consequences, a clear need exists for governments and communities to become more resilient. The National Research Council’s 2012 report …

[more]

Building Community Disaster Resilience Through Private-Public Collaboration

Natural disasters–including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods–caused more than 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from …

[more]

Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disasters: Hurricane Katrina, Workshop Summary

Public health officials have the traditional responsibilities of protecting the food supply, safeguarding against communicable disease, and ensuring safe and healthful conditions for the population. Beyond this, public health today is challenged …

[more]

Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop

Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half …

[more]

Sending the Kids Back to School? Get the Science Behind Testing, Vaccinations, and Sports Safety

Credit: Norman Public School.

Credit: Norman Public School.

By now you’re in back to school prep mode – time to complete forms, schedule doctor’s appointments, and find out just how much your kids grew this summer. Whether it’s your child’s first day of preschool or their last year of high school, there are a lot of issues for parents to think about. Our reports provide the science base for discussion of vaccinations, safety in sports, testing, bullying, and more. All are free to download.

The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies

Vaccines are among the most safe and effective public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death. Because of the success of vaccines, most Americans today have no firsthand experience with such devastating illnesses as polio or …

[more]

Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture

In the past decade, few subjects at the intersection of medicine and sports have generated as much public interest as sports-related concussions – especially among youth. Despite growing awareness of sports-related concussions and campaigns to …

[more]

Building Capacity to Reduce Bullying: Workshop Summary

Bullying – long tolerated as just a part of growing up – finally has been recognized as a substantial and preventable health problem. Bullying is associated with anxiety, depression, poor school performance, and future delinquent behavior among …

[more]

Snooze… or Lose!: 10 “No-War” Ways to Improve Your Teen’s Sleep Habits

Walk into any first-period high school classroom and it’s obvious: teenagers are exhausted. Sleep deprivation is an epidemic as widespread as obesity and just as damaging. Fortunately, science has answers and Dr. Helene Emsellem has solutions …

[more]

Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century

Americans have long recognized that investments in public education contribute to the common good, enhancing national prosperity and supporting stable families, neighborhoods, and communities. Education is even more critical today, in the face of …

[more]

Student Mobility: Exploring the Impact of Frequent Moves on Achievement: Summary of a Workshop

Many low-income families struggle with stable housing and frequently have to move due to foreclosures, rent increases, or other financial setbacks. Children in these families can experience lasting negative effects, especially those who are young …

[more]

Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education

In recent years there have been increasing efforts to use accountability systems based on large-scale tests of students as a mechanism for improving student achievement. The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a prominent example of such …

[more]

Myths and Tradeoffs: The Role of Tests in Undergraduate Admissions

More than 8 million students enrolled in 4-year, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States in 1996. The multifaceted system through which these students applied to and were selected by the approximately 2,240 institutions in …

[more]

The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking: Workshop Report

Adolescence is a time when youth make decisions, both good and bad, that have consequences for the rest of their lives. Some of these decisions put them at risk of lifelong health problems, injury, or death. The Institute of Medicine held three …

[more]

Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality

In 1900, for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, 100 would die before their first birthday, often due to infectious diseases. Today, vaccines exist for many viral and bacterial diseases. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, passed …

[more]

Resources to Improve Undergrad STEM Education

As the chart below indicates, STEM education will continue to significantly contribute to the nation’s economy and prosperity. In an environment of increasing tuition and shrinking public funding, the most successful colleges and universities will be the ones that promote excellent teaching and support students as they work toward their degrees. Our reports discuss changing pathways to degrees and methods to improve teaching beyond the lecture hall. All are free to download.

Credit: U.S. Department of Education

Credit: U.S. Department of Education

Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering

The undergraduate years are a turning point in producing scientifically literate citizens and future scientists and engineers. Evidence from research about how students learn science and engineering shows that teaching strategies that motivate …

[more]

Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering

The National Science Foundation funded a synthesis study on the status, contributions, and future direction of discipline-based education research (DBER) in physics, biological sciences, geosciences, and chemistry. DBER combines knowledge of …

[more]

Enhancing the Community College Pathway to Engineering Careers

Community colleges play an important role in starting students on the road to engineering careers, but students often face obstacles in transferring to four-year educational institutions to continue their education. Enhancing the Community …

[more]

Colloquy on Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

On August 8-12, 2010 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), convened the Colloquy on Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), following the release of …

[more]

Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education

Higher education is a linchpin of the American economy and society: teaching and research at colleges and universities contribute significantly to the nation’s economic activity, both directly and through their impact on future growth; federal …

[more]

Adapting to a Changing World–Challenges and Opportunities in Undergraduate Physics Education

Adapting to a Changing World was commissioned by the National Science Foundation to examine the present status of undergraduate physics education, including the state of physics education research, and, most importantly, to develop a …

[more]

Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults

Young adulthood – ages approximately 18 to 26 – is a critical period of development with long-lasting implications for a person’s economic security, health and well-being. Young adults are key contributors to the nation’s workforce and military …

[more]

Science on Floods: Risks, National Insurance, and Resilience

UntitledAccording to FEMA, floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Property owners who live in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can purchase affordable protection to protect against loss. The NFIP is a cornerstone in the U.S. strategy to assist communities to prepare for, mitigate against, and recover from flood disasters. At the request of Congress, several recent reports have examined the current state of the program and options to improve it. These books and others on floods and disaster resilience are all free to download.

A Community-Based Flood Insurance Option

River and coastal floods are among the nation’s most costly natural disasters. One component in the nation’s approach to managing flood risk is availability of flood insurance policies, which are offered on an individual basis primarily through …

[more]

Tying Flood Insurance to Flood Risk for Low-Lying Structures in the Floodplains

Floods take a heavy toll on society, costing lives, damaging buildings and property, disrupting livelihoods, and sometimes necessitating federal disaster relief, which has risen to record levels in recent years. The National Flood Insurance …

[more]

Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program Premiums: Report 1

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is housed within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and offers insurance policies that are marketed and sold through private insurers, but with the risks borne by the U.S. federal …

[more]

Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is a cornerstone in the U.S. strategy to assist communities to prepare for, …

[more]

Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice

Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety …

[more]

Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal …

[more]

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation …

[more]

Mapping the Zone: Improving Flood Map Accuracy

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps portray the height and extent to which flooding is expected to occur, and they form the basis for setting flood insurance premiums and regulating development in the floodplain. …

[more]

Elevation Data for Floodplain Mapping

Floodplain maps serve as the basis for determining whether homes or buildings require flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Approximately $650 billion in insured assets …

[more]