Tag Archives: environment

Top 10 Downloads: Energy and Energy Conservation

Since last June, hundreds of thousands of PDFs have been downloaded for free from the NAP website. Don’t miss out on your chance to read any of these top ten downloads in the Energy and Energy Conservation category. Continue reading

Climate Change Resources

Untitled Document

A report released today from the National Research Council reiterates the pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare to adapt to its impacts. Read about the America’s Climate Choices series below.

1x1-Spacer America’s Climate Choices, which builds on the four previous America’s Climate Choices panel reports, reaffirms that the preponderance of scientific evidence points to human activities as the most likely cause for most of the global warming that has occurred during the last several decades. Furthermore, the risk of dangerous climate change impacts is growing with every ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

America’s Climate Choices makes the case for implementing strong federal policies that establish coherent national goals and incentives, and that promote strong U.S. engagement in international-level response efforts.

America’s Climate Choices Panel Reports:

Advancing the Science of Climate Change
Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change
Limiting the Magnitude of Climate Change
Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

Understanding Earth's Deep Past
Understanding Earth’s Deep Past: Lessons for Our Climate Future
Prepublication Available

There is little dispute within the scientific community that humans are changing Earth’s climate on a decadal to century time-scale. By the end of this century, without a reduction in emissions, atmospheric CO2 is projected to increase to levels that Earth…
Details

Climate Stabilization Targets
Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts Over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock Earth…
Details

Ocean Acidification
Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean…
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Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements

The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor…
Details

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts
Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems

The stresses associated with climate change are expected to be felt keenly as human population grows to a projected 9 billion by the middle of this century, increasing the demand for resources and supporting infrastructure. Therefore, information to assess…
Details

Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years
Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years

In response to a request from Congress, Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years assesses the state of scientific efforts to reconstruct surface temperature records for Earth during approximately the last 2,000 years and the…
Details

Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability
Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability

More accurate forecasts of climate conditions over time periods of weeks to a few years could help people plan agricultural activities, mitigate drought, and manage energy resources, among other activities; however, current forecast systems have limited…
Details

Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution
Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution

The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in…
Details

Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events
Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary

Long before the “germ theory” of disease was described, late in the nineteenth century, humans knew that climatic conditions influence the appearance and spread of epidemic diseases. Ancient notions about the effects of weather and climate on disease remain…
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Evaluating Progress of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
Evaluating Progress of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program: Methods and Preliminary Results

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) coordinates the efforts of 13 federal agencies to understand why climate is changing, to improve predictions about how it will change in the future, and to use that information to assess impacts on human systems…
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The Ripple Effect of the Oil Spill: Prevention, Human Health, and More

Tuesday the presidential panel investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill released its final report, analyzing problems that led to the incident and making recommendations for new regulations to prevent a similar disaster. The National Research Council, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine have produced a number of reports that discuss causes of the oil spill and its effects on human health.

Interim Report on Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Blowout and Ways to Prevent Such Events examines the probable causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, fire, and oil spill and identifies measures for preventing similar harm in the future. The book addresses the performance of technologies and practices involved in the probable causes of the Macondo well blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. It also explores industry best practices and standards, and identifies and recommends available technologies and measures that can ensure a higher level of safety in deepwater exploratory drilling and well completion.

Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop identifies populations at increased risks for adverse health effects and explores effective communication strategies to convey health information to these populations. The book also discusses the need for appropriate surveillance systems to monitor the spill’s potential short- and long-term health effects on communities and individuals.

These books and others that focus on the disaster and environmental valuation in general serve as a resource to guide policy and decision making.

Interim Report on Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Blowout and Ways to Prevent Such Events Interim Report on Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Blowout and Ways to Prevent Such Events

The National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council have released the interim report of the Committee on the Analysis of Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Fire, and Oil Spill to Identify Measures to Prevent Similar Accidents in the…
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Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop

From the origin of the leak, to the amount of oil released into the environment, to the spill’s duration, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill poses unique challenges to human health. The risks associated with extensive, prolonged use of dispersants, with oil…
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Review of the Proposal for the Gulf Long-Term Follow-Up Study Review of the Proposal for the Gulf Long-Term Follow-Up Study: Highlights from the September 2010 Workshop: Workshop Report

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is unprecedented not only in its size but also in the use of chemical dispersants and controlled burns to remove the oil. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is designing a study to investigate the…
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Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report

It is as yet uncertain how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect the health of clean-up workers and volunteers, residents, and visitors in the Gulf. The IOM recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focus on researching psychological…
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Risk of Vessel Accidents and Spills in the Aleutian Islands Risk of Vessel Accidents and Spills in the Aleutian Islands: Designing a Comprehensive Risk Assessment – Special Report 293

TRB Special Report 293, Risk of Vessel Accidents and Spills in the Aleutian Islands: Designing a Comprehensive Risk Assessment, provides guidance for a comprehensive risk assessment of vessel accidents and spills in the Aleutian Islands. The report…
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Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making

Federal agencies have taken steps to include the public in a wide range of environmental decisions. Although some form of public participation is often required by law, agencies usually have broad discretion about the extent of that involvement. Approaches vary…
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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy

Ocean research offers countless benefits, from improving fisheries management to discovering new drugs to enabling early detection of tsunamis and hurricanes. At the request of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST), the National Research…
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Improving Disaster Management Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Information technology (IT) has the potential to play a critical role in managing natural and human made disasters. Damage to communications infrastructure, along with other communications problems exacerbated the difficulties in carrying out response and…
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Drawing Louisiana's New Map Drawing Louisiana’s New Map: Addressing Land Loss in Coastal Louisiana

During the past 50 years, coastal Louisiana has suffered catastrophic land loss due to both natural and human causes. This loss has increased storm vulnerability and amplified risks to lives, property, and economies–a fact underscored by Hurricanes Katrina…
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Oil Spill Dispersants Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects

Approximately 3 million gallons of oil or refined petroleum products are spilled into U.S. waters every year. Oil dispersants (chemical agents such as surfactants, solvents, and other compounds) are used to reduce the effect of oil spills by changing…
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Valuing Ecosystem Services Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing development, it is…
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Science for Climate Change Decision-Making

Earlier this month the World Meteorological Organization announced that the year 2010 is almost certain to rank among the top three warmest years since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850. WMO’s data show that 2001-2010 is the warmest ten-year period on record. In November WMO reported that concentrations of the main greenhouse gases have reached their highest levels recorded since pre-industrial times.

This year, the National Research council produced a number of studies that directly address climate change and its effects. Advancing the Science of Climate Change reviews the current scientific evidence regarding climate change and examines the status of the nation’s scientific research efforts. It also describes the critical role that climate change science, broadly defined, can play in developing knowledge and tools to assist decision makers as they act to respond to climate change. The report explores seven cross-cutting research themes that should be included in the nation’s climate change research enterprise, and recommends a number of actions to advance the science of climate change—a science that includes and increasingly integrates across the physical, biological, social, health, and engineering sciences.

Advice on prudent short-term actions and long-term strategies to deal with the effects of climate change can be found in the companion reports Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change, Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change, and Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change.These titles and others from the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate provide information and direction for research and decision making.

Advancing the Science of Climate Change Advancing the Science of Climate Change

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for–and in many cases is already affecting–a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in Advancing the…
Details

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Some extreme weather events such as heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The…
Details

Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change

Climate change, driven by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, poses serious, wide-ranging threats to human societies and natural ecosystems around the world. The largest overall source of greenhouse gas emissions is the burning…
Details

Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

Global climate change is one of America’s most significant long-term policy challenges. Human activity–especially the use of fossil fuels, industrial processes, livestock production, waste disposal, and land use change–is affecting global average…
Details

Climate Stabilization Targets Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth…
Details

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements

The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor…
Details

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems

The stresses associated with climate change are expected to be felt keenly as human population grows to a projected 9 billion by the middle of this century, increasing the demand for resources and supporting infrastructure. Therefore, information to assess…
Details

Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability

More accurate forecasts of climate conditions over time periods of weeks to a few years could help people plan agricultural activities, mitigate drought, and manage energy resources, amongst other activities; however, current forecast systems have limited…
Details

When Weather Matters When Weather Matters: Science and Service to Meet Critical Societal Needs

The past 15 years have seen marked progress in observing, understanding, and predicting weather. At the same time, the United States has failed to match or surpass progress in operational numerical weather prediction achieved by other nations and failed to…
Details

Global Sources of Local Pollution Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States

Recent advances in air pollution monitoring and modeling capabilities have made it possible to show that air pollution can be transported long distances and that adverse impacts of emitted pollutants cannot be confined to one country or even one continent….
Details

Uncertainty Management in Remote Sensing of Climate Data Uncertainty Management in Remote Sensing of Climate Data: Summary of a Workshop

Great advances have been made in our understanding of the climate system over the past few decades, and remotely sensed data have played a key role in supporting many of these advances. Improvements in satellites and in computational and data-handling techniques…
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Take 5: Top 5 Books on Energy

The engineers and scientists on your list may not always be the easiest people to shop for during the holidays. It should come as no surprise that we have recommendations. Take five and finish your holiday shopping with our most-recommended books for the scientifically-minded.

America's Energy Future America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation: Summary Edition

Energy production and use touch our lives in countless ways. We are reminded of the cost of energy every time we fill up at the gas pump, pay an electricity bill, or purchase an airline ticket. Energy use also has important indirect impacts, not all of which…
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Hidden Costs of Energy Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use

Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like…
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Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The nation has compelling reasons to reduce its consumption of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. Plug-in hybrid electric…
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Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects

The generation of electricity by wind energy has the potential to reduce environmental impacts caused by the use of fossil fuels. Although the use of wind energy to generate electricity is increasing rapidly in the United States, government guidance to help…
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Coal Coal: Research and Development to Support National Energy Policy

Coal will continue to provide a major portion of energy requirements in the United States for at least the next several decades. It is imperative that accurate information describing the amount, location, and quality of the coal resources and reserves be…
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Cutting Edge Technology to Combat Climate Change

On October 5th, NASA and the US Agency for International Development launched SERVIR-Himalaya, a web-based environmental imaging and management system to help decision-makers assess climate change and environmental threats. Already in use in Africa and Mesoamerica, this system combines satellite imagery, data management tools, and visualization capabilities to monitor and forecast environmental changes and improve responses to natural disasters.

Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change promotes the use of such an open access repository. Part of the new America’s Climate Choices series, this book discusses the need for climate change to be considered in actions and decisions across a wide range of sectors and interests.

The other books in this series — Advancing the Science of Climate Change, Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change, and Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change — discuss research on the causes and consequences of climate change, evaluate technologies and policies that can be used to limit the magnitude of future climate change, and advocate for understanding of the steps that can be taken to adapt to climate change. These books and other recent titles from the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate can inform debate, discussion, and decision making.

Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change

Global climate change is one of America’s most significant long-term policy challenges. Human activity–especially the use of fossil fuels, industrial processes, livestock production, waste disposal, and land use change–is affecting global average…
Details

Advancing the Science of Climate Change Advancing the Science of Climate Change

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for-and in many cases is already affecting-a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in Advancing the…
Details

Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change

Climate change, driven by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, poses serious, wide-ranging threats to human societies and natural ecosystems around the world. The largest overall source of greenhouse gas emissions is the burning…
Details

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Some extreme weather events such as heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The…
Details

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems

The stresses associated with climate change are expected to be felt keenly as human population grows to a projected 9 billion by the middle of this century, increasing the demand for resources and supporting infrastructure. Therefore, information to assess…
Details

Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability

More accurate forecasts of climate conditions over time periods of weeks to a few years could help people plan agricultural activities, mitigate drought, and manage energy resources, amongst other activities; however, current forecast systems have limited…
Details

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements

The world’s nations are moving toward agreements that will bind us together in an effort to limit future greenhouse gas emissions. With such agreements will come the need for all nations to make accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor…
Details

Climate Stabilization Targets Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia

Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth…
Details

When Weather Matters When Weather Matters: Science and Service to Meet Critical Societal Needs

The past 15 years have seen marked progress in observing, understanding, and predicting weather. At the same time, the United States has failed to match or surpass progress in operational numerical weather prediction achieved by other nations and failed to…
Details

Global Sources of Local Pollution Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States

Recent advances in air pollution monitoring and modeling capabilities have made it possible to show that air pollution can be transported long distances and that adverse impacts of emitted pollutants cannot be confined to one country or even one continent….
Details

A Collection Of Books On The Science Of Climate Change

As part of its most comprehensive study of climate change to date, the National Research Council today issued three reports emphasizing why the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. The reports are part of a congressionally requested suite of five studies known as America’s Climate Choices.

In addition to these titles, we’ve picked related climate change titles—all of them available to read for free online.

Advancing the Science of Climate Change

Limiting the Magnitude of Climate Change

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Related Books On Climate Change

Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years

Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate

Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary

Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation: Special Report 290

Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age

Understanding And Responding To Climate Change

7 New Books In Education, Hydrology, Climate Change & Hybrid Vehicles

Our featured publication of the new books this week is in the topic of education and has already found a good deal of popularity thanks to this article in Education Week. There’s six more books (five with free PDFs) new to nap.edu this week, dealing with subjects such as water and hydrology, testing, and conflict and security issues.

Featured Publication

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (prepublication)

Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers are being prepared and how they ought to be prepared. Yet, teacher preparation is often treated as an afterthought in discussions of improving the public education system.

Preparing Teachers addresses the issue of teacher preparation with specific attention to reading, mathematics, and science. The book evaluates the characteristics of the candidates who enter teacher preparation programs, the sorts of instruction and experiences teacher candidates receive in preparation programs, and the extent that the required instruction and experiences are consistent with converging scientific evidence. Preparing Teachers also identifies a need for a data collection model to provide valid and reliable information about the content knowledge, pedagogical competence, and effectiveness of graduates from the various kinds of teacher preparation programs.

Federal and state policy makers need reliable, outcomes-based information to make sound decisions, and teacher educators need to know how best to contribute to the development of effective teachers. Clearer understanding of the content and character of effective teacher preparation is critical to improving it and to ensuring that the same critiques and questions are not being repeated 10 years from now.

All New Publications

Best Practices for State Assessment Systems Part I: Summary of a Workshop (prepublication)

Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Review of the WATERS Network Science Plan (prepublication)

The Use of Title 42 Authority at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A Letter Report (prepublication)

National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces: Letter Report (final)

Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies–Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (final)

February Focus on Energy

This month NAP is focusing on energy. Energy is a topic at the forefront of policy, the economy, and national security. Campaigns to “green” our way of life are everywhere you look. And by February, many of us have already encountered that shocking first heating bill of the season.

The National Academies Press has an abundance of resources–many of them free–to help you understand where our energy comes from; the advantages and disadvantages of various energy sources; our motivation to alter energy supply and consumption habits; and analysis of energy options for the future.

To kick things off, here is an energy primer, available for free in all formats: PDF, HTML, or printed copies for classroom use.

What You Need to Know About Energy

You can keep up with all of our planned activities and resources for the month by subscribing to e-mails, following us on Twitter, and becoming a fan on Facebook.