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Federal Coordinating Council
for Science, Engineering, and Technology

Committee on Earth Sciences

Dallas Peck, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey

Richard G. Johnson, Office of Science and Technology Policy (Consultant)

Executive Secretary
Raymond Watts, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey


A. Alan Hill, Council on Environmental Quality
Frederick Bernthal, Department of State
Joseph R. Wright, Jr., Office of Management and Budget
Beverly Berger, Office of Science and Technology Policy
Orville Bentley, United States Department of Agriculture
Erich Bretthauer, Environmental Protection Agency
Dale E. Myers, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
George Millburn, Department of Defense
Robert Hunter, Department of Energy
William Evans, Department of Commerce
S. Fred Singer, Department of Transportation
Erich Bloch, National Science Foundation

(See Appendix A for the CES Charter)



I am pleased to forward with this letter the research strategy report of the Committee on Earth Sciences (CES) of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology. The report, "Our Changing Planet: A U.S. Strategy for Global Change Research," is the product of an intense interagency effort by experts in various earth sciences and other disciplines. This report, which has benefited greatly from close interaction between CES and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Global Change, outlines the goals, implementation strategy, and research budget of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The report accompanies the President's FY 1990 Budget. The strategy will be further expanded into a detailed, comprehensive research plan in 1989.

Changes in the Earth system such as desertification, drought, volcanism, and global warming can have tremendous economic and societal impact. The relative roles of human activity and natural phenomena in global change are of great importance but are, at present, scientifically undefined. Improving our ability to understand and to predict global changes, whether natural or human-induced, is essential for providing our Nation with a sound basis for developing policies and response strategies. An effective and well-coordinated federal research program is crucial to this effort. The program must be both national and international, since global change crosses political as well as physical boundaries.

The Committee on Earth Sciences' report provides an excellent foundation for the comprehensive research plan being developed and provides a keystone for planning for many decades to come. Chairman Dallas Peck and his interagency committee members, associates, and staff have done an excellent job and should be commended.


William R. Graham
William R. Graham
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