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Join us for the third ESAS town hall meeting during the Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans, LA on February 22, 2016.  Representatives from the survey will lead these meetings in order to collect new ideas for advancing Earth system science over the next decade and beyond. 

Town Hall at the Ocean Sciences Meeting
February 22, 2016
New Orleans, LA
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 217-219


We held our second town hall on January 13, 2016 at the American Meteorological Society meeting in New Orleans, LA.  If you weren't able to make it in person, you can watch a recording of the town hall webcast:


The steering committee met to collect essential background information and discuss the structure of the survey on January 18-20, 2016.  Presentation slides for the open sessions are available on the ESAS website.

As the survey progresses, the steering committee plans to appoint specialized ad-hoc panels as well as several crosscutting working groups. The study panels will be responsible for receiving and analyzing community input; in particular, community responses to survey-issued Requests for Information (RFIs). 

The committee recognizes that there is no perfect way to organize the community to address the full range of science and applications relevant to their charge, but we expect that the proposed structure will allow rich and comprehensive input into the process by approaching the topics from multiple vantage points.  These panels, whose members have yet to be appointed, will be on the following topics:
Global Hydrological Cycles and Water Resources
The movement, distribution, and availability of water and how these are changing over time

Weather and Air Quality: Minutes to Subseasonal
Atmospheric Dynamics,Thermodynamics, Chemistry, and their interactions at land and ocean interfaces

Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystems and Natural Resource Management
Biogeochemical Cycles, Ecosystem Functioning, Biodiversity, and factors that influence health and ecosystem services

Climate Variability and Change: Seasonal to Centennial
Forcings and Feedbacks of the Ocean, Atmosphere, Land, and Cryosphere within the Coupled Climate System

Earth Surface and Interior: Dynamics and Hazards
Core, mantle, lithosphere, and surface processes, system interactions, and the hazards they generate


In late September 2015, the survey committee requested community input to help understand the role of space-based observations in addressing the key challenges and questions for Earth System Science in the coming decade.  The more than 200 responses to this Request for Information (RFI #1) are available at the survey website.  The responses guided the steering committee’s initial discussions on survey organization; in particular, regarding the structure of its supporting study panels.  The responses will also continue to inform the work of the committee and will be made available to the soon to be formed study panels.  
By design, the initial RFI did not ask the community for ideas on how to address an identified challenge/question in Earth System Science.  For RFI #2, announced this week, the committee now requests:
  • Ideas for specific science and applications targets (i.e., objectives) that promise to substantially advance understanding in one or more of the Earth System Science themes associates with the survey study panels;
  • Identification of the key geophysical variables/measurements, and the observational requirements, needed to address the science and application targets; and
  • Information on measurement approaches, including technical, performance and maturity/heritage specifications, for relevant current and near-future instrumentation.
Additional instructions and the submission link for white papers are posted on the ESAS website.  For full consideration, please submit all white papers by April 30, 2016.
Submit a White Paper


The committee and survey staff welcome Daniel Jacob, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering at Harvard University, to the ESAS steering committee.
Copyright © 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, All rights reserved.

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