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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
25-Mar-2010

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Contact: Jennifer Walsh
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
@NAS_news

11 questions for the next decade of geographical sciences identified

WASHINGTON -- Eleven questions that should shape the next decade of geographical sciences research were identified today in a new report by the National Research Council. Reflecting a time when populations are moving and natural resources are being depleted, the questions aim to provide a more complete understanding of where and how landscapes are changing to help society manage and adapt to the transformation of Earth's surface.

The committee that wrote the report solicited input from the geographical science community to identify research priorities and the approaches, skills, data, and infrastructure necessary to advance research. The strategic directions span from overarching issues of environmental change and sustainability to specific areas in the field that are transforming. They are grouped by topic area, but are not ranked in any order of importance.

How to understand and respond to environmental change:

How to promote sustainability:

How to recognize and cope with the rapid spatial reorganization of economy and society:

How to leverage technological change for the benefit of society and environment:

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The report was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, National Geographic Society, and Association of American Geographers. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter. Committee members, who serve pro bono as volunteers, are chosen by the Academies for each study based on their expertise and experience and must satisfy the Academies' conflict-of-interest standards. The resulting consensus reports undergo external peer review before completion. For more information, visit http://national-academies.org/studycommitteprocess.pdf. A committee roster follows.

Copies of UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGING PLANET: STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR THE GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCES are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at HTTP://WWW.NAP.EDU. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).

[ This news release and report are available at HTTP://NATIONAL-ACADEMIES.ORG ]

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

COMMITTEE ON STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR THE GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCES IN THE NEXT DECADE

ALEXANDER B. MURPHY (CHAIR)
Professor of Geography, and
James F. and Shirley K. Rippey Chair in Liberal Arts and Sciences
University of Oregon
Eugene

NANCY COLLETON
President
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Arlington, Va.

ROGER M. DOWNS
Professor
Department of Geography
Pennsylvania State University
University Park

MICHAEL F. GOODCHILD *
Professor
Department of Geography
University of California
Santa Barbara

SUSAN HANSON *
Research Professor
School of Geography
Clark University
Worcester, Mass.

VICTORIA A. LAWSON
Professor of Geography
University of Washington
Seattle

GLEN M. MACDONALD
Professor
Department of Geography
University of California
Los Angeles

FRANCIS J. MAGILLIGAN
Professor
Department of Geography
Dartmouth College
Hanover, N.H.

WILLIAM G. MOSELEY
Associate Professor of Geography
Macalester College
St. Paul, Minn.

COLIN POLSKY
Associate Professor
Graduate School of Geography
Clark University
Worcester, Mass.

KAREN C. SETO
Associate Professor
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Yale University
New Haven, Conn.

DAWN J. WRIGHT
Professor of Geography and Oceanography
Department of Geosciences
Oregon State University
Corvallis

RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF

MARK LANGE
Study Director

* Member, National Academy of Sciences



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