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Critical Needs for the Twenty First Century: The Role of the Geosciences

The Government Affairs Program with the guidance and input of AGI's Member Societies has prepared a 2008 transition document for new federal leadership in the United States. The document entitled "Critical Needs for the Twenty First Century: The Role of the Geosciences" provides a list of seven critical needs followed by national policy actions to help the nation meet these needs. With a burgeoning human population, rising demand for natural resources and a changing climate, it is critical to more fully integrate Earth observations and Earth system understanding into actions for a sustainable world. The geoscience community stands ready to help deal with these challenges.

Transition 2008 Document
Critical Needs for the Twenty First Century: The Role of the Geosciences (PDF)

Summary and Key Recommendations
Geoscience to Meet the Needs of the Twenty First Century: Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Resiliency (PDF)

The Seven Critical Needs

  1. Energy and Climate Change: How do we secure stable energy supplies in an increasingly carbon-constrained world?
  2. Water: Will there be enough fresh water and where will it come from?
  3. Waste Treatment and Disposal: How will we reduce and handle waste and provide a healthy environment for all?
  4. Natural Hazards: How will we mitigate risk and provide a safer environment?
  5. Infrastructure Modernization: How will we develop and integrate new technology and modernize aging infrastructure?
  6. Raw Materials: How will we ensure reliable supplies when they are needed and where will they come from?
  7. Geoscience Workforce and Education: Who will do the work to understand Earth processes and meet demands for resources and resiliency? Who will educate the public and train the workforce?


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