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Project Title:

Sustainability Linkages in the Federal Government
PIN: PGA-STS-10-01        

Major Unit:

Policy and Global Affairs

Sub Unit: Science & Technology for Sustainability Program

RSO: Saunders, Jennifer

Subject/Focus Area: Agriculture; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Energy and Energy Conservation; Environment and Environmental Studies; Health and Medicine; Policy for Science and Technology

Project Scope
An ad hoc committee under the Science and Technology for Sustainability Program will identify the linkages among areas such as energy, water, health, agricultural production, and biodiversity that are critical to promoting and encouraging long term sustainability within the federal policy framework, recognizing that progress towards sustainability necessarily involves other levels of government, the private sector, and civil society. The premise is that achieving sustainability (defined in the 2009 Executive Order 13514) is a systems challenge that cannot be realized by separately optimizing pieces of the system. The study will build upon existing and emerging expertise throughout the scientific and technological communities. It will describe the nexus where domains intersect but in which existing institutions and disciplines often do not intersect.

The committee will convene a series of fact finding meetings, commission expert-authored case studies, and review the pertinent literature. Based on the information gathered from these sources, the committee will produce a report with consensus findings that provides an analytical framework for decision making. This framework can be used by U.S. policymakers and regulators to assess the consequences and tradeoff/synergies of policy issues involving a systems approach to long term sustainability and decisions on sustainability-oriented programs. The framework will include social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability, highlighting certain dimensions that are sometimes left unaccounted for in cross media analyses.

The report will also:

- Recommend priority areas for interagency cooperation on specific sustainability challenges;
- Identify impediments to interdisciplinary, cross-media federal programs; and
- Highlight scientific research gaps as they relate to these interdisciplinary, cross-media approaches to sustainability.

The project is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, BP, Lockheed Martin, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.

The approximate start date for the project is July 2011.

Note (10-25-2012): The project duration has been extended. The report is expected to be delivered by summer 2013.

Project Duration: 18 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 09/20/2011
 Meeting 2 - 12/12/2011
 Meeting 3 - 02/06/2012
 Meeting 4 - 02/13/2012
 Meeting 5 - 04/11/2012
 Meeting 6 - 06/11/2012
 Meeting 7 - 07/16/2012
 Meeting 8 - 09/10/2012
 Meeting 9 - 09/20/2012
 Meeting 10 - 10/11/2012
 Meeting 11 - 11/15/2012
 Meeting 12 - 12/19/2012


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connection and Governance Linkages