Request for Input on the United States Group on Earth Observations Draft Common Framework for Earth-Observation Data
The U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO), a Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability (CENRS), requests comment on the draft Common Framework for Earth-observation data (referred to in this document as ``the Common Framework''). The draft Common Framework will be posted at https://www.whitehouse.gov/ administration/eop/ostp/library/shareyourinput. Comments of approximately five pages or less in length (up to 20,000 characters) are requested and must be received by 8 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time), January 15, 2016 to be considered. The public input provided in response to this Notice will inform USGEO as it works to develop the Common Framework.
Public Input on the Triennial Update to the USGCRP Strategic Plan
The U.S. Global Change Research Program is three years into the implementation of its National Global Change Research Plan 2012- 2021 (http://www.globalchange.gov/strategic-plan) hereafter called the Strategic Plan. That decadal Strategic Plan remains the continuing blueprint for USGCRP, with its strategic directions guiding the Program. There are areas, however, where the landscape has changed by virtue of significant progress, changing scientific or societal urgencies, or challenges. This Triennial Update to the Strategic Plan (hereafter simply ``Update'') addresses these areas and their implications for USGCRP. In accordance with the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (Sec 104, P.L. 101-606), this public comment period invites the public to provide comments and feedback on the Update.
Notice of Public Meeting of the U.S.-EU Communities of Research on Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues Related to Nanomaterials
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), on behalf of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee of the Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council and in collaboration with the European Commission, will host meetings for the U.S.-EU Communities of Research (CORs) on the topic of environmental, health, and safety issues related to nanomaterials (nanoEHS) between the publication date of this Notice and September 30, 2016. The CORs are a platform for scientists to develop a shared repertoire of protocols and methods to overcome research gaps and barriers. The co-chairs for each COR will convene meetings and set meeting agendas with administrative support from the European Commission and the NNCO.
Identifying Sources of Agricultural Innovation
The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to discover new ideas that will spur innovation in agriculture and food systems and raise the profile of agricultural research. According to recent projections from The United Nations, the global population could reach 9.15 billion people by 2050. In the future, to meet the demand for food and other plant-derived products from a global population of this size, an increase of global agriculture production by as much as 70 percent will be required. More than four-fifths of the necessary production gains will need to occur on existing agricultural land through sustainable intensification that makes effective use of land and water resources. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) therefore seeks information about programs, public or private, that are actively working to innovate agricultural science, as well as areas of need in research, education, and training. Input is sought from biological and agricultural stakeholders, including researchers in academia and industry, non-governmental organizations, scientific and professional societies, and other interested members of the public.
Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade
The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to seek suggestions for Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade: Ambitious but achievable goals that harness nanoscience, nanotechnology, and innovation to solve important national or global problems and have the potential to capture the public's imagination. This RFI is intended to gather information from external stakeholders about potential grand challenges that will help guide the science and technology priorities of Federal agencies, catalyze new research activities, foster the commercialization of nanotechnologies, and inspire different sectors to invest in achieving the goals. Input is sought from nanotechnology stakeholders including researchers in academia and industry, non-governmental organizations, scientific and professional societies, and all other interested members of the public.
Nanotechnology-Related Public Webinars
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), on behalf of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), will hold webinars periodically to share information with the general public and the nanotechnology research and development community. Topics covered may include announcements of new National Nanotechnology Initiative activities, discussions of technical subjects, introductions to resources available for specific areas such as education or sensors development, or other areas of potential interest to the nanotechnology community. The first webinar will be held June 25, 2015, to promote resources available on the newly developed Sensors Nanotechnology Signature Initiative (NSI) Web Portal (www.nano.gov/SensorsNSIPortal).
Advanced sequencing technologies have illuminated vast networks of microorganisms that drive essential functions in all environments on Earth. The study of these communities of microorganisms, or microbiomes, is nascent, and the potential of microbiome research has only begun to be tapped. Primary to achieving this potential is a functional understanding of microbiomes, which would be greatly advanced by addressing fundamental questions common to all fields of microbiome research; developing platform technologies useful to all fields; and identifying gaps in training or fields of research that should be addressed. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is interested in developing an effort to unify and focus microbiome research across sectors. The views of stakeholdersacademic and industry researchers, private companies, and charitable foundationsare important to inform an understanding of current and future needs in diverse fields.
Public Meeting of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
The Office of Science and Technology Policy will hold a public meeting on July 22, 2015, for interested stakeholders to discuss implementation of the U.S. Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern. The purpose of the meeting is to inform and engage stakeholders; collect feedback about resources needed to effectively implement the policy; and discuss stakeholder experiences, challenges, and innovative practices.
Request for Information: Public Input on the Sustained Assessment Process of the U.S. National Climate Assessment
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has a legal mandate to conduct a National Climate Assessment (NCA) not less frequently than every four years. Under its current decadal strategic plan (http://go.usa.gov/3qGU4), USGCRP is building sustained assessment capacity to support the Nation's ability to understand, anticipate, and respond to global change impacts and vulnerabilities. The recent Third NCA process and resulting 2014 Report (http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/) provide a foundation for subsequent activities and reports under the sustained assessment process. More broadly, climate assessments increasingly involve participation and leadership by state, local, and tribal governments as well as the private sector. Noting these developments in the climate assessment landscape, USGCRP seeks ideas about (1) what scientific information on climate change, impacts, and responses would be of most value to inform future assessment activities; (2) how to effectively communicate climate change assessment information; and (3) what mechanisms could be used to more effectively connect to other assessment-related efforts. Public responses to these questions will be evaluated and, if appropriate, used to inform the structure and content of USGCRP's sustained National Climate Assessment process. Updates on the sustained assessment will be posted on the NCA Web site (http:// assessment.globalchange.gov) as they are available.
National Science and Technology Council; National Space Weather Strategy
The National Science and Technology Council; Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability; Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction requests public comments on the draft 2015 National Space Weather Strategy: http://www.dhs.gov/national-space-weather- strategy.
Impact of the Select Agent and Toxin Regulations; Correction
The Office of Science and Technology Policy published a document in the Federal Register Notice, 2015-05906, on March 16, 2015, pages 13639-13641, concerning a Request for Public Comment on the Impact of the Select Agent Regulations. The document contains incorrect dates as we wish to extend the comment period to April 10, 2015, 5 p.m. ET.
National Science and Technology Council
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), on behalf of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), will hold a workshop entitled ``Quantifying Exposure to Engineered Nanomaterials (QEEN) from Manufactured ProductsAddressing Environmental, Health, and Safety Implications'' on July 7 and 8, 2015. This is a technical workshop with an aim to determine the state of exposure science and the tools and methods available to characterize and quantify exposure to engineered nanomaterials from consumer products. A main goal is to bridge toxicology with exposure science. The workshop will include an overview of the field by exposure science experts, breakout sessions to better understand the challenges and accomplishments thus far in exposure science, and a poster session.
Impact of the Select Agent Regulations
Public comment is requested on the impact that the Select Agent Regulations have had on science, technology, and national security, and on the benefits, costs, and limitations of these regulations. Drawing on these comments and other information available to it, a Fast Track Action Committee under the Committee on Homeland and National Security of the National Science and Technology Council will review the impacts and consider options to address the identified challenges or gaps concerning those regulations. Comments of up to three pages or fewer (12,000 characters) are requested and must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 30, 2015 to be considered.
National Nanotechnology Coordination Office
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), on behalf of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the Committee on Technology, National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), will hold a series of webinars focusing on the experiences, successes, and challenges for small- and medium-sized businesses working in nanotechnology and on issues of interest to the business community. The first webinar in the series will be held Thursday, January 15, 2015.