climate change

The U.S. Global Change Research Program Releases their 2022–2031 Strategic Plan

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released it’s 2022-2031 Strategic Plan on December 6. USGCRP is an interagency effort that works to identify and coordinate research activities related to global climate change and other issues across the federal government. The plan includes four pillars to guide it’s work over the next decade: The full strategic plan is available here. 

EPA Creates New Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights Office

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched an Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights Office to address environmental justice, enforce civil rights law, and deliver new grants and support. This office was created by merging three already existing programs within EPA: the Office of Environmental Justice, External Civil Rights Compliance Office, and Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center. EPA is dedicated to advancing justice and equity, particularly through aiding underserved communities with community-driven solutions.

APA’s Corbin Evans Answers “Why Social Science?”

This week’s Why Social Science? post comes from Corbin Evans, Senior Director of Congressional and Federal Relations at the American Psychological Association, who writes about human behavior and its relationship to the changing climate.

National Academies Board on Environmental Change and Society Seeks Nominations

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is seeking nominations for individuals to serve three-year terms on the Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS). The Board mobilizes social and behavioral sciences to identify equitable and effective solutions to the challenges at the intersection of environmental change and society. The Academies is seeking qualified nominees with expertise in behavior decision making; environmental decision making; sociology; anthropology; risk perception, uncertainty, and communication; big data; environmental change; mitigation and adaptation management and transitions; transformative change; systems science; socio-ecological systems; environmental justice; economics; environmental policy and law; psychology; environmental and occupational health;…

PAA Holds Congressional Briefing on the Demographic Implications of Climate Change

On December 6, the Population Association of America (PAA), a Governing Member of COSSA, organized a virtual Congressional briefing titled “Braving the Storm: How Climate Change Will Affect How and Where We Live.” The briefing, which was moderated by Chair of the PAA Government and Public Affairs Committee Vida Maralani, featured presentations on research reflecting the impact of climate change on international and domestic demographic changes. The first presentation, by Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue of Cornell University, highlighted several demographic implications for climate change and its impact on the Sahel region on the African continent. The second presentation, by Sarah Curran of…

PCAST Holds Meeting on Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment

On October 18 and 19, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) held a public meeting focusing on climate, energy, and the environment, just weeks after the first PCAST meeting of the Biden Administration was held (see previous coverage).  The meeting consisted of several presentations on various aspects of climate and energy policy including the current state of climate policy and research, the Biden Administration’s positions on climate policy, previous Federal activities addressing climate, the development of new climate and energy technologies, and the impact of climate change on national security. Speakers throughout the sessions highlighted the…

Michael A. Méndez Delivers 2021 David Lecture on Climate Justice

On October 14, Dr. Michael A. Méndez delivered the 2021 Henry and Bryna David Lecturer. The annual lecture is a program of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Division of Behavioral and Social Science and Education (DBASSE). A professor of Environmental Planning and Policy from the University of California-Irvine, Dr. Méndez spoke on the prevalence of climate-related disasters, specifically the wildfires affecting California. In his lecture, Méndez describes his research that finds the negative impacts of climate disasters to public health, housing, and employment disproportionately affect low-income and marginalized populations, citing some of the conditions endured by undocumented…

Biden’s PCAST Holds First Meeting

Just days after members were named to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) (see previous coverage), the Council held its first meeting on September 28 and 29. The first meeting featured speakers who focused on two broad themes: (1) Strengthening US Science & Technology Global Leadership for the 21st Century and (2) The State of US Preparedness & Public Health as Revealed by the Pandemic. During discussions of US public health preparedness, both PCAST members and presenters alike emphasized the need for research in social and behavioral sciences to better shape how we respond to future…

Biden Preliminary FY 2022 R&D Proposals Rely on “DARPA” Model

On April 9, the Biden Administration released preliminary, high-level details of its fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request, referred to as a “skinny budget.” At this stage, details are only available for Cabinet-level departments and a handful of other “major” agencies, with limited details about some agencies within the departments. For example, it includes preliminary details for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but not for the Census Bureau. Full budget details will be released in the coming months. In the meantime, however, Congress is proceeding with the FY 2022 appropriations process without the Administration’s full proposals. Appropriators in both…

Biden Administration Executive Actions: Climate Change

In addition to his day-one promise to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden has also issued executive orders directing federal agencies to review and, where appropriate, take corrective action to address or reverse actions of the Trump Administration that are found to be “harmful to public health, damaging to the environment, unsupported by the best available science, or otherwise not in the national interest.” On January 27, a detailed order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad was issued. Among other things, the order ensures that “climate considerations” will have a place in U.S. foreign policy and…

APA Seeks Nominations for Climate Change Task Force

The American Psychological Association (APA), a COSSA governing member, has announced the opening of nominations for individuals to serve on a new APA Task Force on Climate Change. The task force, which was authorized by APA’s Council of Representatives in February 2020 as part of a greater APA policy resolution responding to climate change, will focus on how the academic discipline of psychology can better address climate change and will produce a report to be shared publicly. Nominees should be willing to self-nominate and be able to serve a full year on the task force. Nominations will be accepted through…

House Committee Releases Climate Policy Report, Recommends Strengthening of Research Enterprise

On June 30, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis majority staff released the report Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America, a sweeping set of policy recommendations to address and combat climate change. The report recommends several initiatives to be taken by the U.S. government that would expand the federal science and technology sector’s ability to address climate change, including strengthening the research enterprise. Some of the recommendations that are relevant to the social and behavioral science research enterprise include: Expanding and sustaining funding for…

Congressman Paul Tonko Answers “Why Social Science?”

The latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Congressman Paul Tonko, of New York’s 20th Congressional District, who writes about the role social science can play in helping to address climate change. Read it here and subscribe. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

National Academies Launches Climate Communication Initiative, Seeks Nominations for Advisory Committee

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has announced the establishment of a new Climate Communication Initiative. The Academies is seeking nominations for members of the Initiative’s Advisory Committee which will guide the strategic direction for the initiative and plan its activities. The Academies are looking for individuals with expertise in “climate science, climate impacts and economics, potential response options, science communication, social media engagement, science education, and experience with other issues considered to be contentious in public discourse.” Nominations must be submitted by September 15, 2017. More information is available on the Initiative’s website. Back to this issue’s table…

Academies Board on Environmental Change and Society Seeking New Members

The Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is accepting nominations for new members. BECS focuses on research on interactions between humans and their environment. While members represent disciplines across the social and natural sciences, the Board is particularly interested in candidates with expertise on human-environment interactions, adaptive management, transformative change, and methods for integration of social and natural sciences. More information and instructions on submitting nominations are available on the National Academies website. Nominations are due by March 21. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

National Academies’ Global Change Research Advisory Committee Accepting Nominations

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is soliciting nominations for new members. The Committee, whose expertise spans the physical, ecological, and social science of global change, advises the USGCRP and supports climate communication activities across the Academies. Members serve three-year terms, with an option to reappoint after the first term. The Academies are particularly interested in candidates with expertise in extreme event risk and human dimensions of global change, among other fields. Nominations are due on March 15, 2017 and can be submitted by filling out this form….

EPA Seeks Research on “Behavioral Drivers” of Significant Carbon Reduction

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program is soliciting applications for research projects on “Anticipating the Environmental Impacts and Behavioral Drivers of Deep Decarbonization.” The term “Deep Decarbonization” refers to the changes necessary to significantly reduce carbon emissions and meet climate policy goals. EPA is interested in proposals that address at least one of the following questions: “How might the deep decarbonization of the U.S. economy by 2050 change the geographic, socioeconomic, and demographic distribution of public health and ecosystem risks associated with energy production and consumption?” “What factors drive decisions at the individual, firm, and…

Academies Report Calls for Better Integration of Social Science into the USGCRP

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report, Enhancing Participation in the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The report offers recommendations on broadening participation of federal agencies in the USGCRP by identifying new partnership and enhancing existing ones. As part of its recommendations on better meeting the USGCRP’s goal of advancing science related to global change, the report reiterates a call from the 2012 Academies review of the USGCRP’s strategic plan that the program “’better integrate the social and ecological sciences’ and…move toward ‘an integrated observational system that connects observations of the physical environment…

Henry and Bryna David Lecturer Proposes “International Climate Club”

Economist William D. Nordhaus delivered the 2014 Henry and Bryna David Lecture at the National Academy of Sciences on October 2. Nordhaus is the Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and will chair the Boston Federal Reserve Bank for 2014-2015. The topic of his lecture was “Climate Clubs: How to prevent free-riding in international environmental agreements.”


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