August 4, 2000
Revised August 7, 2000
MEMORANDUM TO MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD
SUBJECT: Preliminary Report of the August 2-3, 2000 Meeting
The major actions of the Board at its 359th meeting on August 2-3,
2000, are summarized for the information of those members and consultants
absent and as a reminder to those present.
1. Board Activities
a. Dr. Michael Rossmann and Dr. Daniel Simberloff were sworn in as
members with terms ending in 2006.
b. The Board elected Drs. Greenwood and Richardson members of the Executive
Committee, for unexpired terms ending May 2001.
c. The Board approved two programs in the Directorate for Education
and Human Resources: The Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service
(SFS) Program; and the Centers for Learning and Teaching Program.
d. The Board approved a report, Communicating Science and Technology
in the Public Interest (NSB-00-99).
e. The Board ratified the NSB management response to the Inspector
General's Semiannual Report of June, 2000.
f. The Board approved the suggested level of donations to the NSB Trust
Fund Subaccount for FY 2001.
g. The Board approved an off-site policy meeting and retreat for January/February,
2001 in the Washington D.C. area, to focus on the NSF niche in preschool
to 12 education.
h. The Board approved plans for a December, 2000 event to celebrate
the NSB 50th Anniversary.
i. The Board approved the Closed and Open Session minutes of the May
|The Board approved the following awards:
||Amount not to exceed
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
|Division of Astronomical Sciences Amendment to Cooperative Agreement
AST-9414257 for the Gemini International 8-Meter Telescopes Project
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.
(AURA, Inc.) (NSB-00-141)
Through December 31, 2001
|Extension of Cooperative Agreement for Support of the National
Optical Astronomy Observatories Association of Universities for
Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. NSB-00-145
||An increment of $63,500,000,
For a total of $190,500,000
for two additional years, through March 31, 2003
|Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Division of
Advanced Computational Infrastructure and Research Terascale Computing
System MPC Corporation Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center NSB-00-144
3. NSB Committees
(Committee summaries are provided by executive secretaries.)
The Chairman discharged the CPP Task Force on the Environment with
thanks to the Chair, Dr. Lubchenco, members Drs. Armstrong, Gaillard
and Washington, NSF Staff member Dr. Clutter, and Executive Secretary
The Chairman also discharged the Committee on Communication and Outreach,
with thanks to the Chair, Dr. Greenwood, members Drs. Langford, Savitz,
Suzuki and Tien, and Executive Secretary Ms. Higgs.
a. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee heard status reports on the FY 2001 and FY
2002 budget processes. It approved for recommendation to the NSB the
FY 2002 budget for the NSB subaccount of the NSF Trust Fund and the
suggested donation level for Board members for the coming year. The
committee also agreed to move its next meeting from August 15 to September.
b. Audit & Oversight (A&O)
Briefings and updates were provided on the Government Performance and
Results Act (GPRA) and the Chief Financial Officer Act Financial Statements
and Audit. A review of information and statistics on the NSF Workforce
and plans for an agency workforce study were presented.
Dr. Tina Boesz, NSF Inspector General, provided the committee with
copies of the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG's) recently completed
Strategic Plan, which recognizes the OIG's role in outreach to the NSF's
research community. She also described the OIG's organizational structure,
including some recent changes to better manage and focus the office's
work efforts. The committee discussed the OIG's budget request for FY
2002 and endorsed the requested funding amount.
c. Programs and Plans (CPP)
The Committee on Programs and Plans reviewed and approved three action
items for consideration by the NSB: an amendment to the cooperative
agreement for increased support and duration for the Gemini International
8-meter Telescopes Project; an extension of the Cooperative Agreement
for support of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories; and an
award for a Terascale Computing System at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing
The committee heard presentations on some ideas for Major research
Equipment projects. It also received a report on implementation of the
NSB Environmental Report, outlining organizational plans, resources
and funding, and research areas.
The committee discussed an information item updating plans for the
National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), and received a written
information item on Physics Frontier Centers.
The committee also discussed NSF goals and objectives for High Performance
Computing infrastructure, with plans for continued discussion at its
d. CPP Subcommittee on Polar Issues
The subcommittee heard reports from OPP staff on a number of items
including: the follow-on to the AMANDA Neutrino detector, ICECUBE, the
size and scope of the project and the international cooperation involved;
information on the Arctic Natural Sciences program and findings from
research in the Arctic with regard to changing theories about the global
nitrogen budget; recent activities of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
program; and research related to the impact of rapid glaciation on earth
geology and the role of the Antarctic in studying early life on earth.
OPP staff and representatives from Antarctic support contractor Raytheon
Polar Services Company discussed the Antarctic Health and Safety program
and the plans established by Ratheon to address health and safety issues
at the Antarctic.
e. Education and Human Resources (EHR)
The committee recommended for Board approval two new EHR programs -
Scholarship for Service, and Centers for Learning and Teaching. Dr.
Sunley continued the discussion from the March and May 2000 meetings
of priority-setting in EHR and education programming across NSF. She
also continued from the May meeting a presentation on NSF diversity
programs. Dr. Tapia reported on activities of the Indicators Subcommittee,
including two teleconferences and the results of the August 2, 2000
meeting in which eight chapter topics for Science and Engineering
Indicators-2002 were approved. Topical outlines for each chapter
will be developed.
The committee discussed the membership of the Expert Panel on NSF's
Niche in K-16 Education. Dr. Karl Pister has agreed to chair the Panel.
The committee will complete the panel of 5-7 members and plans to meet
with them in conjunction with the October 2000 NSB meeting. The committee
agreed that early childhood through high school education in mathematics
and science should be the focus of the Board's February 2001 policy
meeting to be held in the Washington, DC, area. Finally, the committee,
in response to a letter from Chairman Kelly, endorsed the establishment
of an EHR Task Force on Workforce Issues.
f. EHR Subcommittee on Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI)
Dr. Lynda Carlson presented a proposal on content, organization and
process for Indicators 2002, including: improved accessibility
and relevance, thematic organization of each chapter, effective integration
of themes across chapters, early review and input from the Board, and
delivery to the President on January 15, 2002.
Eight Indicator chapter topics were proposed and approved by
the subcommittee. The environmental theme would be incorporated into
various chapters of the 2002 report where appropriate, at the same time
as a thematic outline for a 2004 environment chapter is developed. The
subcommittee approved the chapter outline development process as well
as the schedule for outline review, the timeline, and process for Board
review of the draft chapters.
Dr. Thomas Smith presented eight proposed topics for the K-12 chapter,
including student performance in math and science, content standards,
statewide assessments and time spent on math and science, instructional
processes, and IT in schools. The subcommittee agreed that the topics
were appropriate and that SRS should develop thematic outlines. Dr.
Tapia reiterated his strong concern and suggestion that K-12 experts
provide input into the content and review process of the K-12 chapter
as it develops. Dr. Carlson requested that subcommittee members provide
recommendations of K-12 practitioners who would review the chapter.
Mr. Rolf Lehming provided an update on the various Indicator
development activities currently underway. These include survey redesign
activities, new survey activities, grants program and international
activities. Finally Mr. John Gawalt provided an overview of the numbers,
types and distribution of visitors to the Indicators website
received thus far.
g. Task Force on International S&E Issues (ISE)
The task force discussed Dr. Natalicio's proposal (NSB/ISE-00-26) that,
in addition to the report with general recommendations for the transition
team, the task force also prepare by the end of the year a second paper
with summary policy guidance for NSF. This paper would respond to a
request from Dr. Colwell for guidance from the Board on NSF's international
activities. Receiving this guidance by the end of this calendar year
would enable incorporation of the guidance into discussions on the FY
2002 budget. Since these two documents would be targeting two separate
audiences-the transition team and NSF management-the task force agreed
to prepare a separate, public NSB statement of policy guidance to the
The task force discussed in detail the revised report for the transition
team with respect to structure, topical areas, and range of recommendations.
The task force felt the report was in very good shape. After some additional
revision, the report is expected to be submitted to the full Board for
comment in the Fall and approval at the October meeting.
The task force also discussed the first draft of the parallel NSF report
which, like the transition report, will be completed by the end of the
year. The task force strongly agreed that a major recommendation of
this report would be guidance to NSF to raise the profile of its international
h. Committee on Strategic S&E Policy Issues (SPI)
The committee discussed draft recommendations based on its study of
priority setting methodologies to date, and planning for a meeting with
agencies on Friday, August 4. Members agreed to a date of October 20-21,
immediately following the October Board meeting, for a Stakeholders'
Symposium, and reviewed the schedule through the end of 2000, which
includes bringing a report to the Board for consideration at the December
meeting, with release as a draft interim report to follow. The committee
then met with Program Examiners from the Office of Management and Budget's
(OMB's) Energy and Science Division.
i. Task Force on NSB 50th Anniversary (NSB50)
The task force discussed the results of the external reviewers' comments
on the 50th anniversary commemorative brochure. Terry Savage and Cindy
Lollar, Low+Associates, reported on the inclusion of text to strengthen
the 1980's and 1990's sections and noted that the document should be
ready for Board approval in October. The proposed significant event
timeline was reviewed and task force members proposed the inclusion
of additional significant events. Ms. Savage asked the members to provide
comments on the proposed timeline by mid-September.
Dr. Vera Rubin, Chair, made a final report on the JumpStart 2000 competition,
noting that the six winning teams were honored in Washington the week
of May 16-28, 2000. Celebratory events included an awards breakfast
on Capitol Hill where the winners demonstrated their projects, and an
awards banquet where the winners were presented individual plaques.
David Levy, Science Editor for PARADE and one of the contest judges,
was the 'emcee' for both of the events. The teams also met with senators
and representatives from their home districts and had a special tour
of the White House.
Dr. Rubin asked the task force to approve a change of location for
the 50th Anniversary celebratory event to accommodate comfortably the
number of guests the Board wishes to invite. The task force agreed to
recommend a change of venue to the Board. Members also agreed to recommend
Bert and Jeanne Westwood, whose specialty is 'scientific sonnets' where
they fit lyrics to well-known popular songs, as the evening's entertainment.
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