Study Statement of Task
The Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is undertaking a study to identify high priority challenges for the broad field of environmental engineering and science. Given the current and emerging environmental challenges of the twenty-first century, a study that describes how the field of environmental engineering and science might evolve to better address these needs could serve as a guide to the community and help frame research priorities.
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study to identify grand challenges for environmental engineering and science for the next several decades. These should be significant societal challenges that will require the expertise of environmental engineering and science to resolve or manage. For each challenge, the committee will:
- Discuss the relevance of the challenge, its magnitude, and implications;
- Identify the key questions or issues related to the challenge that require the expertise of environmental science and engineering to address;
- Discuss the state of relevant environmental engineering and science knowledge and practice relevant to these questions and issues; and
- Identify areas where knowledge and practice need to advance to address these challenges, and discuss the type of research needed to achieve that advancement.
The project is being overseen by the Water Science and Technology Board in collaboration with the NAE Program Office, the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES), and other units at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.