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NSF in Transition: Use-Inspired Research and the Geosciences

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UH Student Center South, Space City Room (Room 214, second floor)

4455 University Dr.

Houston, TX 77204

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We invite you to join us for a seminar featuring guest speaker William E. Easterling, III
Assistant Director of Geosciences at the National Science Foundation

NSF, together with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are the primary US federal agencies promoting fundamental, curiosity-driven research. Encouragement by the research community, the public and its elected leaders has led to the expansion of the NSF mission to support research that not only contributes fundamental new knowledge but that also hastens scientific advances and/or delivers information that addresses critical societal needs such as food, energy and water security.

Convergence science is introduced. NSF’s Big Ideas, as convergence science, are discussed with emphasis on new initiatives in the Arctic and cyber-science and engineering. New initiatives being developed in the Geosciences Directorate, such as Coastlines and People (CoPe) are presented. The talk concludes with examples of exciting new research findings that demonstrate that NSF must continue to maintain fundamental, curiosity-driven research but that the research is in balance with interdisciplinary, convergence research.

About the presenter

Dr. William E. Easterling, III was appointed Assistant Director of Geosciences at the National Science Foundation on June 1, 2017.

A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he was previously the dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and professor of geography and earth system science at Penn State. He was trained as an economic geographer and climatologist and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography and history, a Master of Arts degree in geography-industrial location economics, and a doctorate in geography-climatology, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Before joining the Penn State faculty in 1997 as an associate professor of geography and earth system science, he held posts at the Illinois State Water Survey, Resources for the Future, Inc., and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He is a faculty affiliate in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and a member of The Graduate School. Before his appointment as dean in July 2007, he served as the founding director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment from 2001 to 2007.

He is an internationally recognized expert on how climate change likely will affect the Earth’s food supply and was nominated by the White House to serve as a convening lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report’s Chapter on Food, Fibre, Forestry, and Fisheries. The lead authors of the IPCC Assessment Report were co-awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore.

In the area of food and climate, he has testified before Congress, given invited briefings to committees and sub-committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, delivered numerous invited presentations and keynote speeches, and authored more than 80 refereed scientific publications. He has chaired or served on various international and national committees, including those of the United Nations, National Research Council, National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and many other federal agencies.

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UH Student Center South, Space City Room (Room 214, second floor)

4455 University Dr.

Houston, TX 77204

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