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Office of Science and Technology Policy (1 - 10 of 16 items)
Environmental Protection: Information on Federal Agencies' Expenditures and Coordination Related to Harmful Algae
GAO-17-119: Published: Oct 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2016.
Twelve federal agencies reported expending an estimated total of roughly $101 million from fiscal years 2013 through 2015 to fund various research, monitoring, and other activities related to harmful algae—overgrowths of algae that can create toxic “blooms” in marine or freshwater environments. The agencies provided a mix of actual and estimated expenditure data and used different methods fo...
Advanced Technologies: Strengthened Federal Approach Needed to Help Identify and Mitigate Supply Risks for Critical Raw Materials
GAO-16-699: Published: Sep 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 3, 2016.
Federal agencies are primarily focused on two areas of activity related to critical materials supply—assessing risk and supporting research. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted two criticality assessments on materials important to clean energy applications and manages the Critical Materials Institute—a 5-year, $120 million investment aimed at mitigating risks by diversify...
Ocean Acidification: Federal Response Under Way, but Actions Needed to Understand and Address Potential Impacts
GAO-14-736: Published: Sep 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2014.
Ocean acidification could have a variety of potentially significant effects on marine species, ecosystems, and coastal communities, according to six summary reports that GAO reviewed. The reports were developed by federal agencies and others and were based on extensive reviews of the scientific literature. The scientific understanding of these effects, however, is still developing, and uncertainty...
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Assessing the Relationship between Education and the Workforce
GAO-14-374: Published: May 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2014.
Both the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees awarded and the number of jobs in STEM fields increased in recent years. The number of degrees awarded in STEM fields grew 55 percent from 1.35 million in the 2002-2003 academic year to over 2 million in the 2011-2012 academic year, while degrees awarded in non-STEM fields increased 37 percent. Since 2004, the numb...
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Governmentwide Strategy Needed to Better Manage Overlapping Programs
GAO-13-529T: Published: Apr 10, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 2013.
In fiscal year 2010, 13 federal agencies invested over $3 billion in 209 programs designed to increase knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and attainment of STEM degrees. The number of programs within agencies ranged from 3 to 46, with the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation administering more t...
High-Containment Laboratories: Assessment of the Nation's Need Is Missing
GAO-13-466R: Published: Feb 25, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 2013.
There is still no one agency or group that knows the nation's need for all U.S. high- containment laboratories, including the research priorities and the capacity, number and location, to address priorities. This deficiency may be more critical today than 3 years ago because current budget constraints make prioritization essential. Since the publication of our report in 2009, the number of high-co...
Nanotechnology: Improved Performance Information Needed for Environmental, Health, and Safety Research
GAO-12-427: Published: May 21, 2012. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2012.
From fiscal years 2006 to 2010, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) reported more than a doubling of National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) member agencies funding for nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (EHS) researchfrom approximately $38 million to $90 million. Reported EHS research funding also rose as a percentage of total nanotechnology funding...
Climate Change: A Coordinated Strategy Could Focus Federal Geoengineering Research and Inform Governance Efforts
GAO-10-903: Published: Sep 23, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2010.
Policymakers have raised questions about geoengineering--large-scale deliberate interventions in the earth's climate system to diminish climate change or its impacts--and its role in a broader strategy of mitigating and adapting to climate change. Most geoengineering proposals fall into two categories: carbon dioxide removal (CDR), which would remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, and s...
Cyberspace Policy: Executive Branch Is Making Progress Implementing 2009 Policy Review Recommendations, but Sustained Leadership Is Needed
GAO-11-24: Published: Oct 6, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 6, 2010.
To address pervasive computer-based (cyber) attacks against the United States that posed potentially devastating impacts to systems and operations, the federal government has developed policies and strategies intended to combat these threats. A recent key development was in February 2009, when President Obama initiated a review of the government's overall strategy and supporting activities with th...
Environmental Satellites: Strategy Needed to Sustain Critical Climate and Space Weather Measurements
GAO-10-456: Published: Apr 27, 2010. Publicly Released: May 27, 2010.
Environmental satellites provide data on the earth and its space environment that are used for forecasting the weather, measuring variations in climate over time, and predicting space weather. In planning for the next generation of these satellites, federal agencies originally sought to fulfill weather, climate, and space weather requirements. However, in 2006, federal agencies restructured two ke...