First National Climate Assessment: Organization and Mandate Print E-mail

The National Assessment was a core activity of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). It was conducted within the National Science and Technology Council's framework, through its Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and its Subcommittee for Global Change Research (SGCR).

To assure a fully open process, the Assessment included both public and private sector partners across the spectrum of stakeholder interests in the U.S. The following describes the overall management framework of the National Assessment:

Organized under the framework of the NSTC's Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR)

The parent body for the National Assessment within the U.S. Government was the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR), which is a subsidiary body of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), chaired by the President. See the Letter from Dr. John H. Gibbons, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (dated 8 Jan 1998).

Responsibility delegated to the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR)

The CENR delegated responsibility for oversight to its Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR), which is the parent committee for the USGCRP. The SGCR was charged with overall coordination, implementation, and sponsorship of the National Assessment process.

National Assessment Synthesis Team (NAST) for Intellectual Oversight

The Synthesis Team provided overall intellectual oversight of the National Assessment process and had specific responsibility for the Synthesis Report, for defining national scenarios, for providing advice and oversight of the sectoral analyses, and for recommending guidelines for the regional analysis templates. The Synthesis Team was acommittee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act with members drawn from government, academia, and the private sector. See:

National Assessment Working Group (NAWG) for Federal Agency Coordination

Individual agencies, in cooperation with the SGCR's National Assessment Working Group, had lead-responsibility for organizing and sponsoring the regions and sectors. The Working Group had primary oversight and coordination responsibility for the regional analyses which were sponsored by individual agencies. See:

Inter-Regional Forum (IRF) for Transcending Issues

To help address issues and questions that transcended individual regions (e.g., water resources, ecosystem migration), an Inter-Regional Forum was established, consisting of leaders of the regional assessments. The Inter-Regional Forum was charged with encouraging sharing of information, methods, data, and findings across regions.

Review Panel to Ensure Procedural and Intellectual Integrity

To assure the rigor and integrity of the National Assessment process and reports, a Review Panel was established. Specifically, this oversaw the drafting and revision of the Synthesis Report, assessed the overall quality and utility of the Synthesis Report, and assessed the editorial responsiveness of the Synthesis Team to all comments received. This includes high-level membership from public and private sectors.

National Assessment Coordination Office (NACO) for Logistical Support and Coherence Across All Assessment Elements

Logistical support for the assessment process was provided by the National Assessment Coordination Office (NACO). NACO helped provide a framework within which the efforts of large numbers of local, regional, and Federal participants interacted with the national assessment process in ways that provided useful insights and results for the National Synthesis, and to promoted development of stakeholder networks that developed useful insights for their own local and regional concerns, quite apart from any final report. See: