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Preview: New From NAP

New From NAP



New books, reports and publications from the National Academies Press.



Updated: 2018-04-23T15:55:57-04:00

 



Contracting Fixed-Route Bus Transit Service

2018-04-19T15:22:35-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 136: Contracting Fixed-Route Bus Transit Service documents the state of the practice in contracting bus services. Today many transit agencies contract out their fixed-route bus transit services; however, there is not enough research that focuses on the procurement and oversight process of these contracts. This synthesis will assist transit agencies in their decision-making process as they consider contracting fixed-route transit services instead of directly operating the service. The report is accompanied by Appendix G, which is available online only.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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User Guides for Noise Modeling of Commercial Space Operations—RUMBLE and PCBoom

2018-04-18T17:24:10-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Research Report 183: User Guides for Noise Modeling of Commercial Space Operations—RUMBLE and PCBoom provides guidance on using RUMBLE 2.0, which predicts rocket noise, and PCBoom4, which has been modified to predict sonic booms from commercial space operations.

As commercial space launch vehicle activities increase, many noise issues, as well as the effects of sonic booms, will need to be evaluated. The Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) is designed to evaluate the effects of noise and emissions from aircraft but doesn’t have the ability to predict noise and sonic boom effects from commercial space operations. This project develops two tools to predict noise and sonic boom to be used in the noise modeling evaluation process. Download software for PCBoom and RUMBLE. ACRP Web-Only Document 33: Commercial Space Operations Noise and Sonic Boom Modeling and Analysis is the contractor’s final report on the methodology and development of these tools.

Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact, or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not, in any case, be liable for any consequential or special damages.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Commercial Space Operations Noise and Sonic Boom Modeling and Analysis

2018-04-18T17:29:41-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Web-Only Document 33: Commercial Space Operations Noise and Sonic Boom Modeling and Analysis is the contractor’s final report on the methodology and development for ACRP Research Report 183: User Guides for Noise Modeling of Commercial Space Operations—RUMBLE and PCBoom. ACRP Research Report 183 provides guidance on using RUMBLE 2.0, which predicts rocket noise, and PCBoom4, which has been modified to predict sonic booms from commercial space operations.

As commercial space launch vehicle activities increase, many noise issues, as well as the effects of sonic booms, will need to be evaluated. The Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT) is designed to evaluate the effects of noise and emissions from aircraft but doesn’t have the ability to predict noise and sonic boom effects from commercial space operations. This project develops two tools to predict noise and sonic boom to be used in the noise modeling evaluation process. Download software for PCBoom4 and RUMBLE 2.0.

Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact, or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not, in any case, be liable for any consequential or special damages.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Contribution of Steel Casing to Single Shaft Foundation Structural Resistance

2018-04-17T18:25:10-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 872: Contribution of Steel Casing to Single Shaft Foundation Structural Resistance proposes revisions to bridge design specifications based on comprehensive analytical and testing programs for investigating the effects of steel casing. Bridges are often constructed with a single enlarged shaft foundation supporting a column. In many cases, the shaft foundation is constructed with a permanent steel casing. The combination of the steel casing and the interior reinforced concrete is typically called Concrete-Filled Steel Tube (CFST) or Reinforced Concrete-Filled Steel Tube (RCFST). Determining the properties of the composite RCFST section and at what point along the shaft the section can be considered a composite section may lead to design improvements a reduction in construction cost.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Review of the Draft Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2)

2018-04-23T08:55:41-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The second “State of the Climate Cycle Report” (SOCCR2) aims to elucidate the fundamental physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the carbon cycle and to discuss the challenges of accounting for all major carbon stocks and flows for the North American continent. This assessment report has broad value, as understanding the carbon cycle is not just an academic exercise. Rather, this understanding can provide an important foundation for making a wide variety of societal decisions about land use and natural resource management, climate change mitigation strategies, urban planning, and energy production and consumption. To help assure the quality and rigor of SOCCR2, this report provides an independent critique of the draft document.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Earth Sciences


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Modernizing Crime Statistics: Report 2: New Systems for Measuring Crime

2018-04-23T13:04:11-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

To derive statistics about crime – to estimate its levels and trends, assess its costs to and impacts on society, and inform law enforcement approaches to prevent it - a conceptual framework for defining and thinking about crime is virtually a prerequisite. Developing and maintaining such a framework is no easy task, because the mechanics of crime are ever evolving and shifting: tied to shifts and development in technology, society, and legislation.

Interest in understanding crime surged in the 1920s, which proved to be a pivotal decade for the collection of nationwide crime statistics. Now established as a permanent agency, the Census Bureau commissioned the drafting of a manual for preparing crime statistics—intended for use by the police, corrections departments, and courts alike. The new manual sought to solve a perennial problem by suggesting a standard taxonomy of crime. Shortly after the Census Bureau issued its manual, the International Association of Chiefs of Police in convention adopted a resolution to create a Committee on Uniform Crime Records —to begin the process of describing what a national system of data on crimes known to the police might look like.

Report 1 performed a comprehensive reassessment of what is meant by crime in U.S. crime statistics and recommends a new classification of crime to organize measurement efforts. This second report examines methodological and implementation issues and presents a conceptual blueprint for modernizing crime statistics.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Behavioral and Social Sciences


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Understanding and Predicting the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: Critical Gaps and Recommendations

2018-04-23T13:18:28-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

One of the most significant, energetic, yet not well understood, oceanographic features in the Americas is the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current System (LCS), consisting of the Loop Current (LC) and the Loop Current Eddies (LCEs) it sheds. Understanding the dynamics of the LCS is fundamental to understanding the Gulf of Mexico’s full oceanographic system, and vice versa. Hurricane intensity, offshore safety, harmful algal blooms, oil spill response, the entire Gulf food chain, shallow water nutrient supply, the fishing industry, tourism, and the Gulf Coast economy are all affected by the position, strength, and structure of the LC and associated eddies.

This report recommends a strategy for addressing the key gaps in general understanding of LCS processes, in order to instigate a significant improvement in predicting LC/LCE position, evolving structure, extent, and speed, which will increase overall understanding of Gulf of Mexico circulation and to promote safe oil and gas operations and disaster response in the Gulf of Mexico. This strategy includes advice on how to design a long-term observational campaign and complementary data assimilation and numerical modeling efforts.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Earth Sciences


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Airport Participation in Oil and Gas Development

2018-04-17T18:30:10-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 87: Airport Participation in Oil and Gas Development provides airports with practical considerations and responses involving oil and gas extraction. The report documents lessons learned as energy prices went from their highest levels (in the mid-2000s) to some of their lowest (in 2015 and 2016). It includes a compilation of federal, state, and local regulatory frameworks; available airport oil and gas leases; municipal permits and ordinances; and case examples from targeted interviews with eight airports. As the price of oil and gas has a long history of volatility, a view of the full price cycle has particular utility to airports.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Entry and Competition in the U.S. Airline Industry: Issues and Opportunities

2018-04-19T15:30:09-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB Special Report 255 - Entry and Competition in the U.S. Airline Industry: Issues and Opportunities focuses on some well understood and recognized opportunities to encourage airline competition, especially in larger markets.

During the mid-1990s, new-entrant carriers filed formal complaints with USDOT, contending that large established airlines were engaging in predatory pricing (pricing below cost). Such strategies were alleged to include matching low fares and providing far more service than could a new entrant, but then raising fares and cutting service as soon as the new entrant failed or withdrew. USDOT contemplated writing regulations against such alleged practices, but the committee that studied entry and competition in the U.S. airline industry advised against doing so. Given the difficulties involved in defining fair and unfair competition, the proposed regulations could have proved as harmful as helpful. The committee noted that USDOT has other policy instruments that could be used to promote the entry of new carriers, such as supporting the development of additional gates and airports, eliminating service restrictions at some key airports, and ensuring that federal rules promote rather than hinder more open access to major airport facilities.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Reducing the Threat of Improvised Explosive Device Attacks by Restricting Access to Explosive Precursor Chemicals

2018-04-19T13:00:55-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a type of unconventional explosive weapon that can be deployed in a variety of ways, and can cause loss of life, injury, and property damage in both military and civilian environments. Terrorists, violent extremists, and criminals often choose IEDs because the ingredients, components, and instructions required to make IEDs are highly accessible. In many cases, precursor chemicals enable this criminal use of IEDs because they are used in the manufacture of homemade explosives (HMEs), which are often used as a component of IEDs.

Many precursor chemicals are frequently used in industrial manufacturing and may be available as commercial products for personal use. Guides for making HMEs and instructions for constructing IEDs are widely available and can be easily found on the internet. Other countries restrict access to precursor chemicals in an effort to reduce the opportunity for HMEs to be used in IEDs. Although IED attacks have been less frequent in the United States than in other countries, IEDs remain a persistent domestic threat. Restricting access to precursor chemicals might contribute to reducing the threat of IED attacks and in turn prevent potentially devastating bombings, save lives, and reduce financial impacts.

Reducing the Threat of Improvised Explosive Device Attacks by Restricting Access to Explosive Precursor Chemicals prioritizes precursor chemicals that can be used to make HMEs and analyzes the movement of those chemicals through United States commercial supply chains and identifies potential vulnerabilities. This report examines current United States and international regulation of the chemicals, and compares the economic, security, and other tradeoffs among potential control strategies.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Conflict and Security Issues | Math, Chemistry, and Physics


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Exploring Partnership Governance in Global Health: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-04-18T08:45:09-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Solving the world’s health challenges requires multidisciplinary collaborations that bring together the talents, experiences, resources, and ideas from multiple sectors. These collaborations in global health frequently occur through public–private partnerships (PPPs) in which public and private parties share risks, responsibilities, and decision-making processes with the objective of collectively and more effectively addressing a common goal. However, these numerous stakeholders bring varying strengths and resources to global health partnerships, but they also bring their own organizational cultures, regulations, and expectations. Managing partnerships among them is complex and requires intentional and thoughtful governance. Over the last several decades, as the number of interested stakeholders, resources invested, and initiatives launched within the global health field has grown, effective governance of global health PPPs has become increasingly critical.

To explore the role of governance in PPPs for global health, the Forum on Public–Private Partnerships for Global Health and Safety convened a workshop. Participants explored best practices, common challenges, and lessons learned in the varying approaches to partnership governance. They also highlighted key issues in the governance of PPPs for global health with the goal of increasing their effectiveness in improving health outcomes. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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State of the Industry Report on Air Quality Emissions from Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuels

2018-04-17T17:18:11-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Web-Only Document 35: Quantifying Emissions Reductions at Airports from the Use of Alternative Jet Fuels captures the current status of knowledge regarding emissions from the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF). While the primary purpose for airlines to use SAJF is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, emissions of other pollutants may also be reduced, which could be significantly beneficial to airports. However, these reductions are not yet well defined, leaving airports unable to realize what may be substantial benefits. The research team analyzed the published technical literature to validate that SAJF use reduces air pollutant emissions and does not cause any air pollutant emissions to increase.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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ADA Paratransit Service Models

2018-04-13T18:47:31-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 135: ADA Paratransit Service Models provides information about current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant paratransit service models and the underlying reasons why specific transit agencies have opted to keep or change their service model. ADA paratransit demand continues to grow while resources are dwindling. For that reason, transit agencies nationwide are exploring service models to more effectively meet present and future demand. This synthesis study explains available service delivery models to date, and documents the way various elements of the service and contracts are structured to enhance the likelihood of achieving certain results related to cost efficiency, service quality, or the balance of the two.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Truck Size and Weight Limits Research Plan Committee: First Report: Candidate Research Topics; Framework for Setting Priorities

2018-04-13T13:16:52-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Truck Size and Weight Limits Research Plan Committee has issued an interim letter report that explores the development of a research plan to reduce uncertainties in estimates of the impacts of changes in truck size and weight limits. The report summarizes the research recommendations of past truck size and weight limit studies, presents lists of candidate research problem statement topics, and identifies criteria for deciding the priority of topics for inclusion in the requested research plan, which will be presented in a final Academies report in fall 2018.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Measuring the 21st Century Science and Engineering Workforce Population: Evolving Needs

2018-04-16T14:23:30-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), one of the nation’s principal statistical agencies, is charged to collect, acquire, analyze, report, and disseminate statistical data related to the science and engineering enterprise in the United States and other nations that is relevant and useful to practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and to the public. NCSES data, based primarily on several flagship surveys, have become the major evidence base for American science and technology policy, and the agency is well respected globally for these data.

This report assesses and provides guidance on NCSES’s approach to measuring the science and engineering workforce population in the United States. It also proposes a framework for measuring the science and engineering workforce in the next decade and beyond, with flexibility to examine emerging issues related to this unique population while at the same time allowing for stability in the estimation of key trends

[Read the full report]

Topics: Behavioral and Social Sciences


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Exploring a Business Case for High-Value Continuing Professional Development: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-04-16T14:09:23-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

Continuing education, continuing professional development, and high-value continuing professional development exist along a continuum. Continuing education (CE) often is associated with didactic learning methods, such as lectures and seminars, which take place in auditoriums and classrooms, and is often viewed by health professionals as merely a path to maintaining licensure and certification through the accumulation of credits. Continuing professional development (CPD), in contrast, embraces a wider array of learning formats and methods that are driven by learners.

The Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education hosted a workshop in April 2017 to explore the value proposition for CPD. Forum members and workshop participants gathered to learn about innovative CPD programs around the world, to consider the perspectives of those who invest in CPD, and to discuss the business case for CPD. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through

2018-04-12T13:15:11-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has developed the world’s preeminent system for biomedical research, one that has given rise to revolutionary medical advances as well as a dynamic and innovative business sector generating high-quality jobs and powering economic output and exports for the U.S. economy. However, there is a growing concern that the biomedical research enterprise is beset by several core challenges that undercut its vitality, promise, and productivity and that could diminish its critical role in the nation’s health and innovation in the biomedical industry.

Among the most salient of these challenges is the gulf between the burgeoning number of scientists qualified to participate in this system as academic researchers and the elusive opportunities to establish long-term research careers in academia. The patchwork of measures to address the challenges facing young scientists that has emerged over the years has allowed the U.S. biomedical enterprise to continue to make significant scientific and medical advances. These measures, however, have no resolved the structural vulnerabilities in the system, and in some cases come at a great opportunity cost for young scientist. These unresolved issues could diminish the nation’s ability to recruit the best minds from all sectors of the U.S. population to careers in biomedical research and raise concerns about a system that may favor increasingly conservative research proposals over high-risk, innovative ideas.

The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through evaluates the factors that influence transitions into independent research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and offers recommendations to improve those transitions. These recommendations chart a path to a biomedical research enterprise that is competitive, rigorous, fair, dynamic, and can attract the best minds from across the country.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Education | Health and Medicine | Behavioral and Social Sciences


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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 1: Guidance

2018-04-11T18:20:25-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 251: Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 1: Guidance provides approaches for employing spot painting in a cost-effective, safe, and environmentally compliant manner. Bridge coatings are the primary means of corrosion protection for steel bridges in the United States. Most bridge coatings tend to fail prematurely in localized areas and spot painting can be used restore the lost corrosion protection and extend the service lives of existing bridge coatings, often at a fraction of the cost of a complete bridge repainting. However, many state highway agencies do not perform spot painting primarily due to performance concerns and lack of familiarity with its proper utilization and execution.

The guidance is accompanied by NCHRP Web-Only Document 251: Volume 2: Research Overview provides the evaluation method for the guidance document.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 2: Research Overview

2018-04-11T18:24:59-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 251: Spot Painting to Extend Highway Bridge Coating Life: Volume 1: documents the evaluation method for a guidance document that provides approaches for employing spot painting in a cost-effective, safe, and environmentally compliant manner. Bridge coatings are the primary means of corrosion protection for steel bridges in the United States. Most bridge coatings tend to fail prematurely in localized areas and spot painting can be used restore the lost corrosion protection and extend the service lives of existing bridge coatings, often at a fraction of the cost of a complete bridge repainting. However, many state highway agencies do not perform spot painting primarily due to performance concerns and lack of familiarity with its proper utilization and execution.

The research overview is accompanied by NCHRP Web-Only Document 251: Volume 1: Guidance.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Progress Toward Transforming the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program: A 2018 Evaluation

2018-04-11T14:45:11-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

Over the past several years, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been transforming the procedures of its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), a program that produces hazard and dose‒response assessments of environmental chemicals and derives toxicity values that can be used to estimate risks posed by exposures to them. The transformation was initiated after suggestions for program reforms were provided in a 2011 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that reviewed a draft IRIS assessment of formaldehyde. In 2014, the National Academies released a report that reviewed the IRIS program and evaluated the changes implemented in it since the 2011 report.

Since 2014, new leadership of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) and IRIS program has instituted even more substantive changes in the IRIS program in response to the recommendations in the 2014 report. Progress Toward Transforming the Integrated Risk Information System Program: A 2018 Evaluation reviews the EPA’s progress toward addressing the past recommendations from the National Academies.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Environment and Environmental Studies


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A Review of the Citrus Greening Research and Development Efforts Supported by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation: Fighting a Ravaging Disease

2018-04-10T10:45:13-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening, first observed more than a hundred years ago in Asia, is the most serious disease threat to the citrus-growing industry worldwide due to its complexity, destructiveness, and incalcitrance to management. First detected in Florida in 2005, HLB is now widespread in the state and threatens the survival of the Florida citrus industry despite substantial allocation of research funds by Florida citrus growers and federal and state agencies.

As the HLB epidemic raged in 2008, Florida citrus growers began allocating funds for HLB research in hopes of finding short-, medium-, and long-term solutions. This effort created the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), an organization with oversight responsibility for HLB research and development efforts in Florida. This report provides an independent review of the portfolio of research projects that have been or continue to be supported by the CRDF. It seeks to identify ways to retool HLB research—which, despite significantly increasing understanding of the factors involved in HLB, has produced no major breakthroughs in controlling the disease—and accelerate the development of durable tools and strategies that could help abate the damage caused by HLB and prevent the possible collapse of the Florida citrus industry.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Agriculture


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The Transportation Research Thesaurus: Capabilities and Enhancements

2018-04-09T18:20:15-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 874: The Transportation Research Thesaurus: Capabilities and Enhancements documents the results of a comprehensive assessment of the Transportation Research Thesaurus’s (TRT’s) capabilities and strategies for the TRT’s future development. The TRT is a structured, controlled vocabulary of terms in English, used by TRB and a variety of other organizations to support indexing, search, and retrieval of technical reports, research documents, and other transportation information. The TRT, covering all modes and aspects of transportation, has evolved over a number of years and is continuously being refined and expanded.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Public Transit and Bikesharing

2018-04-09T18:33:02-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 132: Public Transit and Bikesharing explores cooperative transit and bikesharing relationships and documents the experiences of transit systems with bikesharing as a mode. An increasing number of transit agencies have developed cooperative arrangements with bikesharing programs to strengthen the relationship between the modes. The implementation and integration of bikesharing programs can sometimes present challenges to transit agencies. The synthesis identifies the current state of the practice, including challenges, lessons learned, and gaps in information.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions

2018-02-01T19:20:17-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 196: Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions provides information about private transit services and ways they are addressing transportation needs in a variety of operating environments. The document contains an overview and taxonomy of private transit services in the United States, a review of their present scope and operating characteristics, and a discussion of ways they may affect the communities in which they operate along with several case studies and other supporting information.

Private transit services—including airport shuttles, shared taxis, private commuter buses, dollar vans and jitneys—have operated for decades in many American cities. Recently, business innovations and technological advances that allow real-time ride-hailing, routing, tracking, and payment have ushered in a new generation of private transit options. These include new types of public-private partnership that are helping to bridge first/last mile gaps in suburban areas.

The report also examines ways that private transit services are interacting with communities and transit agencies, as well as resulting impacts and benefits.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Long-Term Aging of Asphalt Mixtures for Performance Testing and Prediction

2017-12-04T19:24:39-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 871: Long-Term Aging of Asphalt Mixtures for Performance Testing and Prediction presents a proposed standard method for long-term laboratory aging of asphalt mixtures for performance testing. The method is intended for consideration as a replacement for the method in AASHTO R 30, “Mixture Conditioning of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA),” which was the most commonly used method for aging asphalt materials for performance testing for input to prediction models for the past 25 years. The method improves on R 30 in that the laboratory aging time is specifically determined by the climate at the project location.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Onshore Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development: Induced Seismicity and Innovations in Managing Risk–Day 2: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-04-04T10:45:17-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Oil and gas well completion and stimulation technologies to develop unconventional hydrocarbon resources in the United States have evolved over the past several decades, particularly in relation to the development of shale oil and shale gas. Shale oil and shale gas resources and the technology associated with their production are often termed “unconventional” because the oil and gas trapped inside the shale or other low-permeability rock formation cannot be extracted using conventional technologies. Since about 2005, the application of these technologies to fields in the U.S. have helped produce natural gas and oil in volumes that allowed the country to reduce its crude oil imports by more than 50% and to become a net natural gas exporter. The regional and national economic and energy advances gained through production and use of these resources have been accompanied, however, by rapid expansion of the infrastructure associated with the development of these fields and public concern over the impacts to surface- and groundwater, air, land, and communities where the resources are extracted.

A workshop on December 1 and 2, 2016 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, explored the management of risk related to the development of onshore unconventional oil and gas resources such as shale oil and shale gas. The second part of the workshop, on December 2, addressed issues associated with induced seismicity and managing the risk of induced seismic events associated with development of oil and gas fields. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from this second day of the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Earth Sciences


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Onshore Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development: Legacy Issues and Innovations in Managing Risk–Day 1: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-04-04T10:45:12-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Oil and gas well completion and stimulation technologies to develop unconventional hydrocarbon resources in the United States have evolved over the past several decades, particularly in relation to the development of shale oil and shale gas. Shale oil and shale gas resources and the technology associated with their production are often termed “unconventional” because the oil and gas trapped inside the shale or other low-permeability rock formation cannot be extracted using conventional technologies. Since about 2005, the application of these technologies to fields in the U.S. have helped produce natural gas and oil in volumes that allowed the country to reduce its crude oil imports by more than 50% and to become a net natural gas exporter. The regional and national economic and energy advances gained through production and use of these resources have been accompanied, however, by rapid expansion of the infrastructure associated with the development of these fields and public concern over the impacts to surface- and groundwater, air, land, and communities where the resources are extracted.

The intent of the first day of the workshop of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development was to discuss onshore unconventional hydrocarbon development in the context of potential environmental impacts and the ways in which the risks of these kinds of impacts can be managed. Specifically, the workshop sought to examine the lifecycle development of these fields, including decommissioning and reclamation of wells and related surface and pipeline infrastructure, and the approaches from industry practice, scientific research, and regulation that could help to ensure management of the operations in ways that minimize impacts to the environment throughout their active lifetimes and after operations have ceased. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Earth Sciences


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Use of Automated Machine Guidance within the Transportation Industry

2018-04-02T16:41:10-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 250: Use of Automated Machine Guidance within the Transportation Industry studies automated machine guidance (AMG) implementation barriers and develop strategies for effective implementation of AMG technology in construction operations. AMG links design software with construction equipment to direct the operations of construction machinery with a high level of precision, and improve the speed and accuracy of the construction process. AMG technology may improve the overall quality, safety, and efficiency of transportation project construction.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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The Relationship Between Transit Asset Condition and Service Quality

2018-04-02T17:48:43-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) has released a pre-publication, non-edited version of Research Report 198: The Relationship Between Transit Asset Condition and Service Quality. The report documents the development of a quantitative method for characterizing service quality and demonstrates how this quantitative measure varies with changes in asset condition. It provides guidance on how asset condition and transit service quality relate in terms of investment prioritization.

Three Excel spreadsheets–a simplified Effective Journey Time (EJT) Calculator, a comprehensive EJT Calculator, and a worked example demonstrating the use of the comprehensive EJT Calculator—provide quantitative methods. Transit agencies may use this report and tools to better manage existing transit capital assets and make more efficient and effective investment decisions.

Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Safety Impacts of Intersection Sight Distance

2018-03-29T16:24:02-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 228: Safety Impacts of Intersection Sight Distance documents the methodology and presents the results from NCHRP Research Report 875: Guidance for Evaluating the Safety Impacts of Intersection Sight Distance. It provides the underlying research on estimating the safety effects of intersection sight distance (ISD) at stop-controlled intersections. To establish the relationship between ISD and safety at stop-controlled intersections, crash, traffic, and geometric data were collected for 832 intersection approaches with minor-road stop control in North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington.

NCHRP Research Report 875: Guidance for Evaluating the Safety Impacts of Intersection Sight Distance is a resource for practitioners involved in the planning, design, operations, and traffic safety management of stop-controlled intersections. It provides information on how to estimate the effect of ISD on crash frequency at intersections and describes data collection methods and analysis steps for making safety-informed decisions about ISD. The guidance also provides basic information on the importance of ISD that can be shared with decision makers and other stakeholders. A PowerPoint presentation that describes the project also accompanies the report and web-only document.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Guidance for Evaluating the Safety Impacts of Intersection Sight Distance

2018-03-29T16:17:38-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 875: Guidance for Evaluating the Safety Impacts of Intersection Sight Distance is a resource for practitioners involved in the planning, design, operations, and traffic safety management of stop-controlled intersections. It provides information on how to estimate the effect of intersection sight distance (ISD) on crash frequency at intersections and describes data collection methods and analysis steps for making safety-informed decisions about ISD. The guidance also provides basic information on the importance of ISD that can be shared with decision makers and other stakeholders.

Accompanying the report, NCHRP Web-Only Document 228: Safety Impacts of Intersection Sight Distance documents the methodology and presents the results from the underlying research on estimating the safety effects of ISD at stop-controlled intersections. To establish the relationship between ISD and safety at stop-controlled intersections, crash, traffic, and geometric data were collected for 832 intersection approaches with minor-road stop control in North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington. A PowerPoint presentation that describes the project also accompanies the report and web-only document.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Health-Care Utilization as a Proxy in Disability Determination

2018-04-04T10:45:05-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two programs that provide benefits based on disability: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. This report analyzes health care utilizations as they relate to impairment severity and SSA’s definition of disability. Health Care Utilization as a Proxy in Disability Determination identifies types of utilizations that might be good proxies for “listing-level” severity; that is, what represents an impairment, or combination of impairments, that are severe enough to prevent a person from doing any gainful activity, regardless of age, education, or work experience.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Design, Selection, and Implementation of Instructional Materials for the Next Generation Science Standards: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-04-03T14:17:39-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

Instructional materials are a key means to achieving the goals of science education—an enterprise that yields unique and worthwhile benefits to individuals and society. As states and districts move forward with adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or work on improving their instruction to align with A Framework for K–12 Science Education (the Framework), instructional materials that align with this new vision for science education have emerged as one of the key mechanisms for creating high-quality learning experiences for students.

In response to the need for more coordination across the ongoing efforts to support the design and implementation of instructional materials for science education, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a public workshop in June 2017. The workshop focused on the development of instructional materials that reflect the principles of the Framework and the NGSS. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Education


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Administration of ADA Paratransit Eligibility Appeal Programs

2018-03-29T15:19:48-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 133: Administration of ADA Paratransit Eligibility Appeal Programs identifies ADA eligibility appeal processes and documents current practices of transit systems.

ADA paratransit eligibility appeal programs allow appellants the opportunity to present new information not provided or available during the initial eligibility decision that may warrant a change in eligibility determination. At the same time, any appeal program must consistently apply the decision-making standards established by the agency’s ADA paratransit certification program. As more agencies employ some form of conditional eligibility, eligibility appeal processes are emerging as a significant area of vulnerability. If the eligibility appeal process is not administered properly, transit agencies run the risk of violating applicants’ civil rights under the ADA or Title VI requirements.

Although several reports describe transit agency practices for determining eligibility for ADA paratransit service, little has been documented about how transit agencies manage appeals by applicants who are determined to be “not eligible” or who are found “conditionally eligible,” including temporary eligibility.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Human-Automation Interaction Considerations for Unmanned Aerial System Integration into the National Airspace System: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-29T12:45:07-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Prior to 2012, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology had been primarily used by the military and hobbyists, but it has more recently transitioned to broader application, including commercial and scientific applications, as well as to expanded military use. These new uses encroach on existing structures for managing the nation’s airspace and present significant challenges to ensure that UASs are coordinated safely and suitably with existing manned aircraft and air traffic management systems, particularly with the National Airspace System (NAS). Of particular concern is the interaction between human pilots, operators, or controllers and increasingly automated systems. Enhanced understanding of these interactions is essential to avoid unintended consequences, especially as new technologies emerge. In order to explore these issues, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a 2-day workshop in January 2018. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Space and Aeronautics | Behavioral and Social Sciences


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Customer-Focused Service Guarantees and Transparency Practices

2018-03-29T12:21:52-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 134: Customer-Focused Service Guarantees and Transparency Practices documents the nature and prevalence of customer-focused practices among transit providers in North America and supplements the discussion by including information from European transit providers.

A growing number of North American public transit agencies have adopted service guarantees or transparency practices as part of a customer-focused service strategy. Service guarantees describe the level of service customers can expect and the procedures they may follow if standards are not met. Transparency practices might include reporting performance metrics as online dashboards or report cards on the agency’s website. Currently, there is little existing research on these practices and experiences among U.S. transit providers.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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A Decision Framework for Managing the Spirit Lake and Toutle River System at Mount St. Helens

2018-03-30T09:13:48-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington State radically changed the physical and socio-economic landscapes of the region. The eruption destroyed the summit of the volcano, sending large amounts of debris into the North Fork Toutle River, and blocking the sole means of drainage from Spirit Lake 4 miles north of Mount St. Helens. As a result of the blockage, rising lake levels could cause failure of the debris blockage, putting the downstream population of approximately 50,000 at risk of catastrophic flooding and mud flows. Further, continued transport of sediment to the river from volcanic debris deposits surrounding the mountain reduces the flood carrying capacity of downstream river channels and leaves the population vulnerable to chronic flooding.

The legacy of the 1980 eruption and the prospect of future volcanic, seismic, and flood events mean that risk management in the Spirit Lake Toutle River system will be challenging for decades to come. This report offers a decision framework to support the long-term management of risks related to the Spirit Lake and Toutle River system in light of the different regional economic, cultural, and social priorities, and the respective roles of federal, tribal, state, and local authorities, as well as other entities and groups in the region. It also considers the history and adequacy of characterization, monitoring, and management associated with the Spirit Lake debris blockage and outflow tunnel, other efforts to control transport of water and sediment from the 1980 and later eruptions, and suggests additional information needed to support implementation of the recommended decision framework.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Environment and Environmental Studies | Earth Sciences


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Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services

2018-03-30T10:08:16-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

Approximately 4 million U.S. service members took part in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Shortly after troops started returning from their deployments, some active-duty service members and veterans began experiencing mental health problems. Given the stressors associated with war, it is not surprising that some service members developed such mental health conditions as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance use disorder. Subsequent epidemiologic studies conducted on military and veteran populations that served in the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq provided scientific evidence that those who fought were in fact being diagnosed with mental illnesses and experiencing mental health–related outcomes—in particular, suicide—at a higher rate than the general population.

This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the quality, capacity, and access to mental health care services for veterans who served in the Armed Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn. It includes an analysis of not only the quality and capacity of mental health care services within the Department of Veterans Affairs, but also barriers faced by patients in utilizing those services.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (CUAS) Capability for Battalion-and-Below Operations: Abbreviated Version of a Restricted Report

2018-03-29T07:37:47-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The development of inexpensive small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) technologies and the growing desire of hobbyists to have more and more capability have created a sustained sUAS industry, however these capabilities are directly enabling the ability of adversaries to threaten U.S. interests. In response to these threats, the U.S. Army and other Department of Defense (DoD) organizations have invested significantly in counter-sUAS technologies, often focusing on detecting radio frequency transmissions by sUASs and/or their operators, and jamming the radio frequency command and control links and Global Positioning System signals of individual sUASs. However, today’s consumer and customized sUASs can increasingly operate without radio frequency command and control links by using automated target recognition and tracking, obstacle avoidance, and other software-enabled capabilities.

The U.S. Army tasked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a study to address the above concerns. In particular, the committee was asked to assess the sUAS threat, particularly when massed and collaborating; assess current capabilities of battalion-and- below infantry units to counter sUASs; identify counter-sUAS technologies appropriate for near- term, mid-term, and far-term science and technology investment; consider human factors and logistics; and determine if the Department of Homeland Security could benefit from DoD efforts. This abbreviated report provides background information on the full report and the committee that prepared it.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Conflict and Security Issues


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Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments

2018-03-29T09:55:30-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The field of computer science (CS) is currently experiencing a surge in undergraduate degree production and course enrollments, which is straining program resources at many institutions and causing concern among faculty and administrators about how best to respond to the rapidly growing demand. There is also significant interest about what this growth will mean for the future of CS programs, the role of computer science in academic institutions, the field as a whole, and U.S. society more broadly.

Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments seeks to provide a better understanding of the current trends in computing enrollments in the context of past trends. It examines drivers of the current enrollment surge, relationships between the surge and current and potential gains in diversity in the field, and the potential impacts of responses to the increased demand for computing in higher education, and it considers the likely effects of those responses on students, faculty, and institutions. This report provides recommendations for what institutions of higher education, government agencies, and the private sector can do to respond to the surge and plan for a strong and sustainable future for the field of CS in general, the health of the institutions of higher education, and the prosperity of the nation.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Education | Computers and Information Technology


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Improving Characterization of Anthropogenic Methane Emissions in the United States

2018-03-27T10:45:15-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Understanding, quantifying, and tracking atmospheric methane and emissions is essential for addressing concerns and informing decisions that affect the climate, economy, and human health and safety. Atmospheric methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that contributes to global warming. While carbon dioxide is by far the dominant cause of the rise in global average temperatures, methane also plays a significant role because it absorbs more energy per unit mass than carbon dioxide does, giving it a disproportionately large effect on global radiative forcing. In addition to contributing to climate change, methane also affects human health as a precursor to ozone pollution in the lower atmosphere.

Improving Characterization of Anthropogenic Methane Emissions in the United States summarizes the current state of understanding of methane emissions sources and the measurement approaches and evaluates opportunities for methodological and inventory development improvements. This report will inform future research agendas of various U.S. agencies, including NOAA, the EPA, the DOE, NASA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

[Read the full report]

Topics: Earth Sciences | Environment and Environmental Studies


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Graduate Medical Education Outcomes and Metrics: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-27T08:45:09-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Graduate medical education (GME) is critical to the career development of individual physicians, to the functioning of many teaching institutions, and to the production of our physician workforce. However, recent reports have called for substantial reform of GME. The current lack of established GME outcome measures limits our ability to assess the impact of individual graduates, the performance of residency programs and teaching institutions, and the collective contribution of GME graduates to the physician workforce.

To examine the opportunities and challenges in measuring and assessing GME outcomes, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop on October 10–11, 2017, in Washington, DC. Workshop participants discussed: meaningful and measurable outcomes of GME; possible metrics that could be used to track these GME outcomes; possible mechanisms for collecting, collating, analyzing, and reporting these data; and further work to accomplish this ambitious goal. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine | Education


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A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century

2018-03-29T09:40:51-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The workplace is where 156 million working adults in the United States spend many waking hours, and it has a profound influence on health and well-being. Although some occupations and work-related activities are more hazardous than others and face higher rates of injuries, illness, disease, and fatalities, workers in all occupations face some form of work-related safety and health concerns. Understanding those risks to prevent injury, illness, or even fatal incidents is an important function of society.

Occupational safety and health (OSH) surveillance provides the data and analyses needed to understand the relationships between work and injuries and illnesses in order to improve worker safety and health and prevent work-related injuries and illnesses. Information about the circumstances in which workers are injured or made ill on the job and how these patterns change over time is essential to develop effective prevention programs and target future research. The nation needs a robust OSH surveillance system to provide this critical information for informing policy development, guiding educational and regulatory activities, developing safer technologies, and enabling research and prevention strategies that serves and protects all workers.

A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century provides a comprehensive assessment of the state of OSH surveillance. This report is intended to be useful to federal and state agencies that have an interest in occupational safety and health, but may also be of interest broadly to employers, labor unions and other worker advocacy organizations, the workers’ compensation insurance industry, as well as state epidemiologists, academic researchers, and the broader public health community. The recommendations address the strengths and weaknesses of the envisioned system relative to the status quo and both short- and long-term actions and strategies needed to bring about a progressive evolution of the current system.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine | Behavioral and Social Sciences | Industry and Labor


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Bolting Reliability for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-26T12:09:47-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The Planning Committee on Connector Reliability for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations held the Workshop on Bolting Reliability for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations in Washington, D.C., on April 10-11, 2017. The workshop was designed to advance and develop a comprehensive awareness of the outstanding issues associated with fastener material failures and equipment reliability issues. Speakers and participants were also encouraged to discuss possible paths for ameliorating risks associated with fasteners used for subsea critical equipment in oil and gas operations. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Engineering and Technology


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A Transit Agency Guide to Evaluating Secondary Train Detection/Protection Systems in Communications-Based Train Control Systems

2018-03-23T13:32:01-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Web-Only Document 71: A Transit Agency Guide to Evaluating Secondary Train Detection/Protection Systems in Communications-Based Train Control Systems provides a practical approach to evaluating the appropriate level of secondary train detection/protection systems (STD/PS) for a given communications-based train control system application. In terms of detection, track circuits and axle counters are both considered and compared, including the broken rail detection capabilities of track circuits and the possibility of having no secondary detection at all.

The first part of this guide presents different technologies, and discusses communications-based train control deployment trends and feedback on operations from rail transit agencies around the world. The second part provides guidance for selection of an appropriate level of STD/PS, in terms of candidate technologies, product maturity, and potential risks. The document is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Advancing Therapeutic Development for Pain and Opioid Use Disorders Through Public-Private Partnerships: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-23T08:45:12-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent, costly, and disabling health conditions in the United States. Estimates show that more than 11 percent of the American population suffer from chronic pain, yet the federal pain research investment has been minimal. In parallel with a gradual increased recognition of the problems of treating chronic pain, the opioid epidemic has emerged as a growing public health emergency. The intersection of these two crises lies in the fact that an unintended consequence of treating pain has been an increasing number of opioid prescriptions and diversion of drugs for illicit purposes.

In May 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse announced a public–private partnership to develop solutions to the opioid crisis and cut in half the time it takes to develop non-addictive analgesics. To advance the planning of NIH’s anticipated public–private partnerships, the National Academies’ Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous Systems Disorders hosted a public workshop that brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from academia, federal agencies, advocacy organizations and companies developing therapeutics for pain and opioid use disorders. Participants discussed potential strategies to accelerate development of non-addictive pain medications and treatments for opioid use disorders. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Violence and Mental Health: Opportunities for Prevention and Early Detection: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-22T08:45:15-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

On February 26–27, 2014, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention convened a workshop titled Mental Health and Violence: Opportunities for Prevention and Early Intervention. The workshop brought together advocates and experts in public health and mental health, anthropology, biomedical science, criminal justice, global health and development, and neuroscience to examine experience, evidence, and practice at the intersection of mental health and violence. Participants explored how violence impacts mental health and how mental health influences violence and discussed approaches to improve research and practice in both domains. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine | Behavioral and Social Sciences


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Battery Electric Buses—State of the Practice

2018-03-21T12:28:37-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 130: Battery Electric Buses—State of the Practice documents current practices of transit systems in the planning, procurement, infrastructure installation, operation, and maintenance of battery electric buses (BEBs). The synthesis is intended for transit agencies that are interested in understanding the potential benefits and challenges associated with the introduction and operation of battery electric buses. The synthesis will also be valuable to manufacturers trying to better meet the needs of their customers and to federal, state, and local funding agencies and policy makers.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Interim Report of the Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research

2018-03-19T15:27:49-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

In January 2003, President George W. Bush announced that the United States would begin negotiations to join the ITER project and noted that “if successful, ITER would create the first fusion device capable of producing thermal energy comparable to the output of a power plant, making commercially viable fusion power available as soon as 2050.” The United States and the other ITER members are now constructing ITER with the aim to demonstrate that magnetically confined plasmas can produce more fusion power than the power needed to sustain the plasma. This is a critical step towards producing and delivering electricity from fusion energy.

Since the international establishment of the ITER project, ITER’s construction schedule has slipped and ITER’s costs have increased significantly, leading to questions about whether the United States should continue its commitment to participate in ITER. This study will advise how to best advance the fusion energy sciences in the United States given developments in the field, the specific international investments in fusion science and technology, and the priorities for the next ten years developed by the community and the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) that were recently reported to Congress. It will address the scientific justification and needs for strengthening the foundations for realizing fusion energy given a potential choice of U.S. participation or not in the ITER project, and develops future scenarios in either case.

This interim report assesses the current status of U.S. fusion research and of the importance of burning plasma research to the development of fusion energy as well as to plasma science and other science and engineering disciplines. The final report will present strategies that incorporate continued progress toward a burning plasma experiment and a focus on innovation.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Math, Chemistry, and Physics | Space and Aeronautics


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The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States

2018-03-16T10:45:11-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Abortion is a legal medical procedure that has been provided to millions of American women. Since the Institute of Medicine first reviewed the health implications of national legalized abortion in 1975, there has been a plethora of related scientific research, including well-designed randomized clinical trials, systematic reviews, and epidemiological studies examining abortion care. This research has focused on examining the relative safety of abortion methods and the appropriateness of methods for different clinical circumstances. With this growing body of research, earlier abortion methods have been refined, discontinued, and new approaches have been developed.

The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States offers a comprehensive review of the current state of the science related to the provision of safe, high-quality abortion services in the United States. This report considers 8 research questions and presents conclusions, including gaps in research.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Implementing and Evaluating Genomic Screening Programs in Health Care Systems: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-04-03T14:24:18-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Genomic applications are being integrated into a broad range of clinical and research activities at health care systems across the United States. This trend can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the declining cost of genome sequencing and the potential for improving health outcomes and cutting the costs of care. The goals of these genomics-based programs may be to identify individuals with clinically actionable variants as a way of preventing disease, providing diagnoses for patients with rare diseases, and advancing research on genetic contributions to health and disease. Of particular interest are genomics- based screening programs, which will, in this publication, be clinical screening programs that examine genes or variants in unselected populations in order to identify individuals who are at an increased risk for a particular health concern (e.g., diseases, adverse drug outcomes) and who might benefit from clinical interventions.

On November 1, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a public workshop to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating genomics-based screening programs into health care systems. This workshop was developed as a way to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating genomics-based programs in health care systems in the areas of evidence collection, sustainability, data sharing, infrastructure, and equity of access. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Legal Implications of Video Surveillance on Transit Systems

2018-03-15T12:23:08-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Legal Research Digest 52: Legal Implications of Video Surveillance on Transit Systems explores the use of video surveilance systems on buses, trains, and stations. The widespread use of such video surveillance systems has generated numerous legal issues, such as a system’s ability to utilize video to discipline union and non-union employees, safety issues associated with such use, public access to such video, and retention policies regarding video, among others. This digest explores federal and state laws to address these issues, along with the current practices employed by transit agencies to comply with those laws.

The report appendicies are available online:

Appendix A: List of Transit Agencies Responding to the Survey

Appendix B: Survey Questions

Appendix C: Summary of Transit Agencies’ Responses to Survey Questions

Appendix D: Compendium of Federal and State Statutes on Audio and Video Surveillance

Appendix E: Documents Provided by Transit Agencies

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Achieving Rural Health Equity and Well-Being: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-22T11:54:46-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Rural counties make up about 80 percent of the land area of the United States, but they contain less than 20 percent of the U.S. population. The relative sparseness of the population in rural areas is one of many factors that influence the health and well-being of rural Americans. Rural areas have histories, economies, and cultures that differ from those of cities and from one rural area to another. Understanding these differences is critical to taking steps to improve health and well-being in rural areas and to reduce health disparities among rural populations. To explore the impacts of economic, demographic, and social issues in rural communities and to learn about asset-based approaches to addressing the associated challenges, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop on June 13, 2017. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Report 2 on Tracking and Assessing Governance and Management Reform in the Nuclear Security Enterprise

2018-03-13T10:45:07-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

The congressionally mandated report A New Foundation for the Nuclear Enterprise (the “Augustine-Mies” report), released in November 2014, concluded that “the existing governance structures and many of the practices of the [nuclear security] enterprise are inefficient and ineffective, thereby putting the entire enterprise at risk over the long term.” Following the release of the Augustine-Mies report, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 called for DOE to develop an implementation plan for responding to the recommendations in that and similar reports. The NDAA also called for a 4 1⁄2-year study, joint between the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administration, to evaluate the implementation plan, to track the actions proposed in that plan, and to assess progress. This report is the second in a series of reports to be issued over 2017–2020 as part of that study.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Policy for Science and Technology | Conflict and Security Issues


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Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-13T08:45:12-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Many different groups of people are subject to stereotypes. Positive stereotypes (e.g., “older and wiser”) may provide a benefit to the relevant groups. However, negative stereotypes of aging and of disability continue to persist and, in some cases, remain socially acceptable. Research has shown that when exposed to negative images of aging, older persons demonstrate poor physical and cognitive performance and function, while those who are exposed to positive images of aging (or who have positive self-perceptions of aging) demonstrate better performance and function. Furthermore, an individual’s expectations about and perceptions of aging can predict future health outcomes. To better understand how stereotypes affect older adults and individuals with disabilities, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, with support from AARP, convened a public workshop on October 10, 2017. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine | Behavioral and Social Sciences


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Guidebook for Advanced Computerized Maintenance Management System Integration at Airports

2018-03-12T17:29:02-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Research Report 155: Guidebook for Advanced Computerized Maintenance Management System Integration at Airports explores the use of a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to manage a variety of assets across a number of different airport systems. This report develops guidance on the steps necessary to implement a CMMS, factors for consideration in prioritizing which systems should be included in the CMMS using a phased approach, and the steps for integrating CMMS data into performance management and business decision making.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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College Student Transit Pass Programs

2018-03-12T17:21:40-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 131: College Student Transit Pass Programs focuses on the relationship established between transit agencies and universities and colleges, and documents current state of the practice to better develop and evaluate college student transit pass programs. Many transit agencies currently have student pass programs with colleges and universities. These programs have very different funding, fare and operating structures, and student demographics.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Review of the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment

2018-03-12T14:45:19-04:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Climate change poses many challenges that affect society and the natural world. With these challenges, however, come opportunities to respond. By taking steps to adapt to and mitigate climate change, the risks to society and the impacts of continued climate change can be lessened. The National Climate Assessment, coordinated by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, is a mandated report intended to inform response decisions. Required to be developed every four years, these reports provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date evaluation of climate change impacts available for the United States, making them a unique and important climate change document.

The draft Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) report reviewed here addresses a wide range of topics of high importance to the United States and society more broadly, extending from human health and community well-being, to the built environment, to businesses and economies, to ecosystems and natural resources. This report evaluates the draft NCA4 to determine if it meets the requirements of the federal mandate, whether it provides accurate information grounded in the scientific literature, and whether it effectively communicates climate science, impacts, and responses for general audiences including the public, decision makers, and other stakeholders.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Earth Sciences | Environment and Environmental Studies


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In-Time Aviation Safety Management: Challenges and Research for an Evolving Aviation System

2018-03-12T15:21:09-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

Decades of continuous efforts to address known hazards in the national airspace system (NAS) and to respond to issues illuminated by analysis of incidents and accidents have made commercial airlines the safest mode of transportation. The task of maintaining a high level of safety for commercial airlines is complicated by the dynamic nature of the NAS. The number of flights by commercial transports is increasing; air traffic control systems and procedures are being modernized to increase the capacity and efficiency of the NAS; increasingly autonomous systems are being developed for aircraft and ground systems, and small aircraft—most notably unmanned aircraft systems—are becoming much more prevalent. As the NAS evolves to accommodate these changes, aviation safety programs will also need to evolve to ensure that changes to the NAS do not inadvertently introduce new risks.

Real-time system-wide safety assurance (RSSA) is one of six focus areas for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aeronautics program. NASA envisions that an RSSA system would provide a continuum of information, analysis, and assessment that supports awareness and action to mitigate risks to safety. Maintaining the safety of the NAS as it evolves will require a wide range of safety systems and practices, some of which are already in place and many of which need to be developed. This report identifies challenges to establishing an RSSA system and the high-priority research that should be implemented by NASA and other interested parties in government, industry, and academia to expedite development of such a system.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Space and Aeronautics


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High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations

2018-03-09T10:45:11-05:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Commercially significant amounts of crude oil and natural gas lie under the continental shelf of the United States. Advances in locating deposits, and improvements in drilling and recovery technology, have made it technically and economically feasible to extract these resources under harsh conditions. But extracting these offshore petroleum resources involves the possibility, however remote, of oil spills, with resulting damage to the ocean and the coastline ecosystems and risks to life and limb of those performing the extraction. The environmental consequences of an oil spill can be more severe underwater than on land because sea currents can quickly disperse the oil over a large area and, thus, cleanup can be problematic.

Bolted connections are an integral feature of deep-water well operations. High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations summarizes strategies for improving the reliability of fasteners used in offshore oil exploration equipment, as well as best practices from other industrial sectors. It focuses on critical bolting—bolts, studs, nuts, and fasteners used on critical connections.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Engineering and Technology


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Community-Based Health Literacy Interventions: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-09T08:45:16-05:00

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Prepublication Now Available

In its landmark report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, the Institute of Medicine noted that there are 90 million adults in the United States with limited health literacy who cannot fully benefit from what the health and health care systems have to offer. Since the release of that report, health literacy has become a vibrant research field that has developed and disseminated a wide range of tools and practices that have helped organizations, ranging in size from large health care systems to individual health care providers and pharmacists, to engage in health literate discussions with and provide health literate materials for patients and family members. Improving the health literacy of organizations can be an important component of addressing the social determinants of health and achieving the triple aim of improving the patient experience, improving the health of populations, and reducing the cost of care. However, the focus on organizations does not address the larger issue of how to improve health literacy across the U.S. population.

To get a better understanding of the state of community-based health literacy interventions, the Roundtable on Health Literacy hosted a workshop on July 19, 2017 on community-based health literacy interventions. It featured examples of community-based health literacy programs, discussions on how to evaluate such programs, and the actions the field can take to embrace this larger view of health literacy. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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A Proposed Framework for Integration of Quality Performance Measures for Health Literacy, Cultural Competence, and Language Access Services: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-08T10:08:33-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

Health literacy, cultural competence, and language access services are distinct but inextricably linked concepts for delivering equitable care to all members of the increasingly diverse population of the United States. These concepts are linked, but they developed via different paths, and each has its own unique focus with regard to enabling every individual to obtain the ability to process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health care decisions. Fragmentation of these disciplines has impeded implementation of relevant measures for quality improvement and accountability.

To foster an integrated approach to health literacy, cultural competency, and language access services, the Roundtable on Health Literacy initiated a project with three components: a commissioned paper to propose a framework for integrating measurements of health literacy, cultural competency, and language access; a workshop to review and discuss the framework; and a second commissioned paper that will provide a roadmap for integrating health literacy, cultural competency, and language access services as well as a revised measurement framework. Held on May 4, 2017, the workshop explored the quality performance measures for integration of health literacy, cultural competence, and language access services. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Enabling Novel Treatments for Nervous System Disorders by Improving Methods for Traversing the Blood–Brain Barrier: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-08T08:45:11-05:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Despite substantial advances in developing treatments for the serious illnesses that affect people worldwide, there remains a tremendous unmet need in the treatment of complex neurologic diseases, including neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Chief among the challenges that have hindered the development of therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) disorders is the blood–brain barrier (BBB). The Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop to explore the challenges associated with the BBB that have thus far stymied development of CNS drugs, examine new technologies that could address these challenges, and highlight potential opportunities for moving the field forward. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Indicators for Monitoring Undergraduate STEM Education

2018-03-08T15:20:41-05:00

Final Book Now Available Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals generate a stream of scientific discoveries and technological innovations that fuel job creation and national economic growth. Ensuring a robust supply of these professionals is critical for sustaining growth and creating jobs growth at a time of intense global competition. Undergraduate STEM education prepares the STEM professionals of today and those of tomorrow, while also helping all students develop knowledge and skills they can draw on in a variety of occupations and as individual citizens. However, many capable students intending to major in STEM later switch to another field or drop out of higher education altogether, partly because of documented weaknesses in STEM teaching, learning and student supports. Improving undergraduate STEM education to address these weaknesses is a national imperative. Many initiatives are now underway to improve the quality of undergraduate STEM teaching and learning. Some focus on the national level, others involve multi-institution collaborations, and others take place on individual campuses. At present, however, policymakers and the public do not know whether these various initiatives are accomplishing their goals and leading to nationwide improvement in undergraduate STEM education. Indicators for Monitoring Undergraduate STEM Education outlines a framework and a set of indicators that document the status and quality of undergraduate STEM education at the national level over multiple years. It also indicates areas where additional research is needed in order to develop appropriate measures. This publication will be valuable to government agencies that make investments in higher education, institutions of higher education, private funders of higher education programs, and industry stakeholders. It will also be of interest to researchers who study higher education. [Read the full report] Topics: Education [...]



Supporting Mathematics Teachers in the United States and Finland: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-06T15:08:25-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

For the past 17 years, the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (USNC/MI) has held workshops with mathematics educators from countries that typically perform well on international assessments and have a history of strong mathematics education programs, such as Japan, China, and South Korea. Finland is among this group. Even though its mathematics education system has some common characteristics with other top-performing nations, such as a great social respect for the teaching profession, it also has unique characteristics.

The USNC/MI, a standing committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, planned a workshop at which U.S. and Finnish mathematics educators could exchange information and ideas about the preparation of new mathematics teachers and the means of providing them with support and professional development throughout their careers. While this is not the first time U.S. and Finnish mathematics educators have discussed educational practices, this workshop focused primarily on teacher development in both nations in the context of mathematics education. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Education


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Combining Individual Scour Components to Determine Total Scour

2018-03-05T15:31:55-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 249: Combining Individual Scour Components to Determine Total Scour explores the relationships among individual scour components observed in the same flow event at a bridge. The report provides insight into ways to combine scour components to produce realistic estimates of total scour depth for safe and economical design of bridge foundations. The scour components of interest are lateral contraction scour, abutment scour, vertical contraction or pressure scour, and local pier scour.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Envisioning the Data Science Discipline: The Undergraduate Perspective: Interim Report

2018-03-05T12:41:50-05:00

Final Book Now Available The need to manage, analyze, and extract knowledge from data is pervasive across industry, government, and academia. Scientists, engineers, and executives routinely encounter enormous volumes of data, and new techniques and tools are emerging to create knowledge out of these data, some of them capable of working with real-time streams of data. The nation’s ability to make use of these data depends on the availability of an educated workforce with necessary expertise. With these new capabilities have come novel ethical challenges regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of broad applications of data analyses. The field of data science has emerged to address the proliferation of data and the need to manage and understand it. Data science is a hybrid of multiple disciplines and skill sets, draws on diverse fields (including computer science, statistics, and mathematics), encompasses topics in ethics and privacy, and depends on specifics of the domains to which it is applied. Fueled by the explosion of data, jobs that involve data science have proliferated and an array of data science programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels have been established. Nevertheless, data science is still in its infancy, which suggests the importance of envisioning what the field might look like in the future and what key steps can be taken now to move data science education in that direction. This study will set forth a vision for the emerging discipline of data science at the undergraduate level. This interim report lays out some of the information and comments that the committee has gathered and heard during the first half of its study, offers perspectives on the current state of data science education, and poses some questions that may shape the way data science education evolves in the future. The study will conclude in early 2018 with a final report that lays out a vision for future data science education. [Read the full report] Topics: Education | Math, Chemistry, and Physics | Computers and Information Technology [...]



Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative

2018-03-02T07:58:04-05:00

Final Book Now Available Thanks to remarkable advances in modern health care attributable to science, engineering, and medicine, it is now possible to cure or manage illnesses that were long deemed untreatable. At the same time, however, the United States is facing the vexing challenge of a seemingly uncontrolled rise in the cost of health care. Total medical expenditures are rapidly approaching 20 percent of the gross domestic product and are crowding out other priorities of national importance. The use of increasingly expensive prescription drugs is a significant part of this problem, making the cost of biopharmaceuticals a serious national concern with broad political implications. Especially with the highly visible and very large price increases for prescription drugs that have occurred in recent years, finding a way to make prescription medicines—and health care at large—more affordable for everyone has become a socioeconomic imperative. Affordability is a complex function of factors, including not just the prices of the drugs themselves, but also the details of an individual’s insurance coverage and the number of medical conditions that an individual or family confronts. Therefore, any solution to the affordability issue will require considering all of these factors together. The current high and increasing costs of prescription drugs—coupled with the broader trends in overall health care costs—is unsustainable to society as a whole. Making Medicines Affordable examines patient access to affordable and effective therapies, with emphasis on drug pricing, inflation in the cost of drugs, and insurance design. This report explores structural and policy factors influencing drug pricing, drug access programs, the emerging role of comparative effectiveness assessments in payment policies, changing finances of medical practice with regard to drug costs and reimbursement, and measures to prevent drug shortages and foster continued innovation in drug development. It makes recommendations for policy actions that could address drug price trends, improve patient access to affordable and effective treatments, and encourage innovations that address significant needs in health care. [...]



Models and Strategies to Integrate Palliative Care Principles into Care for People with Serious Illness: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-03-02T07:42:53-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

Palliative care is the interdisciplinary specialty focused on improving quality of life for people with serious illness and their families. This interdisciplinary care is provided by doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains and others who work together with the patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Such care is appropriate for people at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment to address clinical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual concerns of the patient and their family. To better understand how the principles of palliative care can be integrated into the overall provision of care and services to those facing serious illness, the Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness held a public workshop in April 2017. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency

2018-02-26T18:11:27-05:00

Prepublication Now Available TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) has released a pre-publication, non-edited version of Research Report 197: Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. The report explores the development of two practical tools for improving sustainability at transit agencies: The Sustainability Routemap: An interactive PDF, similar to a website, that guides the user to improve a transit agency’s sustainability program through application of change management principles, best practice examples, and references to online tools. The S+ROI Calculator: An Excel workbook that quantitatively evaluates potential sustainability projects in terms of financial, social, and environmental returns. The tools are available through downloading a .zip file. This project aims to build on existing knowledge and tools addressing transit sustainability through simplifying, translating, and implementing existing knowledge in new ways. Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages. [Read the full report] Topics: Transportation [...]



Bridge Superstructure Tolerance to Total and Differential Foundation Movements

2018-02-26T18:05:21-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Highway Cooperative Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 245: Bridge Superstructure Tolerance to Total and Differential Foundation Movements develops an understanding of the levels of support movements that bridges may tolerate before exceeding strength or service limit states. This research explores analytical procedures to objectively determine the acceptable levels of bridge foundation movements based upon superstructure tolerance considering American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) strength and service limit states (Phase II). The report also proposes revisions to the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications that provide rational guidance for foundation movement limits that shall include vertical and rotational movements (Phase III and IV).

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks: 2017 Letter Report

2018-03-05T09:46:22-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

This is the fifth, and final, in a series of letter reports that provide an independent review of the more than 30 evidence reports that NASA has compiled on human health risks for long-duration and exploration spaceflights. This letter report reviews five evidence reports and examines the quality of the evidence, analysis, and overall construction of each report; identifies existing gaps in report content; and provides suggestions for additional sources of expert input.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Review of Report and Approach to Evaluating Long-Term Health Effects in Army Test Subjects: Interim Report

2018-02-27T12:57:37-05:00

Final Book Now Available Between 1942 and 1975, the U.S. Army conducted tests with human subjects to study the effects of a variety of agents, including chemical warfare and biological agents. The potential long-term health effects on the test subjects from their exposures have been evaluated periodically, most recently in a report titled Assessment of Potential Long-Term Health Effects on Army Human Test Subjects of Relevant Biological and Chemical Agents, Drugs, Medications and Substances: Literature Review and Analysis (the Report), which was prepared by a contractor to assist the Army with making determinations about providing medical care to former test subjects. In response to a request by the Army, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine formed a committee that was tasked with examining whether the Report appropriately identified potential long-term health effects from exposure to the test agents and whether an adequate weight-of-evidence approach was used to characterize the strength of the associations between the agents and their potential health effects. The committee was made aware at its first meeting on November 30, 2017, that the Army had already begun to receive applications for medical care and that some determinations may need to be made before the committee’s evaluation of the Report was completed. Because of this urgency, the Army developed a process by which applications for medical care will be reviewed, and as a result, the committee was given the additional task of reviewing the Army’s Memorandum that describes the approach that will be used by the Army to evaluate agent- and outcome-specific associations. This interim report was prepared to facilitate the Army’s deliberations. A review of the Report is presented first, followed by a review of the Memorandum. [Read the full report] Topics: Health and Medicine [...]



Proactive Policing: Effects on Crime and Communities

2018-02-26T14:15:15-05:00

Final Book Now Available Proactive policing, as a strategic approach used by police agencies to prevent crime, is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. It developed from a crisis in confidence in policing that began to emerge in the 1960s because of social unrest, rising crime rates, and growing skepticism regarding the effectiveness of standard approaches to policing. In response, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, innovative police practices and policies that took a more proactive approach began to develop. This report uses the term “proactive policing” to refer to all policing strategies that have as one of their goals the prevention or reduction of crime and disorder and that are not reactive in terms of focusing primarily on uncovering ongoing crime or on investigating or responding to crimes once they have occurred. Proactive policing is distinguished from the everyday decisions of police officers to be proactive in specific situations and instead refers to a strategic decision by police agencies to use proactive police responses in a programmatic way to reduce crime. Today, proactive policing strategies are used widely in the United States. They are not isolated programs used by a select group of agencies but rather a set of ideas that have spread across the landscape of policing. Proactive Policing reviews the evidence and discusses the data and methodological gaps on: (1) the effects of different forms of proactive policing on crime; (2) whether they are applied in a discriminatory manner; (3) whether they are being used in a legal fashion; and (4) community reaction. This report offers a comprehensive evaluation of proactive policing that includes not only its crime prevention impacts but also its broader implications for justice and U.S. communities. [Read the full report] Topics: Behavioral and Social Sciences [...]



Airport Operator Options for Delivery of FBO Services

2018-02-22T18:20:29-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 86: Airport Operator Options for Delivery of FBO Services explores the local considerations that go into deciding how fixed base operator (FBO) airports provide fueling, flight continuation services, maintenance, and concierge services. This synthesis also explores the tools that airports use to evaluate which options work best for airports. Broadly speaking, an airport sponsor can deliver FBO services with traditional third-party leases or by engaging a contract manager, or the airport can self-operate the FBO. Decisions about which model is appropriate hinge on an evaluation of an airport’s unique local economic conditions, the details about the area’s general aviation market, and the level of interest private FBOs express about operating at a particular airport.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education

2018-02-22T10:45:12-05:00

Prepublication Now Available High-quality early care and education for children from birth to kindergarten entry is critical to positive child development and has the potential to generate economic returns, which benefit not only children and their families but society at large. Despite the great promise of early care and education, it has been financed in such a way that high-quality early care and education have only been available to a fraction of the families needing and desiring it and does little to further develop the early-care-and-education (ECE) workforce. It is neither sustainable nor adequate to provide the quality of care and learning that children and families need—a shortfall that further perpetuates and drives inequality. Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education outlines a framework for a funding strategy that will provide reliable, accessible high-quality early care and education for young children from birth to kindergarten entry, including a highly qualified and adequately compensated workforce that is consistent with the vision outlined in the 2015 report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. The recommendations of this report are based on essential features of child development and early learning, and on principles for high-quality professional practice at the levels of individual practitioners, practice environments, leadership, systems, policies, and resource allocation. [Read the full report] Topics: Behavioral and Social Sciences | Education [...]



2017-2018 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory: Interim Report

2018-02-21T10:45:13-05:00

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Prepublication Now Available

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (ARLTAB) provides biennial assessments of the scientific and technical quality of the research, development, and analysis programs at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), focusing on ballistics sciences, human sciences, information sciences, materials sciences, and mechanical sciences. This interim report summarizes the findings of the ARLTAB for the first year of this biennial assessment; the current report addresses approximately half the portfolio for each campaign; the remainder will be assessed in 2018.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Conflict and Security Issues


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Optimal Replacement Cycles of Highway Operations Equipment

2018-02-20T11:25:51-05:00

Prepublication Now Available TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) has released a pre-publication, non-edited version of Research Report 879: Optimal Replacement Cycles of Highway Operations Equipment. The report serves as a handbook on equipment replacement concepts and an instruction manual for making cost-effective replacement decisions. The research report presents a process for determining replacement needs for highway operations equipment, identifying candidate equipment units for replacement, and preparing an annual equipment replacement program. The products include a guide document and an Excel-based replacement optimization tool to support the equipment replacement process and facilitate its implementation. Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages. [Read the full report] Topics: Transportation [...]



Recommended AASHTO Guide Specifications for ABC Design and Construction

2018-02-15T23:27:21-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 242: Recommended AASHTO Guide Specifications for ABC Design and Construction documents the results of a synthesis of past research regarding Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC), leading to the development of Guide Specifications for Accelerated Bridge Construction. Part 1 of the report includes Design Specifications for ABC. Part 2 includes construction specifications. All current ABC technologies are covered in the specifications. The outline of the specifications lends itself to the addition of future technologies, should they arise.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Biomarkers of Neuroinflammation: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-02-20T12:34:49-05:00

Final Book Now Available Neuroinflammation is a burgeoning area of interest in academia and biopharma, with a broadly acknowledged role in many central nervous system (CNS) disorders. However, there is little agreement on the pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie the manifestations of neuroinflammation in the CNS compartment and how neuroinflammation operates as a driver and also as a consequence of disease in the brain. Moreover, another unclear area is how to translate increased understanding of the mechanisms that underlie neuroinflammation and its manifestations in the CNS to therapeutics. To address these gaps in understanding mechanisms and how to translate that understanding into therapeutics, the Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop on March 20-21, 2017, bringing together key leaders in the field from industry, academia, and governmental agencies to explore the role and mechanisms of neuroinflammation in a variety of CNS diseases. The workshop also considered strategies to advance the identification and validation of biomarkers of neuroinflammation that could accelerate development of therapies, bringing much-needed treatments to patients with disorders ranging from neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) to neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop. [Read the full report] Topics: Health and Medicine [...]



Decrypting the Encryption Debate: A Framework for Decision Makers

2018-02-15T15:02:53-05:00

Prepublication Now Available Encryption protects information stored on smartphones, laptops, and other devices - in some cases by default. Encrypted communications are provided by widely used computing devices and services - such as smartphones, laptops, and messaging applications - that are used by hundreds of millions of users. Individuals, organizations, and governments rely on encryption to counter threats from a wide range of actors, including unsophisticated and sophisticated criminals, foreign intelligence agencies, and repressive governments. Encryption on its own does not solve the challenge of providing effective security for data and systems, but it is an important tool. At the same time, encryption is relied on by criminals to avoid investigation and prosecution, including criminals who may unknowingly benefit from default settings as well as those who deliberately use encryption. Thus, encryption complicates law enforcement and intelligence investigations. When communications are encrypted "end-to-end," intercepted messages cannot be understood. When a smartphone is locked and encrypted, the contents cannot be read if the phone is seized by investigators. Decrypting the Encryption Debate reviews how encryption is used, including its applications to cybersecurity; its role in protecting privacy and civil liberties; the needs of law enforcement and the intelligence community for information; technical and policy options for accessing plaintext; and the international landscape. This book describes the context in which decisions about providing authorized government agencies access to the plaintext version of encrypted information would be made and identifies and characterizes possible mechanisms and alternative means of obtaining information. [Read the full report] Topics: Computers and Information Technology [...]



Safely Transporting Hazardous Liquids and Gases in a Changing U.S. Energy Landscape

2018-04-03T14:08:17-04:00

Final Book Now Available TRB's Special Report 325: Safely Transporting Hazardous Liquids and Gases in a Changing U.S. Energy Landscape reviews how the pipeline, rail, and barge industries have fared in safely transporting the increased volumes of domestically produced energy liquids and gases. The report, sponsored by TRB, reviews the safety record of the three transportation modes in moving these hazardous shipments and discusses key aspects of each mode’s safety assurance system.The report urges the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to further the development of increasingly robust safety assurance systems that will ensure more timely and effective responses to future safety challenges. The recommendations include advice on traffic and safety data reporting, industry and local community consultation, and the creation of risk metrics. The Federal Railroad Administration is urged to enable and incentivize more frequent and comprehensive inspections of rail routes that are used regularly by trains transporting large volumes of flammable liquids.Accompanying the report is a two-page document highlighting the report's findings and recommendations. This report is currently in prepublication format and available online only. [Read the full report] Topics: Transportation [...]



Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies

2017-12-05T18:29:36-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 194: Knowledge Management Resource to Support Strategic Workforce Development for Transit Agencies explores the importance of knowledge management (KM), which is an organization’s process for collecting, storing, and sharing organizational information and knowledge, and provides guidance on implementing KM strategies in transit agencies. In addition, the guidance includes action plans for developing particular aspects of KM, analysis of KM strategies at several transit agencies, and a catalog of KM technology tools and resources.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Examining Challenges and Possible Strategies to Strengthen U.S. Health Security: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-02-15T15:49:30-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

As the United States continues to adapt to a more digital, mobile, and interconnected world, health care and public health professionals have sought to better prepare for and respond to long-standing and emerging threats to the nation’s health security. Health security is the collective effort to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the health consequences of natural, man-made, and technological disasters. Although substantial progress has been made in the past 15 years toward improving health care and public health systems and capacities for health security threats, many complex challenges persist, and often the nation’s preparedness efforts are not sufficient.

On March 8–9, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies hosted a two-day public workshop to acknowledge these persistent issues; to evaluate past, and perhaps inadequate, approaches to addressing them; and to discuss intentional and innovative new solutions. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine | Conflict and Security Issues


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The Drug Development Paradigm in Oncology: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-02-12T13:31:18-05:00

Final Book Now Available Advances in cancer research have led to an improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the development of cancer and how the immune system responds to cancer. This influx of research has led to an increasing number and variety of therapies in the drug development pipeline, including targeted therapies and associated biomarker tests that can select which patients are most likely to respond, and immunotherapies that harness the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells. Compared with standard chemotherapies, these new cancer therapies may demonstrate evidence of benefit and clearer distinctions between efficacy and toxicity at an earlier stage of development. However, there is a concern that the traditional processes for cancer drug development, evaluation, and regulatory approval could impede or delay the use of these promising cancer treatments in clinical practice. This has led to a number of efforts—by patient advocates, the pharmaceutical industry, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—to accelerate the review of promising new cancer therapies, especially for cancers that currently lack effective treatments. However, generating the necessary data to confirm safety and efficacy during expedited drug development programs can present a unique set of challenges and opportunities. To explore this new landscape in cancer drug development, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine developed a workshop held in December 2016. This workshop convened cancer researchers, patient advocates, and representatives from industry, academia, and government to discuss challenges with traditional approaches to drug development, opportunities to improve the efficiency of drug dev[...]



Opportunities and Approaches for Supplying Molybdenum-99 and Associated Medical Isotopes to Global Markets: Proceedings of a Symposium

2018-02-07T10:45:07-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

Participants of the July 17-18, 2017, symposium titled Opportunities and Approaches for Supplying Molybdenum-99 and Associated Medical Isotopes to Global Markets examined current trends in molybdenum-99 production, prospects for new global supplies, and technical, economic, regulatory, and other considerations for supplying molybdenum-99 to global markets. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the symposium.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine | Policy for Science and Technology


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Designing Safety Regulations for High-Hazard Industries

2018-03-01T16:18:20-05:00

Final Book Now Available TRB Special Report 324: Designing Safety Regulations for High-Hazard Industries, examines key factors relevant to government safety regulators when choosing among regulatory design types, particularly for preventing low-frequency, high consequence events. In such contexts, safety regulations are often scrutinized after an incident, but their effectiveness can be inherently difficult to assess when their main purpose is to reduce catastrophic failures that are rare to begin with. Nevertheless, regulators of high-hazard industries must have reasoned basis for making their regulatory design choices.Asked to compare the advantages and disadvantages of so-called “prescriptive” and “performance-based” regulatory designs, the study committee explains how these labels are often used in an inconsistent and misleading manner that can obfuscate regulatory choices and hinder the ability of regulators to justify their choices. The report focuses instead on whether a regulation requires the use of a means or the attainment of some ends—and whether it targets individual components of a larger problem (micro-level) or directs attention to that larger problem itself (macro-level). On the basis of these salient features of any regulation, four main types of regulatory design are identified, and the rationale for and challenges associated with each are examined under different high-hazard applications.Informed by academic research and by insights from case studies of the regulatory regimes of four countries governing two high-hazard industries, the report concludes that too much emphasis is placed on simplistic lists of generic advantages and disadvantages of regulatory[...]



The Frontiers of Machine Learning: 2017 Raymond and Beverly Sackler U.S.-U.K. Scientific Forum

2018-02-09T08:34:56-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

The field of machine learning continues to advance at a rapid pace owing to increased computing power, better algorithms and tools, and greater availability of data. Machine learning is now being used in a range of applications, including transportation and developing automated vehicles, healthcare and understanding the genetic basis of disease, and criminal justice and predicting recidivism. As the technology advances, it promises additional applications that can contribute to individual and societal well-being.

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler U.S.-U.K. Scientific Forum “The Frontiers
 of Machine Learning” took place on January 31 and February 1, 2017, at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Participants included industry leaders, machine learning researchers, and experts in privacy and the law, and this report summarizes their high-level interdisciplinary discussions.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Engineering and Technology


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Incorporating Weight Management and Physical Activity Throughout the Cancer Care Continuum: Proceedings of a Workshop

2018-02-12T07:21:22-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

The National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a public workshop, Incorporating Weight Management and Physical Activity Throughout the Cancer Care Continuum, on February 13 and 14, 2017, in Washington, DC. The purpose of this workshop was to highlight the current evidence base, gaps in knowledge, and research needs on the associations among obesity, physical activity, weight management, and health outcomes for cancer survivors, as well as to examine the effectiveness of interventions for promoting physical activity and weight management among people living with or beyond cancer. Workshop sessions also reviewed the opportunities and challenges for providing weight management and physical activity interventions to cancer survivors. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Health and Medicine


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Field Performance of Corrugated Pipe Manufactured with Recycled Polyethylene Content

2017-10-23T15:29:57-04:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 870: Field Performance of Corrugated Pipe Manufactured with Recycled Polyethylene Content explores the use of corrugated high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe manufactured with recycled content and proposes guidelines for manufacturing these pipes to ensure they meet the service life requirements for the given application. This project expounded on the research published in NCHRP Report 696. The research consisted of manufacturing several large diameter corrugated HDPE pipes out of various blends of virgin and post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials commonly used in land drainage applications and evaluating these pipes in the field and laboratory to determine their service life in typical installed conditions. PCR materials were the focus of this project as they are more readily available and typically used in the corrugated HDPE pipe industry than post industrial recycled materials. However, the research is applicable to both types.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Analysis of Work Zone Crash Characteristics and Countermeasures

2018-02-01T15:25:42-05:00

Final Book Now Available TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 240: Analysis of Work Zone Crash Characteristics and Countermeasures documents the research results of multiple analyses focused on developing an improved understanding of work zone crash characteristics and countermeasure effectiveness used to produce NCHRP Research Report 869: Estimating the Safety Effects of Work Zone Characteristics and Countermeasures: A Guidebook. The guidebook provides practitioners who develop phasing and staging plans for temporary traffic control through work zones with guidance to evaluate the safety impacts of their plan decisions. There is limited data on work zone crashes and fatalities that address trends, causality, and the best use of resources to improve work zone safety. This guidebook provides clearer guidance to encourage the use of data-driven, comprehensive, collaborative planning approaches for the selection and implementation of effective countermeasures to improve work zone safety. [Read the full report] Topics: Transportation [...]



Testing at the Speed of Light: The State of U.S. Electronic Parts Radiation Testing Infrastructure

2018-02-01T10:45:08-05:00

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Prepublication Now Available

Spacecraft depend on electronic components that must perform reliably over missions measured in years and decades. Space radiation is a primary source of degradation, reliability issues, and potentially failure for these electronic components. Although simulation and modeling are valuable for understanding the radiation risk to microelectronics, there is no substitute for testing, and an increased use of commercial-off-the- shelf parts in spacecraft may actually increase requirements for testing, as opposed to simulation and modeling.

Testing at the Speed of Light evaluates the nation’s current capabilities and future needs for testing the effects of space radiation on microelectronics to ensure mission success and makes recommendations on how to provide effective stewardship of the necessary radiation test infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Math, Chemistry, and Physics | Engineering and Technology


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Opportunities in Intense Ultrafast Lasers: Reaching for the Brightest Light

2018-02-01T07:43:01-05:00

Final Book Now Available The laser has revolutionized many areas of science and society, providing bright and versatile light sources that transform the ways we investigate science and enables trillions of dollars of commerce. Now a second laser revolution is underway with pulsed petawatt-class lasers (1 petawatt: 1 million billion watts) that deliver nearly 100 times the total world’s power concentrated into a pulse that lasts less than one-trillionth of a second. Such light sources create unique, extreme laboratory conditions that can accelerate and collide intense beams of elementary particles, drive nuclear reactions, heat matter to conditions found in stars, or even create matter out of the empty vacuum. These powerful lasers came largely from U.S. engineering, and the science and technology opportunities they enable were discussed in several previous National Academies’ reports. Based on these advances, the principal research funding agencies in Europe and Asia began in the last decade to invest heavily in new facilities that will employ these high-intensity lasers for fundamental and applied science. No similar programs exist in the United States. Opportunities in Intense Ultrafast Lasers assesses the opportunities and recommends a path forward for possible U.S. investments in this area of science. [Read the full report] Topics: Math, Chemistry, and Physics [...]



Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition

2018-01-30T14:45:25-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 812: Signal Timing Manual - Second Edition, covers fundamentals and advanced concepts related to signal timing. The report addresses ways to develop a signal timing program based on the operating environment, users, user priorities by movement, and local operational objectives.

Advanced concepts covered in the report include the systems engineering process, adaptive signal control, preferential vehicle treatments, and timing strategies for over-saturated conditions, special events, and inclement weather.

An overview PowerPoint presentation accompanies the report.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Return on Investment in Transportation Asset Management Systems and Practices

2018-01-29T18:27:36-05:00

Final Book Now Available TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 866: Return on Investment in Transportation Asset Management Systems and Practices explores how transportation agencies manage their transportation assets, and provides guidance for evaluating the return on investment for adopting or expanding transportation asset management systems in an agency. As the term is most generally used, transportation asset management (TAM) entails the activities a transportation agency undertakes to develop and maintain the system of facilities and equipment—physical assets such as pavements, bridges, signs, signals, and the like—for which it is responsible. Based on the research team’s work and the experiences of these agencies and others, the researchers describe a methodology that an agency may use to assess their own experience and to plan their investments in TAM system development or acquisition. A spreadsheet accompanies the research report helps agencies evaluate the return-on-investment of TAM systems.The tool allows users to summarize data from various simulation tools. The calculator also includes factors and procedures from the Highway Economic Requirements System State Version (HERS-ST) to estimate user benefits for pavement projects. It does not estimate user benefits for bridge projects. This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance wil[...]



Long-Term Infrastructure Program Letter Report: January 23, 2018

2018-01-29T13:15:41-05:00

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Final Book Now Available

TRB's Committee for the Review of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Infrastructure R&D Program has issued its first Long-Term Infrastructure Program (LTIP) letter report. The first meeting was structured around a series of briefings on the two components of the LTIP: the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program and the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) program. The charge to the committee is to “advise the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Infrastructure R&D Program regarding priorities in terms of the technical tools and products that state departments of transportation need to maintain and improve the performance of their pavements, bridges, and other structures.” The committee was established to provide an ongoing review of the LTIP based on annual meetings with FHWA staff and stakeholders. The committee will issue an annual letter report with its recommendations on priorities for the LTIP.

[Read the full report]

Topics: Transportation


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Environmental Chemicals, the Human Microbiome, and Health Risk: A Research Strategy

2018-01-30T07:59:45-05:00

Final Book Now Available A great number of diverse microorganisms inhabit the human body and are collectively referred to as the human microbiome. Until recently, the role of the human microbiome in maintaining human health was not fully appreciated. Today, however, research is beginning to elucidate associations between perturbations in the human microbiome and human disease and the factors that might be responsible for the perturbations. Studies have indicated that the human microbiome could be affected by environmental chemicals or could modulate exposure to environmental chemicals. Environmental Chemicals, the Human Microbiome, and Health Risk presents a research strategy to improve our understanding of the interactions between environmental chemicals and the human microbiome and the implications of those interactions for human health risk. This report identifies barriers to such research and opportunities for collaboration, highlights key aspects of the human microbiome and its relation to health, describes potential interactions between environmental chemicals and the human microbiome, reviews the risk-assessment framework and reasons for incorporating chemical–microbiome interactions. [Read the full report] Topics: Environment and Environmental Studies [...]



Estimating the Safety Effects of Work Zone Characteristics and Countermeasures: A Guidebook

2018-01-24T16:20:33-05:00

Final Book Now Available TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 869: Estimating the Safety Effects of Work Zone Characteristics and Countermeasures: A Guidebook provides practitioners who develop phasing and staging plans for temporary traffic control through work zones with guidance to evaluate the safety impacts of their plan decisions. There is limited data on work zone crashes and fatalities that address trends, causality, and the best use of resources to improve work zone safety. This guidebook provides clearer guidance to encourage the use of a data-driven, comprehensive, collaborative planning approaches for the selection and implementation of effective countermeasures to improve work zone safety. Accompanying the report, NCHRP Web-Only Document 240: Analysis of Work Zone Crash Characteristics and Countermeasures documents the research results of multiple analyses focused on developing an improved understanding of work zone crash characteristics and countermeasure effectiveness. [Read the full report] Topics: Transportation [...]



Development and Management of Sustainable Enterprise Information Portals

2018-01-23T11:40:52-05:00

Final Book Now Available TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web Only Document 241: Development and Management of Sustainable Enterprise Information Portals documents the research approach and methodology to develop NCHRP Research Report 865: Guidance for Development and Management of Sustainable Enterprise Information Portals. The guidance addresses the development and management of effective Enterprise Information Portals (EIPs) at state departments of transportation. EIPs have become key tools for transportation agencies as they make available information about the transportation system and the agency’s activities. Such EIPs must be curated; that is, there are people responsible for establishing the portal architecture, ensuring the quality of information and data, and maintaining the reliability of access. The report is intended to enhance agency personnel’s understanding of the value, uses, design, and maintenance of EIPs, and the design principles, management practices, and performance characteristics that will ensure that a DOT’s EIPs effectively and sustainably serve its users and the agency’s mission. A PowerPoint presentation on enterprise information portals (EIPs) for transportation agencies supplements the report. Use case diagrams referenced in the report are available in Visio format through a zip file. This software [...]



Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes

2018-01-23T10:45:20-05:00

Prepublication Now Available Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes. Despite their popularity, little is known about their health effects. Some suggest that e-cigarettes likely confer lower risk compared to combustible tobacco cigarettes, because they do not expose users to toxicants produced through combustion. Proponents of e-cigarette use also tout the potential benefits of e-cigarettes as devices that could help combustible tobacco cigarette smokers to quit and thereby reduce tobacco-related health risks. Others are concerned about the exposure to potentially toxic substances contained in e-cigarette emissions, especially in individuals who have never used tobacco products such as youth and young adults. Given their relatively recent introduction, there has been little time for a scientific body of evidence to develop on the health effects of e-cigarettes. Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes reviews and critically assesses the state of the emerging evidence about e-cigarettes and health. This report makes recommendations for the improvement of this research and highlights gaps that are a priority for future research. [Read the full report] Topics: Health and Medicine [...]