To facilitate greater understanding of Environment, Science and Technology (EST) issues and activities, the EST office offers the following notes on information resources available electronically, including U.S., Spanish, and international sites. This material will be periodically updated, and we welcome your comments, including suggestions for additions.
EST Office Mission Statement
Many elements of the U.S. Embassy deal with environment, science and technology in some way. Examples include the Agriculture, Commerce, and Information Sections (representing, respectively, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of State). There is also a representative of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Madrid. The Environment, Science and Technology officer in the Economic Section represents the Department of State, which coordinates U.S. international environment, science and technology (EST) policy. More than two dozen U.S. Government agencies have EST interests and activities, which may involve overseas work, generally conducted through agreements between U.S. agencies and their overseas counterpart. The EST officer helps to facilitate these contacts and to oversee the implementation of EST agreements with the goal of advancing cooperative bilateral work in relevant areas. The U.S. and Spain have a general, government-to-government or framework agreement on cooperation in science and technology (which includes environmental subjects), and a number of individual agencies have established agreements in these areas. Subjects covered by the EST officer include environmental protection and conservation of natural resources, sustainable development, global climate change, ocean sciences and fisheries, nuclear energy, alternative and renewal energy, basic and applied sciences, health sciences and population, and technology.
Science and Technology
U.S. Government Agencies
The U.S. has no Ministry of Science and Technology. Within the executive branch, the White House has an Office of Science and Technology, headed by the President’s Science Adviser. The National Science Foundation (NSF) European Office of the NSF. Biomedical research is not covered by the NSF; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct research and also support outside research on health matters. NIH has a separate center focused on international links, the Fogarty International Center. funds basic sciences, supporting research in universities and other research centers and supports projects involving business enterprises.
Many other U.S. agencies have science and technology interests. Examples include the Department of Energy – particularly, but not only, the National Laboratories such as Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore; the Department of Health and Human Services; the Centers for Disease Control; the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Commerce (National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ); the Department of Agriculture (the Agricultural Research Service), the Department of the Interior (the U.S. Geological Survey, and other agencies as cited under environment). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducts research. Civilian research is done by Department of Defense agencies such as the Office of Naval Research. See also the European Office for ONR which is a metasite for many other research sites.
Non-U.S. and Non-Government Sites
Metasites linking a broad array of resources are available for most fields of science. Also try the search engines, such as Webbcrawler and Yahoo.
Science organizations include the American Association for The Advancement of Science and the Federation of American Scientists; see also the National Academy of Sciences and its Government-University-Industry Roundtable.
On international science support, see NATO Science Programs, the European Commission, and the European Science Foundation.
- Bio on Line (Metasite).
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory
- Internet Chemistry Resources (Metasite)
- Mathematics Archive (Metasite).
Marine Sciences and Law of the Sea
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- National Marine Fisheries Service
- Oceans and Law of the Sea Home Page
- Oceanography on the Net (Scripps Institute of Oceanography)
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Ocean Planet (Smithsonian)
- Paleonet (Metasite).
Several Government ministries maintain research institutions (for example, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has an Institute of Oceanography). Their work is coordinated through the Comision Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnología (CICYT), the Interministerial Committee on Science and Technology, which produces the national R&D plans.
The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the Spanish Council on Scientific Research, under the Ministry of Education and Culture, both funds and conducts research in its 91 institutes and centers.
Take a Break
Environment and Health
United States Government Organizations
At the federal level a key agency is the Environmental Protection Agency. It offers a wide range of publications, most of which are available without charge. Information on ordering also is available at 800-490-9198 in the U.S.; you may send a fax to 513-489-8695 (from Spain, dial 07-1 first).
Information resources for other agencies working on environmental issues include:
- The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs of the Department of State; note the Environmental Diplomacy Report, the first annual report on environment and U.S. foreign policy (available in Spanish and English).
- The Department of the Interior (the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation).
- The Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- The Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management and Office of Health, Safety and Security.
- GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Better the Environment); Internet-based network of schools in more than sixty countries, focused on climate-related studies and observations.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA (Department of Commerce).
- The National Environmental Data Index
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Non-Government Organization and Issues Sites
Environmental Legislation and Treaties
- U.S House of Representatives Internet Law Library (you’ll need to know which bill you are looking for).
- Summary of Environmental Law in North America (site in English, French and Spanish).
- Ministry of the Environment
- Center of Studies and Experimentation of Public Works (CEDEX), an autonomous organization under the Ministerio de Fomento.