Who We Are & What We Do

The National Academy of Sciences is a non-governmental, non-profit organization chartered by the US Congress in 1863 at the request of President Lincoln. The Academy has two missions: to honor the nation’s top scientists, engineers, and health professionals with membership, and to serve the nation with independent, expert advice. The Division on Earth & Life Studies is one of six subject area divisions that enlist the nation's top experts to respond to requests for advice from the Federal Government, states, and some foundations.

The division has 13 program units (boards) that undertake a wide-range of activities, including convening experts to share their individual views in meetings and workshops. However, it is the Academy’s reports that represent the most authoritative source of scientific and technical information for the nation. The division produces about 60-70 of these reports each year.