The Secretary of Commerce, in cooperation with the Secretary of Education, shall request the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the scientific workforce in the areas of oceanic and atmospheric research and development. The study shall investigate—
(1)whether there is a shortage in the number of individuals with advanced degrees in oceanic and atmospheric sciences who have the ability to conduct high quality scientific research in physical and chemical oceanography, meteorology, and atmospheric modeling, and related fields, for government, nonprofit, and private sector entities;
(2)what Federal programs are available to help facilitate the education of students hoping to pursue these degrees;
(3)barriers to transitioning highly qualified oceanic and atmospheric scientists into Federal civil service scientist career tracks;
(4)what institutions of higher education, the private sector, and the Congress could do to increase the number of individuals with such post baccalaureate degrees;
(5)the impact of an aging Federal scientist workforce on the ability of Federal agencies to conduct high quality scientific research; and
(6)what actions the Federal government can take to assist the transition of highly qualified scientists into Federal career scientist positions and ensure that the experiences of retiring Federal scientists are adequately documented and transferred prior to retirement from Federal service.
The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Education shall consult with the heads of other Federal agencies and departments with oceanic and atmospheric expertise or authority in preparing the specifications for the study.
No later than 18 months after January 4, 2011, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Education shall transmit a joint report to each committee of Congress with jurisdiction over the programs described in section
893a(b) of this title, as amended by section 302 of this Act, detailing the findings and recommendations of the study and setting forth a prioritized plan to implement the recommendations.
(d) Program and plan
The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall evaluate the National Academy of Sciences study and develop a workforce program and plan to institutionalize the Administration’s Federal science career pathways and address aging workforce issues. The program and plan shall be developed in consultation with the Administration’s cooperative institutes and other academic partners to identify and implement programs and mechanisms to ensure that—
(1)sufficient highly qualified scientists are able to transition into Federal career scientist positions in the Administration’s laboratories and programs; and
(2)the technical and management experiences of senior employees are documented and transferred before leaving Federal service.
Section 302 of this Act, referred to in subsec. (c), is section 302 ofPub. L. 111–358, which amended section
893a of this title.
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