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In August 1998, the National Science Board established the Task Force on the Environment within its Committee on Programs and Plans. The Task Force was created to provide guidance to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in defining the scope of its role with respect to environmental research, education, and scientific assessment and in determining the best means of implementing related activities related.
One result of this report was the establishment of the NSF Working Group on Biocomplexity in the Environment, later renamed the Working Group on Environmental Research and Education. This group serves both as an internal advisory group and an investment design team whose primary responsibilities are to provide communication support for the broad ERE Portfolio and to identify areas of opportunity for future investment (e.g., the Biocomplexity in the Environment Initiative). Members are drawn from each NSF directorate as well as from the budget office, the international programs office, and the NSB Task Force on the Environment.