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Special Reports

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Snow Let It Snow! The Science of Winter
Snow -- that icon of winter -- blankets the land with a beautiful silence. We all depend on snow. Our year-round water supply largely comes from snowmelt, and many spring flowers need the nutrients in snow to bloom. Species as small as fungi and as large as moose require snow.
Date Updated: January 13, 2016
Cybersecurity: Tech, tools and training to safegua Cybersecurity: Tech, tools and training to safeguard the future
Cybersecurity is one of the defining issues of our time. Cutting-edge, NSF-supported social and technical research -- as well as education and workforce development programs--are helping protect our national, and personal, security.
Date Updated: October 30, 2015
NSF logo Public Access to Results of NSF-funded Research
The National Science Foundation has developed a plan outlining a framework for activities to increase public access to scientific publications and digital scientific data resulting from research the foundation funds.
Date Updated: October 8, 2015
Fireman against a wildfire When Nature Strikes: Science of Natural Hazards
A 10-part video series spotlighting the fundamental scientific research NSF funds to improve predictability and risk assessment and reduce the impact of catastrophic events.
Date Updated: September 29, 2015
laser beam Height of light: Progress in lasers and other light sources
Lasers have long energized our imaginations, bringing us light sabers and holodecks. In reality, light-based technologies, based on basic properties, materials and designs, enable our modern lifestyles.
Date Updated: June 18, 2015
3-D view of stained hippocampus Understanding the Brain
NSF aims to enable scientific understanding of the full complexity of the brain, in action and in context, through targeted, cross-disciplinary investments in research, technology and workforce development. Learn about NSF’s cross-foundational activities in brain research including the BRAIN Initiative.
Date Updated: June 9, 2015
Beyond Today's Internet Beyond Today's Internet
By investing in future Internet architectures, networking protocols and applications, and communities of researchers, NSF continues to advance the capabilities afforded by the Internet.
Date Updated: March 25, 2015
Lifepreserver icon Life savers: Resilient designs to weather hazards
Disasters don't have to be disastrous. Engineering advances enable buildings and infrastructure to better withstand any size of natural, technological or malicious hazard.
Date Updated: February 3, 2015
Broader impacts special report Broader impacts: Improving society
Scientific progress comes in all shapes and sizes. Disparate fields, researchers and methods united by one thing: potential. Every NSF grant has the potential to advance knowledge and benefit society--what we call broader impacts.
Date Updated: November 12, 2014
Cyber-physical systems Cyber-physical systems: Enabling a smart and connected world
Cyber-physical systems integrate sensing, computation, control and networking into physical objects and infrastructure, connecting them to the Internet and to each other. NSF is a leader in supporting advances in the fundamental knowledge and tools to make cyber-physical systems a reality.
Date Updated: November 6, 2014
Ecology of Infectious Diseases Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases
West Nile virus. Hantavirus. Lyme disease. Infectious diseases are spreading in animals and humans. Is our interaction with the environment somehow responsible?
Date Updated: October 6, 2014
Illustration of a plant High-tech harvest: Engineering agriculture's future
Droughts, floods and pests test the resilience of our agricultural systems as demand for a cheap, reliable food supply grows. Engineers continue to provide new tools to raise agricultural production and efficiency.
Date Updated: September 23, 2014
Robotic hand Brain power: Bright ideas and smart tools for neuroengineering
Engineers work to understand and harness the power of the brain. Explore how neurotechnologies are becoming a seamless part of daily life.
Date Updated: April 24, 2014
Silouhette of person and telescope Comet ISON Challenge
Around the world, astronomy enthusiasts and the public will be buzzing with anticipation over the approach of Comet ISON. NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences, along with Astronomy and Discover magazines, is holding a unique contest centered on capturing images of the comet.
Date Updated: April 14, 2014
National Medal of Science National Medal of Science 50th Anniversary
This special NSF website celebrates the golden anniversary of the highest honor bestowed upon American scientists and engineers by the president of the United States.
Date Updated: February 14, 2014
Science and engineering of 2014 winter olympics Science and engineering of the Olympic Winter Games 2014
A collaboration between NSF and NBC Learn, this enlightening 10-part video collection, narrated by NBC Sports' Liam McHugh, delves into the physics, engineering, chemistry, design and mathematics behind the world's foremost sporting event.
Date Updated: January 9, 2014
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