ARLINGTON, VA—The federal government will make more than $1 billion available for biological and environmental research and development activities in fiscal year 2004, more than a dozen government officials said at an Infocast conference held here on November 20. Research opportunities run the gamut from the very small (molecular structures) to the extremely large (ecosystems), and virtually everything in between.

“Environmental issues are so complex that a single agency cannot handle them all,” said Will Focht, director of the Environmental Institute at Oklahoma State University. “There is a trend, actually an avalanche, moving from 'unidisciplinary' research to what we might describe as 'metadisciplinary' research,” added David Thomassen, program coordinator of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research at the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science. “That is a key development in science and science planning these days.”

At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), environmental and biological research is...

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