BER’s scientific impact has been transformative. In 1986, the Human Genome Project gave birth to modern biotechnology and genomics-based systems biology. Today, researchers in the BER Genomic Sciences activity and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), as well as in the four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs), are using the powerful tools of plant and microbial systems biology to pursue the innovative early-stage research that will lead to the development of future transformative bio-based products, clean energy, and next generation technologies.

Since the 1950s, BER has been a critical contributor to environmental and Earth system science research in the U.S., beginning with studies of chemical dispersion and atmospheric global circulation—the forerunners of climate models.  Presently, BER research contributes to model development, analysis, diagnostics, and intercomparisons using data from its process level research conducted by large scale experiments and access to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) and Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) user facilities. In the last decade, DOE research has made considerable advances in increasing the predictive capabilities of watershed, regional, and global scale models using applied mathematics and access to the world’s fastest computers.