The Biden administration has tapped scientist Allison Crimmins from the Environmental Protection Agency to guide the U.S. government’s next authoritative report on the consequences of climate change.

The report, known as the National Climate Assessment, may take on unsurpassed importance in the Biden administration, which has made climate change a top priority. Due out by the end of 2023, it is a congressionally mandated effort intended to support federal climate policy and inform and engage every American affected by rising temperatures and their effects.

The last report, published in 2018, detailed the potentially dire consequences should the country take little action to cut emissions and prepare for climate change, including more intense droughts and heat waves. Crimmins, who spent the past decade at the EPA, takes the helm as the assessment director at the same time such effects are ravaging the west.

“It’s becoming increasingly obvious that climate change isn’t something that’s happening far off in the future or somewhere far away to someone else. It’s here now and happening to us,” Crimmins said in an interview. “As we head into uncharted territory, I think of the National Climate Assessment as an atlas to help move us forward.”

Crimmins stressed that she is committed to make this assessment, the fifth edition, the best yet so that it’s both “useful and usable” for many different audiences, whether a water resource manager, a public health official or business owner. “We’re looking for ways to make the report interactive so that people can access the information they need or the information they most care about,” she said.

Crimmins will be responsible for guiding an effort that draws together the research and findings of the 13 federal agencies participating in the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the entity charged with producing the report, while also bringing in outside experts.

“I am committed to this idea of democratization of access to climate data and information,” she said. “I think we get there by convening a lot of voices from across a broad range of expertise and experience to contribute.”