The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has released a ten-year science strategy, “USGS Science in the Decade 2007-2017.” As noted in the executive summary, “This report is the first comprehensive science strategy since the early 1990s to examine major USGS science goals and priorities.” Six tactical guidelines were given in the plan, including the following:
1) Understanding Ecosystems and Predicting Ecosystem Change: Ensuring the Nation’s Economic and Environmental Future;
2) Climate Variability and Change: Clarifying the Record and Assessing Consequences;
3) Energy and Minerals for America’s Future: Providing a Scientific Foundation for Resource Security, Environmental Health, Economic Vitality, and Land Management;
4) A National Hazards, Risk, and Resilience Assessment Program: Ensuring the Long-Term Health and Wealth of the Nation;
5) The Role of Environment and Wildlife in Human Health: A System that Identifies Environmental Risk to Public Health in America; and,
6) A Water Census of the United States: Quantifying, Forecasting, and Securing Freshwater for America’s Future.
The USGS plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the public against natural hazards and providing the science needed to manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources and defend public health from contamination, pollution, and emerging diseases. With the potential for increased natural hazards due to climate change, it is fundamental that the USGS be adaptive in their approaches to providing scientific data for policy makers, resource managers, and the public at large. The USGS Science in the Decade 2007–2017 is available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/2007/1309/.
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