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USGS Western Region

U.S. Geological Survey
Circular 1290

USGS Science in Menlo Park—A Science Strategy for the U.S. Geological Survey Menlo Park Science Center, 2005-2015

By Thomas M. Brocher, Michael D. Carr, David L. Halsing, David A. John, Victoria E. Langenheim, Margaret T. Mangan, Mark C. Marvin-DiPasquale, John Y. Takekawa, and Claire R. Tiedeman


cover showing oblique map and five photos:  lab worker, marine sampler, microscope user, helicopter-assisted field worker, and drill rig

In the spring of 2004, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Menlo Park Center Council commissioned an interdisciplinary working group to develop a forward-looking science strategy for the USGS Menlo Park Science Center in California (hereafter also referred to as "the Center"). The Center has been the flagship research center for the USGS in the western United States for more than 50 years, and the Council recognizes that science priorities must be the primary consideration guiding critical decisions made about the future evolution of the Center. In developing this strategy, the working group consulted widely within the USGS and with external clients and collaborators, so that most stakeholders had an opportunity to influence the science goals and operational objectives.

The Science Goals are to:

  • Natural Hazards: Conduct natural-hazard research and assessments critical to effective mitigation planning, short-term forecasting, and event response.
  • Ecosystem Change: Develop a predictive understanding of ecosystem change that advances ecosystem restoration and adaptive management.
  • Natural Resources: Advance the understanding of natural resources in a geologic, hydrologic, economic, environmental, and global context.
  • Modeling Earth System Processes: Increase and improve capabilities for quantitative simulation, prediction, and assessment of Earth system processes.

The strategy presents seven key Operational Objectives with specific actions to achieve the scientific goals. These Operational Objectives are to:

  • Provide a hub for technology, laboratories, and library services to support science in the Western Region.
  • Increase advanced computing capabilities and promote sharing of these resources.
  • Enhance the intellectual diversity, vibrancy, and capacity of the work force through improved recruitment and retention.
  • Strengthen client and collaborative relationships in the community at an institutional level.
  • Expand monitoring capability by increasing density, sensitivity, and efficiency and reducing costs of instruments and networks.
  • Encourage a breadth of scientific capabilities in Menlo Park to foster interdisciplinary science.
  • Communicate USGS science to a diverse audience.

Download Circular 1290 as a 50-page PDF file (4.5 MB)

For questions about the content of this report, contact Michael D. Carr

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Maintained by: Michael Diggles
Created: March 3, 2006
Last modified: June 24, 2008 (mfd)