USGS identifier

Operational Objectives

Objective 4--Promote vitality and flexibility of the scientific staff

A highly flexible, adaptive, and multidisciplinary GD work force will be required to respond to new earth science issues, to continue development of quality scientific products, and to ensure their timely dissemination. It is critical for the GD to maintain, expand, or develop through partnerships, certain core capabilities that will allow achievement of this objective. Many of these capabilities are currently available within the GD, such as geologic mapping of surficial and subsurface deposits, geochronology with emphasis on the recent geologic history, geophysical surveying, sedimentary basin analysis, remote sensing, and GIS incorporating three-dimensional visualization methods. However, there is a need for development in several fields not traditionally found in the GD, such as microbiology, biochemistry, economics, and soil science. The GD will determine the best method for acquiring these new core capabilities: by developing them within the GD, by forming partnerships with others outside the GD, or by obtaining services from contractors.

Strategic Actions

Strive for a diverse and balanced workforce to ensure programmatic and fiscal flexibility.
The GD will use an appropriate mix of permanent, short-term, and temporary staff. Permanent scientific position vacancies will be filled through well-advertised national searches.

Create a formal postdoctoral program.
Such a program will bring scientists with recent training into the GD on 2- to 4-year rotations. Much of the work conducted by postdoctoral staff will focus on interdisciplinary, cross-programmatic projects. Twenty positions will be created during fiscal year 1999, and these positions could eventually constitute 15 to 20 percent of the GD research staff.

Maintain scientific leadership and develop the skills required to cross discipline boundaries.
The GD will make training available for permanent research staff members so that they can pursue interdisciplinary opportunities as outlined in the science goals.

Maintain an appropriate balance of research and support staff.
This balance will help improve the efficiency of GD science and operational activities.

Create a scientist exchange program.
The GD will provide the mechanism and the funding to allow scientists from industry, academia, and other Federal, State, and local government agencies to spend time working on GD projects and training GD employees. Reciprocal opportunities for GD staff will also be arranged.

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Last updated 04.08.98