USGS identifier


In early 1997, the Geologic Division (GD) Policy Council established a team composed of scientists representing the breadth of research expertise in the GD, in other U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) divisions, and in the earth science academic community. The Science Strategy Team, or SST as we became known, was charged with creating "a succinct strategy for the activities of the GD in the first decade of the next century (2000-2010), within the broad outlines of the USGS Strategic Plan." Our objective was to develop a 10-year plan for the GD's scientific activities by anticipating broad national and global scientific issues and needs, identifying promising new research directions to address these needs, and evaluating the implications of these scientific directions on GD staffing.

In developing this science strategy, we reviewed the USGS Strategic Plan, other USGS division plans, draft 5-year plans for USGS programs, recent external reviews of USGS programs, and past recommendations of the GD Science Advisory Committee. We also examined science and strategic plans of other Federal agencies, of earth science agencies of other countries, and of national and international earth science organizations. Through a series of panel discussions, the SST heard from more than 250 people, including scientists and managers from within the GD and the USGS; leaders from within the U.S. Department of the Interior; representatives of other Federal agencies, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the U.S. Congress; State Geologists; industry leaders; faculty members; and professional societies. Meetings convened in Reston, VA, Denver, CO, and Menlo Park, CA, provided GD staff the opportunity for verbal input, and we received a tremendous number of written comments throughout the planning process.

Voluminous input from all these sources provided the foundation for defining seven overlapping science goals and six operational objectives. By undertaking the scientifically challenging and vital research activities outlined in this science strategy, the GD can effectively address the Nation's most pressing science issues of the next decade.

Our sincere thanks to all who participated in this strategic planning process. This science strategy has been reviewed extensively by our colleagues in the earth science community, both within and outside the USGS, and has benefited greatly from these reviews. The team would like to express its appreciation to Berwyn Jones of the Water Resources Division for facilitating our meetings and to Leslie McElroy of the GD for coordinating the production of this report.

As a result of our participation in this effort, we have a much greater awareness of and appreciation for the GD's diverse scientific programs and capabilities, as well as the enormous dedication of its staff. We look forward to the consideration and implementation of this science strategy.

The Science Strategy Team for the Geologic Division
of the U.S. Geological Survey

Steven R. Bohlen, Associate Chief Geologist for Science (Chair)
Robert B. Halley
Stephen H. Hickman
Samuel Y. Johnson
Jacob B. Lowenstern
Daniel R. Muhs
Geoffrey S. Plumlee
George A. Thompson, Stanford University and President of the Geological Society of America (1996-97)
David L. Trauger, Biological Resources Division
Mary Lou Zoback

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