1. The USGS should maintain its lengthy history of glacier studies with a revitalized and integrated bureau program based on a combination of ground-based, airborne, and satellite remote sensing methods as recommended in USGS Circular 1132. The program should be funded by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and other SIR funds, utilizing the respective scientific strengths of the four science divisions, in concert with strong collaboration with other agencies and institutions involved in glaciology, both domestic and foreign.

The USGS has been involved in glacier studies for 118 years and has the experience and current status as the principal Federal ecosystem agency to develop a strong integrated bureau-wide, glacier-monitoring program. It has been more than a decade since such a course of action was first recommended by various USGS scientists and later encouraged by Robert M. Hirsch, Chief Hydrologist. It is now time to take decisive action in light of the importance of long-term monitoring of glacier fluctuations to assessing regional climate change and the obvious source of sustained funding through the U.S. Global Change Research Program. An integrated bureau program requires a strong leader with a national and international reputation in glaciology.

The USGS should consider glacier studies as an integrated Bureau program involving all four science divisions, with programmatic funding and staffing derived primarily from the U.S. Global Change Research Program and secondarily from surveys, investigations, and research (SIR) and/or outside funding agreements (OFA) funding for glacier hydrology, cold-regions hydrology, impact of glacier recession on regional ecosystems (e.g., Glacier National Park, Montana), and other glaciological research programs traditionally supported by the divisions. Through an integrated Bureau program, in which planned fiscal-year budget submissions by each division would be coordinated, each science division would operate independent projects that draw from their respective scientific strengths and programmatic histories, including existing intra-divisional, inter-divisional, inter-agency, and non-USGS institutional (U.S. and foreign) cooperation and collaboration. Each USGS science division has the following glacier-studies strengths:

a. Water Resources Division (WRD) - Lead division in the continuation of long-term field studies of mass-balance, ice velocity, climate, runoff, and fluctuation of termini of selected glaciers in the conterminous U.S. and Alaska, field studies of glaciological hazards, glacier hydrology, and cold-regions hydrology. Close cooperation and collaboration with the other three USGS science divisions, collaboration with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and several U.S. universities, National Park Service, and counterpart agencies in other nations (see following table: USGS and Counterpart Governmental Institutions in North America and Northwestern Europe Involved in Glacier Monitoring).

b. Geologic Division (GD) - Lead division in satellite remote sensing of glaciers of the Earth, with special reference to the glaciers of North America and North- western Europe. Currently completing an 11-volume Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World (USGS Professional Paper 1386) that involves more than 60 U.S. and foreign scientists in a baseline study, using Landsat images from the mid-1970's, to establish the areal extent of glaciers worldwide. Close cooperation and collaboration with the other three USGS science divisions, NASA, National Park Service, and glaciological institutions in other nations.

c. National Mapping Division (NMD) - Lead division for production of conven- tional topographic, planimetric, image, and specialized thematic maps of glaciers, including digital and paper formats. Principal archive (EROS Data Center) for airborne and satellite imagery [e.g., Landsat, EOS (Mission to Planet Earth), classified source material (including imagery derived products or IDP'S), aerial photographs and images, etc.]. Close cooperation with other international archives, cooperation with the other three USGS science divisions, NSF, NASA, and NOAA.

d. Biological Resources Division (BRD) - Lead division for field and airborne monitoring of glaciers in the National Parks of the conterminous U.S. and Alaska, especially impact of glacier recession on park ecosystems. Close cooperation with the National Park Service, the other three USGS science divisions, and Canada.

2. It is imperative that increased cooperation and collaboration, especially carrying out of joint (intra-or inter-national) field programs be a major objective of the USGS (see table 1). Because of the global nature of glacier studies, the importance of glacier studies to monitoring global environmental change, and reduced funding to and "downsizing" of staffs at U.S. and foreign scientific institutions involved in glacier monitoring, there is a need to continue and integrate acquisition and analysis of environmentally critical, long-term field-based data sets for historical perspective and to validate analysis of remotely sensed data and expand them geographically where warranted scientifically.

3. A cooperative program between scientists and their respective institutions needs to be established to share remotely-sensed data and to provide for easy exchange of data for independent or collaborative studies, because of the high cost of airborne and satellite images and other data (e.g., laser altimetry, radar, interferometry, etc.) and the need for a coordinated, systematic, and repetitive regional data-acquisition program for airborne and satellite data.

4. It is recommended that strong international support be given for maintenance of the glacier data archives, because of the value of these data archives for monitoring glaciers and determining historical changes of glaciers in North America, especially the Canadian glacier archive and the GeoData Center in Alaska. The Canadian archive includes important data of both Canadian and U.S. glacierized basins. Because of funding cutbacks and other organizational changes in Canada, the data may no longer be fully accessible to glaciologists and could be lost if not properly archived. The GeoData Center of the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks, AK, is a major archive for remotely-sensed data of Alaskan glaciers, including the 60,000+ aerial negatives acquired by the USGS between 1960 and 1996 (see summary in Part I, Data Base and Geographical Perspective for Monitoring Glaciers of Alaska by Trabant and others).

In conclusion, a strong U.S. Federal program of glacier studies has been the responsibility of the USGS for more than a century. The USGS needs to have an equally strong presence in glacier studies for the 21st century, based on a well managed and revitalized glacier studies program within the USGS, and a close cooperative effort among the four science divisions of the USGS, in collaboration with the U.S. National Park Service, other agencies involved with the Department of the Interior in the U.S. Global Change Research Program, such as NASA and NOAA, academic institutions, and USGS counterpart institutions in other nations. [an error occurred while processing this directive]