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Open-File Report 2012–1072

U.S. Geological Survey Energy and Minerals Science Strategy—Public Review Release

By Richard C. Ferrero, Jonathan J. Kolak, Donald J. Bills, Zachary H. Bowen, Daniel J. Cordier, Tanya J. Gallegos, James R. Hein, Karen D. Kelley, Philip H. Nelson, Vito F. Nuccio, Jeanine M. Schmidt, and Robert R. Seal

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (30.4 MB)Executive Summary

The economy, national security, and standard of living of the United States depend heavily on adequate and reliable supplies of energy and mineral resources. Based on current population and consumption trends, the Nation’s use of energy and minerals can be expected to grow, driving the demand for ever broader scientific understanding of resource formation, location, and availability. In addition, the increasing importance of environmental stewardship, human health, and sustainable growth place further emphasis on energy and mineral resources research and understanding. Collectively, these trends in resource demand and the interconnectedness among resources will lead to new challenges and, in turn, require cutting-edge science for the next generation of societal decisions.

The contributions of the U.S. Geological Survey to energy and minerals research are well established. Based on five interrelated goals, this plan establishes a comprehensive science strategy. It provides a structure that identifies the most critical aspects of energy and mineral resources for the coming decade.


Goal 1.—Understand fundamental Earth processes that form energy and mineral resources.
Goal 2.—Understand the environmental behavior of energy and mineral resources and their waste products.
Goal 3.—Provide inventories and assessments of energy and mineral resources.
Goal 4.—Understand the effects of energy and mineral development on natural resources.
Goal 5.—Understand the availability and reliability of energy and mineral resource supplies.

Within each goal, multiple, scalable actions are identified. The level of specificity and complexity of these actions varies, consistent with the reality that even a modest refocus can yield large payoffs in the near term whereas more ambitious plans may take years to reach fruition. As such, prioritization of actions is largely dependent on policy direction, available resources, and the sequencing of prerequisite steps that will lead up to the most visionary directions. The science strategy stresses early planning and places an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and leveraging of expertise across the U.S. Geological Survey.

First posted June 4, 2012

    Public Review Release—Feedback on this report will be accepted through August 1, 2012. To provide comments, please click below, then go to section marked "Offer your comments on our draft strategies":

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Suggested citation:

Ferrero, R.C., Kolak, J.J., Bills, D.J., Bowen, Z.H., Cordier, D.J., Gallegos, T.J., Hein, J.R., Kelley, K.D., Nelson, P.H., Nuccio, V.F., Schmidt, J.M., and Seal, R.R., 2012, U.S. Geological Survey energy and minerals science strategy: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1072, 35 p.



Mission and Vision

Executive Summary


Core Strengths

Mandates and Authorizations

Goals for Energy and Mineral Resources Science

Energy and Minerals Linkages Across the U.S. Geological Survey

References Cited

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