U.S. Geological Survey Landscape Science Strategy 2020–2030

Circular 1484
Land Management Research Program
By: , and 



Across our Nation, multiple Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments are working with stakeholders and landowners to restore, conserve, and manage lands and resources to benefit fish, wildlife, and people. One of the largest Federal efforts is led by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), with multiple DOI agencies working to conserve and manage public lands, resources, and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. As a science provider within the DOI, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has an important role in developing actionable science products that can inform decision making on public lands and across all of our Nation’s landscapes.

Our landscapes and resources are undergoing continual change from a complex and interacting suite of stressors that include traditional and nontraditional land uses, a changing climate, a dynamic economy, and a culturally diverse and ever-changing society. Landscape science seeks to understand how the physical, biological, and social components of ecosystems and landscapes interact with each other and are affected by these stressors across local to global scales.

The USGS has developed this landscape science strategy to focus and strengthen the agency’s efforts to inform critical conservation, restoration, and management decisions for American landscapes. The strategy directly supports the overarching 21st-century science strategy of the USGS and expands our perspective and focus on partnerships, including with internal, external, traditional, and nontraditional partners.

The vision for USGS landscape science is to integrate multiple disciplines and approaches to create and deliver relevant, timely, and scientifically sound products that enable our partners to make informed decisions about how to manage complex interacting natural and human systems across changing American landscapes. This strategy seeks to leverage the expertise, data, analytical capacity, and tools of the agency and to strengthen integration of science efforts across programs and scales. A cornerstone of the strategy is working closely with landowners and resource managers to identify the science that is needed to inform management actions, and then working collaboratively with those same partners to coproduce science and data products that are timely, practical, and useful for their decision making.

Many individual efforts within the USGS already embrace landscape science ideas and practices. With the development of this strategy, we are seeking to build on these efforts and to focus agency attention and expertise on expanding, connecting, and institutionalizing core practices and approaches for landscape science that produces actionable science products and tools that decision makers can use to help conserve and manage American landscapes.

Suggested Citation

Jenni, K.E., Carter, S.K., Aumen, N.G., Bowen, Z.H., Bradford, J.B., Chotkowski, M.A., Hsu, L., Murdoch, P.S., Phillips, S.W., Pope, K.L., Schuster, R., Steinkamp, M.J., Weltzin, J., and Xian, G.Z., 2021, U.S. Geological Survey landscape science strategy 2020–2030: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1484, 26 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1484.

ISSN: 2330-5703 (online)

ISSN: 1067-084X (print)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • USGS Landscape Science Strategy
  • Goals
  • Supporting Strategic Actions
  • Planning Implementation of the Science Strategy
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title U.S. Geological Survey landscape science strategy 2020–2030
Series title Circular
Series number 1484
ISBN 978-1-4113-4419-8
DOI 10.3133/cir1484
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Fort Collins Science Center, Office of the AD Ecosystems, Science and Decisions Center, Southwest Biological Science Center
Description v, 26 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details