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A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science at the United States Geological Survey C CEGIS as Envisioned by McMahon et al. (2005) The following series of quotes from McMahon et al. (2005) gives a sense of the dimensions and process of the Center of Excellence in Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS) envisioned to be needed to support geographic information science (GIScience) needs within the geography discipline and across the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). “The GIScience Center of Excellence should lead in the planning and implementation of the research associated with goals 7, 8, and 91. The USGS must invest in personnel, resources, and infrastructure to establish a center of excellence focused on GIScience that builds, nurtures, and maintains a core of GIScience researchers to further these goals and actions.” McMahon et al. note that additional master’s and doctoral researchers will be needed. They suggest the need for collaboration with the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) and academic departments. 1 Goal 7: Observe the Earth at all scales using remote sensing to understand the human and environmental dynamics of land change. Goal 8: Provide timely, intelligent access to new and archived USGS geographic data needed to conduct science and support policy decisions. Goal 9: Develop innovative methods of modeling and information synthesis, fusion, and visualization to improve our ability to explore geographic data and create new knowledge.
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A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science at the United States Geological Survey “Through collaboration with other major research organizations … the USGS can establish major research objectives in GIScience that meet the needs of all USGS disciplines and The National Map.” “Formal exchanges with other Federal agencies involved with spatial data (e.g. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency [NGA], Census) are highly desirable.” “USGS Geographers must evaluate linkages with data user communities so that data specifications and analytical capabilities are based on both strong peer-reviewed science and USGS needs.” McMahon et al. recommend using postdoctoral fellows, internships, and close collaboration with USGS scientists and university researchers. “Direct support of university based GIScience research critical to the USGS mission will be necessary.” “Linkages to private industry for research and development in GIScience will also be fruitful.” “Scientists affiliated with these centers [CEGIS and two other centers proposed by McMahon et al.] need not all work in a single geographic location, although it is desirable that a core group of staff be collocated. Core researchers include senior scientists who provide leadership and guidance for junior investigators. USGS scientists who are not directly affiliated with the centers but have an active interest in the themes addressed by a center can expect center scientists to serve as an important part of their extended intellectual community and act as collaborators and direct colleagues on some projects.” McMahon et al. suggest the following performance measures for CEGIS: Establish CEGIS within two years. Staff the center initially with 10 Ph.D. scientists with support staff (within two years) and expand to 20 scientists within five years. Prepare a science plan addressing key topics from goals 7, 8, 9 that are needed to meet the overall goals of this plan within two years. Establish postdoctoral, internship and visiting scholar relationships with universities with at least 20 scholars in residence within three years and provide continual rotation to maintain 20 per year.
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