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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey APPENDIX F The U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program Program Planning, Decision Process, and Operations S. Jeffress Williams PROGRAM PLANNING-FIVE-YEAR NATIONAL COASTAL AND MARINE GEOLOGY PLAN A National Coastal and Marine Geology Program Plan was initially prepared and implemented in 1994 and updated and revised in 1997, following staff and budget adjustments. The current plan serves as a combination strategic and operational plan used to manage and guide research in the Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP). The 1994 Plan framework was the product of numerous meetings in 1993 involving most U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers involved in coastal and marine geology research with additional input from external partners and clients (e.g., coastal state and territory geological surveys, other federal ocean agencies [NOAA, NSF, NASA, ONR, MMS, EPA], academia, NGOs, and industry). The CMGP focused on four primary themes (Environment, Natural Hazards, Resources, Information and Technology), and the final 1994 version was prepared by a team consisting of the managers from the three centers, senior science staff from the three centers, and the CMGP. The Plan provided structure for projects and outlined specific future project directions and science priorities. Project budgets were indicated at two levels, full and partial implementation, depending on the final budget appropriations from Congress. The 1997 revised Plan, prepared by the CMGP to reflect new realities of smaller staff, level-to-declining budgets, and new research directions in marine geology, was based on input and suggestions from the USGS research staff and written materials from other federal agencies expressing their interests, emphasis,
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey and recommendations for where the CMGP should focus in marine geology research. The Plan provided structure for existing and future projects and suggested areas and topics for future research emphasis. The four themes were retained, but specific budget details were not included because of the uncertainty of future appropriations from congress. Following the NAS/OSB review of the CMG Program in 1999, a new National Program Plan will be prepared to conform to the science goals and operational objectives detailed in the new Geologic Division (GD) Science Strategy, "Geology for a Changing World." BUDGET PLANNING The annual budget for CMGP is prepared by the Program office, based on department, bureau, and division science priorities, marine science priorities of Congress, the National Plan, and inputs to the Program office from a wide variety of internal and external sources. Budget emphasis at the theme level has remained as discussed in the current National Plan. Overall budget guidance is given to the Program office by the division, bureau, DOI, and OMB offices. The Program office in 1998 maintained budget balance between the themes discussed in the 1994 Plan and revised in the 1997 National Plan. The "Green Book" document fully describes for Congress the marine science priorities and major accomplishments for CMGP. It contains some information on the distribution of research funds across the four themes and describes implications of a $3.5M funding reduction contained in the President's budget the FY 2000. DEVELOPMENT OF THE ANNUAL PROGRAM PROSPECTUS The Program Prospectus is developed each year by the Program office to provide guidance to the USGS research staff on the distribution of the funds for salary and operating expenses based on the current National Plan and the expected budget appropriation. The research staff responds to the Prospectus by preparing written "workplans" for continuing projects or "proposals" for new research projects. The Prospectus contains suggested figures for both salary and operating expenses for projects. This level of detail is included so as to ensure a healthy operating margin for CMGP. In many cases lead PIs were identified based on science expertise, leadership skills, and availability. The Prospectus also requested workplans for center assessment activities and activities supported by direct-funded overhead costs at the three centers. The annual Prospectus is developed based on inputs from many sources: Knowledge of the USGS, DOI, OMB, Congress funding priorities; Meeting science needs of other DOI bureaus (e.g., NPS, MMS, FWS); Meeting the science needs of coastal states/territories; Response to division planning and meeting the new science goals;
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Congressional requests (e.g., Los Angeles subsidence, South Carolina and Georgia erosion, coastal hazard risk assessment); Direct inputs from other federal agencies (e.g., NOAA, NSF, FEMA, EPA, ONR, and NOPP); Interactions with other USGS divisions, such as ground water, marine habitats, and coral reefs; Program Advisory Council (PAC) recommendations; Interactions with other GD programs (e.g., Ecosystem, Climate, Energy, Earthquake, and Minerals); Mid-year project briefings and discussions; USGS research staff comments and recommendations; Knowledge of staff interests, capability, and availability; and Knowledge of the future directions and priorities of marine science (FUMAGES). The PAC serves as a science review panel made up of CMGP research staff as well as scientists from other inside and outside the USGS. The purpose of the PAC is to provide broad scientific review, recommendations, and advice to the Program office. Their primary task is to review the scientific quality and program relevance of continuing workplans and new proposals submitted each year to the Program office for funding. EVOLVING COMPOSITION OF THE PAC For the FY98 review, the PAC had 16 members providing scientific and geographic coverage and they were tasked with evaluation of scientific value, program relevance, and productivity of the projects funded by CMGP: 5 research scientists from the Western Team, Menlo Park; 3 research scientists from the Eastern Team, Woods Hole; 2 research scientists from the Eastern Team, St. Petersburg; and 6 managers (2 Western Team, 2 Eastern Team, and 2 CMGP). For the FY99 review, the PAC had 16 members with the same basic task: 4 research scientists (Western Team, Menlo Park); 3 research scientists (Eastern Team, Woods Hole); 2 research scientists (Eastern Team, St. Petersburg); and 1 research scientist (Western Energy Program Team). The 6 Managers (2 Western Team, 2 Eastern Team, and 2 CMGP) made staffing and funding evaluations. For FY 2000, the PAC consists of 17 members with the task of providing science review of the proposals and workplans and recommendations to the Program office:
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey 4 research scientists (Western Team, Menlo Park); 2 research scientists (Woods Hole Team); 2 research scientists (St. Petersburg Team); 1 research scientist (Western Energy Program Team); and 2 external research scientists (Eastern Geologic Mapping Team and Biologic Resources Division). CMGP ANNUAL PROJECT BRIEFINGS To keep abreast of project activities, progress, and accomplishments and in anticipation of developing the Program Prospectus for the following year, the PAC organizes a series of project briefings in January/February. These briefings provide the Program office and the PAC members with an understanding of how projects are performing and what concerns and issues need to be considered in developing the Prospectus and in preparing for the next year's workplan and proposal cycle. The briefings are organized by the PAC and held at each of the three centers. They consist of one to two days of presentations to PAC members, to Program office staff, and to center managers. The presentations are open to staff. The presenters are asked to focus on current research activities and recent accomplishments and products, as well as issues and concerns of the project PI and staff. Written comments, recommendations, and feed back from the project briefings are developed by the Program and the PAC and given to the project PIs. ANNUAL CALENDAR FOR SCIENCE PLANNING IN THE GEOLOGIC DIVISION, INCLUDING CMGP Early March—The Prospectus is made available through a division-wide release to the USGS research staff. Early April—Preproposals for new project starts are submitted by USGS staff. April—All of the preproposals are reviewed by the division program coordinators, and based on scientific merit the preproposals are rejected or authors are encouraged to submit full proposals. Early June—Workplans for continuing projects and new project proposals are submitted. June–July—The Program Advisory Council and Management Team meet together to review the proposals and workplans. The PAC evaluates and comments on scientific merit and Program relevance. Written comments on scientific merit, relevance, and productivity are developed by the PAC during and
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey following the meeting and are then reviewed by the Program office and finally sent to the PI's. Managers meet at this time to discuss staffing and funding issues for both science projects and for direct and assessment-funded Program overhead projects. August—Initial funding decisions for the upcoming FY are developed by the Program office based on the PAC recommendations, management discussions, and the anticipated budget. Unsuccessful proposals and underfunded staff are identified and discussed. September–December—The PI's, and Center Managers respond to PAC comments and draft funding decisions. The Teams and Regions provide revised workplans and staffing based on the Council's comments and the Program's preliminary funding decisions. The Program office learns of congressional appropriation decisions and adjusts draft budget, if needed, in consultation with the center managers. CMGP funds are then distributed through the division to the scientists.
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