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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey APPENDIX C Selected Responses to USGS Staff Questionnaire and Clients and Collaborators Questionnaire 1) Scientific Problems A) What are the three most important scientific problems in the coastal and marine environment that you think the USGS should address over the next 5–10 years? The science mission of the USGS is integrative and descriptive, implicitly being to provide a long-term comprehensive view of the nation's realms for use by all in the conduct of life, and in wise decisionmaking. What must be judged is the quality and effectiveness of the USGS in bringing a day-by-day understanding of the nation's realms into the common parlance and awareness of all. This is not what has been commonly believed or practiced, but should be. Therefore, the most important scientific problems of the USGS for its usefulness and survival are not discrete scientific problems but problems involving scientific integration and comprehensiveness over time. A lack of a comprehensive long-term, systematic approach to understanding the coastal and marine realms. A lack of scientific prediction, providing alternate scenarios from which the public can select, describing the future of the coastal and marine realms. Information for science and management. A wide variety of data sets (geographic, geologic, biologic, physical, and chemical) are needed to address the multidisciplinary issues in the coastal zone. USGS is in a unique position to develop, exercise, and maintain some of these data sets.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Contamination (''toxification'') of the environment, including waste disposal and remediation (distribution, transport, fate, and effects of pollutants). Contamination of the coastal environment is widespread (both in the U.S. and worldwide), especially near major population centers and at sites used for waste disposal. Pressures will increase with a growing coastal population and use of the coastal ocean. USGS has a unique role, since many contaminants introduced to the coastal ocean are associated with particles. Biodiversity (including declining productivity, disturbance of habitats, protecting habitat, etc.). Fish stocks are declining due to overfishing, habitat disturbance, and other factors. There is increasing pressure for coastal aquaculture. There is worldwide concern for loss of biodiversity, much of which occurs in the ocean or the coastal ocean. The land and seafloor (topography, microtopography, and sediments) play a key role in the habitat of many species; thus, a description and understanding of how these habitats provide shelter and food for species is critical for management and protection of these resources. Sea-level rise. Predictions are for global warming to cause a rise in sea level of tens of centimeters over the next century. This increase will have major effects on many coastal communities worldwide. Long-term indicators of environmental change. There is a need to develop and maintain indicators of environmental change over the long-term. Long-term observations must be obtained in the context of the overall system and continually analyzed to ensure quality and to further understand the processes causing change (natural and anthropogenic). National scope (i.e., we can address issues around the country in a coordinated way); Systemwide regional focus. USGS is not constrained by local funding and can address the issues at an appropriate system level. This is often particularly important in coastal regions where many issues are local (clean drinking water, waste disposal, etc.), yet these problems are best addressed in a regional context. Long-term. USGS can provide a long-term focus for issues and interpretation. This is particularly important in assessing longterm environmental change and in developing and maintaining information and knowledge. Stewardship of data (developing, maintaining, distributing, using). Unbiased, public domain, basic science and resource assessments within a regional framework. We are uniquely situated to walk the fine line between engineering/consulting, academic, and political "agendas." No other agency can do that in the coastal zone.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey The Big Picture: Integration and synthesis of scientific knowledge about the coastal and marine environment, especially with respect to its interactions with human activity. Communicating the big picture: Successful communication of the big picture in such a way that federal and local government agencies, as well as fishermen and other citizens, can make wise decisions with respect to their use and stewardship of the coastal and marine environment. Identifying holes in the big picture: Once the integration and synthesis are under way, some glaring deficiencies in our scientific knowledge will become evident, which, combined with our society's values, will allow rational prioritization of future research and monitoring (much of which should be carried out by universities and private firms). Build a knowledge bank for the coastal ocean. The regional studies carried by the CMGP collect multidisciplinary data (geology, oceanography, geophysics, chemistry) and information, often on a regional scale. These large-scale databases and interpretations are applicable to many scientific issues, and as regional studies are completed, the overall coverage and view of the coastal ocean grow. Marine hydrology. We know surprisingly little about the hydrology of the continental shelves. Significant amounts of freshwater are likely to be discharging off both coasts, yet we cannot identify where these discharges are. As our aquifers are being altered in so many ways, it is almost inevitable that we will need to understand their offshore extensions. The role of coastal and submarine groundwater discharge in delivery of nutrients, toxins, and other dissolved constituents to the ocean. Ground and surface water problems: contributing to solutions of problems that are the primary responsibility of WRD and state organizations in the coastal realm and addressing the offshore aspects of the problem. Understanding the processes involved in the drawdown of freshwater aquifers due to anthropogenic activity in coastal areas, and understanding their effect on ecosystems. Development of better predictive models for shoreline erosion and continental shelf and slope seafloor instability. Understand sediment and contaminant transport in the coastal ocean. Develop a regional predictive capability for sediment and contaminant transport and fate in the coastal ocean. Coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion of coastal aquifers, defining risk of building and living in coastal zone and mitigation strategies, ensuring that marine environmental policy and regulation involve or are based on credible science.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Model and predict coastal hazards and their relation to long-term changes in sea level. Determine the mineral resource potential of the EEZ of the United States, its possessions, territories, and commonwealths: What is there, where is it, how did it form, and what are the potential resources? Link the seafloor environment to habitat. This involves understanding how the seafloor (roughness, texture, 3D structure, chemistry, anthropogenic and natural disturbance, near-bottom flow, animal life history, etc.) makes the seafloor habitat a productive environment. Essential fish habitat (EFH) provisions and mandates a supporting research effort. The provisions require a program of research that will provide information to describe and identify EFH, to identify and evaluate actual and potential adverse effects on EFH (including both fishing-related and non-fishing-related impacts), and to develop methods and approaches to conserve and enhance EFH. Map and characterize the entire U.S. EEZ. Develop a bottom characterization classification scheme. Map and identify resources and extent of impacted area. Monitor change due to natural and anthropogenic causes. Identify areas of special interest (like national parks). Provide information for the conservation of resources. Relate bottom character to biological resources. Identify essential fish habitat (EFH). Understand physical and biological processes that affect bottom character or the distribution, abundance, and health of living resources. Develop indicators of disturbance and recovery. Develop models for predictive management that enable application of site-specific information to unknown areas. Provide information for the protection, restoration, and maintenance of aquatic coastal and marine habitats, including EFH and their living resources. Assess the effects of coastal development on the habitat of living marine resources. B) What can be done to facilitate addressing these problems? Internal reviews should be used less as a screening and competitive process and more as a guidance and incubator process to see where our limited and declining internal resources should be best used to find new areas of growth. Having outside reviews and non-USGS participants on these panels is crucial. Explicitly identify the big picture as our fundamental mission. Identify
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey research scientists who are capable of carrying out large-scale integrative and synthesizing science, as well as staff members who are skilled at communication, and get them started. Federal government agencies should focus more on issue-driven (focus on a problem of societal relevance) rather than curiosity-driven (focus on a natural scientific problem that may or may not have bearing on a societal issue) research. Both issue-and curiosity-driven investigations are forms of knowledge-driven research; doing issue-driven research does not imply that knowledge is not being advanced. There needs to be a balance between issue-and curiosity-driven research in a federal science agency. However, my view is that universities should focus more on curiosity-driven research and federal agencies more on issue-driven. Until the reward and promotion system is changed to value products other than papers in peer-viewed professional journals, scientists will continue to focus on and value more highly traditional research. It is my belief that a vital and unique element of our overall responsibilities as federal government research scientists is to provide unbiased scientific information for national policy. C) Are there any impediments to CMGP addressing these problems? CMGP would be able to find a better niche if it established a cooperative program with the states as MMS has done. Regionality and bureaucratic programism and divisionism; reluctance to pursue work in politically controversial or administratively complex areas; and unclear boundaries between USGS, NOAA, EPA, USACE, and private contractors. Distrust between the director's office, the budget office, the division, and the program. As individual scientists, it is hard for us to address this issue, but as an outside review panel, you have an opportunity to highlight this issue, which I believe has a direct bearing on the performance of our part of the organization at the project level. The culture and expectations of the CMGP scientists. We expect to be engaged in the same sort of work as academic scientists or perhaps consulting-firm scientists, with the advantage of a hard money base. Current staff has not been recruited or rewarded for taking the larger view. Starts with the reward system. Only curiosity-driven research and the resulting traditional science journal products are valued in this organization. We have been directed to publish more in traditional science journals (which the outside end-user would not typically read or use). There is no incentive to do issue-driven or relevant research.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Mindset of current leadership and limitation of funds. A lack of understanding or recognition at the CMGP management level that the key responsibility for a federal program in marine geology is the consideration of the broad range of issues that arise as a result of striking differences in the coastal and marine geologic processes and societal needs in the different coastal areas of the United States. The present promotion and reward system for research grade scientists. Scientists are rewarded to continue to produce traditional papers for professional journals. There is no incentive to focus on products more relevant to the mission goals of other agencies. There seems to be a great deal of hesitancy among many researchers in CMGP to re-train or embark on new areas of research. 2) Products and Services A) What are the most valuable products and services that the CMGP presently provides? Seafloor maps, transport model results, scientific input on complex coastal issues to resource managers, geologic time perspective on these issues, integrated regional datasets covering areas shared by multiple states. Our unique equipment and highly experienced scientific and technical staff allow solving coastal problems in a timely manner that would not be available to other labs or universities. Our participation in the Navarre Island reconnaissance is an outstanding example. Our mapping products show present orientation of the coastal system, and scientific papers help describe the processes. One of the most exciting things about being in the coastal field is that the great unifying discoveries are yet to be made; and so as a research area there is lots of room for growth. Digital maps that, in addition to geological research, can be used as base maps by other scientific disciplines and for management decisions. Digital databases. Probably its maps and images of underwater topography. However, there appears to be a lack of interest in the interpretation of this kind of information. There is no such thing as an underwater geomorphologist here. The most valuable products and services may not be those that are currently provided. The CMGP has well-received efforts in public outreach (e.g., the Ask-a-Geologist activity) and has developed a wide range of activities to meet the needs of some coastal states and other federal government agencies on a restricted range of projects. Because of the loss of core competency, however, the CMGP is less able to
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey provide the marine perspective to support other programs in the Geologic Division. Site-specific studies that assist other federal and state agencies: Palos Verdes, Grand Canyon, etc. Building, maintenance, and assessment (i.e., use) of long-term databases on a regional and national scale which is critical to maintaining quality. Field capabilities that can be used cooperatively by others (sidescan, oceanography, sampling, high-resolution seismics, data processing). I like to think our most valuable product and service is to answer scientific questions that are important basic contributions and that have some application to environmental management issues. This work needs to continue to be authoritative and unbiased, consistent with the USGS reputation. CMGP has historically been able to provide research in areas that are not covered by industry or academia. Understanding of plate tectonics and continental orogenic processes came from surveys originally designed for petroleum resource studies. Clearer understanding of the offshore processes help define geologic hazards for coastal communities. B) What new products and services do you believe could and should be developed? Community-based sediment transport model like MODFLOW, a coordinated seafloor and subsurface marine imaging center with equipment and staff available to other agencies and academia (a mobile seafloor "observatory"), a web-based national seafloor data clearinghouse, nearshore long-coring capabilities (joint with ODP), an international seafloor management training center. I think the web and Internet-based products should be emphasized and given more weight. The web is an immediate distribution medium that is accessible to a wide range of customers not normally aware of USGS scientific products. The public awareness can be of use in providing critical information for policy decisions. Maps and reports that are formatted and designed to meet the needs of end-users and stakeholders rather than the traditional science journal articles that only a handful of scientists ever read. A much better distribution of our data in many formats, over the web, interactive databases, etc. Develop a site that tells outside agencies and the public just what data we have. Basic research should be done in improving or developing new ways to do things such as seafloor imaging, sedimentology, and geochemistry. There needs to be improved support for producing basic scientific journal articles and top-level USGS publications in addition to the currently strong activity in outreach products (e.g., web sites and fact sheets).
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey The products need to reflect more analysis with a little less emphasis on pretty pictures. Establishment and maintenance of data layers (GIS format) for coastal and marine knowledge bank on a regional and national scale. With the departure of key scientists that have historically advanced marine geologic research, new areas of fundamental research need to be identified as to areas for which CMGP can provide leadership (sediment transport processes, shoreline and delta stability, tsunamis, etc.). With the loss of research vessels, CMGP is not keeping up with the current technology in marine surveying. Organizations like MBARI have mapped the seafloor of Monterey Bay with new high-resolution digital systems that do a much better job collecting data than the best data we can provide. We need forward-looking leadership that will allow some moneys to be spent on necessary upgrades for systems we have been using for the last 10–20 years. Further research should be allowed using existing datasets. National assessments of coastal and marine geology issues (erosion, offshore earthquakes, tsunamis, minerals, landslides, benthic habitats). Coastal and offshore geologic map series (shelf multibeam maps). Research community access to our archive of samples. C) What impediments do you see to CMGP developing these new products and services? Money, vision, aging scientific staff, post-reduction in force, individual preservationism after the reduction in force, scarcity of charismatic leadership. The coastal community is a fairly small network of scientists, and we have a tendency to be inbred and focus on issues of concern among ourselves. CMGP needs to make a concerted effort to broaden its customer base. The coral reefs issue is a good example of an issue that has high scientific merit and strong popular support. Emphasis is on solving someone else's problems, rather than on conceptualizing and solving new problems. The thrust should be on trying to anticipate the future, rather than on solving problems for which the private sector is likely to be better equipped. A lack of a clear message from management that basic science must be the backbone for any of the products produced by CMGP if program credibility is to grow. This lack of support for a balanced program, especially when combined with increasing restriction of the areas of research that are favored by program management, appears to have discouraged staff from returning to the level of productivity that characterized the marine program prior to the reduction in force in 1995.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Scientific awareness of its managers about what's coming over the horizon in needed knowledge and expertise concerning the whole of the EEZ. Industry is increasingly headed into deeper and deeper water exploring for and intending to produce energy, mineral, and potentially thermal resources. These searches will eventually involve the EEZ, as they have in the past for the outer continental shelf. But, presently, the programmatic focus of CMGP is inward from about the 100-m isobath toward the coast and upward to the surface of the seafloor and its flanking beaches. But this is not where the industrial world is heading with respect to resources and where the urban communities of at least the Pacific Rim are looking with respect to the rupture areas and consequences of offshore earthquakes and tsunamis. CMGP has designed its program thrust to as much as possible bypass confronting these difficult matters, leaving them for other USGS teams to tend to. With respect to this general stance, it is also the policy of CMGP managers to disengage the survey from cost-sharing cooperation with the ocean drilling program—the largest and most scientifically productive earth science program known to me that is supported fully by the NSF and other national members of the JOIDES community. D) Do you believe that the end users of the products and services should be included in defining the design objectives of new products and services? If so, what mechanism would you suggest for obtaining their input? Yes, pay someone to go to them and solicit their input—at least one CMGP end-user liaison for each center. Yes. Feedback forms on publications and products are a minimum, but I would support more proactive means of feedback. A public opinion poll showed the public distrusts the term "mitigation," but we continue to use it. The internet is a very logical place to acquire feedback. Town meetings in other programs on highly visible issues have also proven highly effective. Obviously, if our goal is communication, rather than the mere production of a "product," we must listen to the understanding that our end users receive from our products so that we can learn to express the big picture effectively. It is essential, however, that we remain focused on our mission and not get distracted by congressmen or their constituents who wave money at us and tempt us to fritter away our time on projects that could just as well be done by academic or private-enterprise scientists. Yes, very much so. Involve them from the very start, solicit their input as you keep them informed of your progress, and verify their needs before providing products. USGS scientists should determine how best to conduct the research and interpret the data, but stakeholders should be in
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey volved in that we should know how best our science and research can help them to make more informed decisions and set policy and regulations based on sound and credible science. Yes. Have the individual responsible for the end products meet with the concerned end users. Make promotion and good evaluations of products depend on high-quality end-user products. No. I don't see a practical way to involve the users in all cases; however, in a case-by-case situation, users can and should be involved. Yes. Program management should spend more time identifying the interest and need for marine geologic research that would be of direct benefit to other Geologic Division programs and other federal agencies. Developing products and services is an iterative process. End users need to be included, but in a balanced way. One effective way to identify and define useful products is by carrying out (paying) cooperatives with the end users in pilot areas and defining products with these users. Cooperatives with NOAA in Stellwagen Bank Mapping, with Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and with USACE on New York and southern Long Island are recent examples. Some of the end users of our data are likely to be contributors of similar data. We have already experimented with the mechanism of co-authoring data and synthesis from different agencies in the same electronic-based publication. There isn't any black box solution to "how to," except to include users in every proposal and for managers to reinforce the requirement for contact. But when scientists make the contacts, managers must be responsive and not reject news of needs that aren't "scientifically interesting." 3) CMGP's Niche A) Apart from the unique technology and instrumentation in the CMGP, what do you see as the special niche that CMGP fills in the USGS and other federal agencies? CMGP controls coastal seafloor data that are not available anywhere else. CMGP interpretation of these data gives genetic and dynamic meaning to NOAA bathymetry and shorelines, isolated EPA sediment quality data, USACE, dam/bridge/beach/port/canal impacts, NWS storm data, USGS Water Resources river discharge data, and BRD coastal species survey data. CMGP data and people link separate programs in other agencies such as ODP and chemical oceanography at NSF. Because most CMGP scientists come from backgrounds outside traditional marine geology, they interface exceptionally well with individuals from a variety of other traditional disciplines (engineers, phytoplankton biologists, and chemists). An earth science agency having a strong marine and coastal program is a vision that previous USGS managers should take credit for. It bucks
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey the trend of one agency/one area. Clearly cooperating with NOAA and the Navy are crucial to our survival as a coastal institution, but the recent cooperation with NASA as a means to prove a new technology shows the unique role CMGP can play. CMGP must be ready to take advantage of these highly competitive opportunities, which means it must accept some failure in trying new concepts. Because we focus on a region and because it is expensive to return to a marine region repeatedly, we are more in the habit of interdisciplinary work than are programs that focus on particular hazards or processes on land. This gives us an advantage in scientific integration and synthesis. In the federal government the USGS is the only agency with the scientific resources to understand earth science information in context and thus to produce scientifically sound interpolations, extrapolations, and scenarios based on contingencies. The government as a whole should be able to turn to us for the scientific understanding that is needed for their work, and they would, if we proved ourselves capable of communicating effectively. The processes in the oceans, both coastal and blue-water, are diverse, complex, and highly interrelated. The broad base of scientific and technical expertise available in CMGP allows us to create diverse teams that can investigate the coastal environment as a total process, enabling us to model interactions among the geologic, chemical, and fluid processes. Single-discipline studies are too limited and are even losing popularity in the outside research community. CMGP should be the lead agency of the federal government in dealing with the interactions of the hydrosphere and geosphere. It is unfortunate that other agencies with more money have taken over so many of these marine responsibilities. The USGS needs to assert itself. Most of the Geologic Division programs (in geologic hazards, mineral resources, surficial processes, global change, and others) can benefit from a strong diversified marine program. None of these other programs, however, can afford to maintain an independent marine operation. Specific niches include, but are not limited to, mineralization at hydrothermal vents, identification of active faults in the nearshore and coastal zone, monitoring of earthquakes and crustal strain in the coastal ocean, and paleoclimate studies of sedimentation in continental slope basins. Short-term, focused, and applied projects are important in terms of our overall mission within the Geologic Division. However, I think our identity and niche is defined by our scientific expertise in key fields of marine research. Presently, this is in a state of flux and therefore is hard to define. CMGP currently seems to provide leadership in the areas of sediment transport and geotechnical engineering. Long-term: USGS can bring expertise to bear on issues over the long
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey term (and see monitoring below). Knowledge of regional geology and issues is maintained over the long-term, a 'corporate memory' that is often needed to address issues in the coastal ocean. Regional: USGS can apply a systemwide and regional perspective (geologic framework) to coastal issues. Regulatory agencies are often forced to limit the spatial extent of investigations. Multidisciplinary: the CMGP brings a multidisciplinary team (geologists, geophysicists, oceanographers, chemists) to address issues. Unbiased (i.e., non-regulatory) high-quality science: USGS's non-regulatory function provides the public and other agencies with an unbiased assessment of coastal processes and their effects. This requires scientific excellence. Monitoring: USGS is uniquely suited to carry out well-planned long-term monitoring of environmental change in the coastal ocean. USGS regional studies provide the spatial context for these temporal observations, which can improve fundamental understanding of coastal processes. NSF and ONR do not fund these studies. Model development and maintenance: Expertise in designing, conducting, and interpreting surveys of coastal and marine environments. Also a ''corporate memory'' and a long-term commitment to archive data and to make it available to the public. Our niche is large, sustained, regional, and national studies and assessments of coastal and marine geologic issues of concern to national (federal) and regional entities (e.g., state, industry, or private coalitions). CMPG has the unique skills and tools used in the study of geology in subaqueous environments, skills and tools that transgress multiple aspects of geology in the marine environment. By its entrepreneurial and dynamic nature, CMGP has the potential ability to network with many organizations to build coalitions and thematic programs. B) Do you believe that CMGP should and could work more collaboratively with other USGS programs and divisions? Yes, although CMGP currently does better at this than most other USGS programs and divisions. Yes, and in cooperation with state agencies, too. Yes, most definitely. Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, there are still a great many difficulties in doing this. We should definitely increase our links with Water Resources and the earthquake, volcano, and mineral communities.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Yes, very much so, especially in terms of marine mineral studies, seismology, geophysics, and habitat studies. Collaboration is an ideal to strive for, but is difficult in practice, especially in the USGS, where turf still matters greatly. There is tremendous pressure to work collaboratively inside and outside USGS. Many coastal science issues benefit from broad collaboration, often increasing the skills brought to bear on a problem and effectiveness of the project. However, cooperation for cooperation's sake is non-productive, and building and nurturing cooperative partnerships can take a tremendous amount of effort. Cooperatives are often most successful if built at the PI level. Management can facilitate these cooperations by identifying opportunities. Yes. An obvious partner is BRD, but they have few marine biologists, to my knowledge. There is probably some opportunity to collaborate in studies of estuarine environments. The most fruitful collaboration might occur in the Great Lakes region, where BRD has a large commitment and where CMGP can apply its expertise in the same way it does in coastal environments. Expansion of activities to the Great Lakes region would require additional funding and personnel so that ongoing programs are not weakened. CMGP should be integrated into the major programmatic focuses on resources, hazards, environment, and the growth of knowledge. As noted, coastal and marine studies do not in themselves constitute a program effort. C) What specific suggestions do you have for best filling CMGP's specialized niche or making use of CMGP's unique abilities? More staff in Reston and the Washington area, separate branch manager roles from inter-agency liaison (salesperson) roles; identify areas of strongest overlap with other agencies and transfer people duplicating USGS efforts there to USGS (or vice versa); increase size of each branch, or else localize one major specialty in each branch (e.g., seafloor mapping in Woods Hole, geochemistry in St. Pete, something else in Menlo). I think we should make it easy for the science public and the general public to know our capabilities and successes. The public access literature we have has been generally good but needs to be strengthened. More important our presence at national meetings at groups other than coastal scientists is needed. Town meetings on specific topical coastal issues were mentioned before. Our web presence should be encouraged to grow. Encourage the diverse nature of our scientific and technical bases. Do
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey not allow us to become an agency with only a few disciplines or scientific programs. We should even keep some expertise in blue-water processes. Get back to basic research as the main theme. Perhaps design a two-tiered system in which part of the staff is assigned to basic research and another part assigned to customer problem solving. Recognize that at least five years is required to get research results. Review assignments on a five-year interval. Reassign staff based on productivity and attempt to satisfy employee needs and desires. The Geologic Division needs to complete implementation of the management structure that was set up in 1996 after the RIF. Under the revised division structure, program coordinators are supposed to be seeking new areas of application for the unique capabilities of their programs and to identify new collaborative efforts (refer to the position descriptions that are currently approved). Unfortunately, some program coordinators are spending most of their time on managing expenditures even though this function is not part of the job description (expenditure management resides with the identified line managers [i.e., the chief geologist, regional geologists, and team chief scientists]). If the Geologic Division were to fully implement the new management structure, cross-program collaboration would be facilitated because overall program direction would more closely reflect customers and potential collaborators unique to each region. It is important that CMGP clearly define its role with respect to marine mineral and energy resource. This role should be defined in the context of a working relationship with other government agencies, academia, and industry. All of these are potential partners, collaborators, and clients, and they should be part of the planning process for future program activities. Field Centers: The CMGP has co-located field centers adjacent to major centers of geologic and oceanographic expertise to share specialized facilities, facilitate cooperation, and to create a stimulating intellectual climate. These centers have unique operational needs not experienced by programs that are located in national centers (network support, libraries, administrative support, etc.) that often need special attention. The USGS should consider co-locating other activities at these existing centers that would strengthen cooperation or take advantage of unique capabilities as opportunities present themselves. 4) CMGP's Organization a) Weigh on a scale of 1 to 10 the effect of the following on the CMGP's ability to successfully address the problems, products, and services you have listed in questions 1 and 2. Please explain your reasoning.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey b) Do you have any suggestions on alternative methods of managing these issues listed below? Resource (people and products) sharing between field centers, GD programs, and other USGS divisions Generally good but not consistent in all projects. Idea: organize something like departments in CMGP so that sediment transport folks in Menlo, for example, have some regular contact with sediment transport folks in Woods Hole, and geochemists can work on coordinated analytical arrangements (national contracts or shared equipment acquisition rather than every branch for itself). I don't think sharing among field centers, GD programs, and other USGS divisions is the issue, but I think communications between these parts of the programs is crucial. During Hurricane Mitch, mapping had an effort, CINDI, to respond by producing historical map products and sending a field team. I could not participate in these discussions because of my location in a field center, yet we were extremely close to the action and had lots of experience in this arena. Impediments to communication continue to hurt us in all areas. The big picture is a massively cooperative effort. Leadership should rally the USGS around its common mission, instead of throwing dog biscuits to projects that cross-organizational boundaries. The CMGP staff is rapidly aging, very few people are brought in, and since the RIF most technical help has disappeared. When I run cruises or do fieldwork I am forced to ask high-grade staff to act-in support roles because there are so few support staff available. This is very non-cost efficient, both for me as a project scientist and for the USGS. We need to be able to share resources without having to "pay a ransom" to do so. Our multidisciplinary research would appear to be the ideal medium by which we should be able to share resources; however, politics and egos constantly get in the way of this. Designate specific centers (Menlo, Woods Hole, or St. Pete) as the program office that has the expertise in specific technical or research skills. When a CMGP project is staffed, draw the required expertise from that center (instead of from the location of the project). We are doing this in a small way with our extensive collection of physical oceanographic equipment. Much of this equipment is readied for the field in the Woods Hole office, then sent to programs at all centers. Other GD programs that asked for data from CMGP were told to provide their own employees to work on the data and that CMGP would not
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey provide assistance. This response has affected several projects in both CMGP and other GD programs. Cost of CMGP products and services to outside clients They are getting a bargain! In general, the cost to them should actually be much higher. Idea: identify more end users before development of products and get more contributions up front. Given that most of Dr. Gilberts' time is booked up I think our charges are about right, or could be higher. I would be reluctant to get involved with the high costs of large oceangoing research vessels. Our working capital fund should be expanded to handle outside journal publications. If we could sell our digital products and place the money into a general working capital fund for future publication costs, more money would be freed up for operating expenses. The federal government needs the big picture to inform its actions. It should be provided to clients outside the federal government for the simple costs of media and reproduction. Cooperatives—shared costs should be emphasized. If CMGP is to provide products and services to outside clients, the costs must be competitive with the private sector. Because there are so many specialists in the private sector, it may be difficult for CMGP to beat their prices. Instead of focusing on sales, CMGP should work on new ideas and the implementation of these ideas. Our costs to outside clients can be low if we can set up a cost-share program with them. If an outside client was required to post the true and entire cost of a USGS project, I doubt we could compete with an outside contractor. However, the product might be superior. Most data distribution is through NGDC, which charges relatively high costs for reproduction. Researchers that contact CMGP directly often are given the data with no charge, as no method of billing is available. Offshore mapping performed with our own vessels was a bargain compared to the current ship-leasing methods. Hiring procedure and criteria (e.g., world-class, specialty, term appointments) System is byzantine. Most hiring appears to be fairly convoluted and is done as a stopgap to meet commitments already in place. Recruitment
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey of experienced scientists to expand into a new area or give leadership to a growing group seems rare. Many good people are brought in as terms and contractors but leave before their contracts or terms expire because there is no future with the organization. This is a very inefficient use of training time and money. The current pattern of hiring research scientists as permanent employees, while support staff are temporary, is completely backwards. Research staff are interchangeable and come ready-trained from the university. Support staff, especially technical types, perform unique jobs, require extensive on-the-job training and, on leaving, take critical skills and knowledge with them. The research staff needs to be better balanced to accomplish our missions. Specialists that retire or leave are being replaced by others in different disciplines. The strategy for replacement of specialists seems to be very shortsighted and will probably hurt us in the long run. We desperately need more technical support to handle the lower-grade aspects of research, yet the problem only seems to get worse. Except for world-class scientists, hire most research staff on a term basis. Convert the ones that work out (and are needed for long-term project goals) to permanent. Hire technical staff needed for long-term projects as permanent. Replace staff that retires, but perhaps not in exactly the same field. In the end, term appointments will lead to disaster. Eventually there will be no corporate memory and no legacy and no loyalty. Staff personal growth opportunities Many and varied, especially because of the association of field centers with university and other nearby research institutions. Getting there from here will require us all to learn new skills and attitudes. Training should be provided for tasks that employees would need to perform in the future, not simply for tasks they are performing already. Growth opportunities seem minimal. The older staff is topped out and there has been only a minimum of new hires. This is a major problem. Ideas from the staff are not appreciated unless they fit into management's view of what the problems are. Mostly self-driven, but available. In-service training requirement might prepare research staff for career adjustments needed with changes in research directions.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Staff evaluation criteria and reward system Compensation is competitive, although advancement seems to be tied to a fairly rigid federal grade system that restricts ability to reward shining stars or remove deadwood. Currently, research scientists are rewarded for emulating academic scientists. Support staff are rewarded for supporting the projects of the research staff. Nobody is rewarded for furthering the CMGP's unique mission. Obviously, this must change. The survey still does not have a reward system that encourages scientists to support USGS goals. The research staff is mainly rewarded for individual products (i.e., scientific papers). This issue has been addressed in the last two years, but there has been little evidence that any of the recommendations have been implemented. Current evaluations tend to be meaningless, as there is currently just a pass-fail rating. All employees can work at the pass level, leaving little incentive to outperform. Rewards are virtually nonexistent except for a select few. Positions are described as non-promotable, removing incentive by employees to excel. Staff recognition outside USGS Good overall but variable. Opportunities exist to advance professional reputation, but not all scientists take advantage of them. Encourage journal articles, talks at other agencies, and high-quality scientific work. Publicize our large projects in EOS or in other scientific newspapers. Not considered important to CMGP management, although it should be, unless the recognition is from a full-paying client. Given the way things are going toward customer-driven research, there will be a diminishing of recognition outside the USGS. Workers will be recognized by customers, but that recognition may be short lived if the prices are too high. In the fields with which I am most familiar, the staff reputation was unquestioned; with the losses during the reduction in force and with the continuing attrition since then, however, it is becoming a problem. Recognition of CMGP staff by outside agencies and academia has noticeably declined since the reduction in force. Quality and quantity of CMGP data have suffered in the last four or five years. Perhaps this current review will allow for an improved work atmosphere, an increase in productivity, and a resulting improvement in professional recognition.
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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey Publication policies These policies seem to be in a state of flux from a traditional USGS system to a system open for interpretation by each scientist and program. The traditional internal publication system seems to be dying; web-based products and fact sheets are thriving, but support for external products is not always available. I think this is an oxymoron. The two concepts do not mutually coexist here. Having a resource like the computer center here with our plotters is a tremendous resource and has done much to improve productivity and original thinking. Much credit goes to Rob Wertz. Most of the other 'publication policies' have been hurdles to overcome. Pay all page charges for outside journals. Either pay outside agencies to publish our maps, or get our group to do this better. Publish glossy paper products (like atlases) with just a few pages and put the extensive products on a CD. Each project should produce scientific papers and outreach products. The USGS motto, "Science for a changing world," has come to mean consultants; the science has been abandoned for what is viewed as immediate societal need that can be demonstrated to a senator or congressperson. Publication policies have been addressed in a recent memorandum. The division seems to be on a reasonable track. My personal bias is that outside publication should be encouraged so that any basic research that is done can compete with any new and innovative research that comes from other sectors. A lot of attention has been put on creating posters, web pages, etc., with attention-grabbing graphics; less attention to scientific content. The scientific content has been poor on many posters seen this year at AGU. A publication with data that are unprocessed and misinterpreted undermines the professional reputation of the organization.
Representative terms from entire chapter: