Paper No. 4-11
Presentation Time: 11:40 AM
INTEGRATED SCIENCE IN THE US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
United States Geological Survey (USGS) research in biology, geography, geology, and hydrology serves as a critical building block for greater understanding of discipline-based science and processes for the Earth. Technical capabilities in discipline-based sciences are key to maintaining cutting edge research, but scientific and management questions are increasingly more complex. Earth science systems must be addressed as a single construct if we are to understand the interrelated and interdependent nature of the systems. As early as the 1980’s, the USGS identified the need to have a better understanding of the Earth and how the Earth’s systems are linked together. Several USGS science strategies have been developed and multiple reorganizations have been implemented to respond to the societal, land manager, and decision maker needs to address emerging complex natural-science challenges. The USGS developed the National Water Quality Assessment Program, Place-based Studies, Priority Ecosystem Science, Science on the DOI Landscape, Healthy Landscapes: Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI), and Regional Integrated Science for Earth Systems (RISES) to better address landscape scale integrated science questions. This history demonstrates that recent efforts are not the first attempts to address Earth system-based science and management. Integration across scientific disciplines, advanced modeling and prediction is key to USGS engaging with partners and other scientific communities that are striving to deal with the complex Earth science system responses to climate change, drought, fire, landscape change, invasive species, population changes, resource extraction, and other drivers within the ecosystem. The integrated science approach weaves these challenges into more complex systems-based questions to define, model, and predict Earth system responses. USGS will rely on gains in innovative technology developed through the goals of the most recent USGS science strategy and through advancing scientific capabilities. Advanced integrated Earth system science is the next generation of scientific achievement for USGS.