Wednesday, November 23, 2011

USGS Director: Importance of State Geological Surveys

The following written statement by USGS Director Marcia McNutt was released on November 22, 2011:

For more than 130 years, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been working in partnership with State Geological Surveys to provide science information that is vitally important to the U.S. economy, the safety and health of American citizens, and the sustainability and security of their natural resources. The USGS fully recognizes and supports the need for State geological surveys to help meet the growing challenges society faces in its interface with the natural world on a planet undergoing modification from both natural and man-made causes.

The USGS cannot fully implement our mission without the State geological surveys. Over our long and productive history of partnership, we have established successful ways of working together to mutually support our citizenry and reinforce the best features of both Federal- and State-based government, without overlap or duplication. For example, the USGS, with input from States, provides national standards, benchmarks, and datums, such that individual State products can be linked at the State boundaries. However, without the contributions of the States,
national maps, data bases, models, and resource assessments would be sparsely populated. This symbiotic relationship allows the State surveys the latitude to determine which data sets are most important to their constituencies, while knowing that those data sets can be linked within a regional context, and that the scientific standards are authoritative.

Partnerships such as this are even more important as resources at the Federal and State level continue to decline. State geological surveys maintain a network of applied geoscience activities throughout the country independent of the distribution of the Federal workforce. By continuing to leverage our resources, information and knowledge, we will help the Nation and States address future economic, sociological, environmental and resource challenges now and for generations to come.

Marcia McNutt

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