Statement of Task of the NRC Committee on Opportunities
and Challenges for International Science at the U.S. Geological Survey
This study will describe how international collaborations and interactions support and enhance USGS strategic science directions and/or U.S. government national and international objectives. The study will also assess the benefits, opportunities, and obligations associated with USGS involvement in international science. In particular, the committee will
The committee will not make any recommendations related to government organization, legal authorities, funding, or other policy choices to address such impediments.
conjunction with the recent reorganization of the USGS,3 as well as the continuing demand for Survey expertise on a variety of urgent international earth science issues, the USGS requested that the National Research Council (NRC) establish a study committee (Appendix B) on Opportunities and Challenges for International Science at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (see Box 1.1 for the committee’s statement of task). The committee was tasked specifically to examine past and present international activities that support the USGS national mission, to identify priority international research areas for the coming 5 to 10 years, and to identify challenges to the USGS participation in international science activities. To address the study charge, the NRC assembled an eight-person committee with diverse backgrounds that allowed for a comprehensive examination of present and potential future USGS international activities (Appendix C). A more detailed description of the rationale for the current study follows.
Scientific Issues as Global Issues
The geography of the United States and its territories covers a significant portion of the globe, and many of the issues that are critical to U.S. national interests are inextricably
3 See www.usgs.gov/start_with_science/science_strategy.asp (accessed January 26, 2012).