The Plan also needs to present an appropriate governance structure and dedicated mechanisms to sustain existing long-term observational systems.
The USGCRP and its member agencies and programs are lacking in capacity to achieve the proposed broadening of the Program, perhaps most seriously with regard to integrating the social and ecological sciences within research and observational programs, and to developing the scientific base and organizational capacity for decision support related to mitigation and adaptation choices. Member agencies and programs have insufficient expertise in these domains and lack clear mandates to develop the needed science.
In the Committee’s judgment, it would be a mistake to postpone phasing in the newer elements of the Program (as is implied in the implementation section of the Strategic Plan). Rather, we suggest that the Program identify some specific initial steps it will take in the proposed broadening of scope, including steps to develop critical science capacity that is currently lacking and to improve linkages between the production of knowledge and its use. The Program’s implementation plan should assign responsibilities and resources to specific entities to lead those efforts.
The proposed broadening of the Program in the areas of education, communication, and workforce development needs more careful thinking, regarding which of these activities belong within the Program, which are best organized by entities outside the Program, and how the former will link to the latter.