Appendix C

Responses to Specific Questions in the Statement of Task for the Panel

Although the panel did not structure the body of the report to directly answer specific questions in the Statement of Task, we feel that all questions have been addressed as adequately as possible. This appendix provides a guide to sections in the report where responses to specific questions can be found.

  1. Evaluate the Plan of the Mineral Resource Surveys Program in terms of the nation's long-term needs for minerals research and information, the completeness and balance of the program, and the scientific significance, credibility, and relevance of the overall program.

Most of the response to this part of the task is included in Chapter 2 of this report, in which the panel evaluates the Plan and makes specific recommendations for individual subprograms. Other recommendations regarding overarching issues, including balance and scientific integrity, are included in Chapter 3. Aspects of this question, such as completeness and balance of the program, cannot be addressed with the available information, as explained in the report (see discussion of Recommendation 4 in Chapter 3).

Does the Plan address the nation's needs in mineral resources, both present-day and long-term?

In Chapter 2 the panel notes that the rationale in the MRSP plan for continued mineral resource assessments does not include the important aspect of mineral supply as a continuing legitimate national need, either present day or long term. Some specific recommendations in Chapter 3, particularly regarding communications and core competence, provide means by which the MRSP can assure that long-term needs are met. As noted in Chapter 3, the program plans for the



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Mineral Resources and Society: A Review of the U.S. Geological Survey's Mineral Resource Surveys Program Plan Appendix C Responses to Specific Questions in the Statement of Task for the Panel Although the panel did not structure the body of the report to directly answer specific questions in the Statement of Task, we feel that all questions have been addressed as adequately as possible. This appendix provides a guide to sections in the report where responses to specific questions can be found. Evaluate the Plan of the Mineral Resource Surveys Program in terms of the nation's long-term needs for minerals research and information, the completeness and balance of the program, and the scientific significance, credibility, and relevance of the overall program. Most of the response to this part of the task is included in Chapter 2 of this report, in which the panel evaluates the Plan and makes specific recommendations for individual subprograms. Other recommendations regarding overarching issues, including balance and scientific integrity, are included in Chapter 3. Aspects of this question, such as completeness and balance of the program, cannot be addressed with the available information, as explained in the report (see discussion of Recommendation 4 in Chapter 3). Does the Plan address the nation's needs in mineral resources, both present-day and long-term? In Chapter 2 the panel notes that the rationale in the MRSP plan for continued mineral resource assessments does not include the important aspect of mineral supply as a continuing legitimate national need, either present day or long term. Some specific recommendations in Chapter 3, particularly regarding communications and core competence, provide means by which the MRSP can assure that long-term needs are met. As noted in Chapter 3, the program plans for the

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Mineral Resources and Society: A Review of the U.S. Geological Survey's Mineral Resource Surveys Program Plan information functions that have been transferred from the U.S. Bureau of Mines to the USGS are not included in the MRSP plan. What are the appropriate roles and responsibilities, and who are the appropriate customers for the USGS MRSP? Recommendations 1 through 4 in Chapter 3 all address aspects of roles and responsibilities. The breadth of customers is discussed in the justification for Recommendation 2, concerning clients and communications. Does the USGS MRSP duplicate the activities of other federal programs with responsibilities related to mineral resources? Although the panel may not have had complete exposure to federal programs related to mineral resources, there do not appear to be other federal agencies that duplicate MRSP activities. On the contrary, with the demise of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the MRSP stands as the only federal program with clear responsibilities in hard mineral resources. The need for this program is articulated in the MRSP plan and in Chapter 1 of this report. Are the program priorities, products, and audience appropriate to the goals and objectives of the Plan? Recommendations 1 and 2 in Chapter 3, which address the MRSP mission, culture, clients, and communication, provide suggestions for improvements in these areas. Are the level, scope, and balance of research in the Plan sufficient to provide a scientific basis for informed decision-making and to build a scientific foundation for the future? These issues are addressed in the sections of Chapter 2 regarding Mitigation Studies and Resource Investigations and in Recommendation 3 in Chapter 3, concerning core competence. As noted in question (1) above, aspects of this question could not be answered with the available information. Provide recommendations as to how the Plan could be modified to improve its effectiveness in meeting the long-term needs of the nation. Suggestions for improvements are embodied in Recommendations 1 through 4 in Chapter 3. What are future research needs, activities, and opportunities?

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Mineral Resources and Society: A Review of the U.S. Geological Survey's Mineral Resource Surveys Program Plan Some of these are mentioned under Recommendation 3 in Chapter 3, concerning core competence. Others are developed in Recommendations 2 and 4 and in Chapter 2. What criteria should be established to evaluate the appropriateness and priority of suggested MRSP activities? This question is addressed under Recommendations 2 and 4 in Chapter 3. What areas of scientific expertise will be needed by the MRSP to effectively respond to future issues? The panel answers this question in Recommendation 3, concerning core competence.

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Mineral Resources and Society: A Review of the U.S. Geological Survey's Mineral Resource Surveys Program Plan This page in the original is blank.