Decreasing Emphasis

  • single-discipline studies

  • remediation studies

  • distribution and quantity of resources

  • domestic mineral and energy studies

  • traditional earth science disciplines

  • local studies

  • sole production of geospatial data

  • basic research studies

  • compartmentalized technology

  • investigator-driven studies

  • wilderness areas studies

  • single-risk assessments

  • paper products

  • post-event responses

Similar concepts from both the USGS strategic plan (USGS, 1997) and the GD's strategic plan (USGS, 1998h) appear throughout this report to acknowledge the committee's recognition that these documents provide particularly helpful guidance to the CMGP.


As outlined in its statement of task, the committee collected a great deal of information during its visits to each of the three research centers and through extensive input from the USGS staff and many of the users and collaborators of the program. In total the committee either heard presentations or received written input from individuals representing 25 federal, state, and local government agencies, academic institutions, and nongovernmental groups. Those discussions centered on the policy decisions facing entities responsible for coastal and marine areas in the United States and the role the CMGP plays or should play in providing necessary information to support science-based decisionmaking.

This report is organized according to the committee's charge and is intended for multiple audiences, including scientists familiar with both coastal and marine geology and the CMGP, and policymakers who may not be familiar with either. Chapter 2 discusses the current niche, as understood by the committee, of the CMGP in addressing research, assessment, monitoring, and characterization of U.S. coastal and marine areas. Chapter 3 speaks to the overarching or grand challenges facing these areas, and Chapter 4 sketches the central role the committee feels the CMGP should play in addressing those challenges, as well as more specific near-term scientific and technical challenges. Chapter 5 contains the committee's advice on how critical human and technical resources can be focused to allow the CMGP to implement change successfully and position itself to play a leading role in advancing this nation's ability to manage its coastal and marine resources and promote the health, safety, and well-being of the people.

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