Timely input and guidance from the CMGP's clients and collaborators will be crucial to the successful use of the CMGP's limited resources to serve the nation's need for scientific understanding of coastal and marine geologic processes. Consequently, the committee recommends that the present Program Council be replaced with an Advisory Council charged with new responsibilities and constituted to reflect the need for broad input to the CMGP.
It is generally recognized that the present USGS staff is talented and uniquely positioned to identify major relevant scientific challenges and design research strategies to address them. The ability to recruit and maintain a high-quality staff will depend on identifying ways to reward creative and resourceful personnel. A long-term commitment to a robust and focused research strategy should encourage staff to make a similar commitment to the program, reducing turnover while encouraging potential program staff to join the USGS effort. The committee recommends that CMGP leadership, during its strategic planning effort, identify the disciplines that will be required by the CMGP to meet its long-term goals. Ensuring that these discipline areas are well represented during subsequent hiring efforts should be a priority. Furthermore, because these efforts should reflect long-term needs, care should be made to hire at a consistent and even rate.
Realization of the long-term goals represented by the grand challenges, as well as the near-term objectives, will greatly depend on CMGP's ability to continue to develop collaborative relationships with other federal, state, and local agencies, as well as academia. CMGP should make every effort to leverage the expertise found in the government (including other programs and divisions of the USGS), academia, and private industry to expand its ability to meet the needs of its diverse user community.