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Science for Decisionmaking: Coastal and Marine Geology at the U.S. Geological Survey
that falls outside CMGP goals should be kept to a minimum because it can tie up CMGP assets and key personnel for extended periods of time. It is the committee's understanding that each of the regional geologists often pursues reimbursable work in an effort to help support GD staff that are not fully funded through one or more of the GD programs. It would thus seem logical that reimbursable work that falls outside the CMGP goals would be addressed by non-CMGP staff. Such a distinction could serve both the USGS and potential clients well, as needed work could be completed without diverting the CMGP from its main functions. Furthermore, such a distinction should help minimize potential confusion by avoiding the appearance that two USGS entities are competing for work or otherwise serving similar functions.
Collaborations at the Individual Scientist Level
Collaboration is generally easier to accomplish at the individual scientist level, as individuals with similar interests can often agree on common goals and approaches, and it was apparent that this was being done among the scientists at all three centers. However, this collaboration appeared to be somewhat haphazard and was not coordinated in any manner. Furthermore, because academics can rarely contribute funds, it is generally more difficult for CMGP staff to collaborate with their academic colleagues. However, there are advantages to such collaborations, especially if they make use of expertise or specialized equipment not present in CMGP. It is recommended that collaboration be stressed at each center and be strongly encouraged by headquarters (i.e., through incentive programs). Joining with academic partners in writing joint proposals to various funding agencies should be strongly encouraged and, if necessary, rewards should be provided to those personnel who are successful in such undertakings.
ENSURING RELEVANCE TO REGIONAL AND NATIONAL GOALS
Although a large number of agencies and academic institutions are involved in research on continental margins, the CMGP is the only agency with the interdisciplinary scientific resources to characterize the geologic framework of the margins and integrate this information into a comprehensive national assessment. To meet this long-term goal will require a considerable amount of data synthesis by all scientists. Personnel at each of the centers will be required to assemble not only the data acquired by their own research projects but also to use data generated by other federal and state agencies, private industry, and academia. Considerable discussions between scientists and data synthesizers will need to take place to ensure compatible formats and presentation outputs. A review of products created by other agencies (e.g., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis-