Compensation is competitive, although advancement seems to be tied to a fairly rigid federal grade system that restricts ability to reward shining stars or remove deadwood.
Currently, research scientists are rewarded for emulating academic scientists. Support staff are rewarded for supporting the projects of the research staff. Nobody is rewarded for furthering the CMGP's unique mission. Obviously, this must change.
The survey still does not have a reward system that encourages scientists to support USGS goals. The research staff is mainly rewarded for individual products (i.e., scientific papers).
This issue has been addressed in the last two years, but there has been little evidence that any of the recommendations have been implemented.
Current evaluations tend to be meaningless, as there is currently just a pass-fail rating. All employees can work at the pass level, leaving little incentive to outperform. Rewards are virtually nonexistent except for a select few. Positions are described as non-promotable, removing incentive by employees to excel.
Good overall but variable. Opportunities exist to advance professional reputation, but not all scientists take advantage of them.
Encourage journal articles, talks at other agencies, and high-quality scientific work. Publicize our large projects in EOS or in other scientific newspapers.
Not considered important to CMGP management, although it should be, unless the recognition is from a full-paying client.
Given the way things are going toward customer-driven research, there will be a diminishing of recognition outside the USGS. Workers will be recognized by customers, but that recognition may be short lived if the prices are too high.
In the fields with which I am most familiar, the staff reputation was unquestioned; with the losses during the reduction in force and with the continuing attrition since then, however, it is becoming a problem.
Recognition of CMGP staff by outside agencies and academia has noticeably declined since the reduction in force.
Quality and quantity of CMGP data have suffered in the last four or five years. Perhaps this current review will allow for an improved work atmosphere, an increase in productivity, and a resulting improvement in professional recognition.