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2006 Customer Listening Session: Introduction

The USGS (U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department on the Interior) hosted a listening session in Washington, D.C. on May 1, 2006 with customers, partners, and stakeholders. The 2006 session represents the fifth in a series of listening sessions organized by USGS. The USGS Executive Leadership Team convened this session to hear its customers' views on the USGS's Science Strategy for the Future.

USGS recently formed the Science Strategy Team (SST) to develop a comprehensive vision and identify priorities that make the best use of USGS capabilities and resources to help address future societal challenges and related needs for scientific information and improved understanding. Based on extensive document review and consultations within the USGS, the SST developed an initial framing document for purposes of the listening session, which organized key scientific challenges and questions into eight broad categories: 1) Energy and Minerals; 2) Natural Hazards; 3) Environmental Aspects of Human Health; 4) Water; 5) Climate, 6) Landscape Change; 7) Biodiversity and 8) Ecosystems. (See Appendix A for this document). The core purpose of the 2006 listening session was to gain insights from its stakeholders on the science strategy, including specific ideas priorities, the USGS role and how the USGS can apply its capabilities most effectively, and opportunities for partnerships.

Over 70 individuals attended the session, including government staff, professional associations, academic and research institutions, consulting firms, and advocacy groups (See Appendix B for the participant list). The USGS Executive Leadership Team participated in the session along with many other USGS employees.

The session agenda clustered the eight categories into four sessions (See Appendix C for the session agenda). Within each session, participants provided short prepared remarks followed by additional comments and open discussion. The agenda also included open discussion about general issues and the USGS core science program and an opportunity for the USGS Executive Leadership Team to reflect on the session. Participants were also invited to provide written comments to supplement their statements.

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