USGS Office of Tribal Relations
The activities listed on the following pages are as diverse as the employees of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the people they are serving. Our employees' contributions benefit tribes and individual Indian or Alaska Natives by enhancing understanding of natural resources. Through a wide variety of endeavors, the USGS strives to fulfill its trust responsibility to American Indians and Alaska Natives and to share our scientific knowledge with all who are interested. This knowledge can be used to better manage tribal resources. All of the activities described in this report are the result of people and programs working within the mission of the USGS. This report primarily describes activities during Federal Fiscal Year 1997. During Fiscal Year 1997, the USGS engaged in cooperative research projects, data collection, informal outreach, and work done under Memoranda of Understanding that related to American Indians or Alaska Natives. Some work was technical and/or research- oriented. Other work was educational. As much as possible, activities are listed from east to west and from north to south.
The USGS is the Federal science bureau within the Department of the Interior (DOI). USGS is non-regulatory and is not a significant manager of Federal or Trust lands or assets. There are two types of USGS activities involving American Indians, Alaska Natives, and their lands. The first type is the course of formal studies, conducted through existing USGS programs. Our formal programs consist of specific data collection, investigative, and research projects. These projects frequently continue for two or more years, although a few are parts of longer-term activities. These are frequently funded through cooperative agreements or reimbursable accounts, from monies provided to the USGS by individual tribal governments or by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The USGS provides matching funds for cooperative projects. These formal projects may also receive funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Indian Health Service (part of the Department of Health and Human Services), or other Federal agencies. The second type of activity is less formal, based on initiatives designed and conducted by USGS employees. Frequently involving educational activities, these endeavors are prompted by employee interests, often as collateral issues, resulting from an individual or group of USGS employees identifying and responding to an observed need. In these activities, our employees help us fulfill a mission of the USGS, to make science relevant, while helping our fellow citizens.
USGS employees have also taken the initiative to assist American Indians and Alaska Natives through participation in several organizations. These organizations were created to foster the knowledge of science among Native peoples and to help build support and communication networks. One such group is the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). This group sponsors an annual national meeting in which USGS employees participate. USGS employees join this organization on a voluntary basis, paying the costs themselves, yet bringing the benefits of this expanded network to the USGS, as many employees do with other professional organizations.
Each part of the USGS has identified an American Indian/Alaska Native liaison. All of the liaisons, except at the bureau level, have coordination of American Indian and Alaska Native issues as a collateral duty. Within the USGS, we will use this report to help in developing outreach, educational, and program documents for use in future years. We hope that USGS employees, American Indians, and Alaska Natives will adapt these activities within new areas and will use the USGS contacts to expand the relevance of the USGS to more Americans.
This document was cooperatively prepared by:
Susan Marcus, USGS American Indian/Alaska Native Liaison
Steve Blanchard, Water Resources Division American Indian/Alaska Native Liaison
Sharon Crowley, Geologic Division American Indian/Alaska Native Liaison
Joye DuRant, National Mapping Division American Indian/Alaska Native Liaison
Alexandra Hadley, Office of Program Support American Indian/Alaska Native Liaison
Hardy Pearce, Biological Resources Division American Indian/Alaska Native Liaison
You are welcome to contact us with any questions that you may have.
The contacts provided in the report were accurate at the time of publication. Please refer to the USGS Employee Directory or the Office of Tribal Relations contact page if you require information about a specific activity.