USGS - science for a changing world

U.S. Geological Survey Manual

120.6 - Office of the Associate Director for Core Science Systems


OPR:  Office of Core Science Systems

Instructions:  New Survey Manual Chapter.

1.  General Functions.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Office of the Associate Director for Core Science Systems, provides executive leadership for topographic mapping, including 3-D elevation products; geologic mapping in support of Federal and State requirements; biological occurrence data acquisition, biological taxonomic analysis and interpretation, computational analytics and synthesis; integrating USGS national data sets into an accessible environment for long-term data management and dissemination into multi-disciplinary science practices; preserving geological, geophysical, and paleontological data; managing the archive of geoscience samples, including rocks, fossils, sediments, and ice cores; managing the network of libraries in support of USGS Earth science research; and supporting the Department of the Interior’s responsibilities for national geospatial coordination. 

2.  Associate Director for Core Science Systems.  The Associate Director exercises the authority delegated by the USGS Director for the development, integration, management and accessibility of USGS national data sets.  The Associate Director also creates and maintains The National Map, collects and integrates base national geospatial datasets, coordinates data discovery and access, and ensures consistent and current data are available for the Nation.  Through participation on the Federal Geographic Data Committee, the Associate Director promotes and promulgates consistent geospatial data and metadata standards, enhances the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and adoption of cross-government best business practices for geospatial resources, policies, standards and technology.  Responsibilities are shared with a Deputy Associate Director.  The Associate Director and Deputy Director are assisted in the development and implementation of Core Science Systems by:

A.  Core Science Systems Program Coordinators who are responsible for Core Science Systems planning, budget development, and program evaluation.  The Program Coordinators develop strategic program plans, coordinate programmatic activities within and outside the USGS, and conduct program reviews of Core Science Systems to ensure the activities support USGS program needs and fulfill the needs of users.  The Core Science Systems programs include the:

(1)  Science Synthesis, Analysis, and Research (SSAR) which provides analysis and synthesis of scientific data and information, and long-term preservation of scientific data and library collections.  SSAR ensures that data are strategically managed, integrated, and available to decision makers and others as they focus on issues associated with Earth and life science processes.  SSAR includes the following components:

(a)  USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesisfacilitates USGS researchers and their colleagues to focus on complex Earth system and natural resource questions in order to advance the state of knowledge and to provide resource managers and policy makers with the synthesized scientific information required to address Earth system science issues.

(b)  National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program preserves physical geoscience samples, and analog and digital geoscience data, including rocks, sediments, and ice cores; fossils; field notes and reports; thin sections; fluid samples of oil, gas, and water; and geochemical databases.  The USGS cooperates with State geological surveys and other Interior bureaus to accomplish this work.  The program manages the Core Research Center and the National Ice Core Laboratory, preserving valuable rock and ice cores for use by scientists and educators from government, industry, and academia.

(c)  Core Science Analytics, Synthesis and Library Program focuses on biodiversity, computational, and data science to accelerate scientific discovery that addresses societal challenges.  The program conducts biological occurrence data acquisition, biological taxonomic analysis and interpretation, computational analytics and synthesis, and provides access to broad collections of scientific information.  The USGS Library supports fundamental scientific research conducted within the USGS and is one of the world’s largest Earth and natural science repositories.  The Library is used by both USGS and external researchers and the public and provides comprehensive access to Earth and natural sciences literature, data, and information.

(2)  National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program which produces geologic maps and 3-D frameworks that provide critical data for sustaining and improving the quality of life and economic vitality of the Nation.  The geologic maps are indispensable to understanding Earth surface processes and groundwater availability and quality; supporting the Department of the Interior land management decisions; mitigation of hazards; assisting in ecological and climatic monitoring and modeling; and facilitating the understanding of onshore-offshore sediment processes.

 (3)  National Geospatial Program which organizes, maintains, and publishes the geospatial baseline of the Nation’s topography, natural landscape, and built environment.  The baseline is The National Map, a set of databases of map data and information from which customers can download data and derived map products and use Web-based map services.  Using The National Map, the program generates the USGS digital topographic map series known as US Topo, consisting of 55,000 maps updated on a 3-year cycle.  The program also produces Alaska topographic maps and high-resolution geospatial data for elevation, hydrography, and other thematic datasets.  Through The National Map Liaisons, the program works with Federal, State, and local agencies to leverage the costs of acquiring geospatial data via the private sector.  The program facilitates the work of thousands of citizen scientists known as The National Map Corps, who volunteer to help USGS verify and update map features.

B.  Director, Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) administers the activities of the 32 member interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis.  The FGDC oversees the National Spatial Data Infrastructure which is a physical, organizational, and virtual network designed to enable the development and sharing of the Nation’s digital geographic information resources.  The FGDC administers the Geospatial Platform, a managed portfolio of common geospatial data, services, and applications contributed and administered by trusted sources and hosted on a shared infrastructure, for use by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs and the broader needs of the Nation.


/s/ Suzette M. Kimball                                                           August 25, 2015
________________________________                                _______________
Suzette M. Kimball                                                                            Date
Acting Director, U.S. Geological Survey

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