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September 22, 2023

Through the ASIST initiative, the USGS is leading the way in open science by bringing together scientists from different fields to collaborate closely with decision makers. 

The USGS is bringing together scientists from different fields to work closely with decision makers. Their goal is to use science to help assess and plan for long-term droughts and related problems.  These problems include wildfires, extreme heat, water shortages, and the health of our environment.  

In the western United States, the Colorado River Basin is going through the worst drought ever recorded. This is causing unprecedented challenges. To make USGS science more accessible to address these challenges, the USGS started a new approach to collaboration called the ASIST initiative. ASIST stands for Actionable and Strategic Integrated Science and Technology. This initiative helps those in charge of natural resources plan for and reduce the impact of droughts in local communities.  

The USGS is bringing together scientists from different fields to work with various groups and individuals. This helps create new partnerships, breaks down barriers, and makes our science, data, and tools more effective for society. The ASIST team is promoting collaborations by organizing events like science open houses, co-development workshops, and co-production discussions.  

The USGS is also using new technology to make it easier to find and use USGS data. There's a lot of research about the Colorado River Basin, but it's spread across many places. More than 840 publications, 575 data releases, and 330 project web pages from the USGS are about the Colorado River Basin. The ASIST team is partnering with the USGS Community for Data Integration to explore how to serve information so people can easily find and use it.  

They're working on creating science portals for important topics. These portals will be a central place to find USGS science and data, making it more accessible. They will also help partners work with USGS scientists on research projects.  

The USGS is also focused on equity and inclusion in our research process, communications, and collaborations. The ASIST team is working with a variety of partners. These include tribes, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, private industry, and more. For example, the ASIST team is hosting a series of science open houses focused on science collaborations with tribes and indigenous groups in the basin and surrounding areas. The team is also creating special areas in the science portal for tribal and indigenous communities and other groups to make sure everyone can benefit from USGS science.  

In the end, the USGS wants to make its research easier to understand and use, helping the USGS lead the way in open science. 

ASIST Website:


Colorado River Basin Projects:…

Tribal Engagement Series:…

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