Daniel W Opstal

Daniel W. Opstal is a Geographer and the Executive Secretary of the Civil Applications Committee (CAC).  He directs the CAC Secretariat composed of USGS and interagency personnel.


CAC Responsibilities

The CAC is a chartered activity that facilitates and oversees the federal civil government use of Department of Defense/Intelligence Community remote sensing data and technologies, to include commercial Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) data.  The following broad activities are overseen by the CAC:

  • Mapping, Charting, Geodesy
  • Hazard, Disaster, and Public Health Assessments
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Scientific research, such as Earth system investigation
  • Land use, water, use, and natural resource management
  • Law enforcement, regulatory and homeland security missions
  • Derived information supporting national policies and objectives

Examples include monitoring volcanoes, sea ice and glaciers; detecting and tracking wildfires; supporting emergency response to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods; and monitoring, invasive species, ecosystems and global change.

Career Highlights and History

Before joining USGS, Dan served as a civil servant within the DoD/IC in a variety of capacities, including as an analyst and program manager for several interagency groups.  Dan is also a reserve officer in the US Air Force and served as a senior instructor of military mapping technologies on diverse topics, from tactical operations to disaster response and strategic environmental analyses. 


Mr. Opstal holds a degree in international studies and Russian language from Emory University, a Master of Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.  His NIU thesis focused on commercial satellite remote sensing innovations.  He is also distinguished graduate of the US Army War College, a certified geospatial-intelligence professional and an Eagle Scout.  Dan speaks Dutch and German.