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308.74 – USGS Fundamental Science Practices Advisory Committee

The purpose of the Fundamental Science Practices Advisory Committee is to help ensure best practices for how USGS science is planned and conducted, how results are published, and to provide advice to USGS leadership and others regarding the implementation of the USGS Fundamental Science Practices (FSP).


OPR: Office of the Director

Instruction: This is a new Survey Manual chapter.

1. Establishment. In January 2009, the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced establishment of the Fundamental Science Practices Advisory Committee (FSPAC). This chapter serves as the charter for the FSPAC, defining its purpose, function, and membership.
2. Purpose. The purpose of the FSPAC is to help ensure best practices for how USGS science is planned and conducted, how results are published, and to provide advice to USGS leadership and others regarding the implementation of the USGS Fundamental Science Practices (FSP). The FSP are a set of principles that govern how scientific investigations, research, and activities are planned and conducted and how information products are reviewed and approved for release and dissemination (SM 502.1). The FSPAC brings proposed modifications to FSP policy that merit consideration to the attention of the USGS Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

3. Function. The function of the FSPAC is to:

A. Address pending and new FSP issues, including previously unresolved issues, listen to questions and concerns about FSP from scientists and managers, and develop recommendations for resolving issues. The FSPAC serves as a sounding board for FSP issues and as a resource to USGS management and scientists by offering recommendations and guidance on planning and conducting scientific research and review, approval, and release processes to help ensure that the USGS continues to produce high quality, objective science information products.

B. Recommend mechanisms for communication, training, and feedback to assist the USGS in increasing broad awareness of FSP.

C. Recommend policy changes when appropriate as a result of periodic reviews that assess the FSP benefit and value to the Bureau. The FSPAC collaborates closely with the USGS Office of Science Quality and Integrity (OSQI), providing advice and assistance regarding development and implementation of new and revised FSP policy.

D. Serve as the authoritative body for USGS leadership and scientists seeking advice on FSP policy and procedures.

E. Promote close coordination with other Bureauoffices and groups as appropriate so that Office of Management and Budget, Department of the Interior, and other USGS requirements are factored into recommendations and decisions.

F. Maintain the internal and public FSP Web sites ( Web site materials are reviewed on a continuing basis and updated as necessary to meet the needs of the USGS and its mission.

4. Membership Composition, Selection, and Terms. FSPAC membership is deliberately broad to benefit from various perspectives from across the Bureau and to ensure continuity of FSP. Membership may include scientists, Regional Executives, Associate Directors, Science Center Managers, Bureau Approving Officials, and Publishing Managers. FSPAC members are selected by the ELT, with endorsement by their representative Center or Office Manager, for their expertise in specific functional areas. The FSPAC Chairperson (or Co-Chairs) is appointed by the USGS Director/Deputy Director. Members serve a 2- or 3-year term (depending on the need for their specific expertise). To maintain continuity, the Chairperson and other FSPAC members may be reappointed to serve extended or subsequent terms with majority concurrence of members, the USGS Director/Deputy Director, and the ELT. Membership is reviewed by the committee every 2 years and adjusted as needed to maintain optimum expertise and participation.

5. Meetings. Meetings are held monthly or at the discretion of the Chairperson.

6. Subcommittees. The FSPAC Chairperson is authorized to establish permanent or ad hoc subcommittees to address specific topics or issues. The ELT may provide input into the composition of the subcommittees. Subcommittee members may be within or outside the FSPAC and represent a balanced view of the topics and issues to be addressed.

7. Staff Support. The OSQIhas organizational responsibility for providing infrastructure support, input, and advocacy for the FSPAC, as requested by the FSPAC, and for stewardship of FSP-related policies. The OSQI Director appoints permanent support staff, determining their term conditions. The Chairperson may appoint temporary support staff as needed.

8. Reporting. The FSPAC Chairperson reports to the USGS Director/Deputy Director.

9. Termination Date/Sunset Review. The FSPAC is a permanent committee with no termination date unless otherwise decided by the USGS Director/Deputy Director. The need for continuation or modification of the committee will be reviewed every 2 years.


/s/ Kelly L. Bradley for                                                                                  April 26, 2012
_________________________________________________________            _______________
William H. Werkheiser                                                                                           Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration and Enterprise Information 
and Human Capital