Department of the Interior
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducts global change research for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and constitutes DOI’s formal participation in USGCRP.
USGS scientists work with other agencies and organizations to provide policy makers and resource managers with scientifically based information and predictive understanding of global change and its effects with the ultimate goal of helping the Nation understand, adapt to, and mitigate global change. The USGS Climate Research and Development Program (Climate R&D) conducts research that provides partners and stakeholders with data needed to develop management plans that are sustainable under a changing climate and environment. The mission of the Climate R&D Program is to understand and anticipate how the physical, biological, and chemical components of the Earth system are affected by changing climate and land use. Climate R&D builds upon long-standing USGS expertise in past climate, geology, biology, hydrology, and geography to document changes over daily to millennial timescales and to assess and model impacts of change over local, regional, and national scales. Data from the program are used to evaluate how human activities and natural systems interact to influence ecosystems, water resources, cycling of carbon and nutrients, and land cover. Scientists funded by Climate R&D interact directly with natural resource managers, colleagues at academic institutions, and other policymakers to design research efforts that provide foundational data needed to support management and adaptation planning.
USGS also leads the DOI Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) network. The DOI National and Regional CASC network is a partnership-driven program that teams scientific researchers with natural and cultural resource managers to help fish, wildlife, waters, and lands across the country adapt to changing conditions. The CASC network is made up of a national office based at the USGS Headquarters in Reston, VA and nine regional centers that cover the entire continental United States, Alaska, Hawai'i, the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, and the U.S. Caribbean. The CASC network places emphasis on generating actionable science, information, and products that address identified science needs and are directly usable in supporting resource management decisions, actions, and plans. Important partners include DOI bureaus, tribes and Indigenous partners, states, other federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
An example of USGS’s support for other DOI bureaus is our relationship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), where USGS provides science and technical support to the USFWS Science Applications program, which promotes landscape-scale conservation to deal with the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, and ecological processes. Science Applications complements and work closely with the CASCs, focusing on convening partners, identifying shared science needs and gaps, setting goals, developing conservation plans, and collaboratively creating applied tools to address climate change and other landscape-scale threats.