USGS visit GSI
 Geology Matters Issue No 11
Introduction Director's Discourse Irish Geoscience Graduate Programme IRETHERM Dublin on the Rocks GSI Awards 2010 USGS visit GSI TELLUS Border Geoscience 2010 Conference Geoscience Initiatives Programme Staff News New Products

USGS visit GSI 22nd - 24th September 2010
Raphael Kelly and Enda Gallagher

GSI was delighted to host a high level delegation from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in September of last year. The USGS is seen as a world leader in the natural sciences and has a staff of 10,000 scientists, technicians, and support staff in more than 400 locations. It is widely involved internationally and in the US in response to natural disaster e.g. the Haitian earthquake, the Gulf oil spill. Like Ireland it has a policy of making all its data available free of charge through the web.

Dr Ingrid Verstraeten and Minister Lenihan
Dr Ingrid Verstraeten from the United States Geological Survey
with Minister for Natural Resources Conor Lenihan

Fortunately, there is a long history of geoscience cooperation and technology transfer between GSI and USGS and that policy will be enhanced over the duration of the TELLUS Border project (see page 12), as GSI will be leveraging the expertise of USGS to maximise the shallow mineral and depth-to-bedrock data that will be gleaned in this process.

USGS delegation
Dr Ingrid M Verstraeten and two of her USGS colleagues Jared Abraham and Victor F Labson,
pictured here with Minister for Natural Resources Conor Lenihan, Pat O’Connor and Gerry Stanley of GSI

During the visit the head of the USGS delegation, Dr Ingrid Verstraeten, Director, Europe & Near East, delivered a well-attended public lecture entitled "USGS Science Addressing Natural Resources Challenges - A New Direction." Ingrid spoke about how the USGS decided in 2007 to realign its management to provide a stronger focus on major natural-science issues facing the US, particularly on areas where natural science can make a substantial contribution to the well being of the Nation and the world. These areas include global climate change, water resources, natural hazards, energy and minerals, ecosystems, and data integration, she said. This new focus was encapsulated in the USGS Science Strategy 2007–2017 which, according to Ingrid, "came at a time of growing awareness of societal needs posing critical natural-science challenges: the emergence of a global economy affecting the demand for resources, the crystallization of ecosystem-based management, the need to understand climate change and its impacts, and the risks from natural hazards, all of which require a multi-disciplinary approach."

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