Executive Summary -- Geospatial technology applications have been identified in many U.S. Geological Survey Biological Resources Division (BRD) proposals for grants awarded through internal and partnership programs. Because geospatial data and tools have become more sophisticated, accessible, and easy to use, BRD scientists frequently are using these tools and capabilities to enhance a broad spectrum of research activities.
Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior, has acknowledged--and lauded--the important role of geospatial technology in natural resources management. In his keynote address to more than 5,500 people representing 87 countries at the Environmental Systems Research Institute Annual Conference (May 21, 1996), Secretary Babbitt stated, '. . .GIS [geographic information systems], if properly used, can provide a lot more than sets of data. Used effectively, it can help stakeholders to bring consensus out of conflict. And it can, by providing information, empower the participants to find new solutions to their problems.'
This Geospatial Technology Strategic Plan addresses the use and application of geographic information systems, remote sensing, satellite positioning systems, image processing, and telemetry; describes methods of meeting national plans relating to geospatial data development, management, and serving; and provides guidance for sharing expertise and information. Goals are identified along with guidelines that focus on data sharing, training, and technology transfer. To measure success, critical performance indicators are included.
The ability of the BRD to use and apply geospatial technology across all disciplines will greatly depend upon its success in transferring the technology to field biologists and researchers. The Geospatial Technology Strategic Planning Development Team coordinated and produced this document in the spirit of this premise. Individual Center and Program managers have the responsibility to implement the Strategic Plan by working within the policy and guidelines stated herein.