Executive Summary -- The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) held a workshop on 'Making USGS Information Effective in the Electronic Age' in Woods Hole, MA, on 6-8 February 2001. The workshop was designed to address broad issues of knowledge and communication, and to help develop the mission, vision, and goals of the National Knowledge Bank called for in the 1999 NRC review of the CMGP.
Presentations led by historians and philosophers yield to a wide-ranging review and discussion of the role of USGS science in society: USGS science is important to government to understand certain complicated public policy issues (such as the environment), but we must participate in two-way public dialogs to increase our relevance and usefulness. Presentations led by USGS communications experts reviewed the principles of audience analysis and effective communications: this focused look at audiences, markets, and products provided an introduction to the behaviors, the tools, and the terminology that might be applied to public discourse. Presentations by several information technology experts showed the potential - and pitfalls - of current schemes for Web-based information access. Finally, several brainstorming sessions developed action items, vision, and characteristics of a knowledge bank.
Based on the workshop discussions and results, the authors developed the National Knowledge Bank Mission, Vision, and Goals statements.