Attitudinal survey component of the study Quantity, quality, and support for research in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: An organizational assessment: Report of methods and frequencies

Open-File Report 2005-1449

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is responsible for managing the Nation’s fish and wildlife resources so that these trust resources are preserved for the present and future use and enjoyment of the citizens of the United States. The FWS achieves this mission by managing many programs. These include the national system of refuges and fish hatcheries, Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Offices, migratory birds program, law enforcement, and working with tribal, state, and other Federal agencies to ensure protection of threatened and endangered species. Another role of the FWS is consulting with tribal, state, and other Federal agencies and private sector interests on the best conservation management practices consistent with Federal law. Each of these activities requires a workforce that is recognized for its professionalism, dedication to public service, and command of expert knowledge. Recognition for expert knowledge in fish and wildlife conservation is demonstrated, in part, when FWS personnel direct, conduct, or report research that is well-designed to answer questions of importance for natural resource management. The data reported in this document are one part of a three-part study of the status of organizational support for research in FWS, which was commissioned by the Directorate of the FWS. Funding for this study was provided by the FWS, and the Science Support Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

In 1994, the biological research functions of the FWS were transferred to the National Biological Survey, and subsequently into the USGS. This transfer was principally accomplished by moving whole research units from one agency to another. The result was that some employees whose positions were involved with research were not transferred. In addition, some research, information, and management needs of the FWS have continued to be met by studies conducted within the FWS itself. Although the FWS relies on the USGS and others for most basic research investigations, the FWS also conducts its own studies to meet management needs. Because it is vital for FWS employees to be able to conduct such tactical and applied research tasks in a timely manner, the agency must promote the culture necessary to support and encourage these activities. Such research activities are spread widely across the various programs of the FWS, and there is presently no collective, formal, or systematic record of planned or existing research activities. In commissioning this organizational assessment research, the Directorate of the FWS recognized that it would be to the advantage of the agency to more fully understand its research capacity.

To develop a clearer picture of the nature, extent, quality, and degree of administrative support available for conducting research within the FWS, investigations have been undertaken to:

1. identify positions in the FWS that may include, in whole or in part, a component of scientific research;

2. identify organizational units within the FWS that may conduct research as a significant portion of their mission; and

3. assess the attitudes of employees and managers about the obstacles and opportunities for scientific research existing within the FWS by using a scaled-response survey instrument.

The findings presented in this report represent the basic results derived from the attitude assessment survey conducted in the last quarter of 2004. The findings set forth in this report are the frequency distributions for each question in the survey instrument for all respondents. The only statistics provided are descriptive in character - namely, means and associated standard deviations.

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USGS Numbered Series
Attitudinal survey component of the study Quantity, quality, and support for research in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: An organizational assessment: Report of methods and frequencies
Series title:
Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
iv, 14 p.
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