The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is to serve the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life. As the Nation?s largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS can play a significant role in providing scientific knowledge and information that will improve our understanding of the relations of environment and wildlife to human health and disease. USGS human health-related research is unique in the Federal government because it brings together a broad spectrum of natural science expertise and information, including extensive data collection and monitoring on varied landscapes and ecosystems across the Nation.
USGS can provide a great service to the public health community by synthesizing the scientific information and knowledge on our natural and living resources that influence human health, and by bringing this science to the public health community in a manner that is most useful. Partnerships with health scientists and managers are essential to the success of these efforts. USGS scientists already are working closely with the public health community to pursue rigorous inquiries into the connections between natural science and public health. Partnering agencies include the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Public Health Service, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Collaborations between public health scientists and earth scientists can lead to improved solutions for existing and emerging environmental health problems.
This report summarizes the presentations and discussions held at the Second National Conference on USGS Health-Related Research, held at the USGS national headquarters in Reston, Virginia. The report presents 68 abstracts of technical presentations made at the conference and summaries of six topical breakout sessions. The abstracts cover a broad range of issues and demonstrate connections between human health and the quality and condition of our environment and wildlife. The summaries of the topical breakout sessions present ideas for advancing interdisciplinary science in areas of earth science and human health.