Data management at the core of USGS Earth science research

The U.S. Geological Survey alone consists of about 8,500 scientists and staff in more than 200 different locations. It not only creates maps and datasets in biology, hydrology, geography and geology for Earth science research in the United States, according to Kevin Gallagher, associate director to the Core Science Systems of USGS, but its work also supports larger multidisciplinary areas, such as climate change, environmental health, energy and minerals and responding to natural hazards.

That kind of data management — which enables scientists across disciplines, sectors and countries to discover, access, use and share relevant data — was the impetus for the Community for Data Integration. Formed in 2009, CDI aimed to build a data management community that would advance earth science through enhanced use of data, tools and techniques. Besides providing a way for scientists and data managers to share ideas and learn new skills, CDI aimed to improve USGS’s capabilities in data and information acquisition, management, use and delivery. The resulting tools, services, and techniques would benefit community members, their parent organizations, other partners and customers and the earth science community at large.

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