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U.S. Geological Survey - National Geospatial Program: User Engagement - Natural Resources Conservation

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COU Coordinator: Natural Resources Conservation
   Greg Matthews
   Denver, Colorado

Natural Resources Conservation
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National Map Liaisons - Natural Resources Conservation

About Partner and User Engagement
An addition to the long-standing partnership functions of The National Map is an emerging initiative to systematically reach out to priority user communities. The goal of user engagement is to gather feedback on the products and services of The National Map so that future development will best meet USGS and Department of the Interior science objectives and provide the greatest value and impact for the Nation. Priority user communities include Geologic Mapping, Geologic Hazards, Natural Resources Conservation, and Water Resources.

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Community of Use (COU): Natural Resources Conservation

The National Geospatial Program (NGP) is beginning a focused effort to address the geospatial data needs of natural resource conservation scientists and professionals. This outreach effort is referred to as the Natural Resource Conservation Community of Use. A Technical Committee is forming to oversee activities of this outreach effort and to interact directly with NGP managers. The Committee is comprised of representatives from state and federal government, academia, and non-profit groups that use geospatial data to support their conservation activities. The Committee will meet regularly with NGP managers to explore enhancements that would make NGP products and services more useful to this community. These outreach efforts will expand through increased interaction between the members of the Technical Committee and their colleagues throughout the broader conservation community.

Users include:

  • USGS scientists associated with multiple mission areas including Ecosystems, Climate and Land Use Change, Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health
  • Broad array of Federal and State resource management agencies
  • Non-profit entities including The Nature Conservancy


At the initiation of this conservation outreach effort, NGP is taking a broad view of natural resource conservation, seeking input from multiple areas of interest throughout the community in order to ascertain where NGP products and services most benefit the user community. As more is learned from the community, NGP will focus its efforts on high impact areas that demonstrate the greatest need for enhanced NGP deliverables.

  • Ecological modeling
  • Landscape analyses
  • Conservation assessment and modeling
  • Forest, Soils, and Plains conservation planning
  • Wildfire modeling and analysis
  • Wildlife and Fisheries habitat modeling

Initial Community of Use Areas of Interest

  • Development of off-the-shelf lidar point cloud derivatives critical to ecological and biological modeling that will feed directly into conservation modeling software applications
  • Improved positional accuracy and network integrity of the National Hydrography Dataset for improved solutions in conservation analytics
  • Integration of National Wetlands Inventory data into the National Hydrography Dataset
  • Delivery of cartographically symbolized GIS layers from NGP's National Map databases over large contiguous blocks
  • Increased feature content maintained within NGP National Map databases and portrayed on US Topo products

Technical Committee

The Natural Resource Conservation COU Technical Committee assists the NGP COU coordinator in understanding and prioritizing enhancement requests submitted by the conservation community of users. The community is broadly represented by multiple federal agencies including USGS, BLM, USFWS, NRCS and USFS, several state agencies and universities, and The Nature Conservancy. Membership is expected to transform over time to allow for continued outreach into new sectors of the community.

Future Plans

  • Begin USGS Geospatial Liaison outreach to conservation professionals within their regions of contact. Initial focus is to engage known colleagues throughout the nation
  • The Technical Committee will be stood up and begin gathering and reviewing enhancement suggestions submitted by the broader conservation community, for potential integration into the Fiscal Year 2016 program of work at NGP
  • Attendance at several conservation conferences is planned, where the objectives of the outreach effort will be communicated to the broader community

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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 10-May-2017 15:57:53 EDT