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You are here: Home Cooperative Our Plan Section 2: Science Capacity within the Appalachian Community Federal Departments/Agencies Science Capacities within Department of Interior (DOI)

Science Capacities within Department of Interior (DOI)

Key to the success of LCCs will be advancements in data integration across agencies, scientific and technological disciplines, and geographic and political boundaries.  These include geospatial data, such as water quantity and quality, soils, vegetative cover and land use, invasive species distributions, and trends of native animal and plant populations.  DOI has committed to a unified monitoring and data management effort that will promote data integration procedures to facilitate data sharing.  This effort will rely heavily on partnerships with non-DOI agencies and organizations, as most of the data and information needed exists or will exist in databases outside the Department of Interior (e.g. at NOAA, EPA, USDA, NASA) or beyond the Federal government (e.g. Heritage Programs, States, NGOs, NatureServe).  Data integration across these sources will be modeled after similar efforts in private sector industries, and can be accomplished over time using an incremental, “modular” approach as financial and logistic hurdles are overcome.

Financial and Science Resources

Enhancing existing science capacities and developing new capabilities will be directly dependent on successes in partnering to consolidate funding and in-kind services.  Initial efforts in the LCC will focus on conservation planning and design for surrogate species and resource indicators, that will serve as indices for communities, habitat types, and ecosystem health and sustainability.  It is anticipated that Congress will continue to provide some level of funding to the Service and other DOI agencies in support of LCCs.  However, this will need to be augmented by state agency budget-based resource management funding, private partner contributions, corporate partnerships and competitive grant programs.

The Service maintains over thirty field offices within the boundaries of the Appalachian LCC and all of these will be engaged to an appropriate degree.  The development of the Appalachian LCC presents a tremendous opportunity to leverage existing capabilities of partners in a geographic region involving all or parts of 15 states. Contemporary partnerships will form the basis for strategic conservation and landscape level planning throughout the Appalachian LCC.

Existing capacities within Federal, state and local agencies, conservation organizations and colleges and universities with interests in the Appalachian LCC are many. Continued development and coordination of these capacities is paramount to the success of the Appalachian LCC. Science capacities and resource needs can best be addressed through cooperative research and monitoring efforts. Cooperative Research Units, recently developed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESUs) and USGS Climate Change Centers, other existing agency research centers and university research programs are key to this effort.

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