Doing Business With U.S. Geological Survey
General Info on USGS<@VM>The CIO file: Karen Siderelis
- By Evamarie C. Socha
- Jul 18, 2003
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192
Chip Groat Employees:
About 10,000What it does:
The Web site says it best: "USGS provides 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 quality of life." It concentrates on four areas: natural hazards, resources, the environment and information and data management. It works with more than 2,000 state, local and tribal government agencies, the academic community and other federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector. Major subagencies:
USGS is part of the Interior Department and is its only science agency. It is a nonregulatory agency. There are three main offices: the Eastern region and headquarters, the Central region and the Western region. There are about 400 offices throughout the United States and in assorted foreign countries. Number Crunching2004 budget request:
$895.5 million2003 budget:
In the Bush administration's fiscal 2004 budget request, $2.3 million is slated for the National Biological Information Infrastructure, a collaborative program with state and resource management agencies to improve access to data and information on the nation's biological resources. There is a $3 million increase for America View, a program of public access to remotely sensed data, and $800,000 for the Urban Dynamics Program, which studies urbanization and its impact on the surrounding environment. The budget also includes $4 million for conversion from wideband radio to digital narrowband radio used in natural hazards networks, radio telemetry for wildlife and global positioning satellites.
Geographic information officerTook the job:
"A number of things." She and her husband are avid hikers. Also enjoys reading and gardening.Currently reading:
"Not Without Peril: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Misadventure on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire" by Nicholas Howe. Siderelis and her husband recently hiked in New Hampshire's White Mountains for two weeks. They tried to hike to the top of each Presidential Peak. Alma mater:
Bachelor's degree in education, master's degree in park management, both from the University of GeorgiaWT: Your title, geographic information officer, is different from that of other CIOs. Is your job very different from that of a typical CIO?
Siderelis: I think it is. It includes every function that most CIOs have; but in addition, I have more responsibilities dealing with scientific data holding and knowledge management than some of my peers. I also have responsibility for what we call information services, and it includes things such as our libraries, public information centers, and the scientific publishing process. I don't do the publishing, but I sort of have responsibility for publishing policy, which overlaps to some extent with data quality and those kinds of things. WT: What do you look for in companies with which you are thinking of doing business?
Siderelis: Typically the CIO would look to a company that has a good track record, some longevity, is a market leader, has performed well over some period of time. ?. We are also looking for companies that are into innovation and sort of out-of-the-box solutions to things we're doing. You don't often find that all in one company.WT: A year from now, where do you see USGS's technology capabilities?
Siderelis: One of our goals is to bring some enterprise approaches to our information technology to reduce costs and provide a greater benefit to the programs.
We've developed is a vision statement for our office to bring a more integrated environment to USGS to make it easier for scientific programs to work together.
One other thing I'd like to see in the next couple years is that programs perceive us as adding value to what they do as opposed to being a resource drain.
The last thing I'd like to see ? is some, at least a case or two, in which we've actually collaborated with a program to modernize or develop an information system or capability that they couldn't do without the CIO's office ? enter into a real, true partnership to do that.
For more of the interview with Karen Siderelis, go to www.washingtontechnology.com
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