Science helps humanity best manage the world in which we live. Impartial scientific information is critical to maintaining the health of ecosystems and the environment on which humankind depends, managing water, biological, energy and mineral resources, protecting against natural hazards, and enhancing and protecting our quality of life. At the heart of gathering this impartial information is science. The integration of diverse scientific expertise can help us understand complex natural phenomena and provide critical information to communities.
Within the U.S. Department of the Interior resides the critical scientific expertise to provide sound stewardship of the Nation’s natural resources and is home to leading experts in a range of disciplines including geology, hydrology, and biology. Interior collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific expertise about natural resource conditions both domestically and internationally. The diversity of the Department’s scientific expertise enables it to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. In collaboration with partners, the Interior’s remote sensing applications and record of global land cover can improve understanding of the changes that the earth is currently experiencing and what might occur in the future.
Science is inherently international in scope. The natural and human processes we seek to understand – such as land cover changes or airborne disease progression – extend across international frontiers. Study of natural phenomena in remote corners of the world help America understand similar situations at home. The Department’s scientists work and share ideas and experiences with their counterparts around the world in order to maintain and develop their expertise. Historically, Interior has worked in almost every country of the world on a tremendous variety of issues ranging from the impact on Caribbean coral reefs of windblown dust from Africa, to assessing the mineral resources of Afghanistan, to locating and drilling underground aquifers for clean drinking water to help emergency responders in Sudan refugee camps. The exchange of knowledge across borders, and the increased understanding of the world that comes from shared learning, benefits America and the globe.