ABSTRACT: This Science Plan has been prepared by the Florida District of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as a tool to provide direction for the scientific work to be accomplished in the District during the next 5-10 years. A Science Plan can serve as a guide to determine the optimum use of the limited financial resources of the USGS in Florida to address water resource issues. The Florida District has four primary operational centers geographically distributed across the State, in Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, with a laboratory in Ocala and field offices in Jacksonville and Fort Myers. Other USGS discipline offices in Florida are located in Gainesville (biology), St. Petersburg (geology), and Miami (restoration ecology) (fig.1). Although some differences exist in programs among the four water-resource offices because of differing physiographic settings and information needs, many common elements are present and these common elements are the focus of this District Science Plan. Science Plan development was based on other planning documents including individual Science Plans prepared by personnel in each of the four primary Florida water resource offices, and strategic planning documents of the Southeastern Region, Water Resources Discipline, and the USGS.
A broad cross-section of District staff, representing all primary offices, a number of different scientific disciplines, and different programs of the District (data collection, investigations, and research) collaborated on the development of this Science Plan. As part of the development process, input was solicited from staff in every office and considered for inclusion in the plan. The Science Plan will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure its continued relevancy to recognized water resources needs in Florida, and to guide future program development and collaboration with our existing and potential partners and customers, both within and outside the USGS.