The USGS Community for Data Integration: Advancing science through communities of practice


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) serves as a leading science and information agency providing reliable scientific information to further our understanding of the Earth and inform decision making. Recognizing the need to better integrate the Bureau’s data resources and to facilitate access to scientific data and information, the USGS formed the Community for Data Integration (CDI) in 2009. The USGS CDI operates on a “communities of practice” approach that brings people from across USGS and external partners to share knowledge and expertise about data and information management issues affecting the integration and delivery of ecological, biological, and earth science research. The USGS CDI builds an open dialog through monthly forums and working groups that form around shared topics of interest. The ideas generated by the community and working groups may be supported as USGS CDI annual projects which put into practice innovative solutions that improve interoperability between, integration of, and access to science data.

The USGS CDI has developed into a very active and productive network of over 350 members and has supported over 30 collaborative projects involving complex manipulation and integration of distributed ecological and biological data and technologies. These projects include

·  a visualization tool for national land cover (National Land Cover Database Evaluation Visualization Analysis Tool - ),

·  integration of North American bat population data to address white-nose syndrome (USGS Bat Population Data -,

·  enhanced access to downscaled climate projections for climate modeling (USGS Geo Data Portal –,

·  improved web service access to non-indigenous aquatic species data (USGS Non-indigenous Aquatic Species Database -,

·  an integrated web application for citizen science projects (USGS myScience -, and

·  a resource for data management planning and metadata creation (USGS Data Management  -

Through this interdisciplinary and community approach, the USGS CDI continues to foster an environment for collaboration and knowledge sharing that has led to projects that enhance our use of data and advance Earth systems science.  New members are always welcome and encouraged to visit

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