National Park Service / US Geological Survey - Water Quality Partnership
Planning and Selection of Project Proposals
Each year project proposals for the NPS/USGS Partnership Program
are collaboratively developed with local Park staff and USGS Water Science
Centers. The proposals are evaluated and selections are made annually by
an inter-agency panel lead by the NPS and USGS coordinators and other NPS
and USGS representatives. Each proposal is given a numerical score based
on a version of the NPS Natural Resource Project Ranking Criteria that has
been tailored for the NPS/USGS Partnership Program. The ranking criteria
for the Partnership Program includes several key factors addressing scientific
merit and relevance to park management needs.
To date, 145 partnership projects have been implemented in 104 national park units. The program supports a range of science activities focused on providing Park resource managers data and information necessary to make scientifically defensible management and policy decisions. These activities range in scope from basic technical assistance to fixed station monitoring to intensive/synoptic projects.
Projects typically range from 1 to 3 years in duration and fall into one of four categories:
Technical assistance projects provide the opportunity for USGS scientists to consult with park personnel on a variety of water-quality management issues. These projects tend to be year-long efforts.
Fixed-station monitoring projects provide water-quality data from one fixed station to address specific water-quality issues, establish trends, or simply provide baseline conditions. Once established, fixed-station monitoring projects are funded for several years.
Intensive/synoptic projects are designed to answer focused questions about water-quality issues of importance to a park. These projects tend to be the longest in duration and consist of a data collection as well as an interpretive phase.