Employee Pocket Guide
Office of External Affairs

Science Excellence

Visit www.fws.gov/science

Seining in a Stream with Partners, credit Brian Jonkers/USFWS

Aristotle said, “Excellence…is not an act, but a habit.” The Service’s tradition is to pursue ever higher standards in applying science to the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. The Service will continue this tradition by:

  • Expanding our capacities to produce, acquire, apply, and communicate scientific information;
  • Promoting active involvement of the Service and our employees in the larger scientific community;
  • Encouraging strengthened partnerships between the Service and other scientific organizations, including the U.S. Geological Survey;
  • Growing and mentoring the next generation of Service scientists; and
  • Recognizing those scientists and celebrating their successes.

In January 2008, the Service developed its first-ever Scientific Code of Professional Conduct, a set of guidelines applicable to scientists, managers, and executives within the agency. It applies to scientific conduct, but also extends to the translation and application of science used to inform resource management decisions. The Service code is modeled after codes from professional scientific organizations and has been praised by The Wildlife Society and American Fisheries Society; two of the leading societies for fish and wildlife scientists.

The Service has developed two peer-reviewed journals, The Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management and North American Fauna. These scientific journals provide additional and accessible outlets for Service employees, their state and tribal partners, and other resource professionals to publish their work. Information on these publications is available at <www.fws.gov/science/publicationsys.html>.

The Service is playing a key leadership role in bringing together the natural resource community to promote landscape-scale conservation and address the challenges associated with accelerating climate change. Strategic habitat conservation, an iterative, adaptive resource management approach, is our business model to help in these efforts. Climate change has begun altering ecological processes and will increasingly affect the distribution and abundance of animal and plant populations. To help sustain fish and wildlife in a climate altered world, the Service is working with its sister bureaus in DOI and with state, federal, tribal and private partners to establish a network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), which are applied conservation science partnerships focused on a defined geographic area that support on-the ground strategic conservation efforts at landscape scales. They support applied science and increase access to rapidly evolving science, and they provide the expertise for translating the applicable science into options for resources managers that will help determine success or failure in the years ahead.

The Service collaborated with partners and many Service employees to develop a strategic plan and action plan to address climate change. These plans outline the Service’s long-term strategy and near-term actions to help reduce the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. The Service is committed to building on its history of achievement in conservation science and on its leadership in landscapescale conservation, climate change planning and adaptation, and LCCs to ensure that it remains the world’s premiere conservation organization. Through careful consultation with its partners and employees, the Service will identify additional priorities for conservation science and develop additional capacity and partnerships to develop, acquire and apply science with unsurpassed excellence. Never before has the future of fish and wildlife conservation depended so heavily and clearly on science excellence.

Sign-up for the Science Advisory listserv at <scienceadvisory-request@lists.fws.gov>. Type "subscribe" in the subject line.


Last updated: July 19, 2013
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