Detailed Information on the
US Geological Survey - Geologic Hazard Assessments Assessment

Program Code 10001080
Program Title US Geological Survey - Geologic Hazard Assessments
Department Name Department of the Interior
Agency/Bureau Name United States Geological Survey
Program Type(s) Research and Development Program
Competitive Grant Program
Assessment Year 2003
Assessment Rating Moderately Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 80%
Strategic Planning 80%
Program Management 91%
Program Results/Accountability 80%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $82
FY2008 $86
FY2009 $80

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Expand coordination of hazards investments across landslide, earthquake and volcano activities.

Action taken, but not completed The Landslide Exchange Group explored having State landslide inventories housed on database developed by Earthquake Hazards Program but a decision was made to use a different software system. 2008 National Earthquake Conference held volcano and tsunami focused sessions. USGS, federal, state, & local partners participated in these sessions and attendees included emergency mangers, scientists, engineers, & planners who are working across multiple hazards. On target to meet all milestones on time.

Improve FEMA loss estimation capabilities by incorporating USGS geologic hazard information.

Action taken, but not completed An initial version of a web tool that delivers probabilistic loss estimates for a user-specified location and building type & a method of incorporating the HAZUS (FEMA) building types have both been developed. USGS is also exploring the feasibility of adding a landslide layer to the relevant HAZUS loss estimation modules developed by FEMA. Models for volcanic ash fall impact have been assembled and are being evaluated.On target for completion of follow-up action and associated milestones.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Work with partners from hazard programs across the Federal government to develop a common outcome measure of reduced loss of life and property due geologic hazards.

Completed USGS met with the National Weather Service (NWS) who agreed to address debris flows in their flood watch statements. USGS also gave NWS draft criteria for categorizing volcanic ash fall severity for their public forecasts/reporting. USGS delivered a multi-hazard scenario of Southern CA earthquake & associated landslides, wildfires, & potential dam failure. USGS, National Science Foundation, & Geological Survey of Canada met to coordinate response to Pacific Northwest seismic tremor events.

Update five year plans with performance measures developed during the PART process.

Completed Geomagnetism, Global Seismographic Network and Volcano Program five-year plans with PART metrics included completed internal review. This process was completed for Earthquake Hazards and Landslide Hazards Programs in FY 2005.

Identify opportunities to coordinate hazards investments across landslide, earthquake and volcano activities.

Completed Established cross-hazard representation on panel to develop National Volcano Early Warning System; developed report on implications and opportunities of 24x7 operations at the National Earthquake Information Center; conducted external review of program coordination and potential efficiencies; and developed Fact Sheet highlighting shared activities and coordination.

Improving earthquake risk estimates by integrating the Geologic Hazards program seismic monitoring with FEMA hazard loss estimation capabilities.

Completed The programs worked with FEMA to improve earthquake risk estimates by better integrating USGS seismic hazard information with FEMA hazard loss estimation capabilities, drafting an implementation plan and producing prototype products for probabilistic loss estimates and destructive earthquake scenarios.

Working with partners from hazard programs across the Federal government to evaluate linked measures for geologic hazard reduction.

Completed USGS conducted a series meetings with partners who hold linked measures to review those measures and develop an initial evaluation approach. The programs provided an evaluation with partners of how USGS performance contributes to the ability of other customer agencies to meet their linked metrics.

Evaluating initial efforts to coordinate hazards investments across landslide, earthquake and volcano activities.

Completed Case studies demonstrate hazard investment coordination, opportunities that new 24x7 operations at the Earthquake Info Center can create for all geologic hazards, and tasked the congressionally established Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee with reviewing geohazard program coordination and potential efficiencies. National Volcano Early Warning System working groups developed implementation and capital investment plan with landslide and earthquake staff.

Integrate performance reporting with Federal partners to ensure comprehensive representation of roles and responsibilities in outcomes

Completed USGS & NSF have conformed tracking methods for Advanced National Seismic System data.Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM) released the 1st national plan for volcanic-ash-related weather operations/procedures supporting safety of flight operations in US National Airspace System.Landslide Hazards Program & National Weather Service (NWS) have completed the 1st yearly report on the NWS/USGS Debris-Flow Project in Southern California.

Based on evaluation of initial efforts, expand coordination of hazards investments across landslide, earthquake and volcano activities.

Completed Landslide Hazards Program developed a communication plan for diverse landslide researchers from multiple USGS programs.USGS & Oregon Depart. of Geology & Mineral Industries met with over 120 geotechnical consulting firms, emergency managers & transportation officials from the Pacific Northwest to develop a LiDAR data partnership.A committee convened by the USGS Volcano & Earthquake Hazards Programs delivered a report reviewing seismic network performance/multi-hazard coordination needs in Hawaii

Improve FEMA loss estimates by further integration of USGS seismic monitoring data.

Completed FEMA can now employ USGS site-corrected maps for any US earthquake made from ShakeMap for HAZUS (Hazards US software) loss estimation or planning exercises. FEMA & USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) liaisons updated the NEIC/FEMA Liaison Coordination Plan & tested FEMA computer access at the NEIC. A comprehensive strategy for computing domestic losses from earthquakes was developed for both the USGS Prompt Assessment for Global Earthquake Response (PAGER) & ShakeCast products.

Work with Federal partners to ensure complementary roles and responsibilities in the delivery of geologic hazard information.

Completed The Landslide Exchange Group explored having State landslide inventories housed on database developed by Earthquake Hazards Program but a decision was made to use a different software system. 2008 National Earthquake Conference held volcano and tsunami focused sessions. USGS, federal, state, & local partners participated in these sessions and attendees included emergency mangers, scientists, engineers, & planners who are working across multiple hazards. On target to meet all milestones on time.

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Annual Output

Measure: Number of systematic analyses/investigations delivered to customers

Explanation:Assessments require completion of landslide inventories, threshold calculations and other research on landslide processes

Year Target Actual
2002 1 1
2003 1 1
2004 1 1
2005 1 1
2006 1 1
2007 115 351
2008 239
2009 227
2010 216
2011 204
2012 182
Annual Outcome

Measure: The number of counties, or comparable jurisdictions, that have adopted improved building codes, land-use plans, emergency response plans, or other hazard mitigation measures based on USGS geologic hazard information

Explanation:Loss of lives and property and economic impacts from geologic hazards can be reduced through the adoption of improved building codes, land-use plans, and emergency response plans

Year Target Actual
2003 - 725
2004 860 789
2005 816 806
2006 839 839
2007 873 878
2008 911
2009 920
2010 929
2011 938
2012 947
Annual Output

Measure: Number of urban areas for which detailed seismic hazard maps are completed

Explanation:Measure tracks the delivery of special purpose maps and products for state regional and local risk evaluation and mitigation activities

Year Target Actual
2002 1 0
2003 1 1
2004 2 2
2005 3 3
2006 3 3
2007 3 3
2008 4
2009 4
2010 4
2011 5
2012 6
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Number of volcanoes for which information supports public safety decisions

Explanation:Measure tracks the number of U.S. volcanoes for which there are response plans, warning systems or hazard awareness programs

Year Target Actual
2002 - 45
2003 - 48
2004 49 49
2005 50 51
2006 51 51
2007 52 52
2008 52
2009 52
2010 52
2011 52
2012 53
Annual Output

Measure: Percent of potentially hazardous volcanoes with published hazard assessment

Explanation:Includes significant revisions and periodic updates of assessments and input to community response plans

Year Target Actual
2001 27% 58.6%
2002 30% 61.4%
2003 34% 61.4%
2004 61% 61.4%
2005 64.3% 62.8%
2006 64.3% 64.3%
2007 65.7% 65.7%
2008 67.1%
2009 68.6%
2010 71.4%
2011 71.4%
2012 71.4%
Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of potentially active volcanoes monitored

Explanation:Includes network expansion, maintenance, and upgrades of monitoring instruments, communication and database management systems

Year Target Actual
2002 63% 63%
2003 66% 66%
2004 67% 67%
2005 72% 72.9%
2006 72.9% 72.9%
2007 74.3% 74.3%
2008 74.3%
2009 74.3%
2010 74.3%
2011 74.3%
2012 75.7%
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Number of metropolitan regions where Shakemap is incorporated into emergency procedures

Explanation:Measure tracks the ability to serve the emergency response community.

Year Target Actual
2002 1 3
2003 3 4
2004 5 5
2005 5 5
2006 5 5
2007 5 5
2008 5
2009 5
2010 5
2011 5
2012 5
Annual Output

Measure: Cumulative number of ANSS seismic monitoring stations

Explanation:Measure tracks the completion of urban networks contributing to real-time earthquake products (e.g., Shakemap); target set based on annual appropriated funding

Year Target Actual
2002 200 429
2003 499 476
2004 540 551
2005 563 523
2006 669 696
2007 763 786
2008 803
2009 803
2010 803
2011 803
2012 803
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Number of areas or locations for which geophysical models exist that are used to interpret monitoring data

Explanation:Measure tracks development of models of earthquake occurrence in fault systems, magmatic systems in different volcanic settings, and landslide stability as a result of rainfall. Targets under development in draft 5-yr plan.

Year Target Actual
2003 - 3
2004 3.33 4
2005 3.33 4.33
2006 4.66 4.66
2007 5 5
2008 5.33
2009 5.66
2010 6
2011 6.33
2012 6.66
Annual Output

Measure: Percent data availability for real-time data from the Global Seismograph Network

Explanation:Measure tracks progress toward the GSN's long-term goal of 90% data availability.

Year Target Actual
2001 90% 79%
2002 90% 89%
2003 90% 90%
2004 90% 90.5%
2005 90% 89%
2006 90% 88%
2007 87% 87.80%
2008 86%
2009 84%
2010 84%
2011 84%
2012 84%
Long-term Efficiency

Measure: Data processing and notification costs per unit volume of input data from earthquake sensors in monitoring networks (in cost per gigabyte)

Explanation:This measures indicates improvement in the scope and efficiency of real-time hazards monitoring.

Year Target Actual
2003 - $1.00K/GB
2004 $0.99K/GB $0.90K/GB
2005 $0.99K/GB $0.79K/GB
2006 $1.42K/GB $1.3K/GB
2007 $1.33K/GB $1.19K/GB
2008 $1.33K/GB
2009 $1.33K/GB
2010 $1.33K/GB
2011 $1.33K/GB
2012 $1.33K/GB

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The purpose of the USGS Hazards Program (earthquake, volcano, landslides, geomagnetism Global Seismograph Network) is to provide the Earth science data and information, analyses, and research needed to reduce the loss of life, property, and economic impact of geohazards.

Evidence: PL 95-124 (Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977) established National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, defined Earthquak Hazard objectives & authorized USGS participation. Amendment PL 101-614 authorized USGS to: "characterize & identify earthquake hazards, assess earthquake risks, monitor seismic activity, and improve earthquake predictions". PL 93-288 (Disaster Relief Act of 1974) assigns USGS responsibility to work to reduce losses from and enhance public safety for volcano and landslide hazards through effective forecasting and warnings, based on current scientific information --DOI, USGS, Geology and NEHRP strategic plans establish hazards mission areas and set strategic goals for hazards activities. --Program 5-year Plans

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: The program provides necessary information to DOI and other federal agencies, states, local governments and the private sector to make informed decisions pertaining to geologic hazard loss reduction or mitigation. Citizens, emergency responders, architects and engineers, and aviators rely on the USGS for objective, accurate and timely information on these hazards. Geologic hazards cause loss of life and property every year. For example: --Earthquakes pose significant risk to 75 million Americans in 39 states and cause annual direct losses of $4.4 billion per year. --The US is the third most volcanically active country, and 50 of the 70 potentially active US volcanoes have erupted in the past 200 years. --Landslides cause $2-3 billion in damages and 25 deaths annually in the U.S., and are a national problem, affecting most states.

Evidence: PL 95-124, Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, w/amendments, reviews need for earthquake hazard reduction and defines specific program objectives NRC report "Impacts of Natural Disasters" identified Northridge quake (1994) as most costly U.S. disaster. VHP 5-yr plan, appendix B, lists volcanic activity for 1999-2003; older activity in Smithsonian archive Science article on volcano monitoring advances, v.299, 28 Mar. 2003, p.2015-2030 National Landslide Hazard Mitigation Strategy, 2000, states that landslides result in deaths, injuries and property loss; the NRC Interim Report 2002 concurs that integrated program must be developed. Significant Landslide Events in the U.S. FEMA Publ. 366 (2000), provides estimated annualized losses for US quakes at $4.4 billion

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: All of the hazards programs are closely coordinated with Federal and State efforts in risk and mitigation activities. For example, DHS (FEMA) has responsibility for response, assistance and promotion of mitigation practices, and NSF supports basic research in geosciences, engineering, and social and economic impacts. USGS provides unique skills and capabilities in hazards assessment, monitoring and notification, and research on effects and mitigation, and maintains offices and observatories to meet regional needs. USGS works closely and cooperatively with state geological surveys, emergency management offices, and local governments and private interests. No other agencies provide hazard assessments and long-term monitoring operations. There are no private companies involved in hazards monitoring and notification, although some re-package or reinterpret USGS data or products for commercial use.

Evidence: PL 93-288 (Disaster Relief Act of 1974) Sec. 202, elaborated in F.R. 42 19292-19296 expressly and uniquely empowers USGS to issue warnings and provide technical assistance for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides or other geologic hazards. USGS unique role validated by NRC reviews of VHP (2000) and LHP strategy (2002). PL 101-614 defines the "Responsibilities of Program Agencies" for NEHRP. The NEHRP Strategic Plan further defines agency roles and responsibilities. The NEHRP Policy Coordination Group (policy level) and the Interagency Coordination Committee (working level), both chaired by DHS (FEMA), ensure coordination of NEHRP, through regular meetings and ad hoc contacts, to resolve specific issues. Annexes to an USGS/NSF MOU define agency roles and responsibilities with respect to EarthScope and GSN. The National Space Weather Program Implementation Plan defines agency roles in geomagnetic monitoring.

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: Each of the Geologic hazard subactivities are funded and managed seperately with individual outcomes and goals. As a result, overall program efforts are not coordinated, through the GD and USGS planning process, to ensure that resources are allocated across hazard areas for the purpose of reducing overall loss of life and property due to geologic hazards.

Evidence: DOI, USGS, and Geology Strategic Plans establish a framework of goals and activities [attachment 1.1]. NEHRP Strategic Plan shows major design elements of NEHRP program. PL 101-614 and PL 106-503, the 1990 and 2000 reauthorizations of NEHRP, made adjustments and clarifications to agency responsibilities within NEHRP. EHP 5-Year plan details implementing NEHRP and DOI/USGS/Geology strategic plans. VHP 5-yr plan describes observatory structure; cooperative agreements demonstrate effective partnerships. NRC review validates program structure.

NO 0%

Is the program effectively targeted, so program resources reach intended beneficiaries and/or otherwise address the program's purpose directly?

Explanation: Research and program resources are targeted at the highest hazard areas of the country. Research and program resources are targeted at the highest -hazard areas of the country. External grants are targeted at applied research tasks identified in planning documents, are limited to 1 or 2 years. Cooperative agreements for monitoring ensure that regional, state or local monitoring and notification needs are met. Both are fully competed and reviewed annually. Products are reviewed through a series of regional and national meetings. Lack of data connecting USGS science to reduced hazard losses makes it difficult to evaluate whether the program could more effectively target resources to result in the greatest reduction in loss of life and property due to geologic hazards.

Evidence: EHP Program Announcements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements. International Building Code (IBC) 2000 EHP Web Statistics reviews earthquake monitoring and notification operations. Report ATC-35 "Enhancing transfer of USGS research results into engineering practice," promotes engineering applications of EHP results. Resources targeted for public safety benefits by observatory agreements with clientele: Alaska interagency plan for aviation safety; MOU with Pierce Co. for lahar monitoring system on Mt. Rainier; OFR 01-453 on volcanism in Nat'l Parks; letters from superintendents & Director of NPS USGS OFR 97-289, Landslide Overview Map of the Conterminous U.S. GSN Standing Committee minutes & reports; USGS OFR 01-460, Review of GSN Program. Geomag. program data is reviewed daily by USAF and NOAA Space Environment Center.

YES 20%

Does the program effectively articulate potential public benefits?



NA 0%

If an industry-related problem, can the program explain how the market fails to motivate private investment?



NA 0%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 80%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: The Hazard Program is focused on measures corresponding to four major elements: Hazard Assessments, Monitoring, Research and Outreach/Communications (see attachment 2.1). These measures are taken from the program's five-year plans and track directly the strategic goals and objectives of the Geology Discipline, the USGS, the DOI Strategic Plan and the President's Business Reference Model (see attachment 1.1). Improved measure were developed during the PART process and are included in the measures section, including a common measure across the USGS geological hazards activities. However across the USGS hazard programs (and related federal programs) there is not an outcome measure that captures the impact of, or reduced risk provided by federal activities.

Evidence: DOI and USGS Strategic Plans. Geology Science Strategy 2000-2010. Goals 1 and 2 pertain specifically to the hazards programs. Goal 1: Conduct geologic hazard assessments for mitigation planning. Goal 2: Provide short-term prediction of geologic disasters and rapidly characterize their effects. Hazards Programs Five-year Plans: establish specific tasks and priority ranking for work needed to achieve these goal Future Science Directions of the Earthquake Hazards Program lays out EHP's very-long-term goals. Advanced National Seismic System is described in USGS Circular 1188. Document was developed in collaboration stakeholders and describes equipment & facilities needed to achieve rapid, quantitative maps of earthquake impacts and early warning. Report of the Committee appointed to review the Global Seismograph Network, April 2003. Geomagnetism Program - Program Priorities 1999-2004.

YES 10%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: Long term goals for Hazard programs are listed in the program's 5-year plan. With the exception of earthquake hazards, program goals and the narrative for 5-year plans are too broad and did not include time frames. Improved measures have been developed as part of the PART process and are included in the results section.

Evidence: Hazard Programs Five Year Plans, contain targets and timeframes for 5-yr tasks and objectives. USGS Circular 1188, "Requirement for an Advanced National Seismic System", ANSS Management Plan, ANSS, Technical Guidelines for Implementation of the ANSS. ANSS Annual Plan FY03. Open File Report 00-450 National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy provides baselines and targets for LHP. Various EarthScope planning documents and the EarthScope annex to the USGS/NSF MOU. Southern California Earthquake Center - The SCEC Community Modeling Environment - An Information Infrastructure for System Level Earthquake Research.

YES 10%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term measures?

Explanation: Seven annual measures have been identified pertaining to each of the four program elements. These include the GPRA performance goals: 1) Number of monitoring networks maintained; 2) Number of real-time earthquake sensors installed and operational; and 3) Number of stakeholder workshops or meetings held. 4) Number of hazard and risk assessments completed. The hazards programs consistently meet or exceed the GPRA targets. An annual efficiency measure is the percent availability of GSN data, toward a long-term goal of 90% data availability. Annual measures achieved but as timeframes did not exist for all long term goals, it is difficult to assess whether adequate progress was achieved.

Evidence: GPRA documentation sets annual performance targets for network operations, installation of new instrumentation, hazard assessments and stakeholder meetings. Program Five Year Plans set out priority tasks for each program element. Annual USGS Director's Guidance and Geology Science Strategy give high-level guidance and solicit new project proposals or annual work plans. Annual work plans of internal projects and external grant proposals describe expected results and accomplishments. FY03 Project Work Plans and Reports External grant solicitation and applications.

YES 10%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets and timeframes for its annual measures?

Explanation: Annual baselines and targets for achieving the overall goals of using knowledge and technology to achieve loss reduction include: projections of planned enhancements to monitoring networks, new or revised hazard assessments and outreach activities. Baselines and targets are set in GPRA plans, program 5-year plans, capital asset plans (e.g., ANSS), and the GD annual science plan. Project proposals and annual work plans include additional annual targets for project-specific work. An annual measure for the GSN, percent data availability, tracks progress toward the long-term goal of achieving 90% recovery of GSN data. Specific baselines and targets for the Hazards Programs are given on the Measures spreadsheet.

Evidence: Current state of hazard assessments and data published or on web: Improvement measured against this documentation. Targets stated in annual Project Work Plans. Inventories of current ANSS instrumentation. Annual improvement targets set down in annual development plans of regions, summarized in GPRA goals & documents. Research targets defined in annual project work plans for internal projects, solicitations for external research, SCEC planning documents. VHP: Baseline in 2001 of 27% of 70 potentially active volcanoes had published assessments in 2001; target in 2004 is 37%. Baseline in 2001 of 61% of 70 potentially active volcanoes monitored in 2001; target in 2004 = 67%. Baseline in 1999 = 19 volcanoes with info. supporting public safety decisions; target in 2008 = 33. Baseline in 2003 is 5 active volcanoes with integrated geologic models; target in 2007 is 8 (PART Meas Tab, VHP 5-Year Plan, GPRA Docs). Annual targets for GSN stations installation & operations set by GSN standing committee, documented in committee Minutes. Annual GSN work plan gives performance goal. Annual work plan of Geomag. Project describes work to improve data quality.

YES 10%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, etc.) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: --At a high level, the Stafford Act and NEHRP commit the USGS and partnering federal agencies to a common set of public safety and loss reduction goals. USGS builds relationships with partners having complementary goals (e.g., NOAA, for ash cloud, landslide and tsunami hazards; NSF, for Earthscope) to leverage resources/expertise. --Cooperative agreements, competitive grants are employclose coordination through monthly reviews and annual reports.

Evidence: NEHRP Strategic Plan 2001-2005. EHP annual Program Announcement 04HQPA0001 includes the research priorities based on the 5-year plan. Five-Year Plans are used to set and publicize program priorities with partners, grantees, etc.. ANSS Management Plan, ANSS Technical Guidelines, and a separate solicitation document for cooperative agreements are used to set priorities for the regional seismic network operations awards. Annual performance reports from grantees and cooperative agreements. Cooperative agreement with the American Planning Association for preparation of guidebook for land use planners VHP Cooperative agreements with universities and AK-DGGS, and MOUs withother agencies support program goals.

YES 10%

Are independent and quality evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Each Hazards program has periodically engaged the National Research Council (NRC) for comprehensive review, or for specific review of aspects of the program, and to identify future challanges. Numerous reports have been produced since 1977. For example, the NRC has been commissioned to conduct a cost-benefit study of earthquake monitoring. GSN and Geomagnetism have had similar reviews. EHP uses a permanent FACA committee, the Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee (SESAC), made up of independent, knowledgeable scientists, engineers, and state officials, that reviews the plans, progress, and performance measures of the EHP. The SESAC meets two to three times each year and reports to the USGS Director and the Congress. The ANSS National Steering Committee (NSC) is a sub-committee of the SESAC. It reviews and guides annual ANSS work and development. EHP also supports the standing Committee on Seismology of the NRC for general guidance on seismological research and practice. External input to all programs is obtained through stakeholder workshops.

Evidence: NEHRP reauthorization testimony, legislation and committee reports -Letter reports of the SESAC. -Reports of the ANSS National Steering Committee. -Minutes of the IRIS/USGS GSN Standing Committee. -Report of the ad hoc Committee to Review the USGS Geomagnetism Program, 1999 -NRC Interim Report, Assessment of Proposed Partnerships to Implement a National Landslides Hazard Mitigation Strategy -VHP uses NRC reviews to identify program improvements -Attachment 2.6EH: List of "Independent Reviews of U.S. Needs and Efforts in Seismology and Earthquake Hazard Mitigation, 1977-2003". This list summarizes the findings and recommendations of 26 published reviews and studies of EHP and related activities.

YES 10%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: Program budgets are not clearly tied to annual and long term performance measures or goals in 5 year plans. Not all items listed in the GPRA table are not clearly tied to descriptions of actual acitvities within the text of the budget materials. Measurable long term performance measures only existed for earthquake hazards but these were not clearly reflected in congressional justifications or submissions to OMB to determine whether budget was sufficiently tied to performance.

Evidence: DOI, USGS, and NEHRP strategic plans. Geology Science Strategy and annual Geology Science Plan. Hazard Programs' Five Year Plans. Budget justifications, given in the USGS Annual Budget Justification and Performance Information. VHP 5-year plan, annual VHP line-item justification in DOI Budget Justifications Example of successful Initiative: Multi-Urban Hazards Initiative (e.g., Fact Sheet 99-4182)

NO 0%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: Individually, the subactivities of the hazard progam have taken steps to correct strategic planning deficiencies identified by external reviews, examples are provided in the evidence column.

Evidence: EH:--recognized need for a standing advisory committee to give critical review/advice. In 2000, asked Congress to authorize an advisory committee in the reauthorization of NEHRP. In 2002, established the Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee (SESAC). --recognized inadequate management structure for ANSS. With ANSS partners, developed a management structure that included regional & national advisory and a Technical Integration Committee. --recognized need for coordinated management of the GSN. In 2001, formed MOU with NSF for joint oversight of the GSN, through the GSN Stdg. Comm. VH:--in response to 2000 NRC review, revised 5-yr plan to strengthen research capabilities, add new technologies (e.g., INSAR), open data policy, enhance monitoring and streamline management. LH:--A National Landslide Hazard Mitigation Strategy addressed Congressional concerns that landslide hazards needed more attention.

YES 10%

If applicable, does the program assess and compare the potential benefits of efforts within the program to other efforts that have similar goals?

Explanation: Hazards does not measure the benefit of reduced losses between the various geologic hazard or with programs with comparable goals outside the Geology Discipline or USGS. The benefits of nor within the Geologic Hazards program.'--A recent OSTP/RAND Corp. study compared R&D efforts for pan-hazard loss reduction across federal Agencies, including earthquake, volcano, landslide and geomagnetic hazards. The report suggested improved analysis of loss data is necessary to determine proper allocation of R&D spending across hazards. The EHP Program Coordinator participated as a reviewer of this study.

Evidence: Stafford Act, NEHRP authorizations and the NEHRP Strategic Plan define agency roles. Rand Corp., 2003, Assessing Federal Research and Development for Hazard Loss Reduction, DRU-2992-OSTP. Federal responsibility for volcano monitoring & volcanoes on public lands (PL 93-288, Disaster Relief Act of 1974, Sec. 202, elaborated in F.R. 42 19292-19296 , 5-year plan, Letter from Director of NPS to Director of USGS)

NO 0%

Does the program use a prioritization process to guide budget requests and funding decisions?

Explanation: 1. Long-range strategic planning documents set overall goals and priorities (e.g., NEHRP, DOI, USGS, and Geology strategic plans). 2. Earthquake five-year plan details specific near-term objectives and tasks; these are prioritized and have timeframes. 3. GD annual science plan and Director's guidance set and prioritize annual activities within the major program elements that conform to the strategic planning docs. 4. Proposals from individual projects are directed at these activities (or else competed through the Director's science initiative process). Based on these four processes, funds are allocated to specific projects by the program coordinators, in consultation with regional geologists. The IRIS/USGS GSN Standing Committee separately provides priorities for GSN activities. EHP priorities are additionally reviewed by its FACA committee (SESAC).

Evidence: NEHRP Strategic Plan DOI Strategic Plan USGS Strategic Plan Geology Annual Science Plan. EHP, VHP, LHP and Geomag. Five Year Plans. Annual Project Proposals GSN Standing Committee Reports and Minutes. SESAC Committee reports and minutes

YES 10%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 80%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: DOI,USGS, and its Programs regularly collect performance information through customer and partner reviews and surveys. Feedback is incorporated into program plans and specific actions are taken in response. The DOI and Bureau Strategic Plans include partner and customer reviewed long term goals, annual performance measures, and GPRA measures. Progress on GPRA are verified quarterly and reported and updated annually. The USGS Director convenes annual listening sessions, recording needs of partners and informing them of response. The NAS/NRC reviews long term goals and program performance, utilizing blue ribbon panels of scientists and stakeholders. All projects are required to record detailed workplans, progress and products, and budgets by object class in the Bureau wide system BASIS+. Projects workplans and grant proposals are reviewed annually by Programs using advisory panels. Written feedback on performance is provided to project chiefs who must correct deficiencies or suffer budgetary penalties for non performance.

Evidence: Att. 3.1 illustrates/describes USGS planning and review process Bureau Strategic Plan shows long term goals, measures & annual GPRA targets (pp 9-15). GPRA update memo for FY-02, GPRA Reports for 03 and example of quarterly verification. Directors 03 Listening Session Report shows recommendations and actions taken. USGS Planning Model process shows performance requirements in program 5-year plans (p.9) and collecting performance information in BASIS+ (p.12-13). Example project: National Seismic Hazards Map NRC periodically reviews program performance and direction using panels of scientists & stakeholders. Programs prepare annual science plans by goal and objective with budget targets for individual projects. Project Work Plans reviewed annually; feedback on performance and budget provided. Workplans annually updated including progress, products, outcomes & partner interactions. EHP: SESAC reviews projects on a 3-yr cycle. Similar process used for grant programs & cooperative agreements, incl. rigorous annual/triennial reviews VHP: Input from Air Line Pilots Association, FAA & industry representatives led to major, decade-long refocusing of VHP to address volcanic ash hazards to aviation (VHP 5-Year Plan, USGS Bulletin 2047, AK Interagency Ops Plan, Letter to Asst. Sec., DOI from ALPA 4/25, 2003). Customer surveys used to review product satisfaction.

YES 9%

Are Federal managers and program partners (grantees, subgrantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, etc.) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: USGS holds senior management and program partners accountable for performance through performance evaluation, management process controls, and performance guidance provided in agreements, contracts, and grants. Measures for GPRA, financial management, and the Presidents Management Agenda are in all USGS SES performance agreements. Regional Executives and Program Coordinators are accountable for achieving performance as part of the USGS Planning Model. Grant programs have specific performance guidance and include rigorous review panels and budgetary penalties for non performance. Cooperative agreements with states and universities include specific requirements, products, and time schedules with payment penalties for non performance. Contracts for services are competed and contain specific quality and performance requirements and time schedules for services.

Evidence: SES Performance Plan Guidance and Trujillo Memo USGS Planning Model responsibilities list (p.4-7) Contract and agency agreement requirements from the USGS Policy Manual. Cooperative agreements with states and universities include specific requirements, products, and time schedules with payment penalties for non performance. Examples: Alaska DGGS, and the Univ. Utah, Hawaii, and WA require specific monitoring, field work, telemetry, database, maintenance & QA, training and reporting activities, which directly contribute to program goals Contracts for services are competed and contain specific quality and performance requirements and time schedules for services.

YES 9%

Are all funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: The USGS has an established budget, allocation, and spending process that includes annual planning, quarterly and monthly reviews, and review of any funds allocation change over 25K. It has implemented management controls and measures to ensure dollars are allocated and obligated in a timely manner and spent for intended purposes. Budget planning to object class is done in the BASIS+ system, which ties budget to intended use. Allocation tables are constructed from BASIS+ and FFS is used to provide monthly and quarterly spending information by object class, to review obligation and debt, and take corrective action. Projects and their budgets are reviewed monthly by line managers and annually by Programs. Changes of over 25K are reviewed by both regional line managers and Programs as they occur. The Bureau conducts quarterly review of status of funds against performance measures. A certified Contracting Officer's Representative annually reviews and verifies contract funds are obligated and spent for intended purposes.

Evidence: Diagram of USGS Budgeting & Finance. FY02 GD Annual Science Plan shows project science & funding targets used for budgeting FY02 Allocation Process Memo shows appropriation actions & allocation requirements FY02 allocation tables by Programs & administrative office give allocations to cost centers, projects, and accounts. Numbers consistent with budget numbers in FY-02 Geology Annual Science Plan FY02 National Seismic Hazard Map project and budget & FFS reports with FY02 spending at cost centers on National Seismic Hazards Maps show dollars spent for intended use at project level Spending progress by object class for all of USGS for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2002 Summary of Program quarterly obligations for FY02 show consistent spending of appropriations for intended program Final spending report for all Programs for FY02 Instruct. Memos APS-2003-11-13 show monthly mgmt control req'ts for accounts receivable, unbilled balances & obligations, and accruals & changes to allocations > 25K Description of how cost centers use monthly reports from FFS to inform account holders of spending & funds avail.

YES 9%

Does the program have procedures (e.g., competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, approporaite incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: The Bureau is engaged in competitive sourcing for Visual Information Services, Building and Ground Maintenance, and Warehousing. These competitions will improve cost and timeliness of program publications and exhibits and the warehousing we use for major program assets. Geology mission critical information systems have submitted Capitol Asset Plans (Exhibit 300) to DOI and are in the certification and accreditation process. Geology programs are gaining efficiencies in timelines and cost by serving digital data and analysis tools through common portals. In 2003, all Geology programs are developing Activity Based Costing for 2004 implementation. Since 1996, Geology Programs have been a leader in conducting competitive project proposal and review processes and project based costing using a prototype of the BASIS+system now in use across the Bureau. Scientists are required to submit annual project work plans and budgets for review of progress, performance, and cost.

Evidence: April 2002 Memo from USGS Director announcing competitive sourcing June 2003 update on competitive sourcing DOI Capitol Asset Guidance Examples of digital data initiatives and portals Geology Science Planning Policy Geology Science Plan Policy Program Examples: --Implementation of Akamai web server technology review in Washington Technology --EHP terminating its contract for a dedicated satellite data transmission link and moving to a leased satellite-internet communication service --ANSS stations are installed on the lowest-cost basis, using either regional operators or USGS technicians --ANSS uses multi-vendor contracts for procurement, so that competition ensures direct cost savings for equipment with highly technical specifications. --VHP Standardization on Earthworm seismic data software for processing and distribution of seismic data and on VALVE for time-series analysis of volcano monitoring data at all observatories (VHP-5 Year Plan)

YES 9%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: Hazards Programs collaborate with federal, state & local governments, industry, and academia towards achievement of complimentary goals. Major partners identified in the Geology Strategic Plan and in Program five-year Plans. Include DOD, NSF, NOAA, NASA, EPA, USDA, and DOI, State Geological Surveys, state and local emergency management offices, state & local agencies, and major consortia of academic, governmental, industry groups. USGS provides broad framework and support and establishes roles & responsibilities with partners through cooperative agreements, MOUs or CRADAs.

Evidence: PL 95-124 and subsequent reauthorizations established partnership between USGS, NSF, NIST and FEMA within NEHRP NEHRP Strategic Plan, 2001-2005, reviews cooperation among the agencies. USGS Circular 1242 establishes guidelines for collaboration between agencies following an earthquake. Requisition for Landslide Loss Estimation Pilot Project with CA Dept. Mines&Geol. APA technical evaluation of report "Landslide Hazard and Planning" VHP leverages resources for volcano hazard monitoring, research and notification with NOAA, NASA, NSF, universities, (VHP 5-Year Plan, MOU's with NOAA, UAF/DGGS, NASA, NSF/EarthScope, ), other USGS programs (InSAR budget initiative, FY03 DOI Budget Justifications, Long Valley Response Plan, USGS Bull. 2185). Key MOUs: Air Force Technical Applications Center on data exchange; Nuclear Regulatory Commission on hazard assessments; NOAA National Weather Service on tsunami warning; NSF on GSN & EarthScope; Univ. Alaska on Alaska Earthquake Info. Ctr.; Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction for quake loss reduction; Calif. Div. of Mines & Geol. on hazard studies & assessmts;

YES 9%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: The 2002 Audit findings of the Inspector Generals Office conducted by KPMG contained a "no opinion" result and cited 8 reportable conditions in their report dated January 24, 2003. USGS submitted a Corrective Action Plan that has been accepted by the Inspector Generals office, In his cover memo, the Asst. Inspectors General for Audits stated: "Based on the response and corrective action plan, all the recommendations are considered resolved but not implemented." Monthly meetings and reports on progress are being provided to DOI and thus far, many tasks are completed and all others are in progress. In the USGS matrix organization, line management and administration is responsible for financial, facilities, and personnel management. USGS Program Coordinators are responsible for scientific planning and coordination, budget formulation, and establishing and reviewing performance.

Evidence: April 11 Auditors Report 2003, Corrective Action Plan, and cover memo from Asst. Inspector General for Audits Roger LaRoche.

NO 0%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: USGS taking necessary steps to resolve management deficiencies. USGS has aggressively addressed IT control weaknesses. Management control performance measures have been incorporated into all SES Performance Evaluations. An expert team was formed and for last 6 months addressed audit issues to ensure completion of Audit Corrective Action Plan. Training underway to address reported conditions and strengthen management practices. Administrative Instructional Memoranda outline detailed financial processes & requirements. Geology Programs use annual review process and BASIS+ system to review program work and correct deficiencies (described in 3.4 and 3.RD1). NRC and FACA advisory panels conduct periodic reviews that make recommendations regarding program management, performance & scientific direction. Example: In 2002, OMB identified a deficiency in security planning and implementation for ANSS, during Exhibit300 evaluation. In 2003, EHP overhauled procedures, made physical security upgrades and completed a new major application security plan. ANSS subsequently passed a management control review with no weaknesses identified. Revised Exhibit 300 has now received top ranking for security (5 of 5) in both contractor and DOI scorings.

Evidence: Corrective Action Plan Progress Report for April 2003 submitted to DOI, shows progress or completion of all actions. Memo from Hord Tipton shows improved results of March-April testing of DOI WAN's. Instr. Memo from Q3.3. Program Examples: --EHP recognized deficiency of not having standing advisory committee, asked Congress to authorize an advisory committee in the reauthorization of NEHRP. EHP subsequently established SESAC. --EHP recognized deficiency of not having a management structure for ANSS. With ANSS partners, EHP developed a management structure to include regional and national advisory committees and a Technical Integration Committee to set stds. & specs. --USGS recognized need for coordinated management of GSN; formed MOU with NSF for joint oversight through the GSN Standing Committee. --VHP responses to NRC Review Recommendations (App. E, VHP 5-yr Plan) --VHP response to 2003 OMB review, began development of a National Volcano Monitoring System plan and incorporated it in 5-yr plan. --National Landslide Hazard Mitigation Strategy, developed through the NRC, built to address Congress' concerns that landslide hazards were not given proper attention by USGS.

YES 9%

Are grants awarded based on a clear competitive process that includes a qualified assessment of merit?

Explanation: Proposals for grants are solicited by an annual Request for Proposals (RFP). The proposals are put in one of eight regional / topical panels for review. Each panel is multi-disciplinary and includes diverse representation from academia, industry, Federal, State and local government, and USGS. Each proposal is examined by five to seven scientists and engineers The panels evaluate the technical merit of the proposals especially in the context of the development of an integrated program of research for that region with attention to specific research priorities, which are part of the Program RFP. All proposals are evaluated for their relevance and timeliness, technical quality, the competence and recent research performance of the PI and other researchers, and appropriateness and reasonableness of the budget. Each panel ranks the proposals being considered, and this ranking is considered final within each panel.Example: In 1998, the review panel denied funding to a new proposal because of the investigator's non-performance on a previous grant (see evidence).

Evidence: USGS Program Announcement 04HQPA0001 gives a detailed description of the process of solicitation and evaluation criteria. Approximately $10,500,000 of the funds managed by the External component of the Earthquake Program are subject to a peer review process. Approximately $9,000,000 of the funds go to awards considered by the review panels described above. An average of 90 to 100 new grants, and about 25 to 35 multi-year awards are made each year. --In FY2003, 101 new grants were awarded out of 232 proposals received.--Of the 101 new grants awarded in FY2003, 59% were awarded to investigators who had not received an award the previous year. --Similarly, in FY2002 50% of the 103 funded grants were awarded to individuals who had not received support in FY2001.Panel recommendation to deny funding based on past non-performance, 1998, appl. 8080.List of Panel Composition, 2003 review cycle.Publicly accessible web site: www.erp-web.er.usgs.gov. Also through "External Research" on the EHP website.

YES 9%

Does the program have oversight practices that provide sufficient knowledge of grantee activities?

Explanation: The Hazards Program management oversees the scientific performance of the grantees; it is the responsibility of the USGS Office of Acquisitions and Grants, National Assistance Program Branch to oversee expenditures, invoices, and other financial matters pertaining to the grants. The Hazards Programs work closely with the Office of Acquisitions and Grants. The Program conducts site visits to grantees' institutions on a regular basis and attends various scientific meetings where grantees disseminate the results of their research.

Evidence: Documents related to each grant held by the EHP and the USGS Office of Acquisitions and Grants. Prior to FY2003, expenditures were reviewed as invoices were received for payment; typically quarterly. The final invoice was paid after the Final Technical Report was received. Currently, under the Payment Management System, the total funding is transferred directly to the awardees' institution when the grant is awarded. Statements of Work require annual and final reports. Panels consider past grant performance as a principal review criterion. We have not terminated a grant because of performance since at least 1996, but see example of denied funding of a new grant application because of non-performance, in 3.CO1. Special Terms and Conditions for EHP external grants

YES 9%

Does the program collect grantee performance data on an annual basis and make it available to the public in a transparent and meaningful manner?

Explanation: Every active grantee is required to submit an Annual Summary Report at the end of each fiscal year. These reports are submitted in electronic format and are published on the Program's publicly available web site. When each grant is completed the grantee must submit a Final Technical Report which contains the results of his research. Copies of these reports are sent to the three main USGS libraries and are available there. In the past, only abstracts of the Final Reports were published on the Program web site, but beginning in FY2002, complete versions of the reports were put on the web site if the grantee provided the report in electronic format. Beginning in FY2004 grantees will be required to submit their Final Reports in electron format for publication in full on the Program web site.

Evidence: Publicly accessible web site: www.erp-web.er.usgs.gov. Provides full grant information and reporting. Also accessible through "External Research" on the main EHP website.Attached FY2004 RFP and review criteria.

YES 9%

Does the program allocate funds through a competitive, merit-based process, or, if not, does it justify funding methods and document how quality is maintained?

Explanation: Since 1996, Geology Programs led a division-wide, competitive project proposal process using the BASIS+system. Geology issues an annual call for proposals called the Geology Annual Science Plan containing scientific and funding guidance for projects. The annual plan uses the Geology Science Strategy and Program 5 year plans for its organizing framework. Scientists are required to submit annual project proposals into the BASIS+ system for program review. System is used to examine strengths/weaknesses in staff, scientific methodology, progress on goals, budgetary structure, use of funds & capital investments, and formulate final allocations. Reviews, conducted by scientific peers, include external scientific or stakeholder review. Earmarked funds are not excluded from review. For EHP, SESAC evaluates the research program annually incl. all research activities at project level. Individual projects reviewed in depth every 3 years. Project performance judged by comparison with EHP 5 year plan.

Evidence: Overview diagram of Geology Planning Process demonstrating management and review process. See also answers to 3.1 and 3.3 on planning and allocation processes. Scientists propose work based upon the Geology Annual Science Plan which contains guidance for all projects within the framework of Geology Goals and Objectives and provides information on new opportunities and funding targets. Scientists submit annual project proposals and work plans for program review to determine progress, performance, and scientific soundness. The system is used to examine staffing, scientific methodology, progress on goals, budgetary structure, use of funds and capital investments, and formulate final allocations. Reviews are conducted by scientific peers and include external scientific or stakeholder review depending on the nature of the project. RGE quadrennial review documentation, SESAC periodic and annual reports, FY04 LHP Prospectus revisions

YES 9%

Does competition encourage the participation of new/first-time performers through a fair and open application process?



NA 0%

Does the program adequately define appropriate termination points and other decision points?



NA 0%

If the program includes technology development or construction or operation of a facility, does the program clearly define deliverables and required capability/performance characteristics and appropriate, credible cost and schedule goals?



NA 0%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 91%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term outcome performance goals?

Explanation: Earthquake hazards was the only subactivity which had measurable long term goals with specific products, but this element demonstrated adequate progress towards goals. Activities reported to the right are each evidence of progress toward goals identified in 5 year plans. While progress was demonstrated, adequate progress is difficult to determine for volcanoes and landslides as long term goals were not clearly linked to specific products, timelines in 5 year plans, or budget justitification materials.

Evidence: Reviewing accomplishments in 5-year plans: EH: --Natl. Hazards Maps, evolved from 6 broad qualitative zones nationwide to 150,000 points with quantitative information on expected seismic shaking, incorporated into IBC 2000 and IRC 2000. --In 1980, data analyzed by hand, notifications made by phone, taking hours. Analysis now automated, notifications by pagers & e-mail in minutes. Shakemaps incorporated into emerg. procedures in 4 at-risk urban areas, supported by aggressive ANSS annual station installation targets (> 400 stations in 4 yr) --GSN: exceeded goal of installing 128 stations in 20 yr.; approaching long-term data avail. goal of 90% VH: --real-time monitoring achieved at 26 of 41 remote Alaskan volcanoes, allowing timely aviation safety warnings for N. Pacific routes --since 1999, 13 new or updated hazard assessments providing basis for interagency response plans --major advances in the use of geodetic techniques for deformation monitoring at 14 volcanoes. LH: --Communities in 5 states incorporated hazard info. in land use or emerg. response plans --comprehensive National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy developed. Geomag. prog. automated 11 of 14 observatories in 15 years.


Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: GPRA annual performance goals (for hazard assessments, network operations, station installation, stakeholder meetings) have been established for all Hazards Programs and GSN. These goals, which involve partners such as the university-based operators of regional seismic networks, have been consistently met or exceeded. Additional annual goals (e.g., ANSS targets for station installation), set in annual work plans for program projects, are also consistently met or exceeded.

Evidence: GPRA based achievements are included in quarterly and annual GPRA reports. Annual plans and accomplishments are included in project work plans for the following year, and reviewed annually. Accomplishments through work carried out by partners under grants and cooperative agreements are included in annual reports and final reports.

YES 20%

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program performance goals each year?

Explanation: Hazards program have focused on the aggressive use of technology and telecommunications to achieve cost efficiencies and improve the quality and effectiveness of data acquisition, processing and information dissemination. The program has not regularly collected data from which to measure efficiencies and systematically report them over time.

Evidence: Current earthquake notification procedures & products of EHP. EHP National Seismic Hazard Maps, EHP CDs, EHP web site - earthquake.usgs.govInternational Building Code 2000 & International Residential Code 2000Customer surveys: NEIC & National Seismic Hazard Maps, show over 90% satisfaction with services & products.Exploitation of remote sensing for volcano monitoring summarized in volcanoes.usgs.gov/About/What/Monitor/RemoteSensing/RemoteSensing.htmlEarthworm & VALVE technology summarized in VHP 5-year plan & abstract for NSF meeting, GIS application documented in volcanoes.usgs.gov/Products/SProdsDigital.html#KilaueaOutreach & communication improved with Smithsonian thru Weekly Volcano Update www.volcano.si.edu/gvp/reports/usgs/index.cfmAPA Tech. eval. of report "Landslide Hazard and Planning"GSN: graph showing decreasing cost per station while increasing percent data availability


Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., that have similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: There is no specific data comparing USGS Geological hazards with other efforts. Private interests do not operate seismic or geodetic networks or maintain observatories and data analysis centers for rapid hazard notification. Instead, private interests re-package USGS results for economic gain in specialized applications (i.e., "value-added"). There is a substantial body of 'risk consultant' groups that provide advice on risk to insurance companies, investors, banks, corporations, and other interests. On an international scale, there are no hazard programs of comparable scope and effectiveness, and USGS is routinely tapped for assistance in crisis response. Similar programs are the National Weather Service (NWS), in forecasting and reporting on weather conditions, and NSF for geosciences research The budget of NWS is approximately $800 M annually, not including other weather related research conducted at NOAA. Like the NWS, the EHP must report on earthquake activity on a 24x7 basis, and reports must be accurate and timely. EHP provides NWS-like functions and services for earthquakes, and supports research to improve these functions and services. A recent report by OSTP/RAND states 'The majority of natural hazards R&D spending supports weather-related hazards ' approximately 85%', and concludes that "earthquake R&D may ultimately prove a more cost-effective investment." NSF Geosciences research is not focused or directed at specific problems in earthquake hazard reduction.

Evidence: Budget of the United States NEHRP Strategic Plan RAND Corporation Report MR-1734-OSTP 'Assessing Federal Research and Development for Hazard Loss Reduction'. CRADAs with Pacific Gas & Electric and Swiss Reinsurance. PASA's with USAID's OFDA MOU with Nuclear Regulatory Commission. MOU with Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction World leadership by VHP in volcano hazards: volcano hazard responses in 5-Year Plan, Appen. C; letter to Asst. Director, OFDA, from Secretary General of IAVCEI (1997), letter to Director USGS from Director NPS, 2003; letter from ALPA to Asst. Secretary, DOI, 2003, letter to NRC from Minard Hall, Instituto Geofisico, Ecuador) Certificates of Commentation from Micronesia (LHP) Letter of commendation from National Monument (LHP) Corporate membership list of Seismological Society of America and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. Recent report by OSTP/RAND states "majority of natural hazards R&D spending supports weather-related hazards ' approx. 85%'; concludes that "earthquake R&D may ultimately prove a more cost-effective investment." NEIC out-performs ISC and all other EQ monitoring orgs.


Do independent and quality evaluations of this program indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: The hazards programs periodically engage the NRC to review the scope, quality of research and general effectiveness of each program or program element/product. The most recent review of the VHP found it to be effective and achieving results. NRC's evaluation of LHP's National Strategy affirms the program's role in reducing losses and damage from landslides. EHP's employs an independent FACA oversight committee. Its charter states the "Committee shall advise the USGS Director on matters relating to the USGS participation in NEHRP, including the USGS's roles, goals, objectives within that program, its capabilities and research needs, guidance on achieving major objectives, and establishing and measuring performance goals." SESAC meets 2-3 times per year and prepares an annual report to the Director & Congress. EHP's effectiveness is witnessed by recent testimony given before Congress on NEHRP authorization, praising EHP's National Seismic Hazard Maps. Customer surveys report >90% satisfaction with NEIC and National Seismic Hazard Maps. Under an MOU with NSF, the GSN Standing Committee and IRIS committees review the GSN program. These reviews indicate that the program is effective in achieving results.

Evidence: SESAC report of September 2002 stated that USGS EHP "'plays a central role in bringing science to the public good." Referring to earthquake monitoring products, "These products are an outgrowth of efforts to integrate and modernize regional and national seismic monitoring systems". May 2003 testimony on NEHRP reauthorization, T.D. O'Rourke, referring to national hazard maps: "USGS has successfully developed a procedure for translating earth science into information needed for seismic design" and L.D. Reaveley "This most important advancement was made possible through NEHRP". Both O'Rourke and Reaverley are engineers. Customer satisfaction surveys. e.g., for the National Earthquake Information Center and the National Seismic Hazard Maps surveys show over 90% satisfaction with these services and products. 2003 report of GSN review committee indicates " ...success of the GSN as the primary tool of the worldwide seismological community...". NRC Report of 2001 validates USGS role and responsibility for monitoring, reporting & forecasting critical phenomena like earthquakes.

YES 20%

If the program includes construction of a facility, were program goals achieved within budgeted costs and established schedules?



NA 0%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 80%

Last updated: 09062008.2003SPR