National Biological Survey

Network News Fall 1994, Vol. 16 No. 1
Network News

Making science information available to land managers, policymakers, researchers and the general public

The biological and ecological research arm of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Biological Survey (NBS) is charged with providing better science information on and understanding of the status and trends of the nation’s biota and making this information available to land managers, policymakers, researchers and the general public. This is a tremendous task that will require far more resources than NBS will ever have.

Therefore, the Survey will be proactive in establishing mutually beneficial relationships with other federal and state agencies, universities, museums, industry and conservation groups. In this way, NBS can serve as a clearinghouse and a catalyst in the federal government and take a broad look at what needs to be done to conserve resources and help coordinate national efforts.

Joint Research Agreements

Since it became operational in November 1993, the NBS has signed a number of agreements to support joint research, including:

  • With federal and state government agencies, the timber industry, and several universities: to study forested wetlands in southern states in a cooperative partnership to provide the basic information needed to establish wetland restoration goals and to measure the success of specific restoration attempts.
  • With the Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere cooperative, a partnership of federal and state government agencies and others: to prepare a regional inventory of databases and design a system for sharing data, and providing information to local communities.
  • With the State of California: to collect, integrate, and provide the biological data needed for making local and regional resource management and conservation decisions. 
  • With International Paper (IP) and Champion International, two of the nation’s largest landowners: to conduct research on the abundance and distribution of pitcher plants and their habitats on these corporations’ properties in southern Alabama (IP) and in Tennessee (Champion) on the northern boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Survey is interested in collaborating with the National Science Foundation to further the mutual scientific interests of both agencies. In particular, NBS seeks to include NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research sites in a larger network for improved determination, understanding, and forecasting of the status and trends of America’s biological resources. The LTER Network’s long history of studying large-scale ecological processes holds great promise as a cornerstone of the data resource that will both underlie future research efforts and support comprehensive analysis of present conditions.

For more information on NBS developments: National Biological Survey, 1849 C Street NW, MS -3040, Washington, D.C. 20240, 202-482-3048

Dr. Ronald Pulliam was appointed Director of the National Biological Survey in May 1994