In mid-January Karen Siderelis, Associate Director of Geospatial
Information at USGS, sent out a memo outlining changes planned for the
next two years.The mapping divisions (now numbering five) will be
consolidated into the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center
(NGTOC).Max Ethridge, based at the Rolla, Missouri division, serving
as Regional Geographer for the Central Region, has been named acting
director of the NGTOC.Where the NGTOC will be based is not yet decided.
Rolla, and the five other locations, in Virginia, South Dakota,
Colorado and California, and perhaps others, are in the running.
Ethridge explained the consolidation was needed because of the variety
of private sector maps and new technologies which I suspect include The
Two teams are exploring what and where NGTOC will be.One focuses on
which responsibilities and programs the center will support.A second
is studying the number of staff needed for those tasks.
USGS has been trimming staff and using consultant more and more in
recent years.A recent "buyout" was extended to the end of February
those who might wish to leave in the near term.A bonus of $25,000
sweetens the deal.While USGS has maintained funding for about a
decade, salaries have not risen with inflation.
This past week, U.S.Representative Jo Ann Emerson has sent
Director of the United States Geological Survey Dr.Charles Groat
asking for Rolla's center to continue, either as NGTOC or as it is.See
also the article in the Rolla
The changes are worth careful watch as the number of civilian
geospatial jobs may drop with the consolidation.It's possible some
staff may be assigned to other federal geospatial programs but my fear
is simply that the number of defense/intelligence geospatial jobs may
far overshadow civilian ones.That will mean a more limited path for
those looking into public service in geospatial in the federal