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The third and final section of the USGS Career Planning Manual—“Career Profiles"—was developed and printed in FY 94. This section showcases USGS employees who have achieved their personal career goals. These individuals not only agreed to tell their success stories and share advice, but they have also volunteered to Serve as mentOrS to employees who are attempting to advance their own careers.
new strategic recruitment plan piloted by the USGS water resources regional office in Atlanta, Ga. This 2-year pilot project involves intensive training of a recruitment team, analysis and projection of staffing needs that cross division lines, conducting planning sessions, building relationships with seven universities whose enrollments include significant numbers of women and minorities in programs that are related to the USGS mission, providing employment opportunities for students from these institutions, and evaluating programs throughout the process.
Finally, USGS selecting officials are alerted to positions in which women and minorities are underrepresented.
Increase the representation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in executive, managerial, supervisory, and leadership positions— Continuous improvement requires a change from the traditional, hierarchical management style of control and direction. Increasingly, the USGS mission is carried out by empowered, self-directed work teams. This change in philosophy—a commitment to the value of diversity in thought, approach, and viewpoint—immediately casts women, minorities, and persons with disabilities into decisionmaking roles. These teams set the standard for efficient Government operations and the redirection of natural resource policy.
Increase opportunities for the career development of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities currently in the workforce—A water resources regional office in Reston, Va., hosted the first USGS Federally Employed Women (FEW) preconference in July 1994 as a precursor to the FEW national training program in Washington, D.C. Human Resources Initiatives funding helped to maximize participation in career development activities such as computer courses, the FEW, and the Blacks in Government conference. The Western Regional Office in Menlo Park, Calif., sponsored “Disabilities World in Transition— The Technological Revolution,” a workshop on how technology enhances the ability of
Improve the visibility of the earth sciences among students at all educational levels to expand the future pool of underrepresented candidates for earth science careers—A major thrust of the USGS Diversity Plan is to enhance awareness of earth science careers among students. To that end, many USGS education projects and recruitment initiatives are aimed at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Native American institutions. One example is the 2-week HBCU Summer Faculty Geographic Information Systems Symposium at North Carolina Central University, hosted by the USGS. In addition, the USGS sponsors numerous exhibits at career fairs and college campuses throughout the country to promote student employment programs that serve as a feeder system for future employees.
Educational projects aimed at students in grades K through 12 include a groundwater poster series in both English and Spanish, Geomedia training discs, and earth science teacher packets. Examples of these products were exhibited at the second annual Coalition for Earth Science Education national meeting hosted by the USGS in March 1994. In addition, the Volunteer for Science Program provides outstanding opportunities for internships, national service, and career exploration. Students on hundreds of university campuses can connect to the USGS Internet server for more information (see box, p. 115). Over 1,250 new volunteer agreements were signed in 1994.
Ensure the continuing involvement of the entire workforce in facilitating organizational change and instilling diversity values through performance management and employee recognition systems.-The USGS had a leadership role in developing a new performance management system for the Department of the Interior. This new system, which will be implemented after it has been approved by the Office of Personnel Management, focuses on
continuing communication between supervisors and employees and on the accomplishment of individual, team, and organizational objectives, including diversity goals. The new system also provides awards for recognizing exemplary performance in achieving organizational and diversity goals. In addition to performance recognition, USGS managers are encouraged to become actively involved in helping the bureau achieve its diversity goals and to recognize the diversity achievements of supervisors and employees through special act and (or) honor awards.
n support of its Six-Month Diversity Goals,
which were developed by the HRMC to achieve and maintain workforce diversity, the USGS made plans in FY 94 to support diver.
sity efforts in two ways: (1) training for execu
tives, managers, and supervisors in “managing diversity” and (2) training for all employees in “hands-on" workforce diversity.
To successfully manage diversity, the USGS must establish an environment in which every employee feels empowered and is encouraged to tap his or her full potential. The focus must be on cultural, professional, cognitive, gender, and other differences throughout the USGS workforce. The dignity of each person must be recognized, and the contributions of all employees must be valued. Management's willingness to take responsibility for implementing this process and to be held accountable for its success or failure is indicative of the USGS commitment to workforce diversity.
Dr. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., president of the American Institute for Managing Diversity, and members of his staff trained USGS executives, managers, and supervisors in managing diversity in the Reston, Va., office and at some field offices between January and March 1994. Thomas, an author and speaker who has gained national recognition for his groundbreaking work on managing diversity, helped clarify the USGS “corporate” diversity vision, a critical first step toward developing new methods of attracting, recruiting, developing, and retaining employees.
A video-based training program has been acquired to provide diversity education to all employees. The program addresses both the concept of workforce diversity and the process through which it is achieved,
n 1994, the Ethnic Minority Advisory Committee (EMAC) worked to
define the needs of minorities at the regional and field centers of the Geologic Division. Committee members and others from the EMAC community volunteered their time and efforts to assist on projects including the Affirmative Employment Plan, the USGS Diversity Plan, Presidential Executive Order 12898 on environmental justice, and a grass-roots effort with the National Park Service to address native Hawaiian reclassification. In addition, EMAC members have formed an ad-hoc committee with representatives from other U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Divisions to formally establish a bureauwide Ethnic Minority Advisory Group.
EMAC has a profound commitment to educational outreach projects.
Four active proposals are now in their second year of funding: (1) development of classroom modules demonstrating current USCS work and related scientific concepts; (2) participation in a 1-week summer workshop on image processing for teaching hosted by the University of Arizona; (3) participation in community and other agency programs (including the Minority Outreach Education/Employment program, the Inter-Tribal Youth Practicum, and the Stay-in-School program); and (4) development of a poster and stickers promoting “Diversity of People, Diversity of Earth Science Careers."
Quadrangles assigned to USGS Earth Science Corps volunteers for mapping as of January 1, 1995.
For more information on the Earth Science Corps, contact:
Telephone: (800) 254–8040
Volunteers accept responsibility for specific geographic areas, which usually include their homes, workplaces, or recreational sites. The volunteers are given copies of USGS topographic maps, which they then review for changes that may have occurred since publication. They gradually visit all of their assigned area and annotate the maps, identifying any differences between published information and current ground conditions. Annotations are made according to instructions provided in a Volunteer Guide and are mailed upon completion to the responsible mapping center. When a survey has been completed, annual updates are submitted.
During the first 4 months of operation alone, 200 individuals joined the ESC. The overwhelming majority of the volunteers have some degree of experience in science or engineering, and nearly all are experienced map users. Occasionally, friends or family members have signed on together. Some employee groups and recreational associations are participating as units. Students and youth organizations are participating under adult leadership.
The ESC benefits both the Government and the individual volunteer. The program provides the Government with local contacts that can be used to obtain a variety of information without having to dispatch field crews. It also enhances public awareness of the work of the USGS and provides a source of public opinion data. Volunteers gain experience that can be used to acquire employ
ment qualification and (or) academic credit through internship programs. The program also provides an opportunity to combine recreational pursuits with public service.
ESC activities are coordinated by a small number of paid USGS employees who contribute only a portion of their time. Correspondence and other clerical responsibilities are handled by a staff of volunteers from the Reston, Va., area. Additional volunteers will be recruited at field offices to manage data accumulated by ESC members.
Another major function of the ESC will be to promote public awareness. Volunteers will help to publicize USGS programs and products within their own community by providing information at conventions and public exhibitions, visiting classrooms to explain their map-annotation activities, or assisting their neighbors in obtaining information from the USGS and other agencies.
As the ESC matures, many of its volunteers may be linked by a computer network, expanding their involvement beyond the mapping program to include geologic and hydrologic data gathering. A program that has drawn more than 300 participants since its inception less than a year ago, the ESC has the long-term potential to become an information source for other bureaus of the Federal Government.
Melvin Y Ellis is a program developer.
Volunteer for Science Program
he Volunteer for Science Program
services of 2,350 individuals, including 1,250 new volunteers. Volunteers donated 280,000 hours (134 staff years) through a wide range of projects from Alaska to Puerto Rico.
Volunteer recruitment activity in FY 94 targeted professional scientific organizations such as the Geological Society of America, high schools, colleges, universities, educational conferences, retiree and senior citizens groups, and the National Community Service Conference.
The Volunteer/Intern/Teacher Opportunities Handbook for 1994 was distributed to over 1,000 colleges and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and member schools of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities nationwide and to hundreds of public school teachers across the Nation.
More than 250 USGS retirees donated their considerable talents and expertise to research projects through emeritus programs. Numerous high-school students provided assistance to administrative and scientific personnel. The Volunteer for Science Program also merged onto the Information Superhighway this year.
Highlights of USGS Volunteer Activities
olunteers provided valuable assistance to the USGS across the Nation on projects too numerous to describe fully here. Some of their contributions in FY 94 included: • A high-school student volunteer “telecommuted” from home, working on a prototype development project for the National Water-Quality Assessment Program using Hypertext Mark-Up Language to format documents for loading onto the World Wide Web for Internet access. • A retired mechanical engineer assisted in the design, fabrication, and field testing of borehole instruments in Menlo Park, Calif. • Two students from the College of Charleston in South Carolina assisted USGS employees on Sullivan's Island with the Charleston Harbor project and the aquifer
storage and recovery project for the Charleston Commission of Public Works.
As part of a job-training apprenticeship
program for students with learning disabilities, a Northern Virginia Community Col.
lege student volunteer assisted with data entry and map filing in the Reference Collection and Historical Map Archives of the USGS in Reston, Va. Students from the University of Puerto Rico entered data into geographic information system files, collected and analyzed
sediment samples, and ran sediment trans
port models. AJapanese exchange student working toward a master's degree at San Jose State University worked on studies of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco, Calif. A volunteer was instrumental in placing USGS information on the Internet. Her vast knowledge of the Internet allowed her to assist with Information Superhighway presentations to the Vice President and members of the White House staff. She also assisted with Internet training programs at the USGS National Center in Reston, Va., for employees from the White House, the Department of the Interior, and other Federal agencies. A high-school student worked on a waterquality project, assisting in the analysis of water samples for pesticide concentration levels and collecting data in the field on Florida fish communities. Teachers from Massachusetts, Colorado, Missouri, Connecticut, Washington, Virginia, and Alaska served as curriculum specialists in the development of a waterresources education initiative in Denver,
Electronic Job Hunting
he Automated Vacancy Announcement
Distribution System (AVADS) is an example of the creative use of technology to meet customers’ needs at the least cost to the Government. The Department of the Interior (DOI) has made all of its job-opening information available electronically to the public via a toll-free call to an electronic bulletin board or over the Internet. AVADS also allows for both the creation and nationwide electronic distribution of vacancy announcements to all DOI employees. Public access to AVADS is also available via walk-up kiosks at personnel offices throughout the USGS and at the Main Interior Building in Washington, D.C.
AVADS, originally designed and used by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), replaces a labor-intensive paper-based process in which copies of individual vacancy announcements were mailed to offices across the country. Electronic distribution through AVADS means that job-opening information is available much faster and updated more often and that the Government is saving the cost of mailing large quantities of paper. AVADS runs on the USGS mainframe computer and personal computers (MicroAVADS). The PC version is updated weekly and is available in both stand-alone and multiuser local-area network formats. Now that AVADS is in place throughout
the DOI, the length of time required to prepare a vacancy announcement in many cases has dropped from weeks to minutes. The flexibility of the system allows for the format of
Vacancy announcements are...accessible over the Internet World Wide Web.
the announcements to be standardized yet permits the document to be customized for each bureau's needs. Vacancy announcements are also accessible over the Internet World Wide Web. Using a browser like
Mosaic, CERN, or LYNX, applicants can browse and print vacancy announcements and related how-to-apply documents.
Reengineering the Time and Attendance Process
very 2 weeks, Department of the Interior Eği employees, timekeepers, and supervisors are required to record, verify, correct, and submit time and attendance (T&A) information to the departmental payroll system. The process is frequently time consuming, paper intensive, and, when performed manually, prone to many errors. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) piloted an automated system that electronically processed T&A data for more than 800 employees and resulted in more accurate payroll information, a reduced workload for timekeepers, easier use for supervisors, and reduced cost as paper and errors are eliminated. On the basis of this success, the USGS is now engaged in a bureauwide effort to develop a paperless electronic T&A system. Departmentwide attention has also focused on this new system, because it could easily serve as a standard approach to T&A processing across all bureaus. Benefits are expected to exceed costs by three to one in 1996 and by eight to one in 1997. A phased implementation for the entire bureau will begin in 1995, automating the T&A process for over 9,500 employees.
Coalition for Earth Science Education
he Coalition for Earth Science Education
(CESE) is composed of member organizations representing State and Federal agencies, academia, and scientific societies and organizations, all fixed on a common vision— to promote an awareness of earth science as fundamental knowledge necessary for addressing societal, environmental, and economic issues. CESE's primary goal is to facilitate communication, cooperation, and