Patuxent Wildlife Research Center--Goals
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center has chosen to focus on four scientific themes.
These are each subdivided into several program areas, or work units, that reflect
the Center's capabilities, historic roots, and forward-looking aspirations.
Goals are set in each program area. These goals, scientific themes, and program
areas fundamentally influence the development of projects, tasks, and other
Status and Trends of Biological Resources
- Develop, coordinate, and manage selected national wildlife databases and
related information transfer programs, through partnerships with contributors,
users, and other stakeholders and through enhanced use of electronic media.
- Improve analysis and interpretation of data on the status and trends of
- Provide national leadership in managing a national data center for wildlife
populations and their habitats, particularly bird and amphibian populations
including such programs as the Bird Banding Laboratory, Breeding Bird Survey
and other data bases.
- Continue to evaluate the taxonomy of the vertebrate fauna of the Americas,
and to manage the national specimen collections of North American vertebrates.
- Enhance programs to develop and apply bioindicators of stresses in natural
environments, in order to assess and monitor anthropogenic changes.
- Develop and maintain programs of research and monitoring on the Patuxent
Research Refuge as a model of long-term ecological monitoring within a developed
- Contribute to regional, national and international programs of population,
landscape, and ecosystem monitoring and assessment, particularly the Virginia
Barrier Islands Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) and national monitoring
Effects of Ecological Processes and Human Impacts on
- Improve understanding of how natural and man-altered environments function
and how human-induced and natural stressors affect wildlife populations,
ecosystems, and landscapes.
- Provide scientific bases for conserving migratory bird populations and
their habitats, especially neotropical migrants and declining species, and
for innovative cross- boundary management strategies.
- Provide leadership in Partners in Flight and monitoring of bird populations.
- Provide scientific bases for managed migratory bird populations and their
habitats, especially waterfowl, and for evaluating and testing adaptive management
strategies for these resources.
- Develop better understanding of and methods for minimizing negative effects
of natural and human activities on biological resources.
- Develop better understanding of the assessment of wetland functions, particularly
at the landscape scale.
- Develop better understanding of waterfowl habitat management, particularly
on the landscape scale as part of the Joint Venture concept.
- Develop better understanding of the ecology and management of biological
resources at the landscape and ecosystem levels of integration.
- Develop better understanding of the impact of introduced species on populations,
communities, ecosystems, and cultural landscapes.
- Further develop an understanding of the fate and effects of contaminants
in the environment and associated risks to ecological and human systems.
- Continue the long term contributions of information and technical assistance
by the Center to international wildlife conservation, particularly focused
on wetlands, migratory birds, endangered species, and pest species.
Restoration and Maintenance of Sustainable Ecological
- Provide scientific bases for restoring and maintaining species, habitats,
and ecosystems that are endangered or are at risk of becoming endangered.
- Contribute to providing the scientific basis for sustainable management
of the living resources of the Chesapeake Bay in partnership with other Federal,
State, and non- government agencies.
- Provide scientific understanding of coastal dynamics, particularly related
to wetland and beach ecosystems, and DOI trust species that depend on these
- Provide scientific bases for management of wetlands, especially restoration
and maintenance of wetlands as habitat for migratory waterbirds and other
- Provide scientific bases for management of biological resources on Federal
lands through enhanced partnerships with National Parks and National Wildlife
Refuges, and provide technical assistance in their efforts to manage biological
- Develop better understanding and enhanced analytical tools for the statistical
analysis and modeling of biological processes and how human actions affect
these processes, especially for risk assessments.
Management and Transfer of Natural Resources Information
- Develop and implement improved methods for managing and disseminating biological
resource research and monitoring information to users, especially through
the use of electronic media.
- Develop and implement improved methods for managing and disseminating contaminant
research and monitoring information to users, especially through the use
of electronic media.
- Develop and implement improved methods for managing and disseminating relevant
research and monitoring information to DOI and other managers, especially
through the use of electronic media.
An additional Center Theme: Scientific Program Support and Operations encompasses
the Center's activities in providing the day-to-day infrastructure needed to
operate Center facilities and support the scientific program to accomplish
its scientific mission and vision.
Scientific Program Support and Operations
- Provide leadership for Center and its science programs by empowering the
Center's staff to accomplish its mission and goals, assure effective and
efficient use of resources in all operations, accomplish diversity and personnel
development goals of the Center, Division, and Agency, and represent Center
interests to internal and external constituencies.
- Provide leadership to science programs that insures that scientific activities
are of highest possible quality, relevance, and scientific value and are
conducted with high standards of scientific integrity.
- Develop a model peer review system to ensure that all Center science meets
agency review requirements; conduct objective and timely Research Grade Evaluation
Panels to properly classify and grade all scientists, operate a state- of-the
art awards program that identifies, recognizes, and rewards science employees
who make significant achievements.
- Develop a "virtual" Center that networks scientists and support
staff, physically dispersed in the most effective way to enhance scientific
productivity, effectiveness, and information transfer.
- Provide leadership in developing and improving communication linkage with
external constituencies, determine improved means of assessing and meeting
the research needs of the Department of the Interior and other partners,
and implement improved delivery of scientific information to users.
- Develop effective working partnerships with regional, national, and international
scientific and natural resource organizations to increase operational effectiveness
and research productivity.
- Provide administrative and operational support for science programs of
the Center in ways that enhance its scientific productivity while achieving
increased cost efficiency and effectiveness, especially through use of electronic
- Maintain the facilities and physical plant of the Center to enhance scientific
productivity while achieving increased cost efficiency.
- Support the goals of the Patuxent Research Refuge operations to assure
the wise management of Refuge lands for future generations.
- Provide state-of-the-art information technology support to enhance scientific
productivity, operational efficiency, and transfer of information to users.