April 3 FGDC Coordination Group Meeting


[action items] 

Action Items from Last Meeting – Alison Dishman, FGDC 


Annual Report Update – Milo Robinson, FGDC 


Please see the presentation for the annual report cover design. 

Milo is the COTR.  Tricia has completed the writing, and the graphic and layout team now has the report.  They have edited the text and done the draft layout. The final version will be sent to FGDC leadership for review and approval before it goes to the printer.  Printing will take 6 –10 weeks, and then the report will be distributed. 

The original amount of text was too large so we had to abbreviate the original text.  The hard copy will be in similar length to last year, but the full text will be available in soft copy online.  

Q:  How many copies will be printed?
A:  Last year we had plenty of copies available, we agreed to cut back on the printing this year.  GPO prints.  There is a certain amount of money set aside for printing – the decision on quantity will be dependant on price because sometimes it costs more to print less. 

Q:  How will the report be distributed?
A:  Last year we sent the hard copy to the Steering Committee and Coordination Group members.  It is a truncated report to be sent to policy-level officials, conferences and meetings.  If you have a need for the report – we can accommodate that. 


Wetlands SC Update – Bill Wilen, FWS


The Wetlands Subcommittee sent the working draft of the wetlands standard to the Standards Working Group.  We would appreciate your comments when the standard comes out for review. 

The sea level rise model is geo-enabled by the FGDC Digital Data.  After the President mentioned the issue in the State of the Union address, sea level rise has received a lot more attention.  FWS is very interested in sea level rise due to the many coastal refuges. 

Sea level rise is happening a little faster than it did before but it is not new and is part of the global process.  There are many factors including glacial melt, tectonics, and isostatic rebounding – the land is still adjusting from the last ice age. We are part of geologic time, we have to adapt to sea level rise as we go forward.  

Salt marshes are at the front line of sea level rise. Water rises, mudflats are lost to low marsh, then to high marsh and the land.  

The Sea Level Affecting Marsh Model (SLAMM) is EPA’s model and FWS (National Wetlands Inventory), NOAA, USGS (digital elevation data), MRLC (LIDAR) all contribute to this effort. 

The FGDC has done a good job of providing excellent examples of how the data layers can be used.  We now need to focus more on the environmental thematic layers – and show the government the value of these layers. 

Suggestion:  The 2007 Annual Report should focus on how the FGDC agencies contributed to this effort. 

Action 1:  Bill Wilen will contact Jeff Booth about DOE’s need for information related to sea level rise. 

Q:  How recent is the data you are using? 
A:  Although we have digital data back from the 1970s we have used NWI digital data that we feel is most reliable.  The Galveston model you were shown today used data from 1991. 


CAP Update and Discussion – Gita Urban-Mathieux, FGDC


Q:  Do you have a briefing or summary of last year’s projects?
A:  It is part of the annual report this year.  A lot of the grants ask for extensions – so there is a fuzzy area – a 2007 grant recipient might not report until 2009. 

Gita will post a list of accomplishments on the web – until it is posted you can view the interim and final reports online.

Approximately 575 awards have been awarded since the program's inception.  David Marks from UNY in Buffalo conducted a study in 2000 that examined lessons learned from the CAP.    

Action 2:  Gita Urban-Mathieux will post the 2000 study regarding CAP lessons learned.  

Suggestion:  We should look at a broader best practices approach – things to avoid, and how to get information out to communities of interest.  We could consider a category for the 08 grants to transmit all the lessons learned from the CAP grants. 

Response:  The community is so wide – the web is the best way to transmit lessons learned for now.  But when we move to a FACA – part of the members’ responsibility will be reporting this information back to their community. 

Comment:  Category 3 has had a good process over the last 2 years – NSGIC providing lessons learned to FGDC.  Milo calls quarterly meetings – to check status and see if they need any help.  They are also asked to provide feedback for the upcoming grant requirements. 

Suggestion:  We should move the schedule up this year for the 2008 announcements.  Otherwise the awards process runs into the NSGIC midyear conference.  Even starting the CAP two weeks earlier would make a world of difference for these folks. 

Response:  The federal contracts process sometimes takes the timing out of our hands, but we can try to move it up.  We can try to open the CAP in October, close end of Dec, Jan review period, maybe complete the process a month earlier.  It is hard to do during the November/December holiday months.  

Action 3:  Gita Urban-Mathieux will look into having the 50 States CAP grant on a separate, earlier timeframe than the other grants to give the awardees time to plan for the NSGIC midyear conference. 

DHS has had to go through a lot of hoops but may be able to provide funds for 2 extra grants next year.  

Action 4: Gita Urban-Mathieux will provide the agencies information on the proper channels to go through when contributing to the CAP grant funds. 

FACA Update – John Mahoney, USGS

The call for nominations letter is still in the final review process at DOI.  We hope to get the call for nominations out shortly. 

We have spoken with other DOI FACAs to look at lessons learned.  

Action 5:  John Mahoney will invite Toni Johnson to speak to the CG about the Advisory Committee for Water Information’s (FACA) lessons learned. 

There has not been a final decision regarding voting Feds on the advisory committee.  We have a strong sense that the Interior Office of the Secretary would prefer full federal membership and voting on the committee.  The previously mentioned Water Information committee has a full mix of members from federal, state, local and private organizations – which seems to work well.  

There is no official FGDC position.  We have had discussion back and forth.  We have heard from agencies on the FGDC that they have found it helpful to have federal membership on their other FACA committees. 

Action 6:  John Mahoney will provide Mark DeMulder background information regarding the National Geospatial Advisory Committee.

We haven’t come to a final determination on the membership of working groups and subcommittees but would like to keep the existing subcommittees and working groups as they are.  

We may need to develop new charter language to avoid FACA issues.  When the FACA subcommittees are set up we may need to revisit the structure of FGDC subcommittees to avoid overlap. 

Comment:  Part of assessment could examine whether subcommittee and working group membership should be determined on a case-by-case basis or all-or-nothing.  Changing the membership might change the roles and responsibilities, products and deliverables of the groups.   We would like to know the answer - it is a staffing issue that affects the level of support we must provide. 

Suggestion:  You could always make the subcommittee and working group meetings open to the non-feds for half of the day.  The solicitor’s office could inform the chairs what they are allowed to discuss.  Non-feds will understand we have to close the afternoon session to discuss sensitive topics.  


Participant Statistical Areas Program 2010 Census – Vince Osier, Census

[presentation] [summary criteria] [draft schedule] [statistical areas chart]

The Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) is being developed to reflect local input and the needs of a wide range of data users. 

Census categorizes both legal and statistical entities.  We are reexamining the current statistical entities prior to the 2010 Census.  

The criteria won’t change but the census tracts could be altered to:

·        Increase the block groups’ minimum population threshold to 1,200 (cut out largely unpopulated areas) to improve the reliability of the sample data and improve mapping. 
·        Include special land use tracts – Central Park, NY, etc.
·        Include tribal tracts and block groups
·        Allow housing unit counts – these are more easily verifiable in the field than an actual population count. 
·        Census County Divisions (CCDs) could be eliminated, although they may be legally defined in the sparsely populated western states – this is up for discussion 

The American Community Survey will use this data when publishing its annual updates. 

These proposed criteria will be published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2007.  Discussion and comments are welcomed.  The final criteria will be published in late 2007. 

Action 7:  Please send comments or suggestions on the Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) criteria to Geo.psap.list@census.gov

The Federal Register Notice will be posted here when it is published on April 6, 2007. 

Action 8:  Randy Fusaro will notify the CG when the proposal criteria for the PSAP are published in the Federal Register

***Note:  The proposed criteria for the 2010 Census Participant Statistical Areas (PSAP) were published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2007 for public review and comment. 

Listed in the Federal Register as:  fr06ap07N Census Tract Program for the 2010 Census--Proposed Criteria

Size: 50115 , Score: 175 , HTML , PDF , SUMMARY 

For more information:  http://www.census.gov/geo/www/psap2010/psap2010_main.html  *** 

Q:  Might statistical areas be redefined every 5 years instead of 10 years? 
A:  No plan to do that right now.  Data users don’t want to have tracts changed every year.  They want data comparability.