USGS and Sacramento State
When the US Geological Survey (USGS) California Water Science Center agreed to site its new Sacramento offices on the campus of California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State), the stage was set for discoveries and collaborations between world-class USGS scientists and this expanding, changing campus. The Cooperative Agreement between our two celebrates over 10 years with a research conference entitled Cooperative Science: Collaboration and Discovery. This is an important event, not only because it symbolizes an important milestone to the communities and constituencies we serve, but also because it affords us a tremendous opportunity to review our history and thus plan for our future together.
Partnerships between federal agencies and universities can benefit many more organizations than the primary actors involved, since we each represent a variety of sub-units and collaborators. Over the course of ten years, the USGS and Sacramento State have formed a unique partnership which emphasizes the regional and statewide initiatives that both organizations are engaged in continuously.
The presence of USGS scientists and operations affords Sacramento State faculty and students a tremendous opportunity to grow through proximity, interaction and emulation. The USGS capacities in hydrology, water science and related areas are recognized throughout the region as being world-class. When our faculty and students work in partnership with USGS staff in the classroom, at the lab bench, in the field with drilling and sampling projects, or in the other capacities, growth and sharing occur simultaneously.
This cooperative agreement model provides a critical bridge for collaboration between the University, as a state agency with different campus auxiliaries such as University Enterprises (formerly the CSUS Foundation), and research and outreach partners such as USGS. Each unit, as a part of the whole, has the opportunity to expand and contribute to the greater public good under this partnership.
The importance of the USGS presence on campus can be symbolized in one word: catalyst. In ways completely unintended at times, the dynamism and professionalism represented by the USGS staff and activity lead to direct and indirect benefits across and beyond the campus. The reality is that USGS has become a part of the campus, an affiliation in which we each take great pride, and the partnership illustrates the importance of investing in and nurturing such relationships to the regional, state and federal partners with whom we each work. The public good is strengthened, the taxpayers’ investment in leveraged, and the body of knowledge is expanded through students, faculty and USGS scientists working together.