USGS - science for a changing world

Geology Discipline staff

Peter Schweitzer's current position description



This position is located in the Eastern Mineral Resource Team. The incumbent carries out research and technological development to improve the public's ability to use scientific research results of the USGS. The work facilitates the development of


  1. Develop and support a North American Digital Geologic Map Data Model - Working with management, research, and operational staff, incumbent clarifies goals and objectives for creating effective, integrated digital geologic map data. Data management objectives include standards-based approaches to data management, data storage formats, mechanisms for search including geographic criteria, data access, visualization tools, and archiving.

    Incumbent designs, develops, deploys, and supports complete solutions (including software and hardware tools, training, and organizational strategies)--either directly or through contract management--that enable scientific researchers to implement a common digital geologic map data model.

  2. Improve data access through internet map services -- Research and develop technologies needed to communicate scientific information to the public using internet-accessible, map-based geospatial display interfaces. Working with management, research, and operational staff, incumbent discovers appropriate infrastructures to support the widespread availability of digital geologic information in map-based user interfaces.

    Incumbent designs, develops, deploys, and supports complete solutions (including software and hardware tools, training, and organizational strategies)--either directly or through contract management--that enable scientific researchers and the public to examine and interpret geoscience data via the internet.

  3. Improve data documentation using standard metadata - Forwards goals of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to coordinate and improve access to geospatial scientific information in concert with the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), and the Government Information Locator System (GILS).

    Incumbent designs, develops, deploys, and supports complete solutions (including software and hardware tools, training, and organizational strategies) that enable scientific research organizations within and outside USGS to document geospatial scientific data consistently and completely.

  4. Representation and Liaison - Represents the Team, Program, or Bureau on ad-hoc and standing committees and work groups dealing with scientific data management and standards development at the Bureau, Department or interagency levels.

  5. Independent Studies - As permitted by priority Team needs, may conduct research and development on new or existing data resources and information technologies to forward geological research objectives of the Team, the Bureau, or both.


  1. Advanced knowledge of geosciences, and related knowledge of biology sufficient to enable technical planning and internal coordination of scientific data in a major multi-disciplinary research organization.

  2. Demonstrated ability to design, implement, deploy, and support computer programs and data products on MS-DOS, Macintosh, and UNIX computer systems.

  3. Demonstrated ability to administer networked multi-user UNIX computer systems, including maintenance of hardware and software and user support.

  4. Knowledge of applications, information, and processing standards related to scientific data dissemination, including requirements for formal data contained in the FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial data, common data file formats including Hierarchical Data Format (HDF), electronic document preparation formats including Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

  5. Ability to establish goals and priorities that integrate organizational objective and to evaluate program progress and results. Ability to work well with others and coordinate the efforts of diverse teams.


Works under the general supervision of the Team Chief Scientist. Within general policies, broad USGS objectives, and budget limitations, incumbent functions with technical independence on a day-to-day basis. Periodically discusses status with supervisor in relation to impact on other data management activities and USGS programs. Completed work is reviewed for adherence to policy objectives and overall results.


Broadly stated written guidelines established by Regional and Bureau councils, and policy statements of agency and federal coordinating committees are available and consulted. Open, published standards are employed wherever possible to solve specific problems.


Complexity derives from a variety of factors:
  1. the need to communicate effectively with specialists in multiple scientific disciplines to discover common strategies for data product generation, integration, dissemination, and support;

  2. the need to weave results of individual research programs and projects into coordinated interdisciplinary products conforming to common standards for documentation, storage, distribution, visualization, and archiving;

  3. the need to provide sophisticated scientific and technological information and technical solutions for a wide variety of data producers and users, including operating-level project staff, program coordinators, academic and industrial researchers, and the public;

  4. the need to maintain, administer, network, and support MS-DOS, Macintosh, and UNIX computers (including UNIX system administration) and software to make research results easily accessible and interpretable by all users; and

  5. changing standards for information technology in government and industry.


Work affects the progress within the international community of geoscientists towards increasing the utility and applicability of geologic map data to all problems where earth surface processes and materials are important.


Personal contacts are with top-level scientific personnel, key officials of the Bureau and the Department, and users of the Bureau's research results in other governmental agencies, industrial and academic research settings, and the public. Additional contacts are with personnel engaged in data management and standards development internationally as well as other Federal and state agencies, and various interagency and regional boards, committees, and panels.


The purpose of the contacts is (1) to determine the type and scope of technological activities required to support both the Survey's mission responsibilities and the scientific needs of other government and non- government agencies; and (2) to ensure that the scientific data products of the Team are created efficiently, relevant to the needs of others, well-documented, easily available in convenient formats, and usable in concert with related data products from other researchers, government agencies, and the public.


Primarily the work is sedentary in nature.


Work is performed primarily in an office environment, but may involve occasional participation in the field and in laboratories.

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Page Last Modified: Friday, 30-Dec-2016 12:16:57 EST