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Science Council

The USDA Science Council advises the Secretary and Chief Scientist on the priorities for USDA’s science agenda, reflecting the high priority issues impacting all aspects of United States food, agriculture, natural resources, energy, and communities. Scientific discovery, technological breakthroughs, and innovation remain indispensable to the USDA mission for ensuring that science informs the policies and programmatic decisions of the Department. The Science Council members represent all USDA Missions, Agencies, and Program Office heads or their senior staff delegates. View the Science Council Departmental Regulation 1043-055 (PDF, 45.2 KB).

  • Chavonda Jacobs-Young, REE Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Chair

Education Coordinating Committee (ECC)

The Education Coordinating Committee provides a basis for closer collaboration across USDA agencies on educational efforts and works to assure that efforts are not being duplicated, and that strengths are leveraged, as one USDA pursuing all reasonable efforts in innovation in food, agriculture, natural resources, forestry, and life science education. View the Education Coordinating Committee Charter (PDF, 109 KB).

  • Muquarrab Quershi (NIFA), Co-Chair

Emerging Technologies Team (ETT)

The Emerging Technologies Team coordinates across USDA to facilitate and accelerate the exploration, adaptation, and adoption of new and emerging technologies for advanced assessments of agricultural production. This suite of technologies includes those that can be used to determine significant factors underlying the variability of production at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and the analysis products and software needed to integrate new sources and types of data with ongoing and legacy data. The Emerging Technologies Team strategically assesses: 1) sensors from space, air, and ground, as well as other sources of data and information; 2) research and development needs; and 3) options for adoption and integration of new technologies, data, and information into systems used by USDA stakeholders, while ensuring the confidentiality of data collected by USDA and subject to the confidential information provisions of Title V of Public Law 107-347 (E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002) and other relevant federal laws. View the Emerging Technologies Team Charter (PDF, 149 KB).

  • Marlen Eve (ARS), Co-Chair
  • Ron Frantz (FAS), Co-Chair

International Subcommittee

International agricultural science, technology, and innovation research are all priorities of USDA's science agenda. The purpose of this committee is to provide support to the Secretary and Chief Scientist by promoting inter-agency cooperation and collaboration in order to best leverage the Department's resources. The committee also identifies areas for internationally focused and/or collaborated agricultural science, technology, and innovation research that supports the Secretary and Administration priorities and disseminates these USDA research activities to ensure that the best science is made available for decision making. View the International Subcommittee Charter (PDF, 130 KB).

  • Chavonda Jacobs-Young, REE Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Chair
  • Jaime Adams (OCS), Co-Chair

Joint Committee on Biorisk Management Policy (JCBMP)

The technical nature of biosafety and biosecurity issues combined with the national security implications associated with potential threats, consequences, and vulnerabilities creates an interconnectedness between scientific expertise and national security policy. The USDA Science Council and USDA Security Council jointly support this committee, with the goal of institutionalizing a more harmonized USDA approach for informed decision making, policy development, and oversight practices in the areas of biorisk management. The purpose of the Committee is to oversee biorisk management policy at the Department level, provide a forum to discuss best practices, review inputs for national-level reports, and serve as a conduit for bi-directional information sharing between USDA senior leadership and all other levels of personnel. These efforts will lead to more effective biorisk management across USDA through more frequent standardization of Department policies, more effective trend identification and analysis, and heightened awareness of critical areas for strategic focus. View the Joint Committee on Biorisk Management Policy Charter (PDF, 111 KB).

  • Dionne Toombs (OCS), Co-Chair
  • Josh Bornstein (OHSEC), Co-Chair

Remote Sensing Coordination Committee (RSCC)

The USDA Remote Sensing Coordination Committee provides a basis for closer collaboration across agencies on remote sensing efforts and assures that efforts and investments are not being duplicated, strengths are leveraged, and USDA is pursuing all reasonable efforts in innovation in remote sensing for agriculture, natural resources, forestry, and food security. View the Remote Sensing Coordination Committee Charter (PDF, 117 KB).

  • Glenn Bethel (FAS), Chair

Statistics Committee

The USDA science agenda relies on official statistics produced by the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the statistical information and analyses produced by the Economic Research Service. The USDA Statistics Committee under the Science Council provides a basis for closer collaboration across agencies on statistical efforts and assures consistency in statistical data on similar variables collected across USDA Agencies. View the Statistics Committee Charter (PDF, 104 KB).

  • Mary Bohman (ERS), Chair
  • Hubert Hamer (NASS), Co-Chair