This FYI examines the FY 2004 budget requests for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at NIH. Because the final FY 2003 omnibus appropriations bill has not yet been enacted, in the analyses below, the FY 2004 requests have been compared to both the FY 2002 appropriations and the FY 2003 requests.
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
The total FY 2004 request for the U.S. Geological Survey is $895.5 million. This represents a decrease of 2.0% from the FY 2002 appropriation of $913.9 million, but an increase of 3.2% over the FY 2003 requested level of $867.3 million.
A USGS News Release states that "the 2004 budget focuses resources on core USGS programs, such as water resources, hazards, biology and those programs that directly support science-based land and natural resource management." Biological programs, science support and facilities would be increased over both the FY 2002 funding levels and the FY 2003 request. Water resource programs would drop below the FY 2002 funding level but remain above the FY 2003 request, while funding levels for mapping and remote sensing, and for geological hazards and resources, would experience a decrease from both the FY 2002 appropriation and the FY 2003 request.
Highlights of the FY 2004 budget request, according to USGS, include an increase of $3 million "for enhanced science support" to meet Interior Department priorities such as restoring degraded habitats, and a $2.3 million increase for the National Biological Information Infrastructure. Also highlighted are a $3.0 million increase "to expand invasive species research and begin developing a prototype model for a national early detection network," and a $1.0 million increase to address the threat to deer and elk caused by Chronic Wasting Disease.
The budget request for each of the survey's six components follows, with explanatory quotes from USGS budget documents when available. Additional information on the USGS budget request can be found at http://www.usgs.gov/budget/2004/.
- Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geographic Investigations: $120.5 million; down 9.5% from the FY 2002 appropriation; down 6.8% from the FY 2003 request. "A core program of the USGS is its mapping activities. Included in the FY 2004 budget is an increase of $3.0 million for America View for better public access to remotely sensed data, and $0.8 million for the Urban Dynamics Program to better understand urbanization and its impacts on the surrounding environment."
The budget materials also state that "The 2004 budget includes a reduction of $9.1 million for lower priority mineral assessments and $2.8 million for lower priority mapping research. The National Mapping program includes a $4.4 million reduction associated with data collection activities for The National Map as the USGS moves away from doing actual data collection and dissemination to a role of making geospatial data and information easily accessible to the public and other decision-makers. Additionally, a $1.4 million savings is reflected in the reduction due to the closure of the Center for Integration of Natural Disaster Information and transfers of its functions to other parts of the USGS."
- Geological Hazards, Resources, and Processes: $221.6 million; down 4.7% from the FY 2002 appropriation; down 1.4% from the FY 2003 request.
- Water Resources Investigations: $200.1 million; down 3.1% from the FY 2002 appropriation; up 12.5% from the FY 2003 request. "The 2004 budget proposes a total of $200.1 million to continue the valuable water resources work performed by the USGS. This includes increases of $11.0 million for the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, $6.5 million for the National Water-Quality Assessment Program and $1.8 million for the National Water Information System."
- Biological Research: $168.9 million; up 1.6% from the FY 2002 appropriation; up 5.2% from the FY 2003 request. A $2.3 million requested increase for the National Biological Information Infrastructure "will strengthen the resources of the existing California information node and initiate a mid-Atlantic node."
- Science Support: $91.5 million; up 6.2% from the FY 2002 appropriation; up 6.3% from the FY 2003 request.
- Facilities: $93.0 million; up 3.9% from the FY 2002 appropriation; up 4.5% from the FY 2003 request.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BIOMEDICAL IMAGING AND BIOENGINEERING
The FY 2004 request for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering is $282.1 million. This represents an increase of 7.8% over the FY 2002 appropriation of $261.7 million, and an increase of 4.3% over the amended FY 2003 request of $270.5 million. Both the FY 2002 and FY 2003 numbers reflect transfers to NIBIB from other institutions within NIH.
According to prior-year budget documents, the mission of the NIBIB is "to improve health by promoting fundamental discoveries, design and development, and translation and assessment of technological capabilities in biomedical imaging and bioengineering, enabled by relevant areas of physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, information science, and computer sciences.... The research promoted and supported by NIBIB will be multidisciplinary and strongly synergistic with the other NIH Institutes and Centers...as well as across government agencies."
Specific information on the NIBIB request does not appear to be currently available on the NIBIB web site, but readers might check the site at http://www.nibib1.nih.gov/about/about.htm for future information. The main NIH web site has general information on the FY 2004 budget request at http://www.nih.gov/news/ but does not have specific explanatory language on the NIBIB budget request.