Science Coordination Team Charter

September 30, 1997

 A Science Coordination Team (SCT) is hereby established by the Working Group to assist both the Working Group (WG) and Task Force (TF) in meeting their obligations under the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 by ensuring the highest level of communication, coordination, and cooperation in the application of the various scientific disciplines to the ecological and socioeconomic problems of South Florida.   The SCT will work under and report to the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Working Group (WG). The SCT will serve as the senior science advisory group to the WG and TF.  The SCT is responsible for recommending research plans and priorities; and facilitating the integration, synthesis, and application of the best scientific information (including the Social Sciences) available for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration effort. Specific responsibilities and tasks include the following:

    1. Provide a scientific basis for the development of ecological and societal goals and objectives, and performance measures for South Florida ecosystem restoration based on the best existing scientific information;

    2. Ensure that the completed and ongoing data sets for the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort are catalogued, cross-referenced, and integrated;

    3. Ensure coordination of the design, implementation, and progress of system-wide ecological monitoring programs that support the evaluation of restoration success and its sustainability;

    4. Identify key gaps in management information for the South Florida ecosystem and related social systems and propose coordinated research, inventory, monitoring, modeling, and information programs to address the gaps;

    5. Describe expertise and scientific investigations required to respond to key gaps in support of restoration management objectives;

    6. Describe and coordinate the expertise and scientific investigations required to document long-term ecosystem and social system effects realized by implementation of restoration and management objectives;

    7. Identify future science needs and recommended priorities for a coordinated science and research program to address long-term restoration requirements;

    8. Periodically review and revise priorities based on evaluation of progress toward achieving sustainable restoration objectives;

    9. Facilitate the exchange of scientific information and the use of interdisciplinary and partnership approaches by establishing advisory panels and convening scientific meetings, conferences, and symposia on topics relevant to the South Florida ecosystem.

The membership of the Science Coordination Team (SCT) will consist of the following:

    a) Seven Working Group (WG) members designated annually by the WG;

    b) seven scientists employed by the WG agencies coordinating with each of the Project Coordination Teams (PCT), including the Total Systems Team. These will be nominated by the seven WG members of the SCT and approved by the larger WG; and,

    c) any member of the WG not on the SCT designate someone to represent them on the SCT.

The SCT will designate members of the SCT or request WG agencies to send additional individuals to SCT meetings to serve as technical advisors and/or communication/coordination liaisons between the SCT and major interagency scientific enterprises (e.g.- Florida Bay PMC, ATLSS Modeling, Mercury Pollution Studies etc.). Organized entities already established (e.g.- the Florida Bay PMC) will be consulted as to the appropriate individual who might serve as a liaison.

The SCT will nominate advisory panels made up of scientists in the appropriate disciplines who will then be appointed by the WG. The SCT will convene these panels at least annually to review scientific plans and progress in regard to Ecosystem Restoration science. These panels may periodically supplement their activities by appointing targeted subject matter expert panels and working with the SCT to convene topical workshops to help address specific questions. These panels (and workshops) are seen as critical elements of the SCT if it is to provide the best possible scientific information to the WG.

The SCT will elect co-chairs at least one of which will be a WG member of the SCT. These chairs will set the agenda of the SCT meetings, make preliminary designations of work assignments and assure timely completion and delivery of assignments to the Working Group and/or Task Force. A quorum of the SCT will consist of 50% + 1 of the total number of voting members.

The SCT may recommend to the WG such changes or additions as it deems necessary.

All business of the SCT shall be conducted by consensus or by vote of the SCT members with appropriate provision for written minority opinions.

Continuing SCT membership is contingent upon sufficient participation to adequately perform SCT responsibilities.

The full SCT shall meet no less than quarterly.

All meetings of the full SCT shall be publicly noticed and provide an opportunity for public comment.

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