Conservation Library


Service Ecosystem Teams

Basic Team Concept

An ecosystem approach is helping to unify the Service's diverse programs. The Service has formed ecosystem teams for each of the ecosystem units identified on the map. The teams include personnel from all Service programs. The Service is setting new internal standards for teamwork, creativity, flexibility, and communication between its operational units and with all its partners. By increasing coordination among our varied programs, the Service's position on important issues becomes more unified, which helps the Service become a better partner. The ecosystem teams are working closely with the Service's traditional partners and are expanding these partnerships to include others.

The following is the Service's basic model for ecosystem team activities:

  1. A cross-program team of Service employees is identified for each ecosystem.
  2. Each team selects a leader or single point of contact to serve as a liaison, coordinator, and/or facilitator.
  3. Teams identify preliminary ecosystem goals, objectives, action strategies, and potential partners.
  4. Teams meet with partners to identify common ecosystem goals and collaborative efforts that can contribute to meeting those goals.
  5. Priorities are established for Service actions.


  6. Teams complete Service ecosystem plans, which describe goals, objectives, action strategies, field facility contributions to the actions needed (what and when), contribution of partners, and 3-year Service budget needs.
  7. Teams implement collaborative projects across Service programs and with partners.
  8. Teams continuously work with partners and review ecosystem plans and budgets, readjusting them as needed.

Cross-Region Ecosystem Teams

Ecosystem teams in multi-region ecosystems contain members from all regions involved. A lead region for each multi-regional ecosystem was designated in April 1994 and is identified on page 11. Leads already established for endangered species and other activities remain unchanged. The lead region's inter-regional responsibilities are facilitation, coordination, and liaison, not management, direction, or supervision. The lead region is responsible for coordinating plans, progress reports and evaluations, and submitting ecosystem budget proposals.

Service Directorate:

Vision, Leadership, and Support

The Service Directorate functions as the National Facilitation Team, making Servicewide policy decisions and providing overall vision, leadership, and general implementation guidance. Support is provided by removing hurdles and fostering an atmosphere conducive to a cooperative, field-based ecosystem approach.

Washington Office Coordination Team:

Implementation Guidance

Within the Washington Office, a cross-program team of managers, primarily Deputy Assistant Directors and Division Chiefs, has been established to assist with national implementation and coordination of the Service's ecosystem approach. The role of this team is to increase cross-program interaction and collaborate on cross-cutting issues at the Washington Office level, represent the Service on various interagency committees and task forces, and prepare national ecosystem approach guidance. The team is responsive to needs identified by the Directorate.

Regional Office:

Direction and Support

The Regional Directorate functions as a cross-program Regional Facilitation Team to provide guidance and oversight; coordinate between the ecosystem teams; and consolidate goals, priorities, and budgets at the Regional Office level. The most important role of the Regional Facilitation Team is to help the ecosystem teams accomplish actions they cannot otherwise accomplish themselves.

Continue on to the Ecosystem Planning/Action Framework


Last updated: April 1, 2010