Compliance with Federal Policy

USA-NPN programs, products and tools comply with federal policy governing information management, including paperwork reduction, privacy and security. Accordingly, federal agencies can use Nature's Notebook and other USA-NPN tools.


Because participants in the USA-NPN program, Nature's Notebook, complete registration and observation forms, Nature‚Äôs Notebook is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The program was granted a clearance by the Office of Management Budget (OMB Control #: 1028-0103), effective 3/31/2016 through 3/31/2019. The estimated burden (participant effort in filling out forms) of data collection on the public includes projected increases in public participation via many federal partners.


The USA-NPN Nature's Notebook program is also subject to the Privacy Act, because a limited amount of Personally-Identifying Information (PII) is collected from program participants. The Nature's Notebook Privacy Impact Assessment received final approval in May 2017, and is available upon request. The USA-NPN Terms of Use describe how PII is collected and used for both individual and group observers.


The USA-NPN Nature's Notebook mobile apps are subject to federal mobile app security policy. Nature's Notebook mobile apps were reviewed using federally-mandated security software in January 2018, which ensures the protection of sensitive information.


A USGS Assessment and Authorization for the USA-NPN is currently in pending; this process will ensure that the information and systems are secure. When this review is complete, the USA-NPN will be fully compliant with the Federal Information Security and Modernization Act and the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act.


The USA-NPN information management tools and data products are peer-reviewed through the Fundamental Science Practice process established by the USGS Office of Science Quality and Integrity.  These resources are compliant with federal information policy, and congruent with the Open Access Plan, ensuring data quality, discovery, accessibility, reuse, and long-term curation. For further information see the USA-NPN Data Management Plan.

Updated June 4, 2018