A Decadal Survey is a broad study of a topic or area that is coordinated by the National Research Council (NRC). It provides community consensus on research goals and priorities for moving forward in a particular focus area over the next ten years. The studies are requested and funded by government agencies and other organizations and are used to prioritize research areas and focus efforts and resources accordingly. The decadal survey process has been shown to be a robust method for developing goals and to support objectives in pursuit of high priority science questions. The NRC has done a number of these studies, including its first decadal survey for Earth science in January 2007 at the request of NASA, NOAA, and the USGS.