The State Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (CGIA) conducted a data needs assessment for the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine (A/P) Study in the fall of 1988. The purpose of the Functional Description is to provide a conceptual view of the five components of the A/P Study Data Management and Analysis System. These components are: hardware, software, data, people, and procedures. Interactions between the five components result in a set of functions that need to be supported through the A/P System. These functions fall into the broad categories of system management and maintenance, data extraction and management, data creation and editing, data manipulation and summarization, and data analysis and display. Complete descriptions of these functions, and the system as a whole, are provided in the Functional Description.