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Missions, Organization, and Budget


The U.S. Geological Survey was established by an Act of Congress on March 3, 1879, to answer the need for a permanent agency at the Federal level to conduct, on a continuing, systematic, and scientific basis, investigations of the "geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain." Although a number of laws and executive orders have expanded and modified the scope of the Survey's responsibilities over its 104-year history, the Survey has remained principally a scientific and technical investigation agency as contrasted with a developmental or regulatory one. Today, the Survey is mandated to assess onshore and offshore energy and mineral resources; to provide information for society to mitigate the impact of floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, and droughts; to monitor the Nation's ground- and surface-water supplies; to study the impact of man on the Nation's water resources; and to provide mapped information on the Nation's landscape and land use. The Survey is the principal source of scientific and technical expertise in the earth sciences within the Department of the Interior and the Federal Government. This Yearbook provides highlights of the wide range of earth science research and services in the fields of geology, hydrology, and cartography.


The U.S. Geological Survey is headquartered in Reston, Virginia. Its activities are administered through the major program divisions of National Mapping, Geologic, and Water Resources. These program operations are supported by the Administrative and the Information Systems Divisions. The Survey conducts its functions through an extensive field organization of offices located throughout the 50 States and Puerto Rico. At the national level, the functions of the Survey are coordinated through assistant directors for administration, program analysis, research.

information systems, intergovernmental affairs, and engineering geology.


In fiscal year 1984, the U.S. Geological Survey had obligational authority for $579.9 million, of which $367.1 million came from direct appropriations, $30.3 million came from transfers of the unobligated balance ($24.0 million) from the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska account as required in the appropriation language and from the Office of Water Policy for the Water Resources Research Institutes ($6.35 million), $8.5 million came from estimated receipts from map sales, and $174.0 million came from reimbursements. The Survey also received funds for reimbursable work performed under agreements with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, international organizations, and foreign governments. The Survey performs services under these agreements when earth science expertise is required by other agencies and their needs complement Survey program objectives. Work done for State, county, and municipal agencies is almost always done on a cost-sharing basis.

Most of the appropriations and reimbursements received by the Survey in fiscal year 1984 are distributed through

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Energy Geolosic

Surveys 30,389

Coal Investigations 11,283

Onshore Oil and Gas

Investigations 6,619

Oil Shale Investigations — 547


Investigations 7,284


Investigations 4,155

World Energy Resource

Assessment 501

Offshore Geologic

Surveys 18,696

Offshore Geologic

Framework 18,696

Water Resources Investigations 129,441

National Water Data System—

Federal Program 61,063

Data Collection and

Analysis 16,443

National Water Data

Exchange 1,288

Regional Aquifer Systems

Analyses 15,197

Coordination of Water

Data Activities 932

Core Program Hydrologic

Research 7,271

Improved Instrumentation - 1,955

Water Resources

Assessment 1,346

Supporting Services 3,344

Toxic Wastes—Ground

Contamination 8.586

Acid Rain 3,050

Environmental Affairs 748

Water Resources

Scientific Information

Center 903

Federal-State Cooperative

Program 50,001

Data Collection and
Analysis, Areal
Appraisals, and

Special Studies 42,800

Water Use (Cooperative) 3,886

Coal Hydrology

(Cooperative) 3,315

Water Resources Research

Institute 6,353

Energy Hydrology 12,024

Coal Hydrology 4,443

Nuclear Energy Hydrology - 7,274

Oil Shale Hydrology 307

General Administration 15,642

Executive Direction 4,970

Administrative Operations 8,633

Reimbursements to the

Department of Labor 2,039

Facilities 10,463

National Center—Standard Level

User's Charge 8,762

National Center—Facilities

Management 1,701

TOTAL, Surveys, Investigations,

and Research 410,885

Barrow Area Gas Operation 13,000

TOTAL, U.S. Geological Survey — 423,885

■Funding shown represents appropriated dollars and does not include reimbursable funding from Federal. State, and other nonFederal sources.


At the end of fiscal year 1984, the U.S. Geological Survey had 7,911 permanent full-time employees on board. The Survey's diversified earth science research programs and services are reflected in its workforce which is composed of personnel in over 170 disciplines, with more than 50 percent possessing a Bachelor's or higher level degree. More than one-half of the Survey's staff are professional scientists, and approximately one-fourth are technical specialists. Hydrologists, geologists, and cartographers predominate among the professional group which includes members of more than 30 other disciplines, such as geophysicists, chemists, and engineers.

The permanent employees are supported by other than full-time permanent employees which include many students and faculty members from colleges and universities as well as parttime personnel. The Survey has profited greatly from its relations with the academic community. The expertise of many eminent specialists has become available to the Survey in this manner and has provided great flexibility in solving problems and meeting surges in workload, especially during the field season. Those associations also have been an invaluable channel for recruiting young professionals of demonstrated ability for permanent full-time positions upon the completion of their studies.

Awards And Honors

Each year, employees of the U.S. Geological Survey receive awards that range from modest monetary awards to recognition of their achievements by large professional societies. The large number of these awards attests to the quality of the individuals who are the U.S. Geological Survey. This year, the Survey wishes to acknowledge those individuals who either received high honors from or were elected to high office in professional societies.


Paul B. Barton, Geologist, was the recipient of the Roebling Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America for his pioneering work in ore petrology.

Thomas J. Buchanan, Associate Chief Hydrologist for Operations, was named Engineer of the Year for the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, by the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Steven M. Colman, Geologist, received the Kirk Bryan Award of the Geological Society of America for his highly significant research on chemical weathering of volcanic rocks.

Frederick J. Doyle, Research Cartographer, was awarded the Brock Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the evolution of photogrammetry by the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

Edwin B. Eckel, Geologist, received the Geological Society of America Engineering Geology Division's Distinguished Practice Award.

David L. Jones, Geologist, was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Mary C. Rabbitt, Geophysicist, was honored by the Geological Society of America with its History of Geology Award for her authorship of the first two volumes of the history of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Eugene M. Shoemaker, Geologist, was

awarded the Barringer Medal of the Meteoritical Society, in recognition for his pioneering research in the physics of impact cratering phenomena and the role of impacts in the history of the planets; he also received the Kuiper Prize of the American Astronomical Society for his fundamental contribution to planetary science.

Laurence A. Soderblom, Geologist, was the recipient of the Public Service Award, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for meritorious personal contributions to their space science programs.

Charles V. Theis, Hydrologist, received the Horton Medal of the American Geophysical Union for his outstanding contributions to groundwater hydrology.

Edwin P. Weeks, Hydrologist, received the O. E. Meinzer Award of the Geological Society of America for his paper entitled Field Determinations of Vertical Permeability to Air in the Unsaturated Zone, published as U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1051.

Donald E. White, Geologist, was awarded the Penrose Medal of the Geological Society of America in recognition of his outstanding research on hydrothermal systems.

Presidents and Chairmanships of Professional Societies

Service in professional societies is one of the important professional contributions a scientist can make. Societies play a fundamental role in distributing new knowledge, as well as providing a forum in which new ideas are tested. The active participation of Survey scientists in professional societies attests to the scientific vitality of the Bureau. The Bureau is particularly proud of those individuals who have been elected to society presidencies, or chairmanships of major sections of societies, by their professional peers.

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and Petrology



American Water


National Mapping Program


figure 1. Status of primary quadrangle mapping and revision program. [Reduced version of 1984 status map. Full-size map available from Public Inquiries Offices.]

The National Mapping Division conducts the National Mapping Program, which provides graphic and digital cartographic and geographic products and information for the United States, Territories, and U.S. possessions. The products include several series of topographic maps, photoimage maps, land use and land cover maps and associated data, geographic names information, geodetic control data, and remotely sensed data.

The products are generated by four regional mapping centers and the Earth Resources Observation Systems Data Center. The Division's Printing and Distribution Center prints, stores, and distributes all Geological Survey maps and texts. The Division also operates Public Inquiries Offices and National Cartographic Information Centers which, along with the Earth Resources Observation Systems Data Center, provide information about and fill

orders for cartographic, geographic,
earth science, and remotely sensed

Major Programs And

In support of the National Mapping Program, the Division concentrates its efforts on the following major activities:

• Primary quadrangle mapping and revision, including the production and revision of 7.5-minute l:24,000- and, in selected areas, l:25,000-scale topographic maps in the conterminous United States and Hawaii and the 15-minute l:63,360scale topographic maps in Alaska. During fiscal year 1984, about 1,300 revised and 1,600 new primary quadrangle maps were published, mostly in the 7.5-minute series. Published topographic maps

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