Page images

local governments. Data collection stations are maintained at selected locations to provide records on streamflow, reservoir and lake storage, ground-water levels, and the quality of surface and ground water. These data form an information base that supports national and regional assessments of water resources.

Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. Research projects at the institutes are carried out in all water-related fields including engineering and the physical, biological, and social sciences.

Water Resources Research Grants Program

Federal-State Cooperative Program

The Federal-State Cooperative Program, which constitutes more than 40 percent of overall Division activity, is a partnership for water-resources investigations involving 50–50 cost sharing between the USGS and more than 1,000 cooperating State or local government agencies. One of the program's unique characteristics is that the USGS performs most of the work on behalf of the cooperators. A variety of hydrologic data collection activities and water-resources investigations are included in the program.

The Water Resources Research Grants program supports research as defined in the Water Resources Research Act of 1964. Competitive grants are awarded on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis to qualified educational institutions, foundations, private firms, individuals, or agencies of local or State governments. Research is supported on waterresources-related problems of national interest.

National Water Data Activities Coordination Program

National Research Program

Basic research in the Water Resources Division focuses on increasing understanding of the fundamental hydrologic processes of the Nation's ground- and surface-water systems. Knowledge and techniques derived from these efforts are directed at solving current problems and anticipating future problems. Research studies are concentrated in surface-water hydrology, geochemistry, ground-water hydrology, sediment transport and geomorphology, water chemistry, and ecology.

The Office of Water Data Coordination (OWDC) is responsible for providing leadership to coordinate the water-data acquisition and information sharing activities of all agencies of the Federal Government. The office was created as part of the Department of the Interior's implementation of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-67. The scope of the activities includes the quality, quantity and use of streams, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, and ground water.

Much of the program is accomplished through two major committees that advise the Secretary of the Interior on programs and plans related to the implementation of Circular A-67. Thirty Federal organizations are represented on the Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data, and over 100 representatives of those organizations conduct the activities of the Committee. The second group is the Advisory Committee on Water Data for Public Use, which is composed of 16 major national organizations involved in water-related issues. This committee operates under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

State Water Resources Research Institutes Program

The State Water Resources Research Institutes Program, the costs for which are shared by Federal and State governments, supports 54 Water Research Institutes at land-grant colleges or universities in the 50 States, the District of Columbia,

National Mapping Division


The headquarters office of the National Mapping Division is located in Reston, Va., and is composed of five primary organizational units: Program, Budget and Administration; Coordination and Requirements; Production Management; Research; and Information and Data Services. Four mapping centers (Reston, Va.; Rolla, Mo.; Denver, Colo.; and Menlo Park, Calif.) and the Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center (Sioux Falls, S. Dak.) perform the operational mapping, remote sensing, printing, product distribution, and data dissemination activities.

To serve a diversity of needs and users, the Division concentrates its activities in four major program areas as follows:

graphic data, and selected thematic maps of the Nation that are used extensively for land planning, land and resource management, and recreation purposes. These maps and data are made available in conventional printed form in various scales, in digital form, and as reproductions of aerial photographs and satellite images. Digital data are available from the National Digital Cartographic Data Base as digital line graphs or digital elevation models.

Primary topographic maps, including 7.5-minute maps mostly at 1:24,000 scale for almost all areas of the lower 49 States and 15-minute maps of Alaska at 1:63,360 scale, are especially useful where detailed information is needed for all types of land and resource management. The program involves the periodic inspection for data currentness and appropriate revision of these detailed maps. Other series of topographic maps at smaller scales are also available, such as the intermediate-scale maps prepared at 1:100,000 scale and the 1:250,000scale map series, which provide complete topographic coverage of the United States. These map series are widely used by Federal and State agencies and the private sector for preparing their own special-purpose maps and depicting their unique data. Other base maps are available, including 1:500,000-scale State base maps and smaller scale U.S. base maps.

The land use and land cover maps, primarily at 1:250,000 scale and at 1:100,000 scale in selected areas, provide the only systematic nationwide inventory of land use and land cover data. The USGS also prepares various specialpurpose map products, such as orthophoto quadrangle maps, image maps, U.S. National Park maps, and a variety of thematic maps.

Mapping Coordination

The USGS annually coordinates requirements for maps and digital cartographic data of Federal agencies under authority of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16. The USGS also coordinates requirements of State and local agencies for maps and map-related products. In the area of digital cartography, the USGS chairs both the Interior Digital Cartography Coordinating Committee (a departmental committee) and the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on Digital Cartography (a multiagency committee) and provides leadership in the use of digital spatial data and in the development of digital data exchange standards. The USGS also provides staff support to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, an interdepartmental board that determines the choice, form, spelling, and application of official geographic place names for Federal use.

National Mapping Research and Technology

National Map and Digital Data Production

The USGS has pioneered investigations that have led to major developments and significant changes in surveying and mapping. Mapping research activities, which are centered primarily on the geographic and cartographic disciplines, currently emphasize spatial data analysis, applications of remote

The USGS prepares various base maps, image map products, digital carto

sensing and geographic information systems, and advanced techniques for producing digital cartographic data.

The Division has embarked on a major research and development plan (known as Mark II) to move from manual to digital production and revision of map products. The goals of Mark II are to implement the advanced cartographic systems and procedures required to automate map production and to provide data for the National Digital Cartographic Data Base.

to multi-nationally staffed coordinated programs focused on particular problems or topics.

Related activities that are integral to the international programs include institutional development, exchange of scientists, training of foreign nationals, and representation of the USGS or the U.S. Government in international organizations and at international conferences and meetings.

Information Services

Administrative Division


The USGS disseminates much of the Nation's earth-science information through its Earth Science Information Centers (ESIC), 60 ESIC/State affiliated offices, and the Earth Resources Observation Systems Data Center. The information is provided in many forms, from maps and books to computer-readable magnetic tapes and compact disks. About 140,000 different maps and books and about 9.1 million aerial and space images are available for purchase. USGS maps are also available from more than 3,500 authorized commercial map dealers nationwide.

The headquarters office of the Administrative Division is located in Reston, Va. The Division is composed of five headquarters offices. Financial Management and Systems Management are centralized headquarters functions; Facilities and Management Services, Personnel, and Procurement and Contracts provide operational support at headquarters and at USGS field units through Regional Management Offices in Denver, Colo., and Menlo Park, Calif. The Division also manages the development, maintenance, and operation of the financial management system for the entire Department of the Interior through a sixth component, the Washington Administrative Service Center.

The Assistant Director for Administration is the Division Chief. Under his leadership, the Division provides administrative direction and coordination to support the scientific and technical programs of the USGS.

International Activities

The U.S. Geological Survey has been involved with earth-science studies in foreign countries for nearly 50 years. Authorization is provided under the Organic Act, as revised, and the Foreign Assistance Act and related legislation when such studies are deemed by the Departments of the Interior and of State to be in the interests of the U.S. Government.

Current international program efforts focus on technical assistance programs in developing countries and scientific cooperation and research through agreements with other countries as an extension and enhancement of the USGS's domestic programs. Cooperative research activities range from informal communications between scientists, through formal, jointly staffed projects,

Information Systems Division


The Information Systems Division's headquarters office is in Reston, Va. The Division is composed of five Offices: Assistant Director, Computer and Com

munications Services, Customer Services Field Services, and Management Services. Service centers in Reston, Menlo Park, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Flagstaff, Ariz., provide a complete range of services to users.

The Assistant Director for Information Systems is the Division Chief. He chairs the USGS Information Systems Council, which is composed of the top automated data processing manager in each Division and in the Central and Western Regions. The council recommends technology-related policies to the Director, coordinates computer science research and technology, and provides guidelines for the sharing, acquisition, and use of major computer systems and information management programs for the USGS.

agencies. News releases, real-time information on earthquakes in the United States and around the world, and news conferences on reports and events of current interest are other important means by which the USGS provides earthscience information to the public.

During fiscal year 1989, the USGS produced 4,451 new or revised topographic, geologic, and hydrologic maps, bringing the total number of maps available to 83,000. Of these, over 8 million copies were distributed. The number of reports approved for publication by the USGS in fiscal year 1989 was 4,649, with 72 percent designated for publication in professional journals and monographs outside the USGS and the remainder scheduled for publication by the USGS. In addition, over 170,000 copies of technical reports of various classifications were distributed. Also, 1,002 new reports were released to the USGS's open files making the total more than 28,000 open-file reports available. Over 642,000 copies of the USGS generalinterest publications were distributed to meet inquiries from the general public. Additionally, of the approximately 9.1 million different aerial and space images available for sale, about 195,000 copies are sold annually. USGS maps are also available from more than 3,500 authorized commercial map dealers nationwide.


Information Dissemination

Along with its continuing commitment to meet the earth-science needs of the Nation, the USGS remains dedicated to its original mission to collect, analyze, interpret, publish, and disseminate earthscience information. The results of USGS investigations are published in its scientific reports and in its topographic, geologic, and hydrologic maps. About

Outreach-Earth Science for Today and Tomorrow

About 140,000 different

maps and books are available for purchase.

By Maxine C. Jefferson

140,000 different maps and books are available for purchase. A series of general-interest publications is available to inform the public about USGS activities. Research results and investigations are also published in journals of technical and scientific organizations and in publications of cooperating Federal and State

The USGS has always placed great emphasis on promoting geoscience education, on the employment of women, minorities, persons having disabilities, and on promoting volunteer opportunities. During 1989, the emphasis on the earth sciences and education took on a particularly significant focus in view of national education reports that showed a continuing decline in general public awareness of science issues of national importance and

a reduction in the number of students who are preparing for careers in engineering and science. Demographic studies also indicate that women and minorities will make up a larger percentage of the available workforce of the future. Women and minorities traditionally have been underrepresented in engineering and science. For this reason, the USGS sees a special challenge in encouraging these people to pursue an interest in the earth sciences. USGS efforts to increase the interest of minorities and women in engineering and science, to recruit persons having disabilities, and to involve the public and academic communities in volunteerism all have a positive impact on employment opportunities for these special emphasis groups.

As one of the largest employers of earth scientists in the United States, the USGS sees itself as having a special responsibility as well as a well-grounded framework on which to build support for science educators and students. Educational initiatives and outreach efforts increased during fiscal year 1989 because of participation in career fairs, classroom presentations, teacher workshops, open houses, field courses and field trips, judging science fairs, visits and tours at USGS facilities, and distribution of information.

Formally organized programs and ongoing activities in 1989 included student and faculty hiring programs, the Minority Participation in Earth Sciences Program, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program, a cooperative program with the American Geological Institute, and research grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts with universities in support of USGS research mission objectives. Personnel specialists and Division subject matter specialists attended numerous career fairs at colleges and universities nationwide to expose students and faculty to the nature and extent of scientific work at the USGS. The fact that more than 500 students and faculty were appointed to positions in the USGS this year clearly indicates the success of such efforts.

Outreach to colleges and universities is a critical element in the effort to increase the employment of women and minorities in the field of earth science. However, the USGS also is devoting

increased resources for outreach to elementary and secondary schools to develop an interest in earth science at younger ages. In fact, this year's involvement with elementary and secondary schools was increased, and special efforts at these grade levels will continue.

In August 1989, the USGS hosted 75 secondary science teachers at the USGS National Center and presented a series of talks and demonstrations on current research and operations. At the USGS Western Region Headquarters, the bureau hosted a special 2-day seminar for earth-science teachers in the San Francisco area. The seminar was attended by more than 110 teachers, and 20 USGS scientists shared their expertise and the results of their current research. In September 1989, as part of the Department of the Interior's emphasis on Hispanic Heritage Month, the USGS served as host to the Departmentwide Hispanic Youth Conference, “Conferencia Juventud,” that was attended by over 450 Hispanic high school students from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Additionally, the USGS is actively involved in the Partnerships in Education Initiative and has adopted many schools nationwide.

Continuing interchange with elementary and secondary science teachers is planned in an effort to assist in the development of new educational materials, publications, and lesson plans that are based on the curricula needs of teachers and students in grades kindergarten through 12 and to determine ways in which USGS scientists and teachers can assist one another in promoting earth-science education. The USGS is placing special emphasis on the interaction of the earth-science disciplines in which they are involved. This emphasis illustrates to the educational community how the scientific fields of geology, hydrology, cartography, geography, and computer science interrelate in the earthscience curricula and in the physical world in which we live.

USGS emphasis on outreach to persons having disabilities has rendered successful employment results. In any given year, over 1 percent of the appointees to the USGS workforce have disabilities. Also, over 1 percent of the disabled persons appointed have disabilities that

« PreviousContinue »