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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 government 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. These activities represent the continuing pursuit of the longstanding scientific missions of the Survey.

In fiscal year 1983, the U.S. Geological Survey had obligational authority for $556.0 million, of which $378.2 came from direct appropriations, $18.7 million came from transfers from accounts discussed below, and $159.1 million came from reimbursements. The Survey received funds under two congressional appropriations, “'Barrow Area Gas Operations, Exploration and Development" ($6.4 million), and ''Surveys, Investigations, and Research," which is the traditional source of direct funding for all other Survey activities ($371.8 million). Transfers to the latter account equaled $16.2 million unobligated balance from the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska account as required in the appropriation language, $2.2 million from the same account under emergency authority to cover the Redwood City, California, flood damage, and $0.3 million unobligated balance from the Office of Water Research and Technology for the Water Resources Scientific Information Center Program. The Survey also received funds for reimbursements for 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 Percentage allocation of funds, by Division.


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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 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.


U.S. Geological Survey budget authority for

fiscal year 1983, by appropriation (Dollars in thousands)

Offshore Geologic Surveys ----- 15,486

Offshore Geologic Framework - 15,486

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National Mapping, Geography and

Surveys ----------------
Primary Quadrangle Mapping ---
Primary Quadrangle

Mapping --
Modernization of Mapping

Technology ------
Map Revision and

Orthophotoquads –
Revision ------

Orthophotoquads --
Digital Mapping -----
Small, Intermediate, and

Special Mapping ---------
Intermediate-Scale Mapping --
Land Use and Land Cover

Mapping -----
Airborne Profiling of Terrain

System ---
Small-Scale and Other Special

Cartographic and Geographic

Information -----
Side-Looking Airborne Radar ----

Water Resources Investigations --- 115,096 National Water Data System

Federal Program --------- 54,201
Data Collection and Analysis -- 15,888
National Water Data Exchange 1,247
Regional Aquifer Systems

Analyses ------------ 14,665
Coordination of Water Data
Activities ----

894 Core Program Hydrologic

Research ------------ 5,982 Improved Instrumentation ---- 1,899 Subsurface Waste Storage --- 1,453 Flood Hazards Analysis ------ 464 Water Resources Assessment - 329 Supporting Services -------- 3,594 Toxic Wastes-Ground-Water

Contamination -------- 4,451 Acid Rain ------ ----- 2,462 Water Resources Scientific

Information Center ----- 873 Federal-State Cooperative

Program ----- --- 45,782 Data Collection and Analysis,

Areal Appraisals and

Special Studies -------- 39,390 Water Use (Cooperative) ---- 3,230

Coal Hydrology (Cooperative) - 3,162 Energy Hydrology ------- 15,113

Coal Hydrology ------- 6,849
Nuclear Energy Hydrology

6,993 Oil Shale Hydrology ----- 1,271


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Geologic and Mineral Resource

Surveys and Mapping ------Geologic Hazards Surveys ----- 51,611 Earthquake Hazards Reduction -----

34,952 Volcano Hazards ---

10,840 Ground Failure and

Construction Hazards --- 2,729 Reactor Hazards Research ---- 3,090 Land Resource Surveys -- 16,845

Geologic Framework -- 13,735
Geomagnetism ------

2,115 Climate Change -----

995 Mineral Resource Surveys 41,072

Alaska Mineral Surveys ----- 9,252
Conterminous U.S. Mineral

Surveys ------------- 5,582
Wilderness Mineral Surveys -- 8,425
Strategic and Critical Minerals - 5,752
Development of Assessment

Techniques ---------- 11,959
Mineral Discovery Loan
Program -------

102 Energy Geologic Surveys - 34,176

Coal Investigations --- 14,175
Onshore Oil and Gas
Investigations ----

Oil Shale Investigations ------ 823
Geothermal Investigations 7,090

4,166 World Energy Resource

Assessment ---------- 1,000

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'Funding shown represents appropriations under "Surveys, Investigations, and Research' only and does not include other sources of funding such as reimbursements from other Federal or State organizations.



almost always done on a cost-sharing basis.

Most of the appropriations and reimbursements received by the Survey in fiscal year 1983 are distributed through budget activities that roughly correspond to its mapping, geologic, hydrologic, and administrative areas of responsibility.


At the end of fiscal year 1983, the U.S. Geological Survey had 7,245 permanent full-time employees on board, an increase of 80 from fiscal year 1982. With the exception of the transfer of approximately, 2,500 employees to the Minerals Management Service in 1982, the Survey's fulltime permanent work force has been relatively constant since 1973. 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% 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 number of other-than-full-time permanent employees has more than doubled since 1973 and includes many students and faculty members from colleges and universities as well as part-time personnel. The Survey has profited greatly from its association 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. The relationship also has been an invaluable channel for recruiting young professionals of demonstrated ability for permanent full-time positions upon the completion of their studies.

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Awards and Honors

Honors From Foreign Governments

George E. Ericksen, Research Geologist, was made a Knight Commander in Chile's Order of Bernardo O'Higgins in Santiago, Chile, June 9, 1983. The Chilean government honored Ericksen's outstanding contributions to the study of mineral resources in that country.

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 and those individuals who received the Department of the Interior's highest award. Honors

Presidents of Professional Societies

Service in professional societies is one of the important professional contributions a scientist can make. Societies play a fundamental role in the distribution of new knowledge, in addition to 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 by their professional peers.

Robert M. Hamilton

Kenneth L. Pierce, Geologist, was selected for the Kirk Bryan Award of the Geological Society of America in recognition of his studies on the glacial geology of Yellowstone Park.

Eugene M. Shoemaker, Geologist, was awarded the Arthur L. Day Medal of the Geological Society of America in recognition of his imaginative contributions to astrogeology, volcanology, and petrology and for his dedication to science.

James P. Bennett, Hydrologist, was named Engineer of the Year for the Department of the Interior by the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Thomas D. Fouch, Geologist, was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Frederick J. Doyle

Department of the Interior Distinguished Service Awards

The highest honor given by the Department of the Interior is the Distinguished Service Award. This award for outstanding achievements in

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