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provided lectures, hands-on sessions, and field trips to local mines and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. In an unusual event, the USGS helped to set up a life-sized board game as part of a nationwide earthquake and national weather preparedness program. The game, which toured St. Louis, Mo.; Chicago, Ill.; Miami, Fla.; and Houston, Tex.; included threedimensional representations of the forces of nature. Students walked the board and answered questions on safety precautions to take during natural disasters. An earth science and mapping workshop in mid-August gave 200 educators and science curriculum administrators in the Denver area a chance for experience in cartography, geology, and hydrology. The workshop was designed to foster better communication between scientists and earth science educators, to acquaint the educators with the latest advances in the earth sciences, and to discuss how to make science more relevant to students. USGS scientists led discussions on recent advances in their fields of study. Field trips were conducted to dinosaur fossil sites and gold mines. Partners in Education.—The USGS and Dogwood Elementary School in Reston, Va., have signed a Partnership in Education Agreement. The agreement, which marks the beginning of a program for an exchange of resources and personnel for both Dogwood and the USGS, has benefits for teachers, students, and employees. Under the agreement, the USGS will assist the school with special events, such as judging science and invention fairs and literature and essay contests. Employees will provide computer assistance and will develop a mentorship program that pairs students with employees. The bureau will also provide maps and audiovisual materials to the school. Dogwood School was chosen for the partnership agreement because of its proximity to the USGS–students can walk between the school and the National Center—and its designation as a special needs school by the Fairfax County Public Schools. Other USGS offices around the country, many of which have had long-term informal relationships with schools in their local areas, are being encouraged to establish formal partnership programs like that with Dogwood School. “Helping Your Child Learn Geography.”— This new publication, available in 1990 and prepared cooperatively by the U.S. Department of Education and the USGS, is designed to help parents stir their children's curiosity about geographic knowledge. Suggested
games and activities in the booklet assist parents in showing their children that learning geography is fun.
Earth Science for the Global Community.— A 1-day workshop for science teachers, part of Federal efforts to gear up for the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, focused on such timely earth science and environmental issues as global change, water quality, and natural hazards. Lectures at the USGS National Center focused on global environmental change, earthquakes and volcanoes, water quality, and ancient climates. Also, the teachers had an opportunity to talk with USGS scientists about exhibits and demonstrations on acid rain, Coastal erosion, Arctic and Antarctic research, and the local geology of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
In April, USGS scientists in the San Francisco, Calif., area planted trees, including a living-fossil garden of redwoods, cycads, and ginkgos. They also presented lectures on topics such as climate change, water resources issues, and problems of arid environments.
As part of Earth Day events in Denver, Colo., USGS and other Federal employees at the Denver Federal Center worked on a wildlife enhancement area that will include an environmental education center featuring interpretive trails.
Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities
his broad human resources initiative has long played an important role in addressing the needs of USGS employees. The strong program of liaison, training, and recruitment that the Survey has through the Department's Historically Black College and University program has been an important means of encouraging minority involvement in the earth sciences and in identifying career opportunities for minorities. Another project, the USGS Minority Participation in the Earth Sciences program, encourages women and minorities to develop an interest in the earth sciences and supports career opportunities. The USGS has an admirable record in the employment of persons with disabilities, particularly those who are hearing impaired. In any given year, more than 1 percent of the appointees to the USGS work force have disabilities. Also, more than 1 percent of the disabled persons have disabilities that were targeted for special recruitment efforts. The current total USGS work force, of which more than 6 percent are persons having disabilities, continues to be among the highest in the Department of the Interior in the employment of persons having disabilities. Because women and minorities have traditionally been underrepresented in the
engineering and science fields, the USGS sees a special challenge in encouraging them to pursue an interest in the earth sciences. In the coming fiscal year, with the increase in funding to support Secretarial initiatives, the USGS is working to increase internal training for women and minorities, to target more positions in the upward mobility program, to seek more management development opportunities for women and minorities, and to promote career counseling that includes all series and grades. Women’s Forum. —A Women's Forum, in recognition of Women's History Month and cosponsored by the USGS, the Minerals Management Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, was held in Reston, Va. The forum provided an avenue for employees to discuss issues and concerns that affect the employment and advancement of women within the Department and to identify possible mechanisms for resolving those issues and improving the workplace. Women's Program Established.—A concerted effort is being made within the USGS Geologic Division to establish women's programs and to diversify the work force at all levels. A Women's Advisory Committee was formed to represent the interests of all women employees in the division. Advice from the committee helps the division to improve the quality of the work environment and to take action to enhance the professional development of all women employees. Shortterm rotational management assignments will expand opportunities for leadership experience. Other initiatives for all employees include formal mentorship and leadership development programs that emphasize the participation of women and minorities. “Profile of Women at Work.”—This publication of the U.S. Department of the Interior commemorates the significant contributions and achievements made by women in the Department. It is anticipated that the publication will attract more women to the broad
Unit Award for Excellence of Service and Minority Business Enterprise Award
Each year the U.S. Department of the Interior presents the Unit Award for Excellence of Service to those bureaus and (or) offices that have either met or exceeded all of their business and economic development program goals. In addition, the Department selects one bureau or office to receive the Annual Minority Business Enterprise Award for outstanding achievement in assuring minority business enterprise participation in Interior's acquisition programs.
At an awards ceremony in May 1990, the Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Frank A. Bracken (right, at left), presented both awards for fiscal year 1989 to the USGS Director, Dallas L. Peck, and to Betty B. Brodes, Business Utilization and Development Specialist, Office of Procurement and Contracts, Administrative Division. The USGS was recognized for its outstanding contributions and continuing support of the Department's Business and Economic Development Program.
spectrum of exciting job opportunities in the Department. The career successes of 24 women of the USGS, employed in positions from secretary to research geologist to information specialist, are recognized in this publication. Computer Technology for the Handicapped.—The USGS participated in a national convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) at which Amy Berger gave a presentation on the accessibility of computer technology for visually impaired persons and her own successful use of a speech synthesizer with her personal computer. Amy will serve on a new AECT committee that will address educational and computer technologies and their role in providing opportunities for specially challenged individuals. Science Workshop at a Native American College.—A workshop at Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kans., one of two Indian colleges nationwide, helped teachers extend their skills in science and mathematics teaching. The workshop was sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the USGS, along with support from other Interior bureaus and private industry. The USGS is also working with BIA in a program that will provide volunteer opportunities for BIA teachers to train with USGS scientists. In another effort, plans are underway to establish an electronic mail system through which teachers at BIA schools can ask questions of USGS scientists. HBCU Workshop.–This year, the annual USGS Historically Black College and University (HBCU) workshop focused on applications of geographic information systems (GIS) and included presentations by faculty members who have used the technologies presented in previous workshops to enhance their course offerings and research. Experience in using GIS software was included in the workshop, which included representatives from 10 HBCU’s located in the Eastern and Central
Transportation Planning and Geologic Maps
By Richard L. Bernknopf and John F. Sutter
etailed, publicly accessible information Do the character and origin of the geology of an area is an essential
requirement for informed public policymaking and for profitable commerce. Many public-policy decisions and commercial enterprises require a specific kind of earth science information—that is, spatially based information that is linked to geologic materials and geologic structures. The geoscience product that captures and displays this kind of information is the general-purpose geologic map, the primary product of the National Geologic Mapping Program (NGMP).
The NGMP provides basic geologic information for use by Federal and State agencies, academia, and the private sector. The need for this information, in a user-oriented format and on a national scale, became evident in the 1980's as the Nation addressed national environmental and resource issues such as geologic hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and coastal erosion), land use planning, critical facilities siting and management, waste disposal, and the use of mineral, energy, and water resources. How geologic map information can reduce the cost of highway construction and maintenance serves as an example of the practical benefits of geologic mapping.
Benefit-cost studies to identify the most cost-effective approach to the design and construction of road improvement projects are an important part of the public decisionmaking process. Route selection and capacity, for example, are based on many independent factors, each having its own associated costs. Because the geologic attributes of land parcels affect political, environmental, and engineering variables, geology has an impact on the costs of road construction and maintenance. All too often, however, costs associated with local geology normally are considered only after the route has been selected or the extent of improvement has been determined. Unforeseen problems, such as the ease with which a road cut can be excavated, slope setback, or
swelling soils (soils that expand when saturated and cause pavement failure), therefore, generally are not considered fully in predevelopment cost estimates. Depending on the terrain, these geologic factors can contribute significantly to costs.
The case of the proposed Washington, D.C., Bypass illustrates how digital NGMP geologic map information can be helpful in reducing potential losses and costs to the public. As part of an ongoing study to estimate the economic value of general-purpose geologic map information, the Washington, D.C., Bypass was selected as a pilot study to demonstrate the value of geologic data to highway COrl St Tulctl()]].
The Proposed Bypass
A draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) of the Washington Bypass has been prepared by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Maryland State Highway Administration, and Virginia Department of Transportation. According to the FHWA, the Washington Bypass is a proposed interstatetype highway that would bypass the Washington, D.C., region and provide additional roadway capacity to the area.
The proposed action consists of an eastern bypass, a western bypass (the USGS study only applies to the western bypass), or both. The jurisdictions affected by the planned bypass are the States of Maryland and Virginia and the cities of Washington and Baltimore. Twenty-three counties, or portions of counties, are included. Figure I shows the location of Loudoun County, Va., and the alternative western bypass routes being considered (see table 1 for detailed costs for each of the routes).
The Geologic Framework
The Loudoun County population, commercial base, and road network mirrors the underlying geologic framework. The western portion of the county (west of US 15) is a complex group of igneous and metasedimentary rock of the Blue Ridge province (fig. 2). The soils, slopes, and water resources of this area are natural limitations to economic development unless there is significant alteration of the subsurface (including the import and
he Geologic Division eval
uates the Nation's geologic structure and the geologic processes that have shaped it, assesses the Nation's mineral and energy resources, and identifies and investigates geologic hazards. • Investigations of geologic hazards provide information for predicting and delineating hazards from earthquakes and volcanoes and for identifying engineering problems related to ground failure hazards. • Regional geologic studies provide geologic maps and regional syntheses of detailed geologic data essential to mineral, energy, and hazard assessments. • Offshore geologic studies identify and describe the mineral and petroleum resources of the offshore areas of the United States, including the Exclusive Economic Zone, an area onethird larger than the land area of the United States. • Mineral resource investigations assess the distribution, quantity, and quality of the Nation's mineral resources, with particular emphasis on strategic and critical minerals, • Surveys of energy resources provide assessments of the Nation's coal, petroleum, uramium, and geothermal resources and enhance capabilities to explore for and develop new sources of energy.
export of waste materials). East of the US 15 corridor, the county plan delineates large tracts of land for intensive regional growth. These parcels are underlain by a sedimentary sequence of conglomerate, red siltstone, claystone, and sandstone (fig. 2) that are faulted and interlayered with massive basalt or intruded by diabase dikes and sills. All proposed western bypass corridors cross through the eastern part of Loudoun County. The road lengths of the alternative routes in Loudoun County (fig. 1), range from 5.6 miles to 25 miles, and the terrain is flat to rolling. The engineering workability (that is, ease of excavating the surficial geologic materials) of the routes varies considerably (fig. 2) from easy (siltstone) to difficult (diabase and metamorphosed conglomerate).
All three alternatives would result in an increase in population, number of households, and the level of employment in Loudoun County. Including geologic information in the consideration of alternatives, however, changes the benefits of the western bypass. The total benefits of the western bypass, as estimated in the DEIS, are based on
Table 1. Costs of building the western Washington, D.C., bypass [From Washington Bypass DEIS, FHWA, 1990)
Costs (in millions of dollars)
Alternative Length - - - Engineering . (in miles) Construction Right-of-way planning, Total and overhead W 1-a . . . . . . . . . . . . 76.5 $ 980.0 $170.0 $260.0 $1,410 w? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.0 1,060.0 160.0 280.0 1,500 W3 . . . . . . . . . . . 66.0 o 1,210.0 180.0 320.0 1,710 Dollar values are at 1990 levels.
'Figures are the number of jobs above the 1985 base of 23,297 jobs.
an increase in the population, number of households, level of employment, and property taxes (see table 2). Costs without geologic map information.— The cost estimates for the various Washington Bypass alternatives were developed in the DEIS for items that determine average construction and right-of-way costs (table 3). Unit cost values, such as cost per mile or cost per acre, were determined for each of the cost elements. Preliminary engineering, planning, and overhead costs were estimated by using percentages of the construction and right-ofway costs. Maintenance costs, which were not included in the DEIS, may be considerable in Loudoun County where swelling soils will have a substantial impact. The DEIS is based on a simplifying assumption that all subsurface geologic conditions are the same and that costs related to changes in geology do not vary among corridor options. This is simply not true, as shown in figure 3. Instead, costs will vary considerably by route, and the cost variations due to geology increase the total cost because the DEIS is based on the least troublesome geology. Therefore, the benefits of the highway are reduced because unexpected costs or losses due to uncertain physical conditions along the route can be encountered during the construction phase of the highway. For example, the presence of diabase materials is a strong indication of the presence of unweathered bedrock near the ground surface. This type of rock unit requires extensive blasting, which significantly increases construction costs. Diabase is found throughout the eastern portion of Loudoun County (fig. 2). On the other hand, swelling soils, also found in the eastern part of the county, do not significantly increase construction costs but do cause substantial maintenance costs. As illustrated in figure 3, both diabase and swelling soils occur along each route and are separated by very short distances. Costs including geologic map information. – The Washington Bypass DEIS contains estimates of the total cost of alternative highway routes that are based mainly on
topographic and hydrologic data. However, it is geologic map information that improves cost effectiveness when used in public-policy decisions that include prior planning for mitigation of natural hazards and when making route selections. The relations among the geology, engineering characteristics of the soils, and weathered rocks of Loudoun County can be combined with demographic and economic data to present a more complete picture. This approach demonstrates how geologic map information is useful in two ways. First, geologic information can be influential in the planning and preliminary engineering steps. Since DEIS preliminary engineering and overhead costs were estimated as a percentage of roadway, structure, and interchange costs and on the basis of discussions with the FHWA, we assume a 1 percent reduction in the percent allocated to these costs with the addition of geologic information. Second, the geologic information is useful in improving the selection of alternative routes on the basis of Construction and right-of-way costs (fig. 3). The benefit of the geologic map information is that it can improve the accuracy of