United States Geological Survey

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United States Geological Survey
Image:Usgs logo.jpg
Established:March 3, 1879
Acting Director:P. Patrick Leahy
Budget:$938 million (FY2004)
Employees:10,000 (2004)

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility.

The USGS was founded by Clarence King in March 3, 1879 from disparate regional survey agencies. Since 1962, it has been involved in global, lunar and planetary exploration and mapping. Part of the United States Department of the Interior, it is the department's sole scientific agency. The USGS employs approximately 10,000 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with major offices in Denver, Colorado, and Menlo Park, California.

The USGS is the primary civilian mapping agency in the United States, and is best known for its 1:24,000 scale, 7.5-minute quadrangle topographic maps. Their recent program, the National Map is an attempt to be the be-all end-all of online mapping services. The USGS also has an envigorating Business Partners program through which they encourage the reselling of their maps so that the public can have quicker, easier access to information. Many sites such as TopoZone have capitalized on this program to provide the web with the best mapping services possible in conjunction with the USGS.

The USGS operates the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the Colorado School of Mines campus which detects the location and magnitude of earthquakes worldwide. The NEIC informs both appropriate authorities and the media, domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes.

The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time.

"The mission of the [USGS] National Wildlife Health Center is to serve the nation and its natural resources by providing sound science and technical support, and to disseminate information to promote science-based decisions affecting wildlife and ecosystem health. The NWHC provides information, technical assistance, research, education, and leadership on national and international wildlife health issues." [1] It is the agency primarily responsible for surveillance of wild animal H5N1 avian flu outbreaks in the US.

As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U.S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site.

The motto of the USGS is "science for a changing world."

The USGS also runs 17 research centers in the United States, including the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

See also

External links

et:Ameerika Ühendriikide Geoloogiateenistus es:United States Geological Survey id:United States Geological Survey it:United States Geological Survey ja:米国地質研究所 nl:United States Geological Survey pt:United States Geological Survey

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