Frequently Asked Questions

About USGS

The USGS is the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency. We provide science about natural resource conditions and problems.

Filter Total Items: 27
Image: USA-NPN Citizen-Scientist Lucille Tower
Absolutely! The USGS has partnerships with several citizen science programs that are appropriate for classroom projects, for individual students, or for anyone who wants a fun and rewarding activity. See the Citizen Science page on our USGS Education website. 
young students examine dated tree cross section
The USGS has some great science fair ideas related to earthquakes. Find inspiration for projects on other science topics by browsing the USGS Education website.
person looking into net submerged in a pond
As a science agency for the United States government, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) serves all United States citizens. The USGS can only be “joined” by its employees, but citizens can get involved in USGS research through its Citizen Science programs. Some USGS Citizen Science opportunities are also listed on the Volunteer.gov website. Keep up...
Image: USGS Scientist is Interviewed by Media at the Flooded Souris River
The easiest way to find USGS news releases is to select "News" in the top navigation menu on our home page. You can also subscribe to our news through RSS feeds and social media outlets. A quick way to find news releases on specific topics is to put a keyword in the search box that's at the top of most USGS websites, then select the "News" filter...
A USGS scientist leads field trip
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) does not have a formal program for providing field trips or classes. USGS employees will sometimes lead field trips or teach classes that are organized by outside organizations, but those are not advertised by the USGS. The USGS has published numerous field-trip guides to geologic areas. Use our online ...
Northwest Washington Field Office
Very few USGS offices are set up to accommodate visitors. Before stopping by a USGS office, you should check their website or call ahead to make sure that visitors are welcome. There are USGS offices in each state. Members of the public are welcome to use libraries that are located at some USGS offices, but materials can only be checked out...
Image: Volunteers Monitor Bird and Beach Health
Volunteers assist on some USGS projects. In all cases, the volunteers are carefully trained and are supervised by a federal employee while they work. To ensure quality-control, data collected by volunteers are checked by USGS supervisors. Volunteers must abide by the same rules, regulations, policies, and laws as employees. Some USGS volunteer...
Volunteer Information Program logo with badges
Volunteer.gov is the best starting point for volunteer positions with the USGS and other federal agencies. However, many USGS volunteer positions are not formally announced, so they do not appear on that site. You can contact a local USGS office directly to ask about possible volunteer opportunities.  Another way to get involved in USGS science is...
Image shows a man leaning over two laptop computers
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) provides data on many different science topics. Most of it can be downloaded for free from our website. Our Science Data Catalog is a good starting point. Also try using your browser's search engine and including the keyword "usgs.gov". If you are looking for a particular data set and cannot find it...
Pacific Region Map with Science Centers and Major Offices 2
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has offices in every state. Our headquarters is located in Reston, Virginia. For assistance finding or contacting a specific USGS office, contact USGS Science Information Services by phone, email, or Web chat.  
USGS Nebraska Water Science Center office, Lincoln, Nebr.
For general inquiries, call 1-888-ASK-USGS (1-888-275-8747). You can also use this website to send us a message or to initiate a live Web chat with a USGS Science Information Specialist. Most of our employees are listed in our online Staff Profiles. USGS offices are located in every state. Please note, however, that most of them perform very...
Measuring water levels at a Summit Springs Canyon well in the Black Rock National Conservation Area, Nev.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a Federal science agency in the U.S. Department of the Interior that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help...