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.

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Image: Outreach at Geology Camp 2008
The USGS Education website is your gateway to classroom resources. Explore links to lesson plans, activities, educational videos, online lectures, posters, non-technical publications, and images for kindergarten through college. This site is an excellent resource for teachers, students, and anyone interested in learning. Our resources are...
Image: USA-NPN Citizen-Scientist Lucille Tower
Absolutely! The USGS has partnerships with several citizen science programs that are appropriate for classroom projects or for individual students. 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.
citizen scientist fieldwork
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 website. Keep up...
Image: USGS Scientist is Interviewed by Media at the Flooded Souris River
Please see the following sources: USGS News Releases News Releases by state Media Contacts
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 also has many published field-trip guides to geologic areas. Use our online ...
Northwest Washington Field Office
Very few U.S. Geological Survey (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...
Image: Volunteers Monitor Bird and Beach Health
Volunteers assist on some U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) projects. In all cases, the volunteers are carefully trained; then they are supervised by a federal employee while they work. In addition, to ensure quality-control, their data are checked by USGS supervisors. Volunteers must abide by the same rules, regulations, policies, and laws as...
Volunteer Information Program logo with badges
The website is the best starting point for volunteer positions with the United States federal government. However, many USGS volunteer positions are not formally announced, so they do not appear on that site. You could try contacting a local USGS office directly to ask about possible volunteer opportunities. Another way to get...
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. If you are looking for a particular data set and cannot find it through Internet searches or our Science Data Catalog, please call USGS Science...
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.  
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 U.S. Geological Survey (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...