Can I volunteer with the USGS?

The Volunteer.gov 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 contactating a local USGS office directly to ask about possible volunteer opportunities.

Another way to get involved in USGS science is through one of our Citizen Science programs or partnerships.

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Do you have any citizen science programs in which my students can participate?

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 .

Can I join the USGS?

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...

Does the USGS offer field trips or classes?

The 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 coordinated through an outside organization, but these are not advertised by the USGS. The USGS also has many published field-trip guides to geologic areas. Use our online Publications Warehouse to...

Can I visit a USGS 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...

Does the USGS use volunteers to collect data?

Volunteers assist on some 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 employees. Some USGS volunteer...

Where are USGS offices located?

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has offices in every state . Our headquarters is located in Reston, Virginia.

How do I contact the USGS?

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...

Where can I find information on employment with the USGS?

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...

Do you have internships, summer positions, or volunteer positions for teachers or students?

The USGS does not have any positions specifically targeted to teachers, but motivated teachers can sometimes find volunteer positions by contacting our scientists directly. Student internships are designed for college-level students and recent graduates. Younger students are encouraged to explore our many citzen science and volunteer opportunities...
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Date published: July 26, 2017

Volunteering to Map the Nation

As the USGS continues to celebrate “Mapping Month”, we again promote noteworthy contributors to The National Map Corps “crowdsourcing” project.

Date published: July 18, 2017

Volunteering for Science

Citizen Scientists edit structures to improve US Topo Maps and along the way earn virtual badges.

Date published: July 6, 2017

Volunteering for Science

The National Map Corps recognizes major volunteers to national mapping efforts

Date published: September 22, 2016

The National Map Corps Mapping Challenge

Results of the Pennsylvania and New York Law Enforcement Mapping Challenges Released

Date published: September 19, 2016

Citizen Scientists to Monitor Treasure Valley Water Quality

Now in its ninth year, Watershed Watch educates children and adults about the health of the Boise River watershed

Date published: September 30, 2015

Citizen Science: For Citizens, Science, and the Planet

Citizen science — scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, usually in collaboration with scientific institutions — is a grassroots approach to natural science. It educates and engages the public by encouraging ordinary citizens to use their interests and their talents in tackling a wide range of real-world problems. 

Date published: January 29, 2015

Citizen Scientists Submit More Than 100,000 Map Points

The U.S. Geological Survey citizen science project, The National Map Corps, has realized remarkable response. In less than two years, the volunteer-based project has harvested more than 100,000 “points”. Hundreds of volunteer cartographers are making significant additions to the USGS ability to provide accurate mapping information to the public.

Date published: June 19, 2013

Crowd-Sourcing the Nation: USGS Seeking More Volunteers

The USGS is expanding its crowd-sourcing of geographic data and is seeking more volunteers to contribute structures information to 16 more states.
 

Date published: May 22, 2013

The National Map Corps - Volunteers Receive Recognition

Citizen volunteers are making significant additions to the U.S. Geological Survey's ability to provide accurate information to the public. Using crowd sourcing techniques, the USGS project known as The National Map Corps (TNMC) encourages citizen volunteers to collect manmade structure data in an effort to provide accurate and authoritative spatial map data for the National...

Date published: April 1, 2013

Crowd-Sourcing the Nation: Using Volunteers for Enhanced Data Collection

The USGS is expanding the involvement of volunteers to enhance data collection about structures for The National Map.

Date published: May 3, 2012

A Big Day for Science: Citizens Have Contributed One Million Observations to Top Nature Database

RESTON, Va. — Thanks to citizen-scientists around the country, the USA National Phenology Network hit a major milestone this week by reaching its one millionth nature observation. 

Date published: May 12, 2010

Congressional Briefing -- Citizen Science and Earthquakes: Reducing the Risk Through the Power of People

In the United States, 1 in 4 people live with the risk of earthquakes. The U.S. Geological Survey and its partners are designing innovative tools to better detect earthquakes and share critical information. The involvement of citizens is key, as decisions made before and immediately after an earthquake can save lives and protect property.

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Image: Volunteers Monitor Bird and Beach Health
March 14, 2016

Volunteers Monitor Bird and Beach Health

Volunteer, Bob Schutt, walks his assigned beach on Lake Michigan to monitor bird health and beach conditions as part of a citizen science program called AMBLE.

Image: Volunteers Monitor Bird and Beach Health
March 14, 2016

Volunteers Monitor Bird and Beach Health

Volunteer, Patrick Sullivan, looks for birds while monitoring his assigned beach on Lake Michigan as part of a citizen science program called AMBLE.

Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum
December 31, 2015

USGS Volunteer Student at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

The Smithsonian Natural History Museum offers hands-on learning experiences.

USGS volunteer, Halle Poppaw, observes/counts members of a large bison group
December 31, 2014

USGS volunteer observes/counts members of a large bison

USGS volunteer, Halle Poppaw, observes/counts members of a large bison group on TNC’s Medano Ranch. USGS photo by Kate Schoenecker.

video thumbnail: Nature's Altered Seasons
May 3, 2012

Nature's Altered Seasons

Early cherry blossoms and flower blooms and record high temperatures nationwide highlight a phenomenon everyone already seems to know, but science has confirmed -- spring is coming earlier in the year almost everywhere. During this lecture, Dr. Jake Weltzin gives an overview of the USGS sponsored USA National Phenology Network, a national effort to help track the timing of

...
Student volunteer measuring soil moisture & greenhouse gases.
August 6, 2007

Student volunteer measuring soil moisture and greenhouse gases

Student volunteer measuring soil moisture & greenhouse gases.

USGS volunteer Carole Moreo assisting with installation of a new evapotranspiration site at Stump Spring, Nev.
November 30, 2000

USGS volunteer helping with ET site installation, Stump Spring, NV

USGS volunteer Carole Moreo assisting with installation of an evapotranspiration site at Stump Spring, Nev. 

Image: Eskimo Volunteers Helping with Banding

Eskimo Volunteers Helping with Banding

Two Yupik Eskimo students from Chevak, Alaska holding a tundra swan cygnet. These student volunteers were helping with an annual USGS waterfowl banding program along the Kashunuk River near the Bering Sea coast in western Alaska.