Does the USGS use volunteers to collect data?

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 employees.

Some USGS volunteer opportunities are advertised on the Volunteer.gov website. Most of those involve working from home or reporting observations that you make on your own time.

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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...

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 contacting a local USGS office directly to ask about possible volunteer opportunities. Another way to get...

How do I get USGS data?

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...

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: February 2, 2017

Community Announcement: USGS Ground Motion Study in the Walnut Creek/Concord Area Looking for Volunteers

The U. S. Geological Survey is seeking volunteers to host temporary seismic stations in the Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill/Concord California area. Volunteers will be assisting with a new ground motion study that will begin in March 2017.

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.

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Volunteers mark lake sturgeon at the NYSDEC Oneida Hatchery
October 9, 2018

Volunteers mark lake sturgeon at the NYSDEC Oneida Hatchery

Volunteers mark lake sturgeon at the NYSDEC Oneida Hatchery

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.