What does the USGS do?

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a science bureau within the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods; the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change. Our scientists develop new methods and tools to enable timely, relevant, and useful information about the Earth and its processes.

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Does the USGS have science libraries?

The USGS has the largest earth science library in the world. The Libraries Program includes central libraries in Reston, Virginia and Denver, Colorado along with small, topic-specific libraries in science centers scattered around the country. See our USGS Library website for more information or send an email to library@usgs.gov . Holdings and...

Does the USGS offer field trips or classes?

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...

Can I visit a USGS 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...

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 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...

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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video thumbnail: Science for a Changing World
June 11, 2012

Science for a Changing World

"Science for a Changing World" is a short film (eight minutes) describing a brief history of the USGS and the significance of USGS work and mission in today's world and its value in the past.

Image: USGS Headquarters
August 8, 2011

USGS Headquarters

Nestled away in Reston, VA on 105 acres of land, the USGS headquarters was dedicated on July 12, 1974. The building houses over 2000 employees and offers guided and self-guided indoor and outdoor tours to the public.

 

April 22, 2004

PubTalk 4/2004 — Science, Society, and the Survey

50 Years of the USGS in Menlo Park

By David G. Howell, Geologist

Hear about some of the scientific highlights from 1954 to 2004 --

  • The search for strategic minerals
  • Exploring the high seas
  • The birth of astrogeology
  • Advancing the theory of plate tectonics
  • From topo maps to digital GIS
...