Working with the USGS MD-DE-DC Water Science Center

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Detailed Description

Interviews with employees working with the USGS MD-DE-DC Water Science Center


Date Taken:

Length: 00:03:49

Location Taken: Catonsville, MD, US

Video Credits

Natalie Bates (Contractor for USGS)

Lonnie Lanham (USGS)


(soft instrumental music)

If I had to describe my job
in one word

It would be applied.

It's exciting

Definitely impactful





I think the USGS motto
actually sums it up pretty well.

Our motto is
"Science for a changing world".

[Emily] Folks at USGS

they tend to really
believe in the mission

of our agency.

[Ashley] If you see something that you
want to work on,

you are encouraged to go for it.

Even if it's something you've
never done before,

you're allowed to go and try it.

Like I'm primarily
surface water

I have done some
water quality

before and found
surface water

more to my liking,

but at least I got to try out
the water quality stuff.

[Alex] I was able to
move from

some field-based research

into looking at field-based

but also adding in satellites.

And my supervisor has always
been supportive

because the work is meaningful
and applied.

[Ed] I'm able to
with the newer staff

and people who are trying to
gain the experience

in surface water
areas and

help them resolve issues
and teach them

and help to bring them along
in their career.

[Cheryl] I think it's great
that we get to

do science and really
look into the issues

of the problems
and find the answers.

[Nick] One thing I'm
learning right now

is just how
impactful and

important our
data is

to the public.

Before working here,
I had never really noticed

how important the
data was, but

honestly looking at where
all the flooding

happens on the roads,

our data actually can potentially
save lives.

[Dave] The people that stay,
stay for reasons.

When you look
back about

what you have

it's gratifying to
know that you

"well, I kept my part
moving forward

for this period of time
until I get taken off,

I'm gonna keep doing
a good job.

[Sam] I work in streams
monitoring water quality,

flood discharge, base discharge,
we monitor ground water

all over the Delmarva Peninsula.

I've been a part
of helping set up

four new stream
gauges so far

in my career, so that's
pretty exciting!

[Marina] I am primarily
the one that works with

lidar data for a lot of the

that I'm working on
and being able to

take the information and extract
these different landscape metrics

that's been kind of one of
the strongest aspects

that I've been able to bring.

[Ed]  The technology is changing
from mechanical instruments

to electronics and

Some of the kids coming out of college
these days, hydrologic technicians,

they're super smart and they
really take on these challenges

and I learn from them as
much as they learn from me.

[Taylor] I've
definitely learned

to be flexible
that's probably

the biggest thing
with this job

because it changes every single day,
even hour to hour sometimes.

I love that about this job,
just because it's never boring

and that's for sure!

[Emily] You know I've found
a lot of people over the years

that you know, have worked their
entire careers here at USGS

and are at a point of being
able to retire and then

they're still here because
they don't want to retire

and you know, they
want to come back.

[Cheryl] All my colleagues and
coworkers are very willing

to share their experiences,
their ideas,

even if they're not directly working
on a project with you.

Any time I've had a question
and just need to bounce an idea

off of somebody else, everybody
is always willing to share.

[Alex] It doesn't really matter
who you are, people

are always interested in teaching you
and telling you something.

Everyone here is incredibly open
with their information.

It's awesome!

(soft instrumental music)