USGS Program Funds and Trains the Next Generation of Geologic Mappers

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As part of the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, EDMAP is supporting upcoming geologic mappers by providing invalubable experience and matching-funds grants.

EDMAP is an interactive and meaningful program for university students to gain experience and knowledge in geologic mapping while contributing to national efforts to map the geology of the United States.

EDMAP is open to undergraduate and graduate students in colleges and universities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and proposals are accepted from geoscience faculty who specialize in geologic mapping. The competitive program funds one-year mentored geologic mapping projects that focus on a specific geographic area

About EDMAP

EDMAP is a matching-funds grant program with universities and is one of the three components of the congressionally mandated USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. Geology professors, whose specialty is geologic mapping, can request EDMAP funding to support upper-level undergraduate and graduate students at their colleges or universities in a one-year, mentor-guided geologic mapping project that focuses on a specific geographic area. Every Federal dollar that is awarded is matched with university funds.

Although individual projects last for only one year, they may build upon the results of previous years' efforts. EDMAP geology professors and their students frequently work closely with STATEMAP and FEDMAP geologists who may be mapping nearby.

Since 1996, more than $4 million from the NCGMP have supported geologic mapping efforts of more than 600 students, working with more than 214 professors at 131 universities in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Funds for graduate projects are limited to $17,500 with undergraduate project funds limited to $10,000. These funds are used to cover field expenses and map production, but not faculty salaries. The college or university matches the EDMAP funding.

The actual amount of Federal funds that are available each year to the EDMAP component is based on a formula determined by the National Geologic Mapping Act and its latest reauthorization. Each September, the EDMAP Program Announcement is distributed online. Detailed instructions for submitting EDMAP proposals can be found in the Program Announcement. It is imperative that they be precisely followed.

Evaluation Panel: A National EDMAP Evaluation Panel, which has three USGS members, five university members, and two State Geologists, meets each January to evaluate EDMAP proposals. Each project proposal is given a numerical score based on its coordination with State Geological Survey or USGS ongoing projects, project justification, technical quality, mentoring strategy, and budget justification. The amount of funding is tied to this score.

EDMAP Fact Sheet.

“Surficial Geologic Mapping of the Indian Town and Wood Island SE 7.5-Minute Quadrangles, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan.” Lead mapper: Sarah VanderMeer,  Western Michigan University (Photo inset).  Advisor and Primary Investigator: Alan E. Kehew.  FY2015 EDMAP project.(Public domain.)
“Geologic Map of the 1:24,000 Roanoke East, Alabama Quadrangle”.  Lead mapper Rylleigh Harstad, Auburn University (Photo inset).  Advisor and Primary Investigator:  Mark G. Steltenpohl.  FY2015 EDMAP project.(Public domain.)
“1:12,000 Geologic Map Covering Parts of Boone, Deep Gap, Sherwood, Valle Crucis, and Zionville Quadrangles, Western North Carolina”.  Lead mapper:  Jesse S. Hill, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Photo inset). Advisor and Primary Investigator: Kevin G. Stewart.  FY2015 EDMAP project.(Public domain.)
“Bedrock Geologic Map of the Eastern Portion of the Afton 7.5-minute Quadrangle, Warren County, North Carolina”.  Lead mapper: Brandon Peach, University of North Carolina, Wilmington (photo not provided).  Advisor and Primary Investigator: Dave Blake.  FY2015 EDMAP project.(Public domain.)