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About USGS

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Our Mission and Vision

Mission: The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Vision: USGS has become a world leader in the natural sciences thanks to our scientific excellence and responsiveness to society's needs.






Who We Are

Collage showing scientist at work.The USGS employs the best and the brightest experts who bring a range of earth and life science disciplines to bear on problems. By integrating our diverse scientific expertise, the USGS is able to understand complex natural science phenomena and provide scientific products that lead to solutions. Every day the 10,000 scientists, technicians, and support staff of the USGS are working for you in more than 400 locations throughout the United States.

What We Do

Collage showing a hurricane, landsat image, and volcano.As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems.  The diversity of our scientific expertise enables us to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers.



How We Are Organized

Shaded relief map of the U.S.The USGS is organized with a Headquarters and Eastern Region facility in Reston, Virginia. Central Region and Western Region offices are located in Denver, Colorado, and Menlo Park, California, respectively. Thousands of other USGS employees are working in every State in the Nation.

The following links provide information about our senior leadership, how we are structured, where we are located, and how to contact USGS employees:

Our Budget and Peformance

Access primary budget documents, information about performance measures, and other various management reports.

Working With Us

Picture of hands holding the Earth.There are a variety of ways to interact with the USGS and its science. We invite you to explore the following information about doing business with us, partnering with our science programs, and being part of the USGS workforce.

Business Opportunities: The USGS is interested in forming cooperative partnerships with organizations from all levels of government and industry. The following links provide information about doing business and partnering with USGS.

Science Partnerships and Opportunities: Explore the collaborative work the USGS is doing with other Federal agencies, non-government organizations, State/local and tribal governments and the private sector as well as additional opportunites to partner with us and further our science mission.
Learn more.

Cooperative Agreements: The USGS works with many other Federal agencies and the private sector to accomplish its science mission through formal memorandums of understanding and memorandums of agreement.
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International Activities: The USGS carries out international activities as a complement to its domestic programs. Learn more about the scientific and technical assistance being provided in more than 100 countries.
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Activities Related to Native Americans: Learn more about the work USGS does in cooperation with American Indian and Alaska Native governments—including research on water and mineral resources; animals and plants important to subsistance the environment, or the economy; natural hazards; and geologic resources.
Learn more.

Employment Opportunties: Your one source for information on job openings, including senior management positions, student employment, Postdoctoral and Upward Mobility Programs, and volunteering.

News & Events

USGS Director Mark Myers signs a MOU with Environment Canada.Stay up-to-date with USGS by exploring our latest news releases and science picks, upcoming events and happenings on the USGS landscape, and media services such as our image collection and video gallery.



Our History

Picture of a USGS benchmark.The United States Geological Survey was established on March 3, 1879, just a few hours before the mandatory close of the final session of the 45th Congress, when President Rutherford B. Hayes signed the bill appropriating money for sundry civil expenses of the Federal Government for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1879. Learn more.


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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, December 03, 2008