Geoscience in Illinois

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By the numbers: Illinois

  • 9,546 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1
  • 891 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
  • $1.38 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
  • 60 total disaster declarations, including 25 severe storm, 15 flood, and 10 tornado disasters (1953-2017)6
  • $16.8 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in 201714

What is Geoscience?

Geoscience is the study of the Earth and the complex geologic, marine, atmospheric, and hydrologic processes that sustain life and the economy. Understanding the Earth’s surface and subsurface, its resources, history, and hazards allows us to develop solutions to critical economic, environmental, health, and safety challenges.

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Illinois State Geological Survey 
615 E. Peabody Drive 
Champaign, IL 61820 

Workforce in Illinois

  • 9,546 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed) in 20171
  • $80,768: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 17 academic geoscience departments2

Water Use in Illinois

  • 891 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
  • 9.6 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal3
  • 1.48 billion gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal3
  • 234 million gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation3
  • 431 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal3
  • 91% of the population is served by public water supplies3

Energy and Minerals in Illinois

  • $1.38 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
  • Sand and gravel, crushed stone, portland cement: top three nonfuel minerals in order of value produced in 20174
  • 43.4 million short tons: coal produced in 20165
  • 8.31 million barrels: crude oil produced in 20175
  • 11.3 million megawatt hours: wind produced in 20175
  • 55,000 megawatt hours: solar produced in 20175

Natural Hazards in Illinois

  • 60 total disaster declarations, including 25 severe storm, 15 flood, and 10 tornado disasters (1953-2017)6
  • $651 million: individual assistance grants (2005-2017)6
  • $249 million: mitigation grants (2005-2017)6
  • $1.35 billion: preparedness grants (2005-2017)6
  • $273 million: public assistance grants (2005-2017)6
  • 72 weather and/or climate events, each with costs exceeding $1 billion (inflation adjusted) (1980-2017)7

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 

  • $1.15 billion: total USGS budget in FY 2018 (5.8% increase from FY 2017)8
  • The National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program funds geologic mapping projects with federal (FEDMAP), state (STATEMAP), and university (EDMAP) partners
  • $4.05 million: Illinois STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)9
  • 6 Illinois universities, including Illinois State University and Northwestern University, have participated in EDMAP9
  • USGS streamgages collect real-time or recent streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality data throughout Illinois

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $20.7 billion: total NASA budget in FY 2018 (5.5% increase from FY 2017)10
  • $1.9 billion: total NASA Earth Science budget in FY 2018 (0% change from FY 2017)10
  • Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites measure groundwater changes in Illinois
  • Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite measures soil moisture in Illinois

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.9 billion: total NOAA budget in FY 2018 (4.1% increase from FY 2017)11
  • Next-generation geostationary (GOES) and polar orbiting (JPSS) satellites provide weather forecasting over Illinois
  • Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR) satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Illinois
  • 17 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in Illinois12
  • 263 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Illinois12

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.8 billion: total NSF budget in FY 2018 (4% increase from FY 2017)13
  • $1.4 billion: total NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) awards in FY 2017 (7.2% increase from FY 2016)14
  • 62 NSF GEO awards in Illinois totaling $16.8 million in 201714
  • $8 million: NSF GEO grants awarded to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 201714

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.1 billion: total EPA budget in FY 2018 (0% change from FY 2017)15
  • 45 active superfund sites in Illinois in 201816
  • $34.30 million: Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) grants in Illinois in 201717
  • $200,000: Brownfield cleanup grants awarded to Illinois in 201818

Federal Facilities in Illinois

  • USGS Illinois Water Science Center, Urbana
  • DOE Argonne National Lab, Argonne
  • DOE Fermi National Accelerator Lab, Batavia
  • NOAA OAR Real-Time Meteorological Observation Network, Chicago


1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017
2. American Geosciences Institute, Directory of Geoscience Departments, 53rd Edition (2018)
3. U.S. Geological Survey, Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2015
4. U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries 2018
5. U.S. Energy Information Administration
6. FEMA Data Visualization: Summary of Disaster Declarations and Grants (accessed May 2, 2018)
7. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters from 1980 to 2018 (accessed April 6, 2018)
8. U.S. Department of the Interior, FY 2019 Budet in Brief
9. U.S. Geological Survey, National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program
10. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, FY 2019 Budget Estimates
11. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, FY 2019 Bluebook
12. NOAA In Your State and Territory
13. U.S. House of Representatives, FY 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill (Division B) – Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018
14. National Science Foundation, Budget Information System
15. U.S. House of Representatives, FY 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill (Division G) – Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018
16. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund Sites
17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Drinking Water State Revolving Fund National Information Management System Reports
18. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Brownfields Grant Fact Sheet Search

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