Geoscience in Maryland

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By the numbers: Maryland

  • 8,416 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1
  • 295 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
  • $379 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
  • 32 total disaster declarations, including 9 flood, 8 hurricane, and 7 snow disasters (1953-2017)6
  • $204 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

Maryland Geological Survey 
2300 St. Paul Street 
Baltimore, MD 21218 

Workforce in Maryland

  • 8,416 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed) in 20171
  • $83,205: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 8 academic geoscience departments2

Water Use in Maryland

  • 295 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
  • 6.23 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal3
  • 750 million gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal3
  • 64 million gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation3
  • 49 million gallons/day: industrial fresh water withdrawal3
  • 76% of the population is served by public water supplies3

Energy and Minerals in Maryland

  • $379 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
  • Portland cement, crushed stone, sand and gravel (construction): top three nonfuel minerals in order of value produced in 20174
  • 1.62 million short tons: coal produced in 20165
  • 1.96 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20175
  • 511,000 megawatt hours: wind produced in 20175

Natural Hazards in Maryland

  • 32 total disaster declarations, including 9 flood, 8 hurricane, and 7 snow disasters (1953-2017)6
  • $3 million: individual assistance grants (2005-2017)6
  • $57 million: mitigation grants (2005-2017)6
  • $430 million: preparedness grants (2005-2017)6
  • $240 million: public assistance grants (2005-2017)6
  • 49 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
  • $1.11 million: Maryland STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)9
  • USGS streamgages collect real-time or recent streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality data throughout Maryland

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 Maryland
  • Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite measures soil moisture in Maryland

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 Maryland
  • Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR) satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Maryland
  • 10 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in Maryland12
  • 35 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Maryland12

National Science Foundation

  • $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 Maryland totaling $204 million in 201714
  • $4.8 million: NSF GEO grants awarded to University of Maryland College Park in 201714

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.1 billion: total EPA budget in FY 2018 (0% change from FY 2017)15
  • 20 active Superfund sites in Maryland in 201816
  • $13.9 million: Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) grants in Maryland in 201717

Federal Facilities in Maryland

  • USGS MD-DE-DC Water Science Center, Baltimore 
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt
  • NOAA Headquarters, Silver Spring
  • USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg
  • Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Meade and Fort Dietrich


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

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