USGS EDMAP Program - Training the Next Generation of Geoscientists

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EDMAP is a matching-funds grant program with universities that is an interactive and meaningful program for students to gain experience and knowledge in geologic mapping as well as contribute to the national effort -- Federal, State, university -- to geologically map all of the United States. This program is intended to train the next generation of geologic mappers and is one of the three components of the congressionally mandated U.S. Geological Survey National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP). Geology faculty, skilled in geologic mapping, request EDMAP funding to support upper-level undergraduate and graduate students at their institution in a one-year mentored geologic mapping project that focuses on a specific geographic area. Also, each EDMAP proposal must be closely coordinated with a State Geologist or a USGS geologic mapping project. Every federal dollar awarded is matched with university funds. EDMAP has supported 144 universities and over 850 students from geoscience departments across the Nation.

Total annual EDMAP funding and number of students and universities funded (1996-2010). Source: U.S. Geological Survey.

Each year, the NCGMP conducts a satisfaction survey to determine the value of the EDMAP program to participants. The most recent survey shows that EDMAP-supported students have near universal satisfaction with all aspects of the EDMAP experience, including the amount of knowledge gained and the adequacy of their preparation for the job market. Ninety-five percent of the respondents to an EDMAP participant survey either went on to take jobs in the geoscience field or pursued further degrees in geosciences. Examples of the variety of positions the students have filled include research geologist, research analyst, and project manager.

Career trajectories of students completing the EDMAP program in 2009 and 2010. Source: U.S. Geological Survey.