Geoscience and Virginia

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What is Geoscience?

Geoscientists study the Earth’s systems—the complex geologic, marine, atmospheric, and hydrologic processes that sustain life and the economy. Geoscience expertise enables us to develop solutions to critical economic, environmental, health, and safety challenges.

By the numbers: Virginia

$1.23 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166

9,200: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

6,834: jobs in extractive industries in 20152

30 severe storm, hurricane/tropical storm, and tornado disaster declarations since 19537

$216 million: NSF grants awarded in 2016 to Virginia17

$19 million: NSF GEO grants in 2016 to Virginia17

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Viginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources
900 Natural Resources Drive, Ste. 400
Charlottesville VA 22903
(434) 951-6341

Workforce in Virginia

  • 9,200: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $75,860: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 6,834: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 33: academic geoscience departments3

Water in Virginia

  • 310 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 7.3 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 670 million gallons/day: public water supply withdrawal4
  • 61 million gallons/day: irrigation water withdrawal4
  • 380 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 79% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 142 USGS stream gages in Virginia5

Energy and Minerals Production in Virginia

  • $1.23 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166
  • 134 billion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20142
  • 15.1 million short tons: coal produced in 20142
  • 967,000 megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152
  • 3 million megawatt hours of wood-derived fuel energy were produced in Virginia in 2015, #4 in the nation, 7% of U.S. production2

Natural Hazards in Virginia

FEMA statistics for Virginia

  • 17 severe storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 13 hurricane/tropical storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 15 flooding disaster declarations since 19537
  • 8 fire disaster declarations since 19537
  • $19 million: individual assistance grants since 20057
  • $72 million: mitigation grants since 20057
  • $439 million: preparedness grants since 20057
  • $267 million: public assistance grants since 20057
  • 57 weather and/or climate events, each with costs exceeding $1 billion (inflation adjusted) 1980-20168

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geologic Mapping

  • $1.06 billion: total USGS budget; 1.6% up from FY 20159
  • The USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) funds geologic mapping projects by states (STATEMAP) and universities (EDMAP)
  • $2.9 million: Virginia STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)10
  • Over half of Virginia is mapped through STATEMAP (1993-2009)10
  • 6 Virginia universities participated in EDMAP10
  • College of William and Mary, George Mason University, and James Madison University participated in EDMAP10

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $5.6 billion: total NASA Science budget; 6.6% up from FY 201511
  • $1.9 billion: total NASA Earth Science budget; 7.7% up from FY 201512
  • GRACE satellites measure groundwater changes in all of Virginia13
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of Virginia13

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.8 billion: total NOAA budget; 5.9% up from FY 201514
  • GOES satellites provide state-of-the-art weather forecasting over Virginia15
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Virginia15
  • 15 National Weather Service observing stations in Virginia16
  • 138 National Weather Service cooperative observer sites in Virginia16

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.46 billion: total NSF budget; 1.6% up from FY 201517
  • $1.28 billion: total NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) awards; 1.6% up from FY 201517
  • 550 NSF grants in Virginia totaling $216 million in 201617
  • 75 NSF GEO grants in Virginia totaling $19 million in 201617
  • $3.5 million: NSF GEO grants to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 201617
  • $1.9 million: NSF GEO grants to the College of William & Mary Virginia Institute of Marine Science in 201617

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201518
  • 31 active/proposed superfund sites19
  • $301 million: cumulative federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in Virginia (1997-2016)20
  • $13.7 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in Virginia in 201620

Major Federal Facilities in Virginia

  • USGS Headquarters, Reston
  • USGS Virginia Water Science Center, Richmond
  • NSF NRAO (National Radio Astronomy Observatory), Charlottesville
  • NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton


1Data Derived from Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics 2015
2DOI U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
3American Geosciences Institute Directory of Geoscience Departments 2016
4USGS Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2010
5USGS WaterWatch Total Streamgage Stations, March 10, 2017
6USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2017
7FEMA Summary of Disaster Declarations and Grants, 2016
8NOAA Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Mapping
10USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program
11NASA Budget Documents, Strategic Plans and Performance Reports
12American Institute of Physics FY2016 Appropriations
13Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE); Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP); Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)
14NOAA Total Budget
15Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) & Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR)
16NOAA in Your State
17NSF Budget Internet Information System
18EPA Budget and Spending
19EPA Search for Superfund Sites Where You Live (August 2017)
20EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund National Information Management System Reports

Date updated: 2017-08-07

Written and compiled by Jeremiah Bernau for AGI, April 2017

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