Geoscience and New Mexico

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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: New Mexico

$1.46 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167

4,140: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

25,500: jobs in extractive industry in 20152

18 flooding disaster declarations since 19538

$51.9 million: NSF grants awarded in New Mexico in 201618

$10.1 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in New Mexico in 201618

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801-4796
(575) 835-5490 

Workforce in New Mexico

  • 4,140: geoscience employees (non-federal/selfemployed) in 20151
  • $78,400: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 25,500: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 16: academic geoscience departments3

Water in New Mexico

  • 1.6 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 1.6 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 280 million gallons/day: public water supply withdrawal4
  • 2.7 billion gallons/day: irrigation water withdrawal4
  • 11 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 85% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 14 counties in 2015, and 0 counties in 2016, designated as primary natural disaster areas caused by drought5
  • 74 USGS stream gages in New Mexico6

Energy and Minerals Production in New Mexico

  • $1.46 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167
  • 147 million barrels: crude oil produced in 20152
  • 1.3 trillion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20152
  • 22 million short tons: coal produced in 20142
  • 2 million megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20152
  • 122,600 megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152
  • 646,000 megawatt hours: solar power produced in 20152
  • 13,300 megawatt hours of geothermal energy produced in 20152

Natural Hazards in New Mexico

FEMA statistics for New Mexico

  • 12 severe storm disaster declarations since 19538
  • 18 flooding disaster declarations since 19538
  • 49 fire disaster declarations since 19538
  • $3 million: individual assistance grants since 20058
  • $253 million: mitigation grants since 20058
  • $153 million: preparedness grants since 20058
  • $257 million: public assistance grants since 20058
  • 20 weather and/or climate events, each with costs exceeding $1 billion (inflation adjusted) 1980-20169

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geologic Mapping

  • $1.06 billion: total USGS budget; 1.6% up from FY 201510
  • The USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) funds geologic mapping projects by states (STATEMAP) and universities (EDMAP)
  • $4,553,404: New Mexico STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)11
  • 186 geologic maps in New Mexico created with STATEMAP support (1993-2010)11
  • 13,020 square miles in New Mexico mapped through STATEMAP (1993-2010)11
  • University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University participated in EDMAP11

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $5.6 billion: total NASA Science budget; 6.6% up from FY 201512
  • $1.9 billion: total NASA Earth Science budget; 7.7% up from FY 201513
  • GRACE satellites measure groundwater changes in all of New Mexico14
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of New Mexico14

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.8 billion: total NOAA budget; 5.9% up from FY 201515
  • GOES satellites provide state-of-the-art weather forecasting over New Mexico16
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over New Mexico16
  • 14 National Weather Service observing stations in New Mexico17

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.46 billion: total NSF budget; 1.6% up from FY 201518
  • $1.28 billion: total NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) budget; 1.6% up from FY 201518
  • 172 NSF grants in New Mexico totaling $51.9 million in 201618
  • 35 NSF GEO grants in New Mexico totaling $10.1 million in 201618
  • $7 million: NSF GEO grants to University of New Mexico in 201618
  • $1.8 million: NSF GEO grants to New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 201618

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201519
  • 16 active/proposed superfund sites20
  • $189 million: cumulative federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in New Mexico (1997-2016)21
  • $7.9 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in New Mexico in 201621

Major Federal Facilities in New Mexico

  • USGS New Mexico Water Science Center, Albuquerque
  • USGS New Mexico Landscapes Field Station, Los Alamos
  • USGS Carlsbad Field Headquarters, Carlsbad
  • NASA White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces
  • DOE Sandia National Lab, Albuquerque
  • DOE Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos


1Data Derived from Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics (2015)
2U.S. DOI 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
5USDA Farm Service Agency: Disaster Designation Information, 2015 (2015 Crop Year & 2016 Crop Year)
6USGS WaterWatch Total Streamgage Stations (March 10, 2017)
7USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2017
8FEMA Summary of Disaster Declarations and Grants (2016)
9NOAA Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Mapping
10DOI Budget and Performance
11USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program
12NASA Budget Documents, Strategic Plans and Performance Reports
13American Institute of Physics FY2016 Appropriations
14Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE); Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP); Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE); Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM);
15NOAA Total Budget
16Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) & Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR)
17NOAA in Your State
18NSF Budget Internet Information System
19EPA Budget and Spending
20EPA Search for Superfund Sites Where You Live (August 2017)
21EPA 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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