Geoscience and Michigan

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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: Michigan

$2.8 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167

9,240: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

6,000: jobs in extractive industries in 20152

11 flooding disaster declarations since 19538

$212.4 million: NSF grants awarded in Michigan in 201618

$10.5 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in Michigan in 201618

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Michigan Geologcial Survey
Department of Geosciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5241
(269) 387-5840

Workforce in Michigan

  • 9,240: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $74,100: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 6,000: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 31: academic geoscience departments3

Water in Michigan

  • 694 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 10.1 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 1 billion gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal4
  • 209 million gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation4
  • 612 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 73% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 9 counties in 2015, and 21 counties in 2016, designated as primary natural disaster areas caused by drought5
  • 96 USGS stream gages in Michigan6

Energy and Minerals Production in Michigan

  • $2.8 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167
  • 115 billion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20142
  • 4.8 million megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20152
  • 1.5 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152
  • 1.1 million megawatt hours: other biomass energy produced in 2015, #5 in the nation2

Natural Hazards in Michigan

FEMA statistics for Michigan

  • 8 severe storm disaster declarations since 19538
  • 11 flooding disaster declarations since 19538
  • 6 tornado disaster declarations since 19538
  • 1 fire disaster declarations since 19538
  • $157 million: individual assistance grants since 20058
  • $63 million: mitigation grants since 20058
  • $491 million: preparedness grants since 20058
  • $36 million: public assistance grants since 20058
  • 29 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 FY 2016 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)
  • $1.1 million: Michigan STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)11
  • Over 50 geologic maps covering 4,000 square miles in Michigan created through STATEMAP (1993-2013)11
  • 7 Michigan universities participated in EDMAP11

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $5.6 billion: total FY 2016 NASA Science budget; 6.6% up from FY 201512
  • $1.9 billion: total FY 2016 NASA Earth Science budget; 7.7% up from FY 201513
  • GRACE satellites measure groundwater changes in all of Michigan14
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of Michigan14

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.8 billion: total FY 2016 NOAA budget; 5.9% up from FY 201515
  • GOES satellites provide state-of-the-art weather forecasting over Michigan16
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Michigan16
  • 27 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in Michigan17
  • 265 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Michigan17

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.46 billion: total FY 2016 NSF budget; 1.6% up from FY 201518
  • $1.28 billion: total FY 2016 NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) awards; 1.6% up from FY 201518
  • 674 NSF grants and 57 NSF GEO grants in Michigan in 201618
  • $7.5 million: NSF GEO grants to University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 201618

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total FY 2016 EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201519
  • 67 active/proposed superfund sites20
  • $666 million: federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in Michigan (1997-2016)21
  • $26 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in Michigan in 201621

Major Federal Facilities in Michigan

  • USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor
  • USGS Michigan-Ohio Water Science Center, Lansing
  • NSF National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory
  • NOAA Great Lakes Bay-Watershed Education Training Program, Alpena
  • NOAA Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems


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
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 (March 2017)
21EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund National Information Management System Reports

Date updated: 2017-08-07

Written and compiled by Geoscience Policy Program for AGI, June 2017

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