Geoscience and North Dakota

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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: North Dakota

$132 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166

1,600: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

22,300: jobs in extractive industries in 20152

380 million barrels: crude oil produced in 2016, #2 in the nation2

$21.1 million: NSF grants awarded in North Dakota in 201617

$143,000: NSF GEO grants awarded in North Dakota in 201617

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

North Dakota Geological Survey
1016 E. Calgary Ave.
Bismarck ND 58503
(701) 328-8000

Workforce in North Dakota

  • 1,600: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $73,300: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 22,300: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 6: academic geoscience departments3

Water in North Dakota

  • 150 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 1 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 70 million gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal4
  • 165 million gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation4
  • 20 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 93% of the population is served by public water supplies4

Energy and Minerals Production in North Dakota

  • $132 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20165
  • 380 million barrels: crude oil produced in 2016, #2 in the nation (12% of U.S. production)2
  • 605 billion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20162
  • 29 million short tons: coal produced in 20152
  • 8.1 million megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20152
  • 2 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152

Natural Hazards in North Dakota

FEMA statistics for North Dakota

  • 20 severe storm disaster declarations since 19536
  • 28 flooding disaster declarations since 19536
  • 3 tornado disaster declarations since 19536
  • $104 million: individual assistance grants since 20056
  • $186 million: mitigation grants since 20056
  • $111 million: preparedness grants since 20056
  • $480 million: public assistance grants since 20056
  • 15 weather and/or climate events, each with costs exceeding $1 billion (inflation adjusted) 1980-20167

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geologic Mapping

  • $1.06 billion: total FY 2016USGS budget; 1.6% up from FY 20158
  • The USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) funds geologic mapping projects by states (STATEMAP) and universities (EDMAP)
  • $400,000: North Dakota STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)9
  • Over 100 geologic maps covering a quarter of North Dakota created through STATEMAP (1993-2010)9
  • University of North Dakota and Minot State University participated in EDMAP9

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $5.6 billion: total FY 2016 NASA Science budget; 6.6% up from FY 201510
  • $1.9 billion: total FY 2016 NASA Earth Science budget; 7.7% up from FY 201511
  • GRACE satellites measure groundwater changes in all of North Dakota12
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of North Dakota12

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.8 billion: total FY 2016 NOAA budget; 5.9% up from FY 201513
  • GOES satellites provide state-of-the-art weather forecasting over North Dakota14
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over North Dakota14
  • 18 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in North Dakota15

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.46 billion: total FY 2016 NSF budget; 1.6% up from FY 201516
  • $1.28 billion: total FY 2016 NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) awards; 1.6% up from FY 201516
  • 47 NSF grants in North Dakota totaling $21.1 million in 201616
  • 2 NSF GEO grants in North Dakota totaling $143,000 in 201616
  • $126,000: NSF GEO grants to University of North Dakota in 201616

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total FY 2016 EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201517
  • 0 active/proposed superfund sites18
  • $197 million: cumulative federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in North Dakota (1997-2016)19
  • $8.3 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in North Dakota in 201619

Major Federal Facilities in North Dakota

  • USGS North Dakota Water Science Center, Bismarck
  • USGS Nother Dakota Water Science Center, Grand Forks Field Office
  • USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown


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 Mineral Commodity Summaries 2017
6FEMA Summary of Disaster Declarations and Grants, 2016
7NOAA Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Mapping
9USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program
10NASA Budget Documents, Strategic Plans and Performance Reports
11American Institute of Physics FY2016 Appropriations
12Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE); Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP); Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)
13NOAA Total Budget
14Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) & Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR)
15NOAA in Your State
16NSF Budget Internet Information System
17EPA Budget and Spending
18EPA Search for Superfund Sites Where You Live (August 2017)
19EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund National Information Management System Reports

Date updated: 2017-08-07

Written and compiled by J. Bernau and A. Ackerman for AGI, July 2017

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