Geoscience in Alabama

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What is Geoscience?

Geoscience is the study of the Earth and the complex geologic, marine, atmospheric, and hydrologic processes that sustain life and the economy. Understanding the Earth’s surface and subsurface, its resources, history, and hazards allows us to develop solutions to critical economic, environmental, health, and safety challenges.

By the numbers: Alabama

4,137 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1

501 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3

$1.31 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174

79 total disaster declarations, including 16 hurricane, 36 severe storm, and 10 flood disasters (1953-2017)6

$2.49 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in 201714

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Geological Survey of Alabama
420 Hackberry Lane
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
205-349-2852

Workforce in Alabama

  • 4,137 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed) in 20171
  • $78,533: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 8 academic geoscience departments2

Water Use in Alabama

  • 501 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
  • 7.75 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal3
  • 762 million gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal3
  • 223 million gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation3
  • 494 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal3
  • 89% of the population is served by public water supplies3

Energy and Minerals in Alabama

  • $1.31 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
  • Stone (crushed), cement (portland), lime: top three nonfuel minerals in order of value produced in 20174
  • 9.64 million short tons: coal produced in 20165
  • 6.74 million barrels: crude oil produced in 20175
  • 9.2 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20175

Natural Hazards in Alabama

  • 79 total disaster declarations, including 16 hurricane, 36 severe storm, and 10 flood disasters (1953-2017)6
  • $246 million: individual assistance grants (2005-2017)6
  • $222 million: mitigation grants (2005-2017)6
  • $210 million: preparedness grants (2005-2017)6
  • $494 million: public assistance grants (2005-2017)6
  • 73 weather and/or climate events, each with costs exceeding $1 billion (inflation adjusted) (1980-2017)7

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

  • $1.15 billion: total USGS budget in FY 2018 (5.8% increase from FY 2017)8
  • The National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program funds geologic mapping projects with federal (FEDMAP), state (STATEMAP), and university (EDMAP) partners
  • $2.12 million: Alabama STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)9
  • Auburn University and University of South Alabama have participated in EDMAP9
  • USGS streamgages collect real-time or recent streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality data throughout Alabama

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $20.7 billion: total NASA budget in FY 2018 (5.5% increase from FY 2017)
  • $1.9 billion: total NASA Earth Science budget in FY 2018 (0% change from FY 2017)10
  • Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites measure groundwater changes in Alabama
  • Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite measures soil moisture in Alabama

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.9 billion: total NOAA budget in FY 2018 (4.1% increase from FY 2017)11
  • Next-generation geostationary (GOES) and polar orbiting (JPSS) satellites provide weather forecasting over Alabama
  • Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR) satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Alabama
  • 20 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in Alabama12
  • 143 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Alabama12

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.8 billion: total NSF budget in FY 2018 (4% increase from FY 2017)13
  • $1.4 billion: total NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) awards in FY 2017 (7.2% increase from FY 2016)14
  • 19 NSF GEO awards in Alabama totaling $2.49 million in 201714
  • $1.7 million: NSF GEO grants awarded to University of Alabama in Huntsville in 201714

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.1 billion: total EPA budget in FY 2018 (0% change from FY 2017)15
  • 12 active Superfund sites in Alabama in 201816
  • $15.7 million: Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) grants in Alabama in 201717

Federal Facilities in Alabama

  • NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville
  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), Gadsden
  • NOAA OAR Ozone Measurement Office, Huntsville
  • NOAA National Weather Service, Weather Forecast Office, Birmingham
  • USGS Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Centers, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa

References

1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017
2. American Geosciences Institute, Directory of Geoscience Departments, 53rd Edition (2018)
3. U.S. Geological Survey, Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2015
4. U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries 2018
5. U.S. Energy Information Administration
6. FEMA Data Visualization: Summary of Disaster Declarations and Grants (accessed May 2, 2018)
7. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters from 1980 to 2018 (accessed April 6, 2018)
8. U.S. Department of the Interior, FY 2019 Budet in Brief
9. U.S. Geological Survey, National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program
10. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, FY 2019 Budget Estimates
11. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, FY 2019 Bluebook
12. NOAA In Your State and Territory
13. U.S. House of Representatives, FY 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill (Division B) – Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018
14. National Science Foundation, Budget Information System
15. U.S. House of Representatives, FY 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill (Division G) – Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018
16. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund Sites
17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Drinking Water State Revolving Fund National Information Management System Reports



Date updated: 2018-08-29

Compiled by the AGI Geoscience Policy program, July 2018

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