Geoscience in Arkansas

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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: Arkansas

1,571 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1

9.59 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3

$771 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174

70 total disaster declarations, including 28 severe storm, 17 flood, and 15 tornado disasters (1953-2017)6

$184,000: NSF GEO grants awarded in 201714

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Arkansas Geological Survey
Vardelle Parham Geology Center
3815 West Roosevelt Road
Little Rock, AR 72204
501-296-1877

    Workforce in Arkansas

    • 1,571 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed) in 20171
    • $62,609: average median geoscience employee salary1
    • 3 academic geoscience departments2

    Water Use in Arkansas

    • 9.59 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
    • 4.25 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal3
    • 363 million gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal3
    • 11.6 billion gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation3
    • 157 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal3
    • 95% of the population is served by public water supplies3

    Energy and Minerals in Arkansas

    • $771 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
    • Stone (crushed), bromine, cement (portland): top three nonfuel minerals in order of value produced in 20174
    • 701 billion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20175
    • 5.17 million barrels: crude oil produced in 20175
    • 3.95 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20175

    Natural Hazards in Arkansas

    • 70 total disaster declarations, including 28 severe storm, 17 flood, and 15 tornado disasters (1953-2017)6
    • $53 million: individual assistance grants (2005-2017)6
    • $122 million: mitigation grants (2005-2017)6
    • $137 million: preparedness grants (2005-2017)6
    • $485 million: public assistance grants (2005-2017)6
    • 58 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
    • $1.23 million: Arkansas STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)9
    • University of Arkansas has participated in EDMAP9
    • USGS streamgages collect real-time or recent streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality data throughout Arkansas

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    • $20.7 billion: total NASA budget in FY 2018 (5.5% increase from FY 2017)10
    • $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 Arkansas
    • Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite measures soil moisture in Arkansas

    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 Arkansas
    • Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR) satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Arkansas
    • 17 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in Arkansas12
    • 186 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Arkansas12

    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
    • 3 NSF GEO grants in Arkansas totaling $184,000, all awarded to University of Arkansas, in 201714

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    • $8.1 billion: total EPA budget in FY 2018 (0% change from FY 2017)15
    • 9 active Superfund sites in Arkansas in 201816
    • $12.6 million: Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) grants in Arkansas in 201717

    Federal Facilities in Arkansas

    • USGS Arkansas Water Science Center, Little Rock
    • USGS Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Centers, Little Rock and Fayetteville
    • NOAA National Ocean Service Geodetic Advisor, North Little Rock
    • NOAA NESDIS US Climate Reference Network, Batesville

    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: 2018-08-30

    Compiled by the AGI Geoscience Policy Program, July 2018

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