Geoscience and Arkansas

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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: Arkansas

$960 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167

1,680: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

5,900: jobs in extractive industries in 20152

43 severe storm, hurricane/tropical storm, and tornado disaster declarations since 19538

$24.7 million: NSF grants awarded in Arkansas in 201618

$960,000: NSF GEO grants awarded in Arkansas in 201618

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

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

Workforce in Arkansas

  • 1,680: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $58,500: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 5,900: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 5: academic geoscience departments3

Water in Arkansas

  • 7.8 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 3.5 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 429 million gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal4
  • 8.7 billion gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation4
  • 271 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 96% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 34 counties in 2015 designated as primary natural disaster areas caused by drought5
  • 46 USGS stream gages in Arkansas6

Energy and Minerals Production in Arkansas

  • $960 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167
  • 6.2 million barrels: crude oil produced in 20152
  • 1 trillion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20152
  • 100,000 short tons: coal produced in 20142
  • 3.7 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152

Natural Hazards in Arkansas

FEMA statistics for Arkansas

  • 28 severe storm disaster declarations since 19538
  • 17 flooding disaster declarations since 19538
  • 15 tornado disaster declarations since 19538
  • $53 million: individual assistance grants since 20058
  • $122 million: mitigation grants since 20058
  • $137 million: preparedness grants since 20058
  • $485 million: public assistance grants since 20058
  • 53 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)
  • $1.2 million: Arkansas STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)11
  • 68 geologic maps covering 4,700 square miles in Arkansas created through STATEMAP (1993-2014)11
  • University of Arkansas - Fayetteville 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 Arkansas14
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of Arkansas14

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 Arkansas16
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Arkansas16
  • 17 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in Arkansas17
  • 186 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Arkansas17

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
  • 59 NSF grants in Arkansas totaling $24.7 million in 201618
  • 5 NSF GEO grants in Arkansas totaling $960,000 in 201618
  • $614,000: NSF GEO grants to University of Arkansas in 201618

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total FY 2016 EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201519
  • 9 active/proposed superfund sites20
  • $257.2 million: federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in Arkansas (1997-2016)21
  • $12.7 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in Arkansas in 201621

Major Federal Facilities in Arkansas

  • USGS Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center, Little Rock and Fayetteville


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 Geoscienec Policy Program for AGI, June 2017

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