Geoscience and Colorado

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: Colorado

$1.5 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167

18,260: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

30,600: jobs in extractive industry in 20152

13 flooding disaster declarations since 19538

$316.3 million: NSF grants awarded in Colorado in 201618

$175.6 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in Colorado in 201618

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Colorado Geological Survey
1801 19th Street
Golden, CO 80401
http://coloradogeologicalsurvey.org
(303) 384-2655

Workforce in Colorado

  • 18,260: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $90,300: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 30,600: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 26: academic geoscience departments3

Water in Colorado

  • 1,560 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 9,440 million gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 848 million gallons/day: public water supply withdrawal4
  • 9,710 million gallons/day: irrigation water withdrawal4
  • 130 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 94% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 9 counties in 2015 designated as primary natural disaster areas caused by drought5
  • 101 USGS stream gages in Colorado6

Energy and Minerals Production in Colorado

  • $1.5 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167
  • 126 million barrels: crude oil produced in 20152
  • 1.67 trillion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20152
  • 24 million short tons: coal produced in 20142
  • 7.4 million megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20152
  • 1.5 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152
  • 289,000 megawatt hours: solar power produced in 20152

Natural Hazards in Colorado

FEMA statistics for Colorado

  • 3 severe storm disaster declarations since 19538
  • 13 flooding disaster declarations since 19538
  • 1 tornado disaster declarations since 19538
  • 57 fire disaster declarations since 19538
  • $62 million: individual assistance grants since 20058
  • $195 million: mitigation grants since 20058
  • $260 million: preparedness grants since 20058
  • $408 million: public assistance grants since 20058
  • 36 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 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)
  • $3.6 million: Colorado STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)11
  • 25 Colorado counties mapped or partially mapped with STATEMAP funds (1993-2014)11
  • 6,540 square miles in Colorado mapped through STATEMAP (1993-2014)11
  • 6 Colorado universities participated in EDMAP11

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $5.6 billion: total NASA Science budget; 6.6% up from FY 201512
  • $1.9 billion: total NASA Earth Science budget; 7.7% up from FY 201513
  • GRACE satellites measure groundwater changes in all of Colorado14
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of Colorado14

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.8 billion: total NOAA budget; 5.9% up from FY 201515
  • GOES satellites provide state-of-the-art weather forecasting over Colorado16
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Colorado16
  • 22 National Weather Service observing stations in Colorado17
  • 278 National Weather Service cooperative observer sites in Colorado17

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.46 billion: total NSF budget; 1.6% up from FY 201518
  • $1.28 billion: total NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) budget; 1.6% up from FY 201518
  • 602 NSF grants in Colorado totaling $316.3 million in 201618
  • 192 NSF GEO grants in Colorado totaling $175.6 million in 201618
  • $21.6 million: NSF GEO grants to University of Colorado at Boulder in 201618

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201519
  • 24 active/proposed superfund sites20
  • $320 million: cumulative federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in Colorado (1997-2016)21
  • $14.5 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in Colorado in 201621

Major Federal Facilities in Colorado

  • USGS National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Denver
  • USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center, Golden
  • USGS Central Energy Resources Science Center, Denver
  • NSF National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder
  • NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder
  • DOE National Renewable Energy Lab, Golden

References

1Data Derived from Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics (2015)
2U.S. DOI 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)
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: 2017-04-14

Written and compiled by Jeremiah Bernau for AGI, April 2017

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