Geoscience and Hawaii

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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: Hawaii

$133 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166

1,550: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

280: jobs in extractive industries in 20152

10 severe storm, hurricane/tropical storm, and tornado disaster declarations since 19537

15 fire disaster declarations since 19537

$43 million: NSF grants awarded in Hawaii in 201617

$16.6 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in Hawaii in 201617

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
1151 Punchbowl St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 587-0400

Workforce in Hawaii

  • 1,550: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $67,600: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 280: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 6: academic geoscience departments3

Water in Hawaii

  • 474 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 800 million gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 274 million gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal4
  • 323 million gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation4
  • 5 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 96% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 36 USGS stream gages in Hawaii5

Energy and Minerals Production in Hawaii

  • $133 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166
  • 612,800 megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20152
  • 121,170 megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152
  • 54,400 megawatt hours: solar power produced in 20152
  • 230,000 megawatt hours: geothermal energy produced in Hawaii in 2015, #4 in the nation2

Natural Hazards in Hawaii

FEMA statistics for Hawaii

  • 7 severe storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 3 hurricane/tropical storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 9 flooding disaster declarations since 19537
  • 15 fire disaster declarations since 19537
  • 4 eathquake disaster declarations since 19537
  • $14 million: individual assistance grants since 19537
  • $15 million: mitigation grants since 20057
  • $198 million: preparedness grants since 20057
  • $73 million: public assistance grants since 20057

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $5.6 billion: total FY 2016 NASA Science budget; 6.6% up from FY 20158
  • $1.9 billion: total FY 2016 NASA Earth Science budget; 7.7% up from FY 20159
  • GRACE satellites measure groundwater changes in all of Hawaii10
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of Hawaii10
  • PACE satellite measures cloud coverage over all of Hawaii10
  • GPM satellite measures precipitation over all of Hawaii10

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.8 billion: total FY 2016 NOAA budget; 5.9% up from FY 201511
  • GOES satellites provide state-of-the-art weather forecasting over Hawaii12
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Hawaii12
  • 10 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in Hawaii13
  • 267 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Hawaii13

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.46 billion: total FY 2016 NSF budget; 1.6% up from FY 201514
  • $1.28 billion: total FY 2016 NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) awards; 1.6% up from FY 201514
  • 119 NSF grants in Hawaii totaling $43 million in 201614
  • 44 NSF GEO grants in Hawaii totaling $16.3 million in 201614
  • $6.5 million: NSF GEO grants to University of Hawaii in 201614

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total FY 2016 EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201515
  • 3 active/proposed superfund sites16
  • $176 million: cumulative federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in Hawaii (1997-2016)17
  • $8 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in Hawaii in 201617

Major Federal Facilities in Hawaii

  • USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), Hawaii National Park 
  • USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, Hawaii National Park 
  • USGS Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, Hawaii National Park 
  • USGS Pacific Islands Water Science Center, Main Office, Honolulu 
  • NSF C-MORE (Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education), Honolulu 
  • NSF Gemini Observatory, Hilo 
  • NOAA - International Tsunami Information Center, Honolulu 


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 WaterWatch Total Streamgage Stations, March 10, 2017
6USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2017
7FEMA Summary of Disaster Declarations and Grants, 2016
8NASA Budget Documents, Strategic Plans and Performance Reports
9American Institute of Physics FY2016 Appropriations
10Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE); Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP); Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)
11NOAA Total Budget
12Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) & Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR)
13NOAA in Your State
14NSF Budget Internet Information System
15EPA Budget and Spending
16EPA Search for Superfund Sites Where You Live (August 2017)
17EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund National Information Management System Reports

Date updated: 2017-08-04

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

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