Geoscience and Minnesota

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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: Minnesota

$3.3 billion: value of nonfuel-mineral production in 20166

6,440: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

6,170: jobs in extractive industry in 20152

25 flooding disaster declarations since 19537

$87.7 million: NSF grants awarded in Minnesota in 201617

$17.5 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in Minnesota in 201617

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Minnesota Geological Survey
2609 Territorial Road
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114

Workforce in Minnesota

  • 6,400: geoscience employees (non-federal/selfemployed) in 20151
  • $69,000: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 6,174: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 24: academic geoscience departments3

Water in Minnesota

  • 740 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 3.1 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 540 million gallons/day: public water supply withdrawal4
  • 200 million gallons/day: irrigation water withdrawal4
  • 130 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 79% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 34 USGS stream gages in Minnesota5

Energy and Minerals Production in Minnesota

  • $3.3 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166
  • 9.8 million megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20152
  • 514,000 megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152
  • 3,600 megawatt hours: solar power produced in 20152

Natural Hazards in Minnesota

FEMA statistics for Minnesota

  • 24 severe storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 1 hurricane/tropical storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 25 flooding disaster declarations since 19537
  • 3 tornado disaster declarations since 19537
  • 2 fire disaster declarations since 19537
  • $26 million: individual assistance grants since 2007
  • $63 million: mitigation grants since 20057
  • $290 million: preparedness grants since 20057
  • $290 million: public assistance grants since 20057
  • 28 weather and/or climate events, each with costs exceeding $1 billion (inflation adjusted) 1980-20168

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geologic Mapping

  • $1.06 billion: total USGS budget; 1.6% up from FY 20159
  • The USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) funds geologic mapping projects by states (STATEMAP) and universities (EDMAP)
  • $2.5 million: Minnesota STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)10
  • Over 30 Minnesota counties mapped or partially mapped with STATEMAP funds (1993-2010)10
  • Over a third of Minnesota mapped through STATEMAP (1993-2010)10
  • University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas participated in EDMAP10

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • $5.6 billion: total NASA Science budget; 6.6% up from FY 201511
  • $1.9 billion: total NASA Earth Science budget; 7.7% up from FY 201512
  • GRACE satellites measure groundwater changes in all of Minnesota13
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of Minnesota13

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.8 billion: total NOAA budget; 5.9% up from FY 201514
  • GOES satellites provide state-of-the-art weather forecasting over Minnesota15
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Minnesota15
  • 15 National Weather Service observing stations in Minnesota16
  • 215 National Weather Service cooperative observer sites in Minnesota16

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.46 billion: total NSF budget; 1.6% up from FY 201517
  • $1.28 billion: total NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) budget; 1.6% up from FY 201517
  • 307 NSF grants in Minnesota totaling $87.7 million in 201617
  • 59 NSF GEO grants in Minnesota totaling $17.5 million in 201617
  • $12.5 million: NSF GEO grants to University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 201617
  • $4 million: NSF GEO grants to University of Minnesota - Duluth in 201617

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201518
  • 25 active/proposed superfund sites19
  • $354.7 million: cumulative federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in Minnesota (1997-2016)20
  • $14.9 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in Minnesota in 201620


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 & 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 (August 2017)
21EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund National Information Management System Reports


Date updated: 2017-08-07

Written and compiled by Jeremiah Bernau for AGI, April 2017

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