Geoscience in North Carolina

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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: North Carolina

11,529 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1

520 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3

$1.11 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174

59 total disaster declarations, including 25 hurricane, 8 flood, and 8 severe snow disasters (1953-2017)

$11.2 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in 201714

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

North Carolina Geological Survey 
512 North Salisbury Street 
Raleigh, NC 27604-7687
919-707-9210

Workforce in North Carolina

  • 11,529 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed) in 20171
  • $66,615: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 18 academic geoscience departments2

Water Use in North Carolina

  • 520 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
  • 9.75 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal3
  • 938 million gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal3
  • 325 million gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation3
  • 193 million gallons/day: industrial fresh water withdrawal3
  • 76% of the population is served by public water supplies3

Energy and Minerals in North Carolina

  • $1.11 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
  • Stone (crushed), phosphate rock, sand and gravel (construction): top three nonfuel minerals in order of value produced in 20174
  • 5.58 million megawatt hours: solar produced in 20175
  • 471,000 megawatt hours: wind produced in 20175
  • 2.08 million megawatt hours: wood-derived fuels produced in 20175

Natural Hazards in North Carolina

  • 59 total disaster declarations, including 25 hurricane, 8 flood, and 8 severe snow disasters (1953-2017)6
  • $134 million: individual assistance grants (2005-2017)6
  • $119 million: mitigation grants (2005-2017)6
  • $349 million: preparedness grants (2005-2017)6
  • $216 million: public assistance grants (2005-2017)6
  • 72 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
  • $3.53 million: North Carolina STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)9
  • 6 North Carolina universities, including Duke University and East Carolina University, have participated in EDMAP9
  • USGS streamgages collect real-time or recent streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality data in North Carolina

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 North Carolina
  • Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite measures soil moisture in North Carolina

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 North Carolina
  • Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR) satellite monitors radiation and air quality over North Carolina
  • 24 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in North Carolina12
  • 199 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in North Carolina12

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
  • 46 NSF GEO awards in North Carolina totaling $11.2 million in 201714
  • $3.6 million: NSF GEO grants awarded to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 201714

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.1 billion: total EPA budget in FY 2018 (0% change from FY 2017)15
  • 39 active Superfund sites in North Carolina in 201816
  • $19.3 million: Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) grants in North Carolina in 201717
  • $395,000: Brownfield cleanup grants awarded to North Carolina in 201818

Federal Facilities in North Carolina

  • USGS Southeast Climate Science Center, Raleigh
  • NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, Beauford
  • EPA Research Triangle Park Campus, Durham

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
18. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Brownfields Grant Fact Sheet Search



Date updated: 2018-09-04

Compiled by the AGI Geoscience Policy Program, July 2018

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