Geoscience and Oklahoma

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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: Oklahoma

$777 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167

10,080: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

53,900: jobs in extractive industries in 20152

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

$30 million: NSF grants awarded in Oklahoma in 201618

$5 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in Oklahoma in 201618

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Oklahoma Geological Survey
100 E. Boyd St., Suite N131
Norman, OK 73019
(405) 325-3031

Workforce in Oklahoma

  • 10,080: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $93,180: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 53,900: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 7: academic geoscience departments3

Water in Oklahoma

  • 2 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 1.1 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 660 million gallons/day: public supply water withdrawal4
  • 560 million gallons/day: water withdrawal for irrigation4
  • 21 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 92% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 47 counties in 2015, and 11 counties in 2016 designated as primary natural disaster areas caused by drought5
  • 75 USGS stream gages in Oklahoma6

Energy and Minerals Production in Oklahoma

  • $777 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20167
  • 158 million barrels: crude oil produced in 2015, #5 in the nation2
  • 2.5 trillion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 2015, #4 in the nation2
  • 14 million megawatt hours: wind power produced in 2015, #3 in the nation2
  • 2.5 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152

Natural Hazards in Oklahoma

FEMA statistics for Oklahoma

  • 39 severe storm disaster declarations since 19538
  • 1 hurricane/tropical storm disaster declarations since 19538
  • 22 flooding disaster declarations since 19538
  • 10 tornado disaster declarations since 19538
  • 84 fire disaster declarations since 19538
  • $194 million: preparedness grants since 20058
  • $718 million: public assistance grants since 20058
  • 67 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)
  • $2 million: Oklahoma STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)11
  • Over two-thirds of Oklahoma mapped through STATEMAP (1993-2012)11
  • University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University 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 Oklahoma14

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 Oklahoma16
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Oklahoma16
  • 16 National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) stations in Oklahoma17
  • 243 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Oklahoma17

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
  • 117 NSF grants in Oklahoma totaling $30 million in 201618
  • 22 NSF GEO grants in Oklahoma totaling $5 million in 201618
  • $4.3 million: NSF GEO grants to University of Oklahoma 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
  • $124.6 million: federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in Oklahoma (1997-2016)21
  • $13.3 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in Oklahoma in 201621

Major Federal Facilities in Oklahoma

  • USGS Oklahoma Water Science Center, Oklahoma City
  • USGS South Central Climate Science Center, Norman
  • NOAA National Severe Storm Laboratory, Norman
  • DOE Southwestern Power Administration, Tulsa


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

Date updated: 2017-08-07

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

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