Geoscience and Rhode Island

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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: Rhode Island

$72 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166

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

190: jobs in extractive industries in 20152

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

$42 million: NSF grants awarded in 2016 to Rhode Island17

$12 million: NSF GEO grants in 2016 to Rhode Island17

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Rhode Island Geological Survey
9 E. Alumni Ave, Woodward Hall
Kingston, RI 02881-0816
(401) 874-2265

Workforce in Rhode Island

  • 950: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $84,200: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 190: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 6: academic geoscience departments3

Water in Rhode Island

  • 37 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 340 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 110 million gallons/day: public water supply withdrawal4
  • 8 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 89% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 15 USGS stream gages in Rhode Island5

Energy and Minerals Production in Rhode Island

  • $72 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166
  • 33,000 megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20162
  • 19,000 megawatt hours: solar power produced in 20162
  • 205,000 megawatt hours: other biomass energy produced in 20162

Natural Hazards in Rhode Island

FEMA statistics for Rhode Island

  • 5 severe storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 9 flooding disaster declarations since 19537
  • $38 million: individual assistance grants since 20057
  • $14 million: mitigation grants since 20057
  • $155 million: preparedness grants since 20057
  • $66 million: public assistance grants since 20057
  • 17 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)
  • $150,000: Rhode Island STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)10

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 Rhode Island13
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of Rhode Island13

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 Rhode Island15
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over Rhode Island15
  • 6 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in Rhode Island16

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • $7.46 billion: total NSF budget; 1.6% up from FY 201517
  • $1.28 billion: total NSF Geosciences Directorate (GEO) awards; 1.6% up from FY 201517
  • 189 NSF grants in Rhode Island totaling $42 million in 201617
  • 47 NSF GEO grants in Rhode Island totaling $12 million in 201617
  • $3 million: NSF GEO grants to Brown University in 201617

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201518
  • 12 active/proposed superfund sites19
  • $186 million: federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in Rhode Island (1997-2016)20
  • $8.3 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in Rhode Island in 201620

Major Federal Facilities in Rhode Island

  • USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Kingston
  • NSF Academic Research Fleet, Narragansett


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
8NOAA Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Mapping
10USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program
11NASA Budget Documents, Strategic Plans and Performance Reports
12American Institute of Physics FY2016 Appropriations
13Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE); Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP); Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)
14NOAA Total Budget
15Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) & Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR)
16NOAA in Your State
17NSF Budget Internet Information System
18EPA Budget and Spending
19EPA Search for Superfund Sites Where You Live (August 2017)
20EPA 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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