Geoscience and South Dakota

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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: South Dakota

$360 mllion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166

1,600: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

840: jobs in extractive industries in 20152

25 severe storm disaster declarations since 19537

14 fire disaster declarations since 19537

$11.6 million: NSF grants awarded in 2016 to South Dakota17

$520,000 million: NSF GEO grants in 2016 to South Dakota17

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Geological Survey Program
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
(605) 677-5227

Workforce in South Dakota

  • 1,600: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $59,900: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 840: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 6: academic geoscience departments3

Water in South Dakota

  • 340 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 290 million gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 125 million gallons/day: public water supply withdrawal4
  • 360 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 91% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 24 USGS stream gages in South Dakota5

Energy and Minerals Production in South Dakota

  • $360 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166
  • 1.7 million barrels: crude oil produced in 20152
  • 15.4 billion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20142
  • 2. 5 million megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20152
  • 4.8 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152

Natural Hazards in South Dakota

FEMA statistics for South Dakota

  • 25 severe storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 16 flooding disaster declarations since 19537
  • 14 fire disaster declarations since 19537
  • $12 million: individual assistance grants since 20057
  • $67 million: mitigation grants since 20057
  • $110 million: preparedness grants since 20057
  • $260 million: public assistance grants since 20057
  • 22 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)
  • South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 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 South Dakota13
  • SMAP satellite measures soil moisture in all of South Dakota13
  • PACE satellite measures cloud coverage over all of South Dakota13

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 South Dakota15
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over South Dakota15
  • 172 National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) sites in South Dakota16

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
  • 46 NSF grants in South Dakota totaling $11.6 million in 201617
  • 3 NSF GEO grants in South Dakota totaling $520,000 million in 201617
  • $4.6 million: NSF GEO grants to University of South Dakota in 201617

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201518
  • 2 active/proposed superfund sites19
  • $194 million: federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in South Dakota (1997-2016)20
  • $8 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in South Dakota in 201620

Major Federal Facilities in South Dakota

  • USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, Sioux Falls
  • USGS South Dakota Water Science Center, Rapid City
  • USGS South Dakota Field Research Station, Yankton


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
20EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund National Information Management System Reports

Date updated: 2017-08-08

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

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