Geoscience and West Virginia

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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: West Virginia

$425 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166

2,880: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed)1

25,000: jobs in extractive industry in 20152

29 flooding disaster declarations since 19537

$14.8 million: NSF grants awarded in West Virginia in 201617

$ 0.1 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in West Virginia in 201617

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey
1 Mont Chateau Road
Morgantown, WV 26508-8079
(304) 594-2331

Workforce in West Virginia

  • 2,880: geoscience employees (non-federal/self-employed) in 20151
  • $68,300: average median geoscience employee salary1
  • 25,000: jobs in extractive industries in 20152
  • 5: academic geoscience departments3

Water in West Virginia

  • 125 million gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal4
  • 3.4 billion gallons/day: total surface water withdrawal4
  • 189 million gallons/day: public water supply withdrawal4
  • 764 million gallons/day: self-supplied industrial fresh water withdrawal4
  • 79% of the population is served by public water supplies4
  • 59 USGS stream gages in West Virginia6

Energy and Minerals Production in West Virginia

  • $425 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20166
  • 8 million barrels: crude oil produced in 20152
  • 1.3 trillion cubic feet: natural gas produced in 20152
  • 122.2 million short tons: coal produced in 20142
  • 1.37 million megawatt hours: wind power produced in 20152
  • 1.3 million megawatt hours: hydroelectricity produced in 20152

Natural Hazards in West Virginia

FEMA statistics for West Virginia

  • 23 severe storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 5 hurricane/tropical storm disaster declarations since 19537
  • 29 flooding disaster declarations since 19537
  • 3 fire disaster declarations since 19537
  • $117 million: individual assistance grants since 20057
  • $36 million: mitigation grants since 20057
  • $129 million: preparedness grants since 20057
  • $224 million: public assistance grants since 20057
  • 30 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)
  • $1.4 million: West Virginia STATEMAP funding (1993-2016)10
  • Over 40 geologic maps in West Virginia created with STATEMAP support (1993-2012)10
  • 3,000 square miles in West Virginia mapped through STATEMAP (1993-2012)10
  • West Virginia University 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 West Virginia13

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • $5.8 billion: total NOAA budget; 5.9% up from FY 201515
  • GOES satellites provide state-of-the-art weather forecasting over West Virginia15
  • DISCOVR satellite monitors radiation and air quality over West Virginia15
  • 10 National Weather Service observing stations in West Virginia16
  • 108 National Weather Service cooperative observer sites in West Virginia16

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
  • 45 NSF grants in West Virginia totaling $14.8 million in 201617
  • 3 NSF GEO grants in West Virginia totaling $ 0.1 million in 201617
  • $58,000: NSF GEO grants to West Virginia University in 201617
  • $15,000: NSF GEO grants to the Karst Water Institute in 201617

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • $8.14 billion: total EPA budget; 0% up from FY 201518
  • 10 active/proposed superfund sites19
  • $191.8 million: cumulative federal grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in West Virginia (1997-2016)20
  • $8.3 million: annual value of federal DWSRF grants in West Virginia in 201620

Major Federal Facilities in West Virginia

  • USGS West Virginia Water Science Center, Charleston
  • USGS Leetown Science Center, Kearneysville
  • NOAA Cyber Security Center, Fairmont
  • NASA Independent Verification & Validation Facility, Fairmont
  • DOE National Energy Technology Lab, Morgantown


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
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
9DOI Budget and Performance
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 Jeremiah for AGI, April 2017

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