United States Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey, abbreviated USGS and formerly simply known as the Geological Survey, is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization's work spans the disciplines of biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility. The agency was founded on March 3, 1879.

United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Seal of the United States Geological Survey
Official identifier of the U.S. Geological Survey

Flag of the United States Geological Survey
Agency overview
FormedMarch 3, 1879; 143 years ago (1879-03-03) (as Geological Survey)
JurisdictionUnited States
HeadquartersJohn W. Powell National Center
Reston, Virginia, U.S.
38.9470°N 77.3675°W / 38.9470; -77.3675
Employees8,670 (2009)
Annual budget$1.16 billion (FY2019) [1]
Agency executive
Parent agencyUnited States Department of the Interior
WebsiteUSGS.gov

The USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior; it is that department's sole scientific agency.[3] The USGS employs approximately 8,670 people[4] and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia. The USGS also has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, and Menlo Park, California.

The current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is "science for a changing world".[5][6] The agency's previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, was "Earth Science in the Public Service".[7]


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