USGS Grants More Than $4 Million to states to preserve geologic data

Press release

June 13, 2022

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will award $4.3 million to 33 state geological surveys to enable them to preserve vital geologic and geophysical data and samples as part of the USGS National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program. Of the $4.3 million to be awarded, $2.9 million comes from investments made by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Every dollar awarded by the USGS is matched by the state geological surveys, doubling the impact of the Federal investment.

Investments made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have expanded the USGS National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program’s capacity to support preservation of physical samples and earth science assets for future use, to advance new scientific discoveries, and to inform hazard mitigation, infrastructure development, critical minerals characterization and climate resilience.

“The USGS and ultimately the Nation benefit immensely from USGS partnerships with the state geological surveys, such as efforts funded through the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program, the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” Geoff Plumlee, USGS Chief Scientist said in a statement.

“The state surveys have a wealth of samples and geologic heritage that is critical to preserve, both for their historical significance and for their potential to aid in future research,” said Erin Campbell, president of the Association of American State Geologists. “The long-standing support from these USGS grants enables work that is important to both state and national stakeholders.”

For example, manganese is a critical mineral essential to manufacturing steel, and Maine has significant potential for it. As exploration companies take interest in deposits in Maine, they approach Amber Whittaker, a senior geologist with the Maine Geological Survey, to look at rock cores taken from some of the deposits with the most potential., to look at rock cores taken from some of the deposits with the most potential.

“These cores are of great interest to these companies, but right now, we don’t have the best means to make the cores available for effective use. With funding we’re getting from the USGS through these grants, we hope to augment our core storage location so that companies, researchers, and the public can get the best use out of these assets,” said Whittaker. “In fact, it was previous funding from these grants that allowed us to save these cores in the first place, so the funding we’re getting this year is a natural outgrowth and shows the value of our continued partnership.”

To read the full news release and learn more about the grants, please visit the USGS Newsroom.



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