History of the Wisconsin Water Science Center
Read a History of the USGS Wisconsin District from 1979-1994 by Warren Gebert and Jack Green
Brief History of the USGS
Read an online history of the USGS >
Since 1879, the research and fact-finding role of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has grown and has been modified to meet the changing needs of the Nation it serves. As part of the evolution, the USGS has become the Federal Government's largest earth-science research agency, the Nation's largest civilian map-making agency, the primary source of data on the Nation's surface-water and ground-water resources, and the employer of the largest number of professional earth scientists in the Nation.
Today's programs serve a diversity of needs and users. Programs include:
- Conducting detailed assessments of the energy and mineral potential of land and offshore areas.
- Investigating and issuing warnings of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and other geologic and hydrologic hazards.
- Conducting research on the geologic structure of land and offshore areas.
- Studying the geologic features, structure, processes, and history of the other planets of our solar system.
- Conducting topographic surveys and preparing topographic and thematic maps and related cartographic products.
- Developing and producing digital cartographic data bases and products.
- Collecting data on a routine basis to determine the quantity, quality, and use of surface water and ground water.
- Conducting water-resource appraisals to describe the consequences of alternative plans for developing land and water resources.
- Conducting research in hydraulics and hydrology, and coordinating all Federal water-data acquisition.
- Using remotely sensed data to develop new cartographic, geologic, and hydrologic research techniques for natural resources planning and management.
- Providing earth-science information through an extensive publications program and a network of public access points.
Along with its continuing commitment to meet the growing and changing earth-science needs of the Nation, the USGS remains dedicated to its original mission to collect, analyze, interpret, publish, and disseminate information about the natural resources of the Nation - providing 'Earth science in the public service.'