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Science for a Changing World

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Narrator: (voice for all of remainder of program)

For more than century, the USGS has been America's leading science agency. Over the years, the science has changed as the world has changed.

In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill establishing

the U.S. Geological Survey. Clarence King, a geologist, was the first Director. He chose to emphasize mining geology.

In 1881, explorer, geologist and geographer John Wesley Powell

took the reins.

Topographic mapping became the focus, supported by paleontology, the study of fossils - - - - and stratigraphic studies of rock layers.

In the 20th century, as America grew and changed, the USGS provided reliable scientific information critical to decision-making.

In times of war – defining mineral resources. In times of peace – mapping geology, investigating water resources, and pioneering breakthroughs in fundamental science.

The astronauts who landed on the Moon in 1969 were trained in geology by the USGS.

The survey embraced new tools, broadened fields of inquiry, and expanded research overseas.

The USGS maps, understands, and forecasts Earth processes and changes as no other agency can.

Today, the USGS is tackling some of the world's greatest scientific challenges. Based out of Science Centers and satellite locations ... USGS scientists are scattered throughout the 50 states and territories.

Researchers collect and interpret data from thousands of sampling sites,

conduct hundreds of research projects, and utilize extensive remote-sensing capabilities.

Out of that work, complex science becomes understandable:

invaluable knowledge for the public and critical to decision-making.

The focus of the USGS revolves around six Science Mission areas.

Not simply hot trends they are some of the most significant challenges facing society today issues where science can make a substantial contribution to the well-being of the nation and the world.

Ecosystems are biological communities of living and non-living things interacting in a place.

They constitute the Earth's biosphere and support human existence.

Resilient, functioning ecosystems build soil, enhance crop pollination, support food webs, purify water, cycle nutrients, detoxify waste, and regulate the atmosphere.

The USGS conducts research and monitoring to develop a fundamental understanding of ecosystem functions. Studies cover the physical and biological components and dynamics for freshwater terrestrial and marine ecosystems and the human and fish and wildlife communities they support.

The USGS conducts research and assessments on the location quantity, and quality of mineral and energy resources. This work includes the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use.

Research projects cover the environmental impacts of human activities that introduce contaminants into the environment that threaten human, fish and wildlife, and ecological health.

How do humans impact climate change? What are the effects of land uses changes, large and small?

The USGS undertakes scientific research, monitoring remote sensing,

synthesis modeling, and forecasting to address the effects of climate and land use change on the nation’s resources.

Every year, in the United States and around the world, natural hazards cost lives and billions of dollars in damage. The USGS provides policymakers and the public with a clear understanding of natural hazards and their potential threats to society.

Scientists' work helps develop smart cost-effective strategies for achieving preparedness and resilience.

Society depends on fresh and reliable water supplies as do diverse and fragile ecosystems.

To understand the nation's water resources the USGS collects hydrologic and water-quality information and provides access to water data publications and maps as well as to recent water projects and events.

The mission of Core Science Systems is to translate data into formats that are understandable and accessible. The USGS provides ready access to natural science information to the nation and the world.

Based on the data, smart decisions can be made – about how to manage natural resources, and respond to risks.

Today, our nation and the world face enormous challenges.

Humans have created conditions that may threaten the sustainability of life as we now know it on planet Earth.

Science must play a role in addressing these threats. The USGS, as the premiere natural science agency is uniquely poised to make a difference.

The USGS excels in high-quality science and delivers results on a daily basis. In these critical times, the demand has never been greater. More than ever, decision-makers need reliable scientific information to help make informed decisions.

Since its beginnings in 1879, the USGS has a long and distinguished tradition of scientific contributions:

"Science for a Changing World."

The challenges then and now share a common thread: They affect the quality of life and the environment throughout the nation and around the globe.



Title: Science for a Changing World


"Science for a Changing World" is a short film (eight minutes) describing a brief history of the USGS and the significance of USGS work and mission in today's world and its value in the past.

Location: Reston, VA, USA

Date Taken: 6/12/2012

Length: 8:00

Video Producer: Stephen M. Wessells , U.S. Geological Survey

Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.

Additional Video Credits:

A Production of:
Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communications and Publishing
Office of Human Capital

Directed and Produced by:
Stephen M. Wessells

Written by:
Donna Matrazzo
Ralph Charlip

Edited by:
Haydon Lane

Curtis Howard

Graphics & Animations:
Haydon Lane

Mission Area Graphics:
Paul K. Cascio

Haydon Lane
Richard Lyons
Stephen M. Wessells

Additional Video:
Gary W. Savona
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
ABC 7 news, Glendale, CA

Janice S. Nelson
USGS Numerous
US Coast Guard

Additional Information:

File Details:

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Tags: AmericanScience Apollo DonnaMatrazzo EarthScience Earthquakes Energy Eruption FossilFuels Geology Global GovernmentScience HaydonLane Hazard Helens History Hydrology JohnWesleyPowell MissionAreas Mount Oceans Powell RichardLyons Science ScienceAgency ScienceBureau ScienceHistory St. USGS USGSHistory USGeologicalSurvey Volcanoes Wessells World Yellowstone


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