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Agencies > United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Last update: June 5, 2018

The USGS provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods, the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources we rely on, the health of our ecosystems and environment, and the impacts of climate and land-use change. Our scientists develop new methods and tools to enable timely, relevant, and useful information about the Earth and its processes. The USGS is the sole science agency for the Department of the Interior. It is sought out by thousands of partners and customers for its natural science expertise and its vast earth and biological data holdings. 

It was established by the passing of the Organic Act through Congress on March 3, 1879. Its main responsibilities were to map public lands, examine geological structure, and evaluate mineral resources. Over the next century, the mission expanded to include the research of groundwater, ecosystems, environmental health, natural hazards, and climate and land use change.

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