Talk:United States Geological Survey

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Official earthquake information[edit]

See Talk:Earthquake#Official earthquake information. Brianjd 08:03, 2005 Jan 27 (UTC)


Around 2004, by order of the US Department of Homeland Security, the USGS digitally airbrushed the US Capitol, the White House, and the residence of the Vice President (The US Naval Observatory) because of security concern.

What did they airbrush it on (or from)? --NormalAsylum (t) 18:34, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Please provide tails on air brushing. It is impossible to literally "airbrush" the physical U.S. Capitol, White House, and Vice President residence. Perhaps a map or photograph was airbrushed. What was removed by the airbrushing? Dananderson 17:35, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

If TerraServer-USA would load, I'd link to the "urban areas" aerial layer, which shows those areas heavily pixelated. --SPUI (talk) 18:30, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

public domain?[edit]

Is it OK to overlay USGS maps and submit them to the Commons? I think that it would because they would be public domain, because they are created by the federal government. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. --Chris 19:16, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

I was about to ask this same question. The USGS has a wide variety of images, especially of rock and mineral samples, and I was wondering if it were ok to put them on wikipedia. If I get no answer I guess I'll just do it and see if there is any license conflict. Hamsterlopithecus (talk) 19:08, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

From the USGS Web site:

  • USGS-authored or produced data and information are considered to be in the U.S. public domain. While the content of most USGS Web pages is in the U.S. public domain, not all information, illustrations, or photographs on our site are. Some non USGS photographs, images, and/or graphics that appear on USGS Web sites are used by the USGS with permission from the copyright holder. These materials are generally marked as being copyrighted. To use these copyrighted materials, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder under the copyright law. When using information from USGS information products, publications, or Web sites, we ask that proper credit be given. Credit can be provided by including a citation such as the following: Credit: U.S. Geological Survey Department of the Interior/USGS U.S. Geological Survey/photo by Jane Doe (if the photographer/artist is known) [1]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Rlhuffine (talkcontribs) 01:44, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

A couple of wording tweaks if the person who wrote them is interested[edit]

"Be-all and end-all" means the prime cause, essential element, or totality [2], as in "Sex is (not) the be-all and end-all of marriage."

"Invigorating" means creating vigor: an invigorating swim makes you feel energetic. —JerryFriedman 21:30, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


CyanFOX 09:25, 24 April 2007 (UTC) this piece was cut because it is vandalism and uses inappropriate language...

InsertSLUTTY WHORES≤ non-formatted text here{| class="toccolours" border="1" cellpadding="4" style="float: right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em; width: 20em; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%; clear: right;" |+ United States Geological Survey |- |style= align="center" colspan="2"| [[Image:USGS logo.svg|150px|Official identifier of the United States Geological Survey]] [[Image:Usgs-headquarters.jpeg|150px|The USGS headquarters in [[Reston]], [[VA]]]] |-|Established:||March 3, 1879 |- |Director:|| Mark Myers |- |Budget:||$9546847+ 612 354sldkflsm,vlkszOGksLKGvoSFB 71 Billion (FY2006) |- |Employees:|| 10,000 (2004) |}

CyanFOX 09:25, 24 April 2007 (UTC) this above section was removed because it was vandalism and is inappropriate langauge

Publishing review, scientific integrity, and questions of censorship[edit]

The section is giving a specific POV of this, which the page notes changed three months before the section states it did. That's one item amiss. Absent is any reference point to show what part of the policy actually changed. The second paragraph is quoting some other text - not in the manual. The sentence beginning "The revision was claimed" is expressing a POV without giving the text it is discussing. This and other statements in the section should be referenced to verifiable text. (The use of the blog-style comments, other than demonstrating that some people are annoyed, lacks most of the features needed to make a reliable source). Tedickey (talk) 00:38, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

This is the source in question. [3]. Sorry for any confusion. --Pgagnon999 (talk) 00:43, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
That's an improvement (though some of the comments in that could lead to further investigation). It's not necessary or even good style to put the link to the wp-article each place it's cited. Pulling the link down to the bottom, and making footnotes that refer to it makes all of the source information easily available in the topic. Tedickey (talk) 00:59, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

The word "censorship" is used in exactly one place in the wp-article, by someone objecting to pre-publication review. There is no reliable source presented which point out (in the past year...) that USGS has censored any articles. Tedickey (talk) 01:01, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

here is some older commentary on peer review in government agencies including USGS dated 1999. Tedickey (talk) 01:08, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

The article doesn't state that censureship is actually taking place, it states that some scientists in the USGS fear it, as the WP article indicates. Please feel free to pull the link to the bottom; I agree with you about that. Most of the article isn't footnoted, but the inline refs are an improvement over none at all. The great tragedy is this: all the energy we've spent discussing the finer details of one section of this article could have been used in bringing the whole article up to near feature quality.--Pgagnon999 (talk) 01:16, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Here is some related commentary - including noting (what I recalled) that the wp-article isn't completely NPOV Tedickey (talk) 01:20, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
more commentary - slightly amusing Tedickey (talk) 01:22, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Compare this with the wp-article. Note that neither gives a source; you have to ask which one is giving first-hand reporting Tedickey (talk) 01:26, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

You know, I'm usually more paranoid than most people about where information is coming from. So I understand that nearly all of our news sources are potentially suspect. And yet, there's certainly been enough reporting by a variety of sources on this issue to support the idea that the fear of censureship secondary to policy changes has certainly been an issue. That said, I have no problem citing the WP--a generally reliable source.--Pgagnon999 (talk) 01:33, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

WP and AP are citing the same person - with the context of an interview (odds are the WP article is cribbed from AP). That's one person and some blog comments. I'm not seeing a "variety of sources". Tedickey (talk) 01:56, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, we're getting nowhere. Let's see what other people think about it. I've just added three more: BBC, MSNBC, RMT. Spin the wheel, choose your source.--Pgagnon999 (talk) 05:11, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

As I pointed out before, the WP editor used the AP article as a source without noting it (unless that odd similarity in names means they're the same person). The BBC article might fit in a more general topic, but it does not mention USGS, so I removed it. RMT - that's marginal, but I didn't remove it. Tedickey (talk) 15:07, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

You may try to fit the BBC ref. in where the article mentions that scientists in other goverment agencies also have had concerns about censorship. Looks like it supports that statement. Hey, good work. The article is really shaping up. --Pgagnon999 (talk) 17:12, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

It'll take some more work, to put the topic's text in the context of the sources. The BBC article would fit in a more general topic (adding a general article to a specific topic tends to increase the latter's size). Tedickey (talk) 21:09, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


This is a nice page so far as it goes, but it has missed all the real history. The USGS was a reconstituted version of the famed and colorful US Coast and Geodetic Survey dating from the administration of Thomas Jefferson. Jfgrcar (talk) 14:53, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the Coast and Geodetic Survey was the precursor to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). USGS was formed after four great surveys of the American West were conducted, 2 by the U.S. Department of War (King and Wheeler) and 2 by the Department of Interior (Hayden and Powell). Rlhuffine (talk) 13:14, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Relationship with FWS[edit]

There seems to be no mention of the close working relationship between USGS and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Thanks, DA Sonnenfeld (talk) 19:34, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Permission to remove this unsourced section[edit]

I've just removed this unsourced and outdated section. If this is inappropriate please restore it. It does not add to this otherwise very good article. I couldn't find any good sources for this content. Thanks. oceanflynn 02:06, 3 June 2013 (UTC)


In December 2006, it was announced that the rules for the publication of USGS research were being revised.[citation needed] Employees were informed that USGS leadership and communications staff should be notified "of findings or data that may be especially newsworthy, have an impact on government policy, or contradict previous public understanding to ensure that proper officials are notified and that communication strategies are developed."[1][2][citation needed]

The revision was claimed not to change existing rules,[citation needed] but rather to emphasize the importance of maintaining the scientific integrity of the agency's work by requiring scientists to accept comments from the public and follow administrative policies. However, scientists have questioned whether this revision is likely to facilitate censorship of their work, as has been alleged by critics to have occurred in some federal agencies under the administration of United States President George W. Bush.[1][3][citation needed]

According to the authors of this policy,[citation needed] USGS information is given to the public after it has been through a peer review and approval process. USGS leadership and communications staff are kept informed of relevant scientific findings so they can manage the flow of information to decision-makers, who use this information to make resource-management choices. Policy makers have said these principles and practices will bolster the USGS’s scientific objectivity and reputation.[1][2][4][5]


  1. ^ a b c Lubick, February 7, 2007
  2. ^ a b Eilperin, December 14, 2006
  3. ^ Eilperin, December 14, 2006. Eilperin uses information without attribution, quoting the one person mentioned in Heilprin's earlier article: James Estes.
  4. ^ Erickson, December 14, 2006
  5. ^ Heilprin, December 13, 2006

Appropriateness of section Accelerated decline in subterranean reservoirs[edit]

Although this is a fine example of important work by the USGS, I wonder if this publication merits its own section. Plazak (talk) 10:55, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

I really don't think so. It needs another home. Pixpixpix (talk) 05:05, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Clearly rather off-topic here. Seems the first paragraph was a copy/paste from Overdrafting. Removed that and moved the second paragraph to the section in Overdraft as well. Vsmith (talk) 15:36, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

National Seismic Maps to be updated annually now?[edit]

I may be mistaken, but this source indicates that maps may be released with increased frequency now: ...starting this year, the USGS will publish the map annually instead of every six years. “It may even be more frequent than that,” said Mark Petersen, chief of the United States Geological Survey’s National Seismic Hazard Project in Golden, Colorado. Dustin (talk) 01:01, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

New USC&GS image[edit]

Re: 1

@Bubba73: The marker says it's from U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey, and it's very similar to the marker in that article, but that article says nothing about USGS. Is this image in the right place? Maybe it's better placed in the gallery at Fort McAllister Historic Park? By the way, I added the inscription to the file page, I hope that's cool. ―Mandruss  03:23, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

I saw the addition you made, thanks. Whoops, I didn't know the difference between the USGS and the other one. I think it belongs at the other one, so I'll move it. I don't think it really belongs at Fort McAllister because it has nothing to do with the fort and was placed there decades after it was used. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:28, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
@Bubba73: Hmmm. The McAllister article is primarily about the park, not the fort, according to its title. The image will probably stand a better chance at long term survival there, since editors will see little need for two images of similar markers at USC&GS. ―Mandruss  03:32, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
 ::: The fort probably needs more coverage. There is not a separate article about it. (I have information to do that.) I moved the photo down to the relevant time period. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:37, 12 October 2015 (UTC)