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Science For A Changing World

9 minutes

(Describer) Title: USGS – science for a changing world.

(Describer) In black and white, someone taps the keys of an old typewriter and a man shows a woman a paper.

(Describer) In color, a man moves a mouse at a computer and two women talk on a boat.

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

(Describer) Against a background of scenes of rough water, a forest and flowing lava, title: Science for a Changing World. A document is shown.

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.

(Describer) People study rocks and sit in a camp.

In 1881, explorer, geologist, and geographer John Wesley Powell took the reigns.

(Describer) He’s shown at a desk and on a horse.

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

(Describer) A USGS plane sits on a tarmac.

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

(Describer) A house is blown apart.

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

(Describer) A man outside looks through a viewfinder.

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

(Describer) They work with cameras and backpacks.

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

(Describer) A map is labelled Kilauea Crater.

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

(Describer) A press conference is held.

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.

(Describer) Hands trade water sample tubes.

Researchers collect and interpret data from thousands of sampling sites, conducts hundreds of research projects, and utilize extensive remote sensing capabilities.

(Describer) In an animation, waves bounce from a boat to a lake bottom.

Out of that work, complex science becomes understandable, invaluable knowledge for the public and critical to decision-making.

(Describer) Title: USGS Science Mission Areas.

The focus of the USGS revolves around six science mission areas. Not simply pop-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.

(Describer) Title: Ecosystems.

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.

(Describer) Title: Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health

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.

(Describer) Equipment fills the bed of a truck.

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

(Describer) Title: Climate and Land Use Change.

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

(Describer) A man holds a flashlight.

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.

(Describer) Title: Natural Hazards.

Every year in the United States and around the world, natural hazards cost lives and billions of dollars in damage.

(Describer) Ashes rise from a volcano.

The USGS provides policy makers and the public with a clear understanding of natural hazards and their potential threats to society.

(Describer) A sign marks a Tsunami Hazard Zone.

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

(Describer) Title: Water.

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

(Describer) A goose family swims.

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.

(Describer) Title: Core Science Systems.

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.

(Describer) Reports are shown.

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

(Describer) Two men release a goat wearing a collar.

(Describer) People walk past buildings under construction.

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 premier natural science agency is uniquely poised to make a difference.

(Describer) A man stands on black rock.

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.

(Describer) In an old photograph, a couple dozen men in suits stand together.

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.

(Describer) In an animation, the Earth turns in space.

(Describer) A helicopter rises, and flies over the black rock, which has a crack exposing bright orange lava. Two scientists stand nearby.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production

(Describer) Titles: A production of: Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Office of Communications and Publishing, Office of Human Capital. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Presents a brief history of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) as well as the significance of its work and mission in today’s world.

Media Details

Runtime: 9 minutes

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