The USGS Centennial: From Mining to Mapping the Moon

by Mary Rabbitt, Director's Office, USGS, Reston, Va.,
Virginia Fairweather, Editor; ASCE NEWS, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 2, Pg. 68-72

Document Type: Feature article


The United States Geological Survey was established 100 years ago by the U.S. Congress primarily to determine the extent of the rapidly industrializing nation's mineral resources. The Survey has grown with the nation and its scientific pursuits vastly expanded over those years. This article provides historical highlights of the agency's entry into areas such as topographic mapping, photogrammetry, collection and monitoring of water data, the search for energy resources, and conservation. The Survey mobilized during two world wars to help provide strategic metals and other war-related essentials. The history relates to the advent of engineering geology, to the Survey's studies of earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides, to their more recent scientific pursuits on the floor of the ocean and the face of the moon. A picture story is included.

Subject Headings: Water conservation | Ocean engineering | Moon | Federal government | Water resources | Volcanoes | Topography

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