The United States Geological Survey is based in Reston, Virginia, and was founded in 1879 as a scientific agency. It is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior.
The fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility is best known for its mapping and monitoring of earthquakes. It is also the nation’s largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency. The agency’s staff of approximately 10,000 scientists, technicians and support staff work collaboratively to monitor, analyze and provide scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues and problems.
The work of the United States Geological Survey is organized into the following mission areas: core science systems, climate and land use change, energy and minerals, environmental health, ecosystems, natural hazards and water. Additionally, the agency houses a museum collection, which consists of natural history specimens and cultural historical objects, including works of art, as well as the largest library for earth sciences in the world.