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FY 2013 Request for the US Geological Survey

Aline D. McNaull
Number 29 - February 17, 2012  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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In a statement introducing the President’s FY 2013 budget request, US Geological Survey (USGS) Director Marcia McNutt said:

“Our science is increasingly in demand as new energy supplies are developed, competition for water grows, and the cost of natural disasters mounts.  Fundamental, multidisciplinary USGS science capabilities are necessary to address the nation’s increasingly connected societal and economic challenges.  We are pleased that the President’s budget provides strong support for our mission, underscoring the Administration’s commitment to science as a foundation for decision making.”

A press release from the USGS reflected on the FY 2013 budget request:

“Recognizing constrained fiscal resources, the 2013 USGS budget reflects careful investments in priority science to support a robust and growing economy and a strong and resilient nation.  The proposal addresses key science issues while maintaining a strong commitment to the USGS mission and its core science functions to provide geologic, hydrologic, and topographic information that contributes to the wise management of the nation’s natural resources and promotes the health, safety, and well-being of the people.”

The FY 2013 USGS budget request is $1.10 billion, which is $34.5 million above the FY 2012 budget of $1.07 billion. 

Some key highlights from the FY 2013 budget are:

The FY 2013 request provides $44.0 million for the Secretary’s New Energy Frontier initiative, which is $13.2 million above the funding for FY 2012. 

The FY 2013 request provides $21.0 million for USGS Water Challenges initiative, which is an increase of $13 million above the funding for FY 2012.  WaterSMART, a combined effort between USGS and the Bureau of Reclamation, provides information to address US water challenges.

Other key increases in funding are in areas of ecosystems research, hydraulic fracturing, rapid disaster response, and science for coastal and ocean stewardship. 

The USGS budget is divided into eight accounts as laid out in the USGS budget request, from which the following selections are taken:

Ecosystems
The FY 2013 request includes $177.9 million for Ecosystem Activities which is a $16.6 million or 10.2 percent increase above the funding of $161.3 million for FY 2012. 

These activities include research which helps improve management of the nation’s natural resources and hazards that threaten the US.  The Ecosystems activities at the USGS complement the Department of Interior’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative.

Climate and Land Use Change
The FY 2013 request includes $153.7 million for Climate and Land Use Change activities which is an increase of $9.7 million or 6.7 percent over the funding of $144.1 million for FY 2012. 

These activities provide “practical, user-focused scientific information to facilitate Interior land management bureaus in creating adaptation strategies for changes in various landscapes.”  

Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health
The FY 2013 request includes $97.1 million for Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health which is $914,000 or 0.01 percent above the funding of $96.2 million for FY 2012. 

These activities include “research and assessments on the location, quantity, and quality of the Nation’s mineral and energy resources.”  This research focuses on the environmental impacts of human activities that “introduce chemical and pathogenic contaminants into the environment and threaten human, animal and ecological health.”

Natural Hazards
The FY 2013 request includes $144.8 million for Natural Hazards activities which is $10.3 million or 7.7 percent above the funding of $134.5 million for FY 2012. 

This activity provides the scientific knowledge necessary to reduce fatalities, injuries, and economic loss from hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides. 

Water Resources
The FY 2013 request includes $209.8 million for Water Resources activities which is $4.8 million or 2.2 percent below the funding of $214.7 million for FY 2012. 

This activity includes programs “for the collection, management, and dissemination of hydrologic data, modeling, and analyses of hydrologic systems, and research and development” leading to new methods of data gathering.  

Core Science Systems
The FY 2013 request provides $120.4 million for Core Science Systems, this is $13.7 million or 12.8 percent above the funding of $106.7 million for FY 2012. 

This activity provides access to science information through “geospatial frameworks that are used in managing natural resources and planning for and responding to natural hazards.” 

Administration and Enterprise Information
The FY 2013 request provides $99.1 million for Administration and Enterprise Information activities which is a decrease of $11.2 million or 0.8 percent from the funding of $110.2 million for FY 2012. 

This activity funds “the executive, managerial, and accountability activities and information technology and bureau support services” at the USGS. 

Facilities
The FY 2013 request provides $99.7 million for Facilities activities, which is $704,000 or 3.2 percent below the funding of $100.4 million for FY 2012. 

Facilities funding is used to “provide safe, functional workspace, laboratories and other facilities” used by USGS.

Aline D. McNaull
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
amcnaull@aip.org
301-209-3094