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United States Geological Survey

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The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards, (such as earthquakes), that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility.

A bureau of the United States Department of the Interior, it is that department's sole scientific agency. The USGS employs approximately 10,000 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, where the entrance to the parking lot is marked by several stones from the Devils Postpile National Monument. The USGS also has major offices in Lakewood, Colorado (Denver Federal Center), and Menlo Park, California.

The agency was founded on March 3, 1879. As of 2009, it has 8,670 employees and an annual budget of 1.1 billion (for the fiscal year 2010). The current director of the agency is Marcia McNutt.

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