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FYI Number 19: February 14, 2002

FY 2003 Request for U.S. Geological Survey

Program and facilities funding for the U.S. Geological Survey would decline 5.1% under the FY 2003 budget request that the Bush Administration has sent to Congress. Few program budgets would increase under this proposal, with the majority slated for cuts or level funding. In addition, a USGS program would be transferred to the National Science Foundation.

A change in how retirement and health benefits would be charged requires an adjustment in the USGS "bottom line." After accounting for this change in both the current year and in the FY 2003 request, the USGS budget would decline 5.1%, or $46.7 million, from $914.0 million to $867.3 million. (Including these benefits results in a decline of 4.8%.)

In describing the request, USGS Director Charles Groat stated, "We will continue our emphasis on providing sound science on public lands in support of other Interior bureaus, enabling them to more effectively and efficiently fulfill their resource management and protection responsibilities. Our broad range of expertise in mapping, geology, hydrology and biology is proving to be an important part of the science foundation needed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to address complex resource management issues on lands they manage."

The survey's budget has six components. Funding would decline for each of them under the administration's request, as follows:

Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geographic Investigations: Down 3.0%, or $4.0 million, from $133.3 million to $129.3 million.

Geologic Hazards, Resources, and Processes: Down 3.5%, or $8.2 million, from $232.8 million to $224.7 million.

Water Resources Investigations: Down 13.6%, or $28.0 million, from $205.8 million to $177.8 million. The Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, which now receives $13.9 million, would be transferred to the National Science Foundation to "initiate a competitive-grants process to address water-quality issues." The NSF budget includes $10.0 million for this program, a cut of 28.1%. The National Water-Quality Assessment Program would be cut by $5.8 million, which USGS states "reflects a plan to secure funding from partners and customers to maintain NAWQA's current schedule and scope."

Biological Research: Down 3.6%, or $5.9 million, from $166.4 million to $160.5 million.

Science Support: Down 0.2%, or $0.151 million, from $86.3 million to $86.1 million.

Facilities: Down 0.5%, or $0.470 million, from $89.4 million to $89.0 million.

A USGS brief identifies five new science activities for FY 2003: Energy Resource Assessments, Restoration of the Everglades, Digital Base Mapping, Environment and Human Health, and Geographic Information Systems.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3095

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