The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a three-year 18-million dollar grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to the Association of American State Geologists (AASG). Eighty-five percent of the funds are slated for the 46 participating states for compiling, digitizing, and documenting data for populating the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS).
The Association of American State Geologists (AASG) is an organization
of the chief executives of the state geological surveys in 50 states
and Puerto Rico. Founded in 1908, AASG seeks to advance the science and practical
application of geology and related earth sciences in the United States
and its territories, commonwealths, and possessions.
The responsibilities of the various state surveys
differ from state to state, depending upon the enabling legislation and
the traditions under which the survey evolved. Almost all function as a
basic information source for their state governments' executive,
legislative, and judicial branches. Some have regulatory
responsibilities for water, oil and gas, land reclamation, etc.
One of the major projects currently developing US Geoscience Information Network capabilities is named the Geoscience Information Network (NSF GIN). This project provides funding to assemble key modules and adopt standards and protocols to build an interoperable national Geoscience Information Network (“GIN”) that already has strong community engagement and broad consensus. The GIN is being developed in the context of national and international communities for enhanced global geospatial data interoperability. In an NSF-sponsored workshop, the nation's geological surveys agreed to the development of a na-tional Geoscience Information Network (GIN) that is distributed, interoperable, uses open source standards and common protocols, respects and acknowledges data ownership, fosters communi-ties of practice to grow, and facilitates development of new web services and clients. Geological surveys have an estimated 2,000 – 3,000 databases that represent one of the largest, long-term information resources on the geology of the United States and collectively constitute a national geoscience data “backbone” for research and applications.