August 29, 2022

Take 5… Earth science information, by state

Posted by Laura Guertin

Preparations for teaching involve pulling together datasets, visualizations, and information that is geographically centered. For those looking for information relating to the geographic location (or U.S. state) for your campus, students may be interested in exploring these resources.



[1] State Climate Summaries, from NOAA

From NOAA: “State Climate Summaries spell out recent local conditions for each state and provide insights about the state’s climate outlook based on historical trends …. A summary is paired with three concise “Key Messages” that briefly describe specific conditions that are unique to the individual state’s climate.” Check out the NOAA News Article that provides an overview of the summaries, then access the State Climate Summaries website, all 51 summaries can be downloaded as PDFs or accessed online, as can each individual figure.


[2] Geoscience in Your State, from AGI

Last updated in 2018, The AGI Geoscience Policy team created State Geoscience Information factsheets to inform geoscientists and decision makers on how geoscience impacts their state. These factsheets highlight geoscience areas including, employment, water, minerals, energy and hazards in each state. They also demonstrate how federal research agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration contribute beneficial geoscience information to each state.” You can access these data and download a PDF from Geoscience in Your State Factsheets.


[3] AirNow, from EPA & partners

The EPA has partnered with local, state, tribal, federal, and international agencies to generate an interactive map AirNow reports air quality using the official U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI), a color-coded index designed to communicate whether air quality is healthy or unhealthy. One application of having students learn about the AQI in their area is that it allows them to take steps to protect their health.


[4] State Energy Profiles, from EIA

From its website, “The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.” There is a Beta version and published version to explore data, analyses, maps, and rankings.

Image showing Total energy production and consumption by state, 2020



[5] Water (USGS) and Drought (U.S. Drought Monitor)

These are two websites that contain a wealth of graphs and data useful for introductory-level geoscience exercises and additional educational uses. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Data for the Nation site has surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites across all 50 states. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are in drought and is produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and NOAA.

USGS National Water Dashboard

USGS National Water Dashboard

Current drought map for the United States, Map released: August 25, 2022; Data valid: August 23, 2022

Current drought map for the United States, Map released: August 25, 2022; Data valid: August 23, 2022.



Please include any other valuable Earth science factsheets and datasets that can be search/shared by state in the “Leave a Reply” field below!