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THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.

THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.[1]
By CHARLES D. WALCOTT,

DIRECTOR OF THE SURVEY.

GEOLOGY in America has advanced by steady evolution from a small beginning eighty years ago to its present proportions, where it stands as one of the great sciences of the present and of the future. The geologists of Europe founded the science of geology in the earlier years of this century, and as the tide of emigration passed across to this continent it brought with it a knowledge of science and a spirit of scientific investigation. In geology this first took systematic form in the State of New York. State after State then took up the work, and finally the Federal Government, in its western Territories. Among the men who have led in the States were William Maclure, Amos Eaton, James Hall, Ebenezer Emmons, Timothy Conrad, and their associates on the New York Survey; the brothers Rogers, and Richard Dale Owen. Jules Marcou, J. S. Newberry, and others began work in the west under the Federal Government, and following them the organizers of the first Government surveys—Clarence King, F. V. Hayden, J. W. Powell, and George M. Wheeler.

The organization of the present Geological Survey went into effect July 1, 1879, the independent surveys that had previously existed having been discontinued. It is a bureau of the Department of the Interior, and is under the immediate control of a director, who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The members of the regular and permanent corps of the survey are nominated by the director and appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, the director making only such temporary appointments as are authorized by the secretary. A plan of operations and an estimate of the expenses of the survey are submitted annually to the secretary, to whom the director also makes report of the operations of the survey at the close of each fiscal year.

The survey occupies a rented building which has 46,480 square feet of floor space. In addition, the engraving and printing division occupies an annex building, with 8,253 square feet of floor space, and in the National Museum there are four laboratories for the preparation and study of paleontologic and paleobotanic material. Within the main building there is a chemical laboratory, in which analyses of rocks, oils, minerals, etc., are made for the geologists of the survey, as well as certain special investigations


  1. ↑ Presidential Address before the Geological Society of Washington, delivered December 18, 1894.