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Ask-A-Geologist: a Virtual Help Desk
Entry ID: 01-virtual_help-Geol-99
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Abstract: Ask-A-Geologist is an online virtual help desk designed to provide answers to geologically based questions. Submitted questions are answered by one of several USGS employees, retirees, and contractors who to participate in the project. The participating scientists have varying degrees of experience and include such titles as geologist, hydrologist, cartographer, and technician. Questions are answered by any one of the scientists who may or may not be the field specialist. Approximately 45% of all questions are answered within a few days and most other questions receive an automated reply of regret.

Sample questions and answers are povided in the "example" link yet there is no FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Ask-A-Geologist recommends that users search for answers from the search USGS web site ("") before submitting a question. Another useful site of information is the "USGS Science Challenge". It is linked from the Ask-A-Geologist page and contains a collection of questions and answers addressing Earth and Planetary Science topics. Questions on this site cover science disciplines such as volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, rocks and minerals, hydrology, biology, and cartography.

[Summary adapted from the Ask-A-Geologist web site, .]

Related URL
Description: Science Challenge Questions and Answersby Carol Lawson and Mary Ellen Lazarus
Open File Report Number: 98-507-A.

A collection of 196 questions and answers addressing Earth and Planetary
Science topics. Questions cover science disciplines such as volcanoes,
earthquakes, hydrology, biology, minerals and cartography. It is intended for
general audiences.
Service Citation
Originators: United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Title: Ask-A-Geologist
Release_Date: 1994-10-01
Provider: USGS
ISO Topic Category
Use Constraints
Users are encouraged to include a return e-mail address in the
body of their message. Ask-A-Geologist scientists cannot answer
student test question or provide reports. Personal location and
financial questions are also not answered. You should receive a
reply in a few days -- but we can't reply to every message. We
answer about 45% of incoming messages.

Answers are not official policy of the USGS or the United States
Government, are not reviewed or guarenteed for correctness or
consistency. Questions requiring official answers should not be
sent to Ask-A-Geologist.
Service Provider
Western Region CMG, Coastal and Marine Geology, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior

Service Provider Personnel
Phone: (831) 427-4755
Fax: (831) 427-4748
Email: rsanders at
Contact Address:
USGS Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
City: Santa Cruz
Province or State: California
Postal Code: 95060
Country: USA
Distribution Media
Distribution_Media: electronic
Distribution_Format: html
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA
Creation and Review Dates
SERF Creation Date: 1999-12-08
SERF Last Revision Date: 2012-01-10
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