US Geological Survey - good place to work | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for US Geological Survey
There are newer employer reviews for US Geological Survey

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"good place to work"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Ecologist in Fort Collins, CO
Current Employee - Ecologist in Fort Collins, CO

Pros

The best part about working for the USGS is the above average pay, freedom to schedual, benefits, and freedom to conduct reserach

Cons

The funding has been flat and the work force is aging and becoming more expensive making it hard to to find research funds

Advice to Management

Fix the bussiness model, get more funding, and reward scientific accomplishments as well as management accomplishments. Too much focus is given to management.

Other Employee Reviews for US Geological Survey

  1. "Great place to avoid risk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Geographer (RGE) in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Research Geographer (RGE) in Denver, CO
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great people. Lots of freedom to pursue interests. Get to work on meaningful problems. Kind of like university research without the classes and the problems are not just "exercises".

    Government job means more security and good benefits. Long-term, the steady pay and regular pay increases makes up the difference in salary with private industry.

    Cons

    Active management is not commonly practiced. Getting my boss to tell me what I should be working on is like pulling teeth.

    Too much aversion to risk. The entire organization seems to be constructed on timidity. Technically, I can't even submit this review without two peer reviews, an editorial review and three supervisor signatures.

    IT security makes it almost impossible to research systems infrastructure. Government regulations for our systems makes it seem like we are trying to swim in jello.

    Pace of innovation is measured in geologic time. Much of the organization focuses on research in earth and natural science. The pace of change there isn't as rapid as it is in digital maps.

    Advice to Management

    Take some risks! It's not going to be the end of the world if you are wrong. NASA has managed to blow up two space shuttles and lost countless Mars probes, satellites, etc. Aand still they keep going. Granted the Bush Administration made sticking your neck out an invitation for the ax. But the USGS has proven its importance. We even demonstrated that privatizing LandSat was a bad idea! Run with it!

    The three things management should know how to do:

    1. Hire smart people - sometimes this is tricky for a Federal Agency, but the USGS is doing a good job (just not fast enough)

    2. Tell people what they need to accomplish. Make it clear what the end goal is. You don't have to worry about the middle bits, especially if you were successful with #1.

    3. Remove any barriers to your people accomplishing the end goal. Don't waste anyone's time saying "we can't do that" or "that's not the way it's done" or "I don't have authority". Instead say "we'll have to try to do this way" and "that's an interesting approach" and "let me figure out who can help us".

    Ross Perot once said he likes to hire the smartest people possible and then get the hell out of the way. Well, there's a little more to it. As a manager, you have to help get the obstacles out of the way as well. And please, don't be an obstacle yourself!


  2. Helpful (2)

    "An institution with a rich history"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Geologic Map Editor in West Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Geologic Map Editor in West Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends

    Pros

    The USGS has a long history of contributing meaningful, objective science that helps in understanding some of the most pressing societal issues we face today. The USGS produces some fantastic products (topographic maps, geologic maps, and all kinds of products that explain the ongoing research projects at the USGS. There is a lot of really interesting research that is being conducted at the USGS. To participate in the actual research, one must possess a Ph.D. in geology or a related field. However, there are supporting roles that are (in my opinion) just as meaningful.

    Cons

    Many people find out you work for the Federal government and assume that you are lazy. There is, at times, a bit of bureaucracy that bogs one down at this organization.

    Advice to Management

    Reach down and listen more carefully to individual contributors. At times it seems that senior managers lose track of why the USGS was created. As a result they impose restrictions that sometimes seem meaningless and make it challenging to actually accomplish the work.

There are newer employer reviews for US Geological Survey
There are newer employer reviews for US Geological Survey

See Most Recent

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