Big Lake, Minnesota
Big Lake is a city in Sherburne County, United States. The population was 10,060 at the 2010 census. U. S. Highway 10 and Minnesota State Highway 25 are two of the main routes in Big Lake. Big Lake is located 41 miles northwest of Minneapolis. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.92 square miles. A portion of the city lies along the Elk River. Located about forty-one miles northwest of the Twin Cities, Big Lake was once a popular location for escapes from the city, its lakes dotted with summer cabins. Now it is considered an exurb of the metro area, with a significant portion of residents commuting into the Cities daily; the lake for which the town is named was once an important part of the Twin Cities economy, as in the days before modern refrigerators, much of the ice for metropolitan iceboxes was harvested from Big Lake. Big Lake is the northernmost terminus of the Northstar Commuter Rail line connecting the northwest suburbs and downtown Minneapolis. Commuters can use the Northstar Link Commuter Bus to reach St. Cloud, MN.
The median house/condo value in 2005 was estimated to be $207,400. As of the census of 2010, there were 10,060 people, 3,377 households, 2,500 families residing in the city; the population density was 4,767.8 inhabitants per square mile. There were 3,640 housing units at an average density of 1,725.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 92.4% White, 1.7% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 1.6% from other races, 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population. There were 3,377 households of which 50.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.3% had a male householder with no wife present, 26.0% were non-families. 18.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.97 and the average family size was 3.38. The median age in the city was 29.5 years.
34.3% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 50.4% male and 49.6% female. 2013 Estimated Population is 10,298 As of the census of 2000, there were 6,063 people, 2,117 households, 1,570 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,688.4 people per square mile. There were 2,206 housing units at an average density of 614.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 96.70% White, 0.13% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.80% of the population. 38.6 % were of 15.2 % Norwegian, 7.5 % Irish, 7.5 % Swedish and 5.9 % Polish ancestry. There were 2,117 households out of which 44.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.8% were non-families. 17.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.23. In the city, the population was spread out with 32.5% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 37.3% from 25 to 44, 14.8% from 45 to 64, 5.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.2 males. The median income for a household in the city was $50,658, the median income for a family was $54,038. Males had a median income of $35,279 versus $26,601 for females; the per capita income for the city was $18,931. About 3.5% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over. Big Lake was called Humboldt until 1867. Big Lake was established to harvest ice in both of its towns' lakes. Due to the rich amount of ice Big Lake provided, it needed to be transported enabling Big Lake to be suitable for a railway station, built in 1871.
Big Lake was served by both the Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railroad Burlington Northern Railroad, now BNSF Railway. The city was host to a station of both GN and NP railways until the NP station burned in 1918, in years both railroads shared a depot; the depot no longer stands. Big Lake is known locally for its annual summer festival "Spud Fest," which celebrates all things potato-related; the festival is known for its large softball tournament, attracting teams from all over the state. Big Lake is home to the area famous ice auger company, Strike Master; the city hosts ISD # 727. The local newspaper is the West Sherburne Tribune The local youth baseball league is the Big Lake Baseball Association. City of Big Lake, MN – Official Website Big Lake Public Schools website
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most identify, indicate whether or not they are of Hispanic or Latino origin. The racial categories represent a social-political construct for the race or races that respondents consider themselves to be and, "generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country." OMB defines the concept of race as outlined for the US Census as not "scientific or anthropological" and takes into account "social and cultural characteristics as well as ancestry", using "appropriate scientific methodologies" that are not "primarily biological or genetic in reference." The race categories include both national-origin groups. Race and ethnicity are considered separate and distinct identities, with Hispanic or Latino origin asked as a separate question. Thus, in addition to their race or races, all respondents are categorized by membership in one of two ethnic categories, which are "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino".
However, the practice of separating "race" and "ethnicity" as different categories has been criticized both by the American Anthropological Association and members of US Commission on Civil Rights. In 1997, OMB issued a Federal Register notice regarding revisions to the standards for the classification of federal data on race and ethnicity. OMB developed race and ethnic standards in order to provide "consistent data on race and ethnicity throughout the Federal Government; the development of the data standards stem in large measure from new responsibilities to enforce civil rights laws." Among the changes, OMB issued the instruction to "mark one or more races" after noting evidence of increasing numbers of interracial children and wanting to capture the diversity in a measurable way and having received requests by people who wanted to be able to acknowledge their or their children's full ancestry rather than identifying with only one group. Prior to this decision, the Census and other government data collections asked people to report only one race.
The OMB states, "many federal programs are put into effect based on the race data obtained from the decennial census. Race data are critical for the basic research behind many policy decisions. States require these data to meet legislative redistricting requirements; the data are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions". "Data on ethnic groups are important for putting into effect a number of federal statutes. Data on Ethnic Groups are needed by local governments to run programs and meet legislative requirements." The 1790 United States Census was the first census in the history of the United States. The population of the United States was recorded as 3,929,214 as of Census Day, August 2, 1790, as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution and applicable laws."The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in'two of the most public places within, there to remain for the inspection of all concerned...' and that'the aggregate amount of each description of persons' for every district be transmitted to the president."
This law along with U. S. marshals were responsible for governing the census. One third of the original census data has been lost or destroyed since documentation; the data was lost in 1790–1830 time period and included data from: Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia. Census data included the name of the head of the family and categorized inhabitants as follows: free white males at least 16 years of age, free white males under 16 years of age, free white females, all other free persons, slaves. Thomas Jefferson the Secretary of State, directed marshals to collect data from all thirteen states, from the Southwest Territory; the census was not conducted in Vermont until 1791, after that state's admission to the Union as the 14th state on March 4 of that year. There was some doubt surrounding the numbers, President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson maintained the population was undercounted; the potential reasons Washington and Jefferson may have thought this could be refusal to participate, poor public transportation and roads, spread out population, restraints of current technology.
No microdata from the 1790 population census is available, but aggregate data for small areas and their compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. In 1800 and 1810, the age question regarding free white males was more detailed; the 1820
Elk River, Minnesota
Elk River is a city in Sherburne County, United States, about 34 miles northwest of Minneapolis. It is situated at the confluence of the Elk Rivers; the population was 22,974 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat; the city's population exceeded 20,000 as of year 2005. U. S. Highways 10 and 169 and State Highway 101 are three of the main routes in Elk River, a station on the Northstar Commuter Rail line to downtown Minneapolis is located in the city. Elk River is located 33.2 miles northwest of Minneapolis and 37.4 miles southeast of St. Cloud; the hardwood-forested hills in which Elk River is situated were pushed up by the last glacier that advanced across Minnesota. These hills are made up of coarse materials, the reason gravel mining is so prevalent in Elk River, the reason much of the area is not considered good farmland. To the south of Elk River lies the prairie; this natural boundary between the prairie and woods was a boundary between Indian nations. Two battles between the Dakota and Ojibwe took place where the Elk River meets the Mississippi in 1772 and 1773.
Zebulon Pike passed through the area on his 1805 exploration of the upper Mississippi River and named the Elk River after the herds of elk he saw in the area. David Frederic Faribault, son of French-Canadian fur trader Jean-Baptiste Faribault built a trading post near the conjunction of the Elk and Mississippi Rivers in 1846, which he sold, in 1848, to French trader and guide Pierre Bottineau; the trading post stood on a bluff just east of the present day bridge across the Elk River on main street. Bottineau built a hotel in 1850 on the bank of the Mississippi about a half mile below the mouth of the Elk; the two rivers and the Red River Trail, which passed nearby, made this area a good location for commerce. A large number of early settlers came from Maine and nearly all of them were experts in lumbering. In 1851, Ard Godfrey, a native of Orono, saw the potential of the water power of the Elk River and built a dam and a sawmill, his dam created the first lobe of Lake Orono, which extended from the present day dam to Orono Cemetery Point.
In 1855, the area by the dam was platted and the town of Orono was created. In the latter half of the 19th century and dairy farming replaced lumber as the base of Elk River's economy. Grist mills and a starch factory, which took advantage of the potato fields to the west, were built; the Orono-Elk River area continued to grow. These early settlers came from New England. Elk River's population continued to grow following a slow period caused by the civil war; the majority of people moving to Elk River by that time were from Northern Europe. The village of Elk River was platted in 1865, replatted in 1868, when incorporated in the winter of 1880-1881, included both Orono and Elk River. By 1870, Elk River swelled to a population of 2,050 and became the county seat in 1872. Around this same time, the railroads replaced the rivers as the main focus of transportation and the Lower Town replaced Upper Town as the focus of commerce; the Orono Dam was destroyed by an ice storm in 1912, but hydropower gave a new incentive to dam the Elk River in 1915.
This new dam created the four lobes of Lake Orono. In 1916, the Village of Elk River received electricity for the first time; the entire township of Elk River would not get electricity until after World War II. Charles Babcock, a native son of Elk River and the first Commissioner of Highways for the state, had a visionary plan to "get Minnesota out of the mud." His plan to create a network of paved roads became a model for the rest of the nation and the Jefferson Highway became one of the first paved roads in the state. Highway 10 used to cross the Elk River over the dam bridge, but was rerouted to its present location shortly after World War II. Jackson Avenue used to be Highway 169. For years, the intersection of this road and Highway 10 was the only one with a stoplight in Elk River and on major travel weekends, traffic would back up half way to Anoka. Work on Highway 169 to bypass Elk River began in 1961. Work on a new route for Highway 101 between Rogers and Elk River began in 1968. In 1974, the Village of Elk River changed to the City of Elk River.
In 1978, the City of Elk River and the township of Elk River were consolidated to create one unit known as the City of Elk River as it exists today. The result was one of the largest land-based cities in the state of Minnesota, at 44 square miles. Besides transportation, energy has always played a significant role in shaping Elk River; the first rural nuclear power plant in the United States went online in 1960 as Great River Energy's site in Elk River. It was meant only as a demonstration site and was dismantled after several successful years of operation. In the late 1980s, GRE's power plant was converted to burn refuse-derived fuel; this innovative source of energy was one factor that helped Elk River receive the designation of "Energy City" by the Minnesota Environmental Initiative in October 1997. As Energy City, Minnesota's energy industries demonstrate cutting edge renewable and energy efficient technologies in Elk River. By the 1990s, Elk River and Sherburne County were in one of the fastest growing corridors in the state and in the country.
This population growth and the area's high commuter rate factored into the ultimate approval and implementation of the Northstar Commuter Rail service from Minneapolis to Big Lake, which began service on November 16, 2009. The City of Elk River offers many amenities to its residents, offering a small town feel but close enough to the Twin Cities and St. Cloud. In 1991, K. S. "
A city is a large human settlement. Cities have extensive systems for housing, sanitation, land use, communication, their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process. City-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability. Present-day cities form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centers for employment and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are in different degree connected globally beyond these regions; the most populated city proper is Chongqing while the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, the Shanghai area, Jabodetabek. The cities of Faiyum and Varanasi are among those laying claim to longest continual inhabitation.
A city is distinguished from other human settlements by its great size, but by its functions and its special symbolic status, which may be conferred by a central authority. The term can refer either to the physical streets and buildings of the city or to the collection of people who dwell there, can be used in a general sense to mean urban rather than rural territory. A variety of definitions, invoking population, population density, number of dwellings, economic function, infrastructure, are used in national censuses to classify populations as urban. Common population definitions for a city range between 1,500 and 50,000 people, with most U. S. states using a minimum between 5,000 inhabitants. However, some jurisdictions set no such minimums. In the United Kingdom, city status is awarded by the government and remains permanently, resulting in some small cities, such as Wells and St Davids. According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but by the role it plays within a larger political context.
Cities serve as administrative, commercial and cultural hubs for their larger surrounding areas. Examples of settlements called city which may not meet any of the traditional criteria to be named such include Broad Top City and City Dulas, Anglesey, a hamlet; the presence of a literate elite is sometimes included in the definition. A typical city has professional administrators and some form of taxation to support the government workers; the governments may be based on heredity, military power, work projects such as canal building, food distribution, land ownership, commerce, finance, or a combination of these. Societies that live in cities are called civilizations; the word city and the related civilization come, via Old French, from the Latin root civitas meaning citizenship or community member and coming to correspond with urbs, meaning city in a more physical sense. The Roman civitas was linked with the Greek "polis"—another common root appearing in English words such as metropolis. Urban geography deals both with their internal structure.
Town siting has varied through history according to natural, technological and military contexts. Access to water has long been a major factor in city placement and growth, despite exceptions enabled by the advent of rail transport in the nineteenth century, through the present most of the world's urban population lives near the coast or on a river. Urban areas as a rule cannot produce their own food and therefore must develop some relationship with a hinterland which sustains them. Only in special cases such as mining towns which play a vital role in long-distance trade, are cities disconnected from the countryside which feeds them. Thus, centrality within a productive region influences siting, as economic forces would in theory favor the creation of market places in optimal mutually reachable locations; the vast majority of cities have a central area containing buildings with special economic and religious significance. Archaeologists refer to this area by the Greek term temenos; these spaces reflect and amplify the city's centrality and importance to its wider sphere of influence.
Today cities have downtown, sometimes coincident with a central business district. Cities have public spaces where anyone can go; these include owned spaces open to the public as well as forms of public land such as public domain and the commons. Western philosophy since the time of the Greek agora has considered physical public space as the substrate of the symbolic public sphere. Public art adorns public spaces. Parks and other natural sites within cities provide residents with relief from the hardness and regularity of typical built environments. Urban structure follows one or more basic patterns: geomorphic, concentric and curvilinear. Physical environment constrains the form in which a city is built. If located on a mountainside, urban structure may rely on winding roads, it may be adapted to its means of subsistence. And it may be set up for optimal defense given the surrounding landscape. Beyond these "geomorphi
A civil township is a used unit of local government in the United States, subordinate to a county. The term town is used in New England, New York, Wisconsin to refer to the equivalent of the civil township in these states. Specific responsibilities and the degree of autonomy vary based on each state. Civil townships are distinct from survey townships, but in states that have both, the boundaries coincide and may geographically subdivide a county; the U. S. Census Bureau classifies civil townships as minor civil divisions. There are 20 states with civil townships. Township functions are overseen by a governing board and a clerk or trustee. Township officers include justice of the peace, road commissioner, assessor and surveyor. In the 20th century, many townships added a township administrator or supervisor to the officers as an executive for the board. In some cases, townships run local libraries, senior citizen services, youth services, disabled citizen services, emergency assistance, cemetery services.
In some states, a township and a municipality, coterminous with that township may wholly or consolidate their operations. Depending on the state, the township government has varying degrees of authority. In the Upper Midwestern states near the Great Lakes, civil townships, are but not always, overlaid on survey townships; the degree to which these townships are functioning governmental entities varies from state to state and in some cases within a state. For example, townships in the northern part of Illinois are active in providing public services — such as road maintenance, after-school care, senior services — whereas townships in southern Illinois delegate these services to the county. Most townships in Illinois provide services such as snow removal, senior transportation, emergency services to households residing in unincorporated parts of the county; the townships in Illinois each have a township board, whose board members were called township trustees, a single township supervisor. In contrast, civil townships in Indiana are operated in a consistent manner statewide and tend to be well organized, with each served by a single township trustee and a three-member board.
Civil townships in these states are not incorporated, nearby cities may annex land in adjoining townships with relative ease. In Michigan, general law townships are corporate entities, some can become reformulated as charter townships, a status intended to protect against annexation from nearby municipalities and which grants the township some home rule powers similar to cities. In Wisconsin, civil townships are known as "towns" rather than townships, but they function the same as in neighboring states. In Minnesota, state statute refers to such entities as towns yet requires them to have a name in the form "Name Township". In both documents and conversation, "town" and "township" are used interchangeably. Minnesota townships can be either Non-Urban or Urban, but this is not reflected in the township's name. In Ohio, a city or village is overlaid onto a township unless it withdraws by establishing a paper township. Where the paper township does not extend to the city limits, property owners pay taxes for both the township and municipality, though these overlaps are sometimes overlooked by mistake.
Ten other states allow townships and municipalities to overlap. In Kansas, some civil townships provide services such as road maintenance and fire protection services not provided by the county. In New England, the states are subdivided into towns, which are functioning municipal corporations that provide most local services. While counties exist in New England, for the most part they serve as dividing lines for state judicial systems. With the exception of a few remote areas of New Hampshire and Maine, every square foot of New England lies within the borders of an incorporated town. New England has cities, most of which are towns whose residents have voted to replace the town meeting form of government with a city form. In portions of New Hampshire and Maine, county subdivisions that are not incorporated are referred to as townships, or by other terms such as "gore", "grant", "location", "plantation", or "purchase". In New York, counties are further subdivided into towns and cities, the principal forms of local government.
Towns fulfill a function similar to those of townships in other states. As is the case in most of New England, every square foot of New York's territory is incorporated. New York towns contain one or more incorporated villages, village residents pay both town and village taxes. Towns include a number of unincorporated hamlets. A Pennsylvania township is a unit of local government, responsible for services such as police departments, local road and street maintenance, it acts the same as a borough. Townships were established based on convenient geographical boundaries and vary in size from six to fifty-two square miles. A New Jersey township is similar, in that it is a form of municipal government equal in status to a village, borough, or city, provides similar services to a Pennsylvania township. In the South, outside cities and towns there is no local government other than the county. North Carolina is no exception to that rule, but it does have townships as minor geographical subdivisions of counties, including
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. The term is used in connection with national population and housing censuses; the United Nations defines the essential features of population and housing censuses as "individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory and defined periodicity", recommends that population censuses be taken at least every 10 years. United Nations recommendations cover census topics to be collected, official definitions and other useful information to co-ordinate international practice; the word is of Latin origin: during the Roman Republic, the census was a list that kept track of all adult males fit for military service. The modern census is essential to international comparisons of any kind of statistics, censuses collect data on many attributes of a population, not just how many people there are. Censuses began as the only method of collecting national demographic data, are now part of a larger system of different surveys.
Although population estimates remain an important function of a census, including the geographic distribution of the population, statistics can be produced about combinations of attributes e.g. education by age and sex in different regions. Current administrative data systems allow for other approaches to enumeration with the same level of detail but raise concerns about privacy and the possibility of biasing estimates. A census can be contrasted with sampling in which information is obtained only from a subset of a population. Modern census data are used for research, business marketing, planning, as a baseline for designing sample surveys by providing a sampling frame such as an address register. Census counts are necessary to adjust samples to be representative of a population by weighting them as is common in opinion polling. Stratification requires knowledge of the relative sizes of different population strata which can be derived from census enumerations. In some countries, the census provides the official counts used to apportion the number of elected representatives to regions.
In many cases, a chosen random sample can provide more accurate information than attempts to get a population census. A census is construed as the opposite of a sample as its intent is to count everyone in a population rather than a fraction. However, population censuses rely on a sampling frame to count the population; this is the only way to be sure that everyone has been included as otherwise those not responding would not be followed up on and individuals could be missed. The fundamental premise of a census is that the population is not known and a new estimate is to be made by the analysis of primary data; the use of a sampling frame is counterintuitive as it suggests that the population size is known. However, a census is used to collect attribute data on the individuals in the nation; this process of sampling marks the difference between historical census, a house to house process or the product of an imperial decree, the modern statistical project. The sampling frame used by census is always an address register.
Thus it is not known how many people there are in each household. Depending on the mode of enumeration, a form is sent to the householder, an enumerator calls, or administrative records for the dwelling are accessed; as a preliminary to the dispatch of forms, census workers will check any address problems on the ground. While it may seem straightforward to use the postal service file for this purpose, this can be out of date and some dwellings may contain a number of independent households. A particular problem is what are termed'communal establishments' which category includes student residences, religious orders, homes for the elderly, people in prisons etc; as these are not enumerated by a single householder, they are treated differently and visited by special teams of census workers to ensure they are classified appropriately. Individuals are counted within households and information is collected about the household structure and the housing. For this reason international documents refer to censuses of housing.
The census response is made by a household, indicating details of individuals resident there. An important aspect of census enumerations is determining which individuals can be counted from which cannot be counted. Broadly, three definitions can be used: de facto residence; this is important to consider individuals who have temporary addresses. Every person should be identified uniquely as resident in one place but where they happen to be on Census Day, their de facto residence, may not be the best place to count them. Where an individual uses services may be more useful and this is at their usual, or de jure, residence. An individual may be represented at a permanent address a family home for students or long term migrants, it is necessary to have a precise definition of residence to decide whether visitors to a country should be included in the population count. This is becoming more important as students travel abroad for education for a period of several years. Other groups causing problems of enumeration are new born babies, people away on holiday, people moving home around census day, people without a fixed address.
People having second homes because of working in another part of the country or retaining a holiday cottage are dif
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, the natural hazards that threaten it; the organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility; the USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS employs 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia; the USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, Menlo Park, California. The current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is "science for a changing world." The agency's previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, was "Earth Science in the Public Service." Since 2012, the USGS science focus is directed at six topical "Mission Areas", namely Climate and Land Use Change, Core Science Systems, Ecosystems and Minerals and Environmental Health, Natural Hazards, Water.
In December 2012, the USGS split the Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health Mission Area resulting in seven topical Mission Areas, with the two new areas being: Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health. Administratively, it is divided into six Regional Units. Other specific programs include: Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide; the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes. The USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System; the USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, the public, both domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes. It maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research, it conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards. USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast.
As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U. S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time; the USGS collaborates with Canadian and Mexican government scientists, along with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to produce the North American Environmental Atlas, used to depict and track environmental issues for a continental perspective. The USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online. National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center implements partner-driven science to improve understanding of past and present land use change, develops relevant climate and land use forecasts, identifies lands and communities that are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of change from the local to global scale.
Since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. In collaboration with Stanford University, the USGS operates the USGS-Stanford Ion Microprobe Laboratory, a world-class analytical facility for U--Pb geochronology and trace element analyses of minerals and other earth materials. USGS operates a number of water related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program and National Water-Quality Assessment Program. USGS Water data is publicly available from their National Water Information System database; the USGS operates the National Wildlife Health Center, whose mission is "to serve the nation and its natural resources by providing sound science and technical support, to disseminate information to promote science-based decisions affecting wildlife and ecosystem health. The NWHC provides information, technical assistance, research and leadership on national and international wildlife health issues." It is the agency responsible for surveillance of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in the United States.
The USGS runs 17 biological research centers in the United States, including the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The USGS is investigating collaboration with the social networking site Twitter to allow for more rapid construction of ShakeMaps; the USGS produces several national series of topographic maps which vary in scale and extent, with some wide gaps in coverage, notably the complete absence of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps or their equivalent. The largest and best-known topographic series is the 7.5-minute, 1:24,000 scale, quadrangle, a non-metric scale unique to the United States. Each of these maps covers an area bounded by two lines of latitude and two lines of longitude spaced 7.5 minutes apart. Nearly 57,000 individual maps in this series cover the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii, U. S. territories, areas of Alaska near Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay. The area covered by each map varies with the latitude of its represented location due to convergence of the meridians. At lower latitudes, near 30° north, a 7.5-minute quadrangle contains an area of about 64 square miles.
At 49° north latitude, 49 square miles are contained within a quadrangle of that size. As a unique non-metric map scale, the 1:24,000 scale requires a separate and specialized romer scale for pl