GEOLOGY AND THE US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS REGULATORY PROGRAM
The US Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program (USACE) is responsible for regulating wetlands under federal jurisdiction. In doing so, the USACE utilizes a diverse number of professions to staff district offices. In any given office, you will find engineers, biologists, and geologists. The very foundation of the Regulatory Program begins with the identification and characterization of wetlands. These wetlands will vary in description depending on where they exist in a geologic physiographic province. Wetland indicators include the existence hydrophytic plants, but more importantly include the presence of hydrology and hydric soils.
This first step in the regulatory process is the corner stone of the permitting process, which is responsible for driving billions of dollars through the economy. Whether it is an interstate highway project or the construction of a residential subdivision, the correct identification of wetlands by geologists and other scientists serves the public interest.
Geologist can be hired directly out of college for permanent federal positions, and in some cases, coop as interns prior to completing a degree in geology. Other opportunities also exist as temporary summer hires within the Regulatory Program.