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Looking for free photographs to use in the classroom? All images produced or published by the USGS are in the public domain and can be freely used without permission. Please acknowledge the USGS as the source.

Large Photograph Collections

USGS Multimedia Gallery
The official and most up-to-date repository for USGS photographs.

USGS Photographic Library
This site is in transition and is unavailable. For now, all of the images have been loaded into ScienceBase, which is a searchable, open source catalog. There is no search tool specific to photos, though the advanced search panel can be used to limit retrieval to images by selecting "Image" within Categories search input box.
Thousands of archived, high-resolution historical photographs plus some special collections of recent photographs. Most are black and white but some are in color. This is an especially good place to find photos of glaciers, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and general geology.

Specialized Photograph Collections

Volcano Observatory Image Galleries
Links to images from all USGS volcano observatories plus a volcano photoglossary.
Images of Kilauea [Volcano] East Rift Zone Eruption, 1983-1993
Spectacular, high-resolution photographs that include fountaining lava.
Earthquake Photo Collections
Photographs from specific earthquakes in California, Alaska, Washington, and Turkey.
Landslide Photo Collection
Landslide images organized by location. The USGS is also in the process of collecting copyright-free landslide photographs that are being added to the USGS Photographic Library (do a keyword search on "landslide").
Geology of National Parks
Medium-resolution photographs that mostly depict geologic features on Federally-owned lands in the western United States. Images are in both 3D and standard format.
Water Science Photos
Part of the Water Science for Schools website, these low-resolution photos show examples of the different ways that water occurs in nature, how water is used, and how water is measured.
A glacier glossary with many low-resolution photographs of glaciers. More images are at the Repeat Photography website documenting the retreat of glaciers in Glacier National Park.
Energy Multimedia Gallery
Photographs of oil-producing geology in Alaska and Greenland; gas hydrate production and burning; hydraulic fracturing; and uranium production at Arizona's Kanab North Mine.
Satellite Image Gallery
Artistic satellite images and satellite mosaics for each state.
Aerial Photographs and Satellite Images
Download free aerial photographs and satellite images using EarthExplorer, or satellite images only using the more user-friendly GloVis. Non-technical users should steer toward the TerraLook satellite images and the LandsatLook satellite images, which are in JPEG format. More geospatial data sources are listed here.
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Photo Gallery
A limited number of good quality photos of amphibians, birds, insects, mammals, and reptiles.
Bald Eagle Photographs
High-resolution images of eagles and nests in Barataria Bay, Louisiana.
Bee Photographs
Amazingly detailed, high-resolution close-ups of bees and related species from the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program.
Microbiology Image Gallery
Low-resolution photos of cyanobacteria plus other bacteria and microbes.
A Comprehensive List and Photographic Collection of the Vascular Flora of Caddo Lake National Wildlife Regure, Texas
Hundreds of high-resolution photographs of plants, birds, and insects, many of them common to other parts of the U.S.
Additional Photo Collections

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