President Obama today announced his intention to name Marcia McNutt as the next head of the U.S. Geological Survey, the world's foremost Earth science agency (see the announcement at whitehouse.gov
). This will be a nice change, as McNutt has actually served in the USGS unlike her two predecessors Charles Groat and
Mark Myers. The 15th USGS chief in its 130-year history, McNutt will become the first woman to head the agency. In addition, she will become the Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, a position never previously occupied by the USGS head, or indeed by a geologist (three previous advisors were biologists).
Washington will be a wrenching change from Moss Landing, California, where McNutt heads the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). She is brilliant, tested, and well connected, and I wish her the best.
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