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Andrew Alden

Stepping Up to Head USGS: Marcia McNutt

By July 9, 2009

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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 Mike 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.

About the USGS
Geology welcomes women
Biographies of women geologists


July 15, 2009 at 1:15 am
(1) David Hite says:

If you are going to comment on a subject and name a individual you should at least have enough knowledge about the topic to have the name correct — the name is Mark Myers not Mike. Please get your information right — and I am not sure that having served in the USGS is necessarily a positive asset.

David Hite, Ph.D.
Consulting Petroleum Geologist
Anchorage, Alaska

July 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm
(2) Geology Guide says:

Thanks for catching the error, David.

Surely having spent time in the agency is a good thing, in that McNutt has a sense of its pride, assets and history, as well as its weird local habits. You are certainly right that earlier USGS chiefs, who came straight up from the ranks, weren’t immune to mischief.

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