All of My Faults Are Stress Related

Geophysicist Marcia McNutt, currently President and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, is going to be the next director of the US Geological Survey. She will join this group of people, who (as Andrew Alden pointed out), are all men. (Cian Dawson points out on Twitter that the current acting director is also a woman – but it’s still cool to see Marcia McNutt in a list with John Wesley Powell!)

Andrew points out that Dr. McNutt will also be the first geoscientist to be the science advisor to the Secretary of the Interior.

(And check out the profile published by Geotimes in 2005. It’s currently timing out on me, so I can’t double-check the facts, but I believe she mentions dealing with three daughters as good preparation for management.)

(And I should add that this is the first time in my professional career that I’ve known the scientific reputation of a new USGS director.)


  1. #1 BrianR
    July 10, 2009

    This is good news … I don’t know her personally, but have heard good things from a colleague who works at MBARI.

  2. #2 Katie
    July 10, 2009

    I spent a short time at MBARI and never heard anything negative. I am very excited about a woman leading the USGS – and a good one at that! It will be interesting to watch.

  3. #3 Andrew
    July 11, 2009

    Our years at USGS overlapped, and I remember little in detail about Marcia except that she made a splash. Looking at her publications from the late 1970s/early 1980s, she had eminent coauthors and was already on the cutting edge. I spoke to one lovestruck guy at the Survey at the time who lamented that she wasn’t interested in him. She had her priorities straight from the start.

  4. #4 John Lewius
    August 11, 2009

    I am delighted to see that Marcia McNutt is to be the director of the USGS. It is exhilirating news- and to have her as Science Advisor to Ken Salazar is an added bonus
    She was my star student of all time in the Fall of 1970.
    She was and is an extraordinarily brilliant person.
    I send her my best wishes for a successful tenure.

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