Overseeing the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - the country's largest water, earth and biological scientific and civilian mapping agency -- seems a natural fit for Marcia McNutt. She's a Navy Seals-trained underwater demolition and explosives expert, earthquake scientist, avid lover of the ocean -- and a leading geophysicist who brings vast academic and scientific background to her post.
As the first woman director of the USGS in the agency's 131-year history, Marcia was nominated to the post by President Obama in 2009 and later approved by the Senate to head USGS's mission of serving as the key scientific advisor to the government and other decision makers on a wide range of conditions, issues and problems related to natural resources and geology -- including climate change, water supply, seismic activity, fossil fuels and environmental issues associated with renewable energy. USGS scientists collect, monitor and analyze data in these areas to provide a further understanding of the problems and issues at hand.
In her post, Marcia also serves as scientific advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Says Marcia: "Scientific information from the U.S. Geological Survey is crucial to solving the most important problems facing society--including sufficient supplies of fresh water and clean energy and providing accurate information that allows citizens to prepare intelligently for climate change. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead such a respected institution given the importance of USGS science to our quality of life."
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the USGS at this time?
Read more about Marcia here.
And watch Marcia's Scripps Day address in which she discusses facing the BP Oil Spill and other crises that kept hitting her "like a machine gun" just 2 months after joining the USGS.