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Secretary Norton Names Pat Leahy Acting Director of the U.S.Geological Survey

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Tuesday, June 14th 2005
U.S. Geological Survey | Washington, DC, United States of America
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WASHINGTON DC--Interior Secretary Gale Norton today named Dr.P.Patrick Leahy as acting director of the U.S.Geological Survey.Leahy will take over from Dr. Charles G.Groat, who has announced his resignation, effective on June 17, 2005, to accept an appointment at the University of Texas at Austin.A permanent replacement for USGS director must be nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S.Senate.

"Pat is a consummate professional with a wealth of scientific expertise and administrative experience on a broad range of issues," Norton said."He has been with USGS since 1974, and I am confident in his ability to take on this position."

Leahy is currently the associate director for Geology of the U.S. Geological Survey.He has responsibility for federal Earth-science programs, which include worldwide earthquake hazards monitoring and research, geologic mapping of land and seafloor resources, volcano and landslide hazards, and assessments of energy and mineral resources.He also is responsible for all USGS international activities.

A recipient of the USGS Meritorious Service Award, Leahy has served in various technical and managerial positions, including chief of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program.He has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications on an array of Earth-science topics.Born in Troy, N.Y., in 1947, Leahy holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in geology (1968) and geophysics (1970) from Boston College.He received his doctorate in geology (1979) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he specialized in regional ground-water studies and hydraulics.

Leahy is a fellow in the Geological Society of America and a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Hydrology (former president), Sigma XI, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the 50th Anniversary Committee of the American Geological Institute, and the Geological Society of Washington.He has received the Meritorious Service Award from the U.S.Department of the Interior and in 2003 was recognized as a Meritorious Senior Executive by President Bush.

Leahy is the past president of the U.S.National Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists.In addition, he was selected by the National Academy of Science to head the U.S.delegation to the 30th International Geological Congress in Beijing, China, in August 1996.He also serves as the chair of the Federal Advisory Committee for the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program.He was a member of the U.S.National Committee on Scientific Hydrology.

Leahy is a representative on the Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Science Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.He also has served on the Editorial Board of Water Resources Update of the Universities Council on Water Resources.

He is a member and the past chairman of the U.S.National Committee for Geological Sciences for the National Academy of Sciences.Leahy was the recipient of the 1996 Boston College Alumni Association Award of Excellence in Science.He was also the 1995 Alumni Association Fellow in Science for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.He is a member of the Indo-American Working Group for the Center for Disease Control. Leahy led the USGS efforts for the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan. He visited Kabul in April 2005 to meet with Government of Afghanistan and U.S. Embassy officials.

Karen Wood
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S.Geological Survey, Office of Communications
703-648-4447 Fax: 703-648-4466 Email:

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