Dr. Charles Groat resigned his position as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey effective June 17, 2005. Dr. Groat accepted a faculty position at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystem Engineering and the LBJ School of Public Affairs, directing graduate research and international policy programs.
In his letter of resignation to President George W. Bush, Dr. Groat said his term as USGS Director has been the most challenging and rewarding part of his career: “It has been a privilege to be part of your administration and a pleasure to work with Secretary Norton and the leadership of the Department of the Interior,” Dr. Groat said. “As the need for a more thorough understanding of complex natural systems and their interaction with human activities has grown, I have endeavored to increase the ability of the USGS to provide this knowledge. By reducing internal organizational barriers to collaborative research among our geology, water, biology, geography, and geospatial information disciplines, we have been a leader in integrated approaches to scientific inquiry.”
Leahy named acting Director
In response to Groat’s resignation, Interior Secretary Gale Norton named Dr. P. Patrick Leahy as acting director. Leahy was formerly the associate director for Geology of the U.S. Geological Survey. He had 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 was also responsible for all USGS international activities.
A recipient of the USGS Meritorious Service Award, Leahy has served in various technical and managerial positions within USGS, 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.
June 9, 2005 Department of the Interior press release
June 13, 2005 Department of Interior Press Release