U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
For release: March 7, 2007
Contact: Scott Harris, 703-648-4054,
Clarice Nassif Ransom, 703-648-4299, cransom@xxxxxxxx
Interior Secretary Kempthorne
Praises Dr. P. Patrick Leahy for 33 Years of Service
Reston, VA – The U.S. Geological
Survey (USGS) announced today that Dr. P. Patrick Leahy, associate director
for geology, will be retiring in April from the federal government after
33 years of service as a premier USGS scientist and agency leader. Dr.
Leahy will continue his commitment to science as executive director of
the American Geological Institute effective May 2, 2007.
Department of the Interior Secretary
Dirk Kempthorne praised Dr. Leahy, who also served as USGS acting director
from June 2005 to October 2006, for his leadership and management skills.
“Pat Leahy is a respected scientist
and administrator who has positively influenced the fields of geology and
hydrology for more than 30 years,” said Secretary Kempthorne. “During
his government career, Pat has successfully worked to ensure that the USGS’s
scientific capabilities are effectively utilized by policy makers, the
public, and our partners. His leadership will be missed."
USGS Director Mark Myers added,
“Pat Leahy is a remarkable scientist and a very effective manager of people.
He is calm under pressure and is an incredible diplomat, bringing many
different groups together for collaboration and consensus. We will miss
his enthusiasm and genuine passion for science, but look forward to working
with him when he becomes executive director of the American Geological
In his current role as associate
director for geology at USGS, Dr. Leahy is responsible for USGS earth science
programs and international work, including 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 has been with the U.S. Geological Survey since 1974, having served in
various technical and managerial positions, including Chief of the National
Water-Quality Assessment Program.
Dr. Leahy’s passion for geology
and hydrology has brought him to 35 countries where he has studied everything
from natural disasters to water resources. He has also been instrumental
in helping governments develop mapping systems and discover natural resources.
Examples of his most recent international treks include a trip to Antarctica
where he experienced firsthand USGS research efforts in the land of snow
and ice and a trip to Afghanistan where he led the USGS efforts for the
sustainable economic reconstruction of that country.
“One of the best kept secrets
about being a geologist is that you get to see the world,” said Dr. Leahy.
“One of the biggest challenges of being a scientist is delivering information
in ways that are meaningful to society and policy makers so that their
actions are science based.”
A native of Troy, New York, Dr.
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. He has authored or co-authored more
than 60 publications on a wide array of earth science topics.
Major accomplishments during Dr.
Leahy’s career include:
closely with stakeholders on water resource availability issues for 15
years in USGS field offices in New York, Delaware, and New Jersey;
the USGS Mendenhall program of post doctorates to ensure future scientific
the ground-water model of the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain as part of
the regional aquifer system analysis program;
the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program;
as USGS chief geologist;
the science strategy team in 2006 to chart the science priorities of the
USGS for the next decade;
the implementation of a comprehensive reconnaissance of avian influenza
in migratory birds and a strategy to ensure the continuity of land imaging;
a multi-hazards initiative within the USGS.
The USGS will name an acting associate
director of geology upon Dr. Leahy’s departure.
USGS provides science for a changing
world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.
* * *www.usgs.gov*
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Geological Survey, Office of Communications