White House Announces Nominee to Lead US Geological Survey

Last edited 03/08/2022

Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON — The White House today announced the intent to nominate David Applegate as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). David is currently the Associate Director for Natural Hazards, exercising the delegated authority of the Director. The nomination will now be considered by the U.S. Senate.

“Science is at the heart of Interior’s mission, and the U.S. Geological Survey is essential to helping provide and strengthen the scientific integrity of our agency’s work,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “For nearly two decades, David has helped advance the federal government’s scientific understanding of climate change and America’s geological features. As the confirmed Director, I am confident he will continue to empower the agency’s scientific and technical experts to use the best available science to help address the most pressing challenges of our time.”

David joined the USGS in 2004 as the first Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards. As Associate Director for the Natural Hazards Mission Area since 2011, he is responsible for USGS’s geologic hazard programs, including coordination of the bureau’s hazard response activities, as well as the bureau’s coastal and marine program, which plays a critical role in analyzing the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise. He also co-chairs the federal interagency Science for Disaster Reduction coordination group.

Prior to joining the USGS, David spent eight years with the American Geological Institute, a non-profit federation of geoscience societies, where he directed science policy and was the editor of Geotimes magazine. David previously served with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources as the American Geophysical Union's congressional science fellow and as a professional staff member.

David is an adjunct full professor in the University of Utah's Department of Geology and Geophysics. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America and is a past president of the Geological Society of Washington. He holds a B.S. in geology from Yale University and a Ph.D., also in geology, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Born and raised in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, he currently resides in Washington, DC with his wife and two daughters.

The USGS is the nation’s largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, and is the primary federal source of science-based information on ecosystem science, land use, energy and mineral resources, natural hazards, water use and availability, and updated maps and images for the Earth’s features available to the public. The USGS is also a leading scientific agency on climate science, playing an essential role in understanding the Earth’s past, present, and future climate. The USGS works in partnership with the Interior bureaus, other federal agencies, Tribes, states, local jurisdictions, and the private sector to provide the best available science to provide scientific information to resource managers and planners, emergency response officials, and the public.


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