Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
CONTACT: Dan DuBray or Frank Quimby
June 9, 2005
(202) 208-6416
Secretary Gale Norton Praises Leadership
of U.S. Geological Survey Director Dr. Charles Groat

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today announced the resignation of Dr. Charles G. Groat as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Dr. Groat will resume his distinguished academic career - accepting appointments at the University of Texas at Austin. His resignation is effective June 17, 2005.

In a letter to Dr. Groat, Secretary Norton praised the knowledge, management skills, leadership and perseverance that he has brought to the USGS and the Department of the Interior:

"I cannot overstate your positive impact on the USGS and its contributions to science excellence and leadership under your stewardship," she said. "You have worked successfully to ensure that the USGS's scientific capabilities are effectively applied to supporting important decisions regarding resource and environmental management and policy. You have substantially increased the USGS's interactions with organizations that use science in decisionmaking, and especially those within the Department of the Interior, to ensure the relevance of the USGS's work to their needs."

Dr. Groat was confirmed as the 13th Director of the USGS on November 13, 1998. He plans to accept appointments as the Jackson Chair in Energy and Mineral Resources in the School of Geosciences and the founding Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin.

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."

"I leave my position with a great respect for the people of the USGS," Dr. Groat added. "Their dedication to the mission of the organization, commitment to excellence, and enthusiasm for their work, have been an inspiration to me. The people of our great country are served well by this outstanding organization."

In 1998, before his appointment as USGS Director, Dr. Groat served as Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Projects at the University of Texas at El Paso, following three years as Director of the Center for Environmental Resource management. He was also Director of the university's Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. Program and a Professor of Geological Sciences.

Prior to Joining the University of Texas, Dr. Groat served as Executive Director (1992-95) at the Center for Coastal, Energy, and Environmental Resources at Louisiana State University. He was Executive Director (1990-92) for the American Geological Institute. He served (1983-88) as Assistant to the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, where he administered the Coastal Zone Management Program and the Coastal Protection Program. He held positions (1978-90) at Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources which included serving as professor for the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and as Director and State Geologist for the Louisiana Geological Survey.

Dr. Groat's new position with the University of Texas at Austin marks his return to the institution where he once served as associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and as Associate Director and Acting Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology.

The Department of the Interior will name an acting USGS Director upon Dr. Groat's departure. A permanent replacement must be nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.


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