News of the WeekU.S. Geological Survey

Pioneering Geophysicist Tackles Newest Challenge

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Science  23 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5977, pp. 416
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5977.416

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Marcia McNutt oversees what she likes to call "the nation's only integrated natural science agency." Whether it's estimating how much natural gas awaits discovery in the eastern Mediterranean, figuring out why mixed-gender fish are showing up in the Potomac River, or calculating the odds of a sleeping Cascades volcano spouting off, the 4400 biologists, geologists, hydrologists, and mappers who work at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have a hand in it. Its supporters say that, for just over $1 billion a year, USGS may also be the nation's biggest scientific bargain. McNutt wants to increase the visibility of the venerable agency.