19 September 2006 – The U.S. Senate has confirmed an Alaskan to be the new director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne has praised the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Mark D. Myers as director of the U.S. Geological Survey. President Bush had nominated Myers, an internationally recognized geologist and former State Geologist and head of Alaska’s Geological Survey, in May.
“I congratulate Mark on his confirmation and commend the U.S. Senate for its unanimous consent action today,” Kempthorne said. “Mark brings two decades of experience in geological science and strong leadership skills to his position. I have every confidence he will do an outstanding job as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey.”
As Director of the State of Alaska Division of Oil and Gas, Myers oversaw a professional staff of nearly 100 employees, including geoscientists, engineers, land managers, accountants, commercial analysts, and auditors.
As State Geologist and Director of the State of Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey, Myers managed a research organization that generated analyses and interpretations of data on geologic resources and natural conditions as well as maps and inventories of mineral and energy resources on state land. That information is used by the government, private industry, scientists, educators and the public.
Myers, an expert on North Slope sedimentary and petroleum geology, served as survey chief for field programs in the MacKenzie Delta, Cook Inlet (State of Alaska/U.S. Geological Survey, 1997), and North Slope. He also served as sedimentologist for 13 other North Slope field programs.
Myers is a past president and board member of the Alaska Geological Society; a certified professional geologist with the American Institute of Professional Geologists; a certified petroleum geologist with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists; and a licensed geologist with the State of Alaska.
He served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1977 to 2003, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. Myers received his doctorate in geology from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in 1994, specializing in sedimentology, clastic depositional environments, surface and subsurface sequence analysis and sandstone petrography. Myers earned his bachelor and master of science degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Current acting USGS director Dr. P. Patrick Leahy will continue to serve in the acting capacity until Myers is sworn into office.
The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect America’s quality of life. The USGS Headquarters and Eastern Region facility is located in Reston, Va. Central Region and Western Region offices are located in Denver, Colo., and Menlo Park, Calif., respectively.
The 10,000 scientists, technicians and support staff of the USGS are located in nearly 400 offices in every state and in several foreign countries. With a budget of more than $1 billion a year, the USGS leverages its resources and expertise in partnership with more than 2,000 agencies of state, local and tribal government, the academic community, other federal allies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Field investigations, direct observations of natural science processes and phenomena, and monitoring and data collection at the local scale are the scientific hallmarks of the USGS.