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Dr. P. Patrick Leahy, U.S. Geological Survey

Photo of Dr. P. Patrick LeahyPosition: Associate Director for Geology

Responsibilities: Dr. Leahy is responsible for Federal basic earth science programs, which include 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 is also responsible for all international activities conducted by the USGS.

Career History: Dr. Leahy has been with the USGS since 1974—from June 2005 to September 2006, he served as Acting Director of the USGS. Before that, he had been serving as the USGS Associate Director for Geology. He has served in various technical and managerial positions and has pioneered several important efforts during his career with the USGS, including

  • Working closely with stakeholders on water resource availability issues for 15 years in USGS field offices in New York, Delaware, and New Jersey.
  • Implementing the Mendenhall postdoctoral program to ensure future scientific excellence.
  • Completing the groundwater model of the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain as part of the regional aquifer system analysis program.
  • Implementing the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program.
  • Serving as chief geologist of the USGS.
  • Commissioning the science strategy team in 2006 to chart the science priorities of the USGS for the next decade.
  • Directing the implementation of a comprehensive reconnaissance of avian influenza in migratory birds and a strategy to ensure the continuity of land imaging.
  • Implementing a multi-hazards initiative at the USGS.

Dr. Leahy also has significant professional involvement and recognition outside the USGS as

  • a Fellow in the Geological Society of America.
  • chair of the Federal Advisory Committee for the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program.
  • a member and the past chairman of the U.S. National Committee for Geological Sciences for the National Academy of Sciences.
  • former president of both the American Institute of Hydrology and the U.S. National Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists.
  • head of the U.S. delegation to the 30th International Geological Congress in Beijing, China.
  • a 2003 Meritorious Senior Executive as recognized by President Bush.

These are just a few of his many accolades.

Education: Dr. Leahy has doctorate in geology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s and master’s in geology and geophysics from Boston College.


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