Chapter 1: Faces of the USGS

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Detailed Description

USGS video series highlighting the individuals who make up the U.S. Geological Survey. We are USGS, these are our stories.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:47

Location Taken: Los Angeles, CA, US


I was always participating in Science Fairs and things like that. 

So I always did well in science and math-related courses.

I’ve typically not been afraid to take a bit of a risk here and there. 

So, we’ll see how that goes.

I remember being at the beach and most kids are building sandcastles  

and I’m timing when the waves are coming in to see if there is a pattern.

In grad school I was exposed to an adjunct professor who worked with the USGS. 

And he mentioned to me, as a part-time job, you might want to come over and look 

at what we’re doing at the sub-district.  

I interviewed over there and got a job with the USGS.

So, I did a post-doc at USGS. 

It was to study the environmental impacts of uranium mining.

So I continued along that line 

and I still do that today.

And I was fortunate enough to work for the USGS 

and my supervisor at the time was an incredible mentor and he said,

“you know you have a lot of skills and you don’t want to just stay Corpus Christi, TX. You need to go.

You need to experience other things. You need to go to graduate school.”

Its really an exciting place to be because there are so many other scientists who have a broad knowledge base that I can learn from 

and I can get mentored from.

So, my principle in-office mentor…USGS mentor for the first part of my career was a hydrologic technician who was superb…

a superb professional.

It feels like you are alone sometimes in science. But you’re really not. 

Especially at USGS. Down the hall there are scientists you can go to. Knock on their doors 

and ask them questions and they will help you. 

And you make that next step.

But what I learned very quickly and what I’ve really carried through 

the majority of my management career, which I started in 1990, was that I loved 

facilitating others and their ability to do science work.

I started as a student, so I’m actually in my 36th year. And its interesting because when I started as a student 

I couldn’t see myself with the USGS for all these number of years. And it still surprises 

me that I’ve been with the Survey this long.