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The U.S. Geological Survey is celebrating the success of eight distinguished researchers who are recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

The U.S. Geological Survey is celebrating the success of eight distinguished researchers who are recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This award is the highest recognition granted by the United States government to scientists and engineers in the early stages of their research careers.

"The USGS is extremely proud of its winners of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers," said Dr. Jim Reilly, director of the USGS. "These scientists have been recognized for outstanding work in the early stages of their careers. This is an impressive achievement and the scientific community looks forward to what comes next as they continue to advance the science in their fields.”

Each year, 10 federal departments and agencies nominate outstanding scientists and engineers whose discoveries and advancements expand the horizons of science and technology, contribute to their agencies’ missions, and benefit America’s economy and the health and safety of the nation’s people.

The awards, established in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.


The USGS Awardees


portrait of Dr. Annemarie S. Baltay

Dr. Annemarie S. Baltay, research geophysicist 
For outstanding contributions to the analysis and forecasting of earthquake ground motions; for critical contributions to the determination of earthquake source parameters and their uncertainties, most importantly the earthquake stress drop; and for extensive outreach and mentorship activities. 



profile illustration

Dr. Patricia (Soupy) A. Dalyander, research oceanographer (former employee-no image available)
For developing novel modeling approaches into how coastal processes and evolution impact oil spill response and coastal restoration; for contributions toward the nation’s response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill; and for promoting fair professional advancement across gender divides.



portrait of Dr. Brian A. Ebel, research hydrologist

Dr. Brian A. Ebel, research hydrologist
For significant contributions toward understanding hydrologic response and hillslope hydrology after wildfire, disturbance hydrology, hydrologically-driven slope failure, and fully-coupled surface water and groundwater model evaluation; for leadership in informing and guiding post-wildfire response teams; and for extensive mentorship and outreach activities.



Dr. Jeffrey M. Lorch, microbiologist

Dr. Jeffrey M. Lorch, microbiologist 
For innovative and pioneering contributions to the study of newly emerging pathogens of wildlife; for identifying the cause of white-nose syndrome in bats and snake fungal disease in snakes; and for the exemplary mentorship of students, research fellows, and technicians.



Dr. Celestine N. Mercer, research geologist

Dr. Celestine N. Mercer, research geologist
For significant contributions in understanding mineral deposit formation at shallow to moderate levels in the Earth’s crust; for improving the analytical capabilities and visibility of fluid and melt inclusion research; and for inspiring young people to consider careers in science. 



profile illustration

Dr. Nedal T. Nassar, physical scientist (no image available)
For transformative work in the field of mineral criticality studies; for ensuring the reliable supply of mineral raw materials of importance to U.S. economic and national security interests; and for extensive international outreach activities.



Dr. Aaron G. Wech, research geophysicist

Dr. Aaron G. Wech, research geophysicist
For cutting edge research and developing practical tools that have immediate impact on seismic hazard analysis; for scientific leadership in the emerging field of episodic tremor and slip; and for advocacy for offshore observations and subduction zone science.



portrait of Dr. Heather M. Wright

Dr. Heather M. Wright, research geologist
For scientific leadership in collaborative, international research toward understanding volcanic processes, hazard assessment, and risk mitigation; for serving as a leader in eruption forecasting and response to volcanic crises; and for extensive international outreach and education activities.




For a complete list of award winners visit

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