Local Scientist Receives Prestigious Mentoring Award

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Aldo V. (Skip) Vecchia, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, will be awarded the 2015 Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award for his outstanding efforts mentoring junior staff.

Aldo V. (Skip) Vecchia, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, will be awarded the 2015 Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award for his outstanding efforts mentoring junior staff. 

Vecchia is a statistician with the USGS in Bismarck, North Dakota, and a graduate of Colorado State University, where he received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in statistics. He regularly counsels junior scientists, including students and interns, on using statistics to solve complex water-resource problems. Vecchia will accept the Griffith award before an assembly of federal statisticians in Washington, D.C., on June 10. 

The Griffith award encourages mentoring of junior staff in the statistical community within the federal, state or local government.  

“Skip is a tremendous asset to the USGS and entire scientific community as a technical expert and guiding hand,” said Gregg Wiche, the director of the USGS North Dakota Water Science Center. “As a mentor, he provides the next generation of innovators with the highest quality leadership needed to advance the field of environmental statistics.” 

Vecchia’s mentoring activities include teaching at the USGS National Training Center, advising young scientists in his office and through the USGS National Mentoring Program, interacting with staff from numerous partner agencies and regularly supporting colleagues at the USGS. He frequently provides technical feedback, offers encouragement for presentations and publications and advocates for professional recognition for his mentees.   

Vecchia uses statistical methods, including those that he developed, to better understand water-quality and the hydrology of rivers, streams and lakes in North Dakota and across the nation. He developed a water-quality analysis program to evaluate hydrologic issues of local and national importance, and provided technical support and guidance to those who use it. These trainees included USGS scientists in Montana, Indiana and Connecticut, as well as colleagues in Canada 

The Jeanne E. Griffith award is supported by the American Statistical Association Government Statistics Section and Social Statistics Section; NORC at the University of Chicago; Westat; American Institutes for Research; American Educational Research Association; The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics; Stata; Washington Statistical Society; and the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy.