South Dakota Native to Head USGS Dakota Water Science Center

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Joyce E. Williamson, a native of South Dakota and a South Dakota School of Mines and Technology alumna, was selected as the director of the newly formed U.S. Geological Survey Dakota Water Science Center. Williamson is located in the center’s Rapid City, South Dakota, office. 

USGS Dakota Water Science Center
From left to right: Joyce Williamson is the director, Steve Robinson is the deputy director for data and Janet Carter is the deputy director for studies of the newly-formed USGS Dakota Water Science Center.(Credit: USGS, public domain)

The USGS also announced the selection of Janet M. Carter as the deputy director for studies and Steven M. Robinson as the deputy director for data for the USGS Dakota Water Science Center. Carter is located in Rapid City, and Robinson is located in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Recently, the USGS North Dakota Water Science and USGS South Dakota Water Science merged to become the united USGS Dakota Water Science Center. The center collects high-quality hydrologic data and conducts objective scientific investigations on the quantity, quality and use of surface-water and groundwater resources in the Dakotas.

The Dakota Water Science Center is organized into five offices located in Rapid City, Huron and Pierre in South Dakota and Bismarck and Grand Forks in North Dakota. The offices are strategically located within the Dakotas to respond to hydrologic events and to maintain partnerships with other state and federal agencies. The technical staff is organized between the Hydrologic Data Section, which operates the data collection networks, and the Studies Section, which investigates and assesses the quantity, quality and use of water resources.

Williamson has been with the USGS Dakota/South Dakota Water Science Center for the past 27 years, and has degrees in computer science and environmental engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Williamson was involved in several water-quality and surface-water research projects as a hydrologist, and served as the data chief from 2007 through 2016 for the USGS South Dakota Water Science Center.

Carter, also a native of South Dakota, has degrees in geological engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and has been with the USGS for the past 26 years. Carter was involved in numerous groundwater and water-quality research projects as a hydrologist, and served as a reports specialist for the USGS South Dakota Water Science Center and other USGS science centers over the past 15 years. Most recently, Carter has been involved with international studies in Mongolia and Armenia.

Robinson has a degree in geology from Northern Illinois University. He began his USGS career 32 years ago in the DeKalb, Illinois, USGS field office, where he worked on numerous groundwater and surface-water projects. In 1997, Robinson transferred to the USGS field office in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to work as the field office chief. He then relocated to Bismarck in 2003 where he served as the data chief of the USGS North Dakota Water Science Center through 2016. Robinson led data collection efforts during large North Dakota flood events in 2009 and 2011.