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Cynthia Barton

Dr. Cindi Barton has been Director of the USGS Washington Water Science Center since 1998. 

The Center collects water data and conducts water research in support of management and protection of water resources in Washington. Dr. Barton oversees the work of about 100 people located in Tacoma and four field stations in Washington. Dr. Barton's leadership and management have resulted in partnerships with local, state, federal, and tribal organizations, and new data and research programs that address the current and future water science needs in the Puget Sound and Columbia River Basins. Dr. Barton has been with the USGS since 1984. Before becoming Director of the Washington Water Science Center, she was a hydrologist in the Water Science Center in New Jersey specializing in ground water, hydrogeology and water quality. Her research provided an understanding of how land use practices influence shallow ground water quality. Subsequently, she became chief of water studies for the USGS in the Susquehanna River basin in Pennsylvania working to address water quality issues related to contamination of the Chesapeake Bay, agricultural practices and coal mining. In 1989, Dr. Barton became Director of the Water Science Center in Michigan. Her development of water research related to contamination of the Great Lakes and inland lakes, availability of drinking water supplies, contaminant vulnerability models, and effectiveness of bioremediation techniques. This program development earned her DOI's Superior Service Award. Prior to joining the USGS, Dr. Barton held faculty positions in the Department of Geology at Western Michigan University and the College of Charleston, where she taught classes related to metamorphic petrology and mineralogy.

Professional Experience

  • Water Resources Program Management

  • Geology

  • Geohydrology

  • Ground Water

  • Geochemistry

Education and Certifications

  • A.B., Geology/Minor Environmental Studies, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA, 1974

  • M.A., Geology, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA 1976

  • Ph.D., Geology/Distributed Minor, Physical Chemistry and Mathematics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 1981

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • USGS Fundamental Science Practices Advisory Committee, International Joint Commission US Section Chair or the Osoyoos Lake Board of Control and Columbia River Board of Control

  • DOI Upper Columbia River Regional Case Management Team

  • Columbia Basin Leadership Team and Puget Sound Leadership Team

  • GSA

  • AWRA

  • American Geological Institute

  • Phi Kappa Phi

  • Sigma Xi

Honors and Awards

  • USGS Exemplary Service Award for co-coordinating USGS response to the SR530 Landslide in Oso WA

  • DOI Meritorious Service Award

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government