Emitt Witt


Dr. Witt received a BS degree in Environmental Sciences with emphasis in marine and aquatic ecology associated with seaport systems from Old Dominion University, an MS in aqueous geochemistry and water quality from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in environmental geochemistry/engineering from the Missouri University of Science & Technology. He has held numerous roles within the USGS ranging from staff hydrologist to Science Center Director. As a staff hydrologist, Dr. Witt conducted studies on sediment transport in surface mined basins, the effects acid deposition on small headwater streams in the northeastern US, surface water modeling using HSPF, storm water quality assessments for the USEPA National Pollution Discharge Elimination System program, groundwater quality assessments of military facilities scheduled for closure, nutrient and pesticide transport mechanisms in the vadose zone of agricultural areas, microbiological contamination of public water supplies, and acid mine drainage assessment and quantification.


As a manager and leader, Dr. Witt has served as a Water Science Center data and studies section chief, water quality specialist, and representative to the US Air Force Air Mobility Command and US Army Reserve Command Environmental and Engineering Directorates. He also served as chief of the USGS Department of Defense Earth Science program where he coordinated reimbursable projects with all military commands totaling more than $40M/year. During a reorganization of the Mapping Discipline, Dr. Witt served as the interim Director for the Mid-Continent Geographic Science Center where he led a team of physical scientists and cartographic technicians dedicated to hazard mitigation analysis, land use classification and trends analysis, and geotechnical failure analysis. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board for the American Institute of Hydrology where he previously served the executive committee as General Secretary, President-elect, President, and past-President of the organization.  Dr. Witt recently and proudly served as Chief of the Data Operations Branch within the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center during the rebuilding of The National Map and USTopo, the Nation’s new digital topographic map product. He is currently adjunct faculty at the Missouri University of Science & Technology where he teaches Remote Sensnig Technology and Lidar Technology and Applicaitons.


Dr. Witt is an avid outdoorsman with interests that range from fly fishing to ultra-marathon kayak racing. Races he has competed in include the Missouri River 340, the world’s longest continuous race from Kansas City to St. Louis finishing 6th in 2010 and 4th in 2012 with a best time of 45hr 6mins; the 90 mi Lake of the Ozarks competition finishing 2nd place; the 90 mi Kawnivore 100 finishing 10th, the Gritty Fitty 50-miler finishing 3rd; the Race for the Rivers 120 mi event finishing 1st; and the World’s longest unsupported expedition race, the Yukon 1000, finishing 4th with a time of 7days 9hrs.