Geoffrey Plumlee, Ph.D.

As the Chief Scientist, Geoff provides strategic scientific counsel, including analysis, planning, and coordination, to the Director and the USGS Executive Leadership Team on scientific research and applications for which programs and projects that cross multiple Mission Areas.  He also serves as the USGS Executive Science Liaison within DOI and with other Federal agencies.



Career History and Highlights

Dr. Geoff Plumlee has served in his current position (first as Senior Science Advisor to the USGS Director and now Chief Scientist of the USGS) since February 2019. In this position, Geoff provides strategic scientific vision and counsel to the Director and other executive leaders of the USGS on inter- and transdisciplinary USGS science research priorities, activities, capabilities, and partnerships.  From May 2016 to early 2020, Geoff was the USGS Associate Director for Environmental Health, where he led USGS research at the intersection of the environment and health.

Geoff brought to these executive leadership positions over 30 years of research and science leadership experience with the USGS, as well as his ability to seek out and establish successful research collaborations with scientists from a broad range of earth, health, social, emergency response, and engineering science disciplines. From 1983 through May 2016 he helped lead and carry out many research projects on linkages between mineral resources, the environment, disasters, and human health.

Geoff is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and past Chair of the GSA Geology and Health Division. He is a member and past Council Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), where he proposed the idea for and worked to help establish the new AGU GeoHealth Section. Geoff has been an adjunct clinical assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Public Health since 2009, where he helped design and for 10 years lectured in a transdisciplinary course on environmental exposures and health.

Geoff is author or co-author of more than 140 scientific papers, including many in technical journals and books across a wide range of scientific disciplines such as environmental geochemistry, public health, natural hazards, economic geology, and geology. Geoff has received the Department of the Interior Superior and Meritorious Service awards, the GSA Geology and Health Division Distinguished Service Award, and the Society of Economic Geologists Waldemar Lindgren (Early Career Scientist) Award.



Geoff holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Geology from the University of New Mexico, 1980, and a Doctorate in Geochemistry from Harvard University, 1989.



Key Publications are listed below. PDF’s of specific publications, as well as a complete list of Geoff’s more than 140 publications, are available upon request.