Geoffrey Plumlee, Ph.D.
The Associate Director for Environmental Health leads USGS science at the intersection of health and environment—science that helps understand the actual versus perceived hazards that environmental contaminants and pathogens pose to humans and other organisms.
Career History and Highlights
Geoff Plumlee brings to his AD position 33 years of research and science management experience with the USGS, as well as his ability to establish successful research collaborations with scientists from a broad range of earth, health, social, emergency response, and engineering science disciplines. Early in his career, Geoff’s research integrating economic geology and environmental geochemistry gained new insights into how mineral deposits form and how resource extraction can be accomplished while better protecting the environment. Geoff conceived of and led the development of geoenvironmental models of mineral deposits, which provide the geologic basis for better anticipating and preventing adverse environmental impacts from mineral resource development. From 1996-2001, Geoff served as Director for two USGS science centers, providing scientific and managerial leadership for more than 200 scientists and support staff. After rotating back to research in 2001, he helped lead USGS science collaborations with health experts to understand human health implications of geologic materials such as asbestos, mine wastes, and volcanic ash, and materials produced by disasters such as the World Trade Center collapse, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and mine tailings spills. Through his work with USGS hazards experts, Geoff developed methods to help anticipate environmental and health implications of looming or future disasters.
Geoff is an adjunct clinical assistant professor at University of Colorado School of Public Health, Past Chair of the Geological Society of America’s Geology and Health Division, a contributing editor to Earth Magazine, a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, and an appointed Council Member of the American Geophysical Union. He is a lead author or coauthor on over 140 scientific papers, including articles in technical journals and books spanning disciplines such as environmental geochemistry, public health, natural hazards, economic geology, and geology.
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.