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James Pontolillo

I am currently the Reston Supervisory Physical Scientist for the Project Laboratories Branch (PLB) in the Laboratory & Analytical Services Division (LASD) of the USGS Water Resources Mission Area (WMA).

I assist the Branch Chief with a wide variety of administrative, human resources and supervisory tasks to ensure the smooth and consistent functioning of the PLB which is spread across three centers nationwide. I participate in administrative and leadership meetings to produce work plans and coordinate operations between the LASD and the Earth Systems Processes Division (ESPD). I supervise PLB scientists co-located with me in Reston. I also regularly provide advice on work-related topics to LASD/ESPD Reston personnel and serve as a local liaison between the divisions. I continue to serve as the facilities manager for all Reston WMA lab space.


Professional Experience

  • October 2017 - Present: Supervisory Physical Scientist (USGS Project Laboratories Branch, Reston, VA; Supervisor: Dana Erickson).

  • June 2017 - September 2017: Assistant Branch Chief (USGS National Research Program, Eastern Branch, Reston, VA; Supervisor: Pierre Glynn).

  • October 1995 – May 2017: Physical Scientist (USGS National Research Program, Organic Geochemistry Lab, Reston, VA; Supervisor: Robert P. Eganhouse).

  • December 1988 – October 1995: Physical Science Technician (USGS Branch of Coal Geology, Coal Petrology Lab, Reston, VA; Supervisor: Ronald W. Stanton).

Education and Certifications

  • 1981–1986  Colorado School of Mines,  Golden, Colorado

    B.S. Major in Metallurgical Engineering and Mineral Processing

    (Advisors: Rex W. Bull and David J. Spottiswood)

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