Linda C Gundersen


Linda C. Gundersen is Scientist Emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey, having spent 34 years there as a research scientist, program manager, and senior executive before retiring in 2013.  The first half of her career focused on conducting and managing research projects in geochemistry, ore deposits, and interdisciplinary studies of radionuclides in rocks, soils, and water; eventually assessing the geologic radon potential of the United States.  She received numerous grants from DOE, EPA, and NSF and worked with diverse partners in the health and geological science communities. During 1995-98, she served as program manager for both the Energy Resources and Mineral Resources Programs.  As the only geologist on the National Academies of Sciences Committee on Risk Assessment of Exposure to Radon in Drinking Water from 1997-1999, she contributed to the first multimedia risk assessment for exposure to radon in water.  In 1998, she became a federal senior executive and the Associate Chief Geologist for Operations. In 2001, she was appointed Chief Scientist for Geology overseeing $260M in research programs encompassing the Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslides, Coastal and Marine Geology, National Geologic Mapping, Energy and Mineral Resources, and Global Climate Change programs. She served in that capacity for 10 years before becoming the first Director of the Office of Science Quality and Integrity where she established and directed scientific integrity, ethics, education, career development, publication quality, research excellence, and other programs across the USGS. She has co-authored or led the development of scientific integrity policies for USGS (2007), Department of Interior (2011), American Geosciences Institute (2015), and the American Geophysical Union (2012 and 2017). She recently served on the Geological Society of America Ad Hoc Committee on Ethics. She is editor and an author of the book Scientific Integrity and Ethics in the Geosciences (2017).  She served on the National Academies of Science Committee on the Impacts of Sexual Harassment in Academia whose report Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences was released in June 2018.  Her academic background includes undergraduate and graduate work in structural geology and geochemistry at Stony Brook University and at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She received the DOI Superior, Meritorious, and Distinguished Service Awards, the Unit of Excellence Award and the Secretary of the Interior’s Bronze Executive Leadership Award. She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and was also honored with GSA’s Outstanding Contributions to Geoinformatics award.  She has published numerous papers and presented hundreds of lectures in the fields of geology, geoinformatics, science management, scientific integrity, and ethics.

Areas of Expertise

Geology, geochemistry, structural geology, metamorphic petrology, radionuclide chemistry, geoinformatics, science management, research program development, program performance and evaluation, business efficiency and management, scientific integrity and ethics, strategic planning.

Current and Recent Projects

National Academy of Sciences Committee on Impacts of Sexual Harassment in Academia (2017-2018)

Updating the American Geophysical Union Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy (2017)

Geochemistry of the Reading Prong and Origin of FE-REE-U Deposits (ongoing)

Reviewing the USGS Emeritus Program (2016)

Chair: Flinn Committee, American Geophysical Union Honors Program 2015-2016

Member and Advisor: American Geosciences Institute, Committee to Develop a Common Code of Ethics for the Geosciences. (2015)

Member: EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance Advisory Committee. (2014-2016)



The National Academies of Sciences, 2018, Consensus Study Report, Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate Culture, and Consequences, National Academies Press, Washington DC, 310p. 

Gundersen, Linda C., 2017, Chapter 9. Scientific Integrity and Ethical Considerations for the Research Data Life Cycle, in Gundersen, L.C. (ed.) 2017, Scientific Integrity and Ethics in the Geosciences, American Geophysical Union Special Publication 73, p. 133-153, John Wiley and Sons.

Gundersen, Linda C., 2017, Appendix A. Case Studies for Science Integrity and Geoethics Practice, in Gundersen, L.C. (ed.) 2017, Scientific Integrity and Ethics in the Geosciences, American Geophysical Union Special Publication 73, p. 293-303, John Wiley and Sons.

Gundersen, Linda C. (editor) 2017, Scientific Integrity and Ethics in the Geosciences, American Geophysical Union Special Publication 73, p. 133-153, John Wiley and Sons. DOI:10.1002/9781119067825

McPhaden, M. J., L. Gundersen, and B. M. Williams (2017), AGU revises its integrity and ethics policy, Eos, 98,

Gundersen, L.C., and Townsend, R. (2015) Chapter 8. Formulating the American Geophysical Union's Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics Policy: Challenges and Lessons Learned, in Wyss, M. and Peppoloni, S. (eds.) Geoethics: Ethical Challenges and Case Studies in Earth Sciences, Elsevier, 450p.

Gundersen, Linda C.S.; Belnap, Jayne; Goldhaber, Martin; Goldstein, Arthur; Haeussler, Peter J.; Ingebritsen, S.E.; Jones, John W.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Thieler, E. Robert; Thompson, Robert S.; Back, Judith M., 2011. Geology for a changing world 2010-2020-Implementing the U.S. Geological Survey science strategy. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1369, vi, 60 p.; Appendices.

Allison, M. Lee; Gundersen, Linda C.; Richard, Stephen, 2011. Geoinformatics in the public service: building a cyberinfrastructure across the geological surveys. Cambridge University Press p. 342-349.

Edited by Brady, Shailaja R.; Sinha, A. Krishna; Gundersen, Linda C., 2008. Geoinformatics 2008 - Data to Knowledge. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5172, vi, 76 p.

Edited by Brady, Shailaja R.; Sinha, A. Krishna; Gundersen, Linda C., 2007. Geoinformatics 2007 - Data to Knowledge. Geological Survey (U.S.) Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5199, vi, 104 p.

Edited by Brady, Shailaja R.; Sinha, A. Krishna; Gundersen, Linda C., 2006. Geoinformatics 2006--Abstracts. Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5201, viii, 60 p.

McMahon, G., Benjamin, S., Clarke, K., Findley, J., Fisher, R., Graf, W., Gundersen, L., Jones, J., Loveland, T., Roth, K., Usery, E.L., Wood, N., 2005. Geography for a Changing World: A science strategy for the geographic research of the U.S. Geological Survey, 2005-2015. Circular 1281, 74 p.

Gundersen, L.C.S., 2004, Tectonics and metallogenesis of Proterozoic rocks of the Reading Prong: Journal of Geodynamics, v. 37, p. 361-379.

Hopke, P. K.; Borak, T. B.; Doull, J.; Cleaver, J. E.; Eckerman, K. F.; Gundersen, L. C. S.; Harley, N. H.; Hess, C. T.; Kinner, N. E.; Kopecky, K. J.; Mckone, T. E.; Sextro, R. G.; Simon, S. L., 2000, Health risks due to radon in drinking water: Environmental Science and Technology, 34: 921 - 926.

National Academies of Sciences, 1999, Consensus Study Report, Risk Assessment of Radon in Drinking Water, National Academies Press, Washington DC, 296p.

Gundersen, L.C.S., and Schumann, R.R., 1996, Mapping the radon potential of the United States: Examples from the Appalachians: Environment Internat’l, v22, suppl. 1, p. S829-S837.

Gundersen, L.C.S., and Gates, A.E., 1995, Mechanical response, chemical variation, and volume change in the Brookneal and Hylas Shear Zones, Virginia: Journal of Geodynamics, v. 19, no. 3/4, p. 231-252.

Gundersen, L.C.S., 1993 Preliminary Geologic Radon Potential Assessment of Alabama, USEPA Report 6604J # 402-R-93-021, p. IV-1-28. (Reports of similar length, approximately 25-30 pages, were published with Gundersen as first author for AL, DE, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, VA, CT, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, GA, PA)  EPA Region 1, ; EPA Region 2, ; and Region 3 ; EPA Region 5 

Gundersen, L.C.S., 1992, The effect of rock type, grain size, sorting, permeability, and moisture on measurements of radon in soil gas: A comparison of two measurement techniques: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, v. 161, no. 2, p. 325-337.

Gundersen, L.C.S., and Peake, R. T., 1992, Radon and Uranium in the Coastal Plain of Texas, Alabama and New Jersey, in Gates, A.E., and Gundersen, L.C.S., (eds.), Geologic Controls on Radon; Geological Society of America Special Paper, no. 271, p. 53-64.

Gundersen, L.C.S., Schumann, R.R., Otton, J.K., Owen, D.E., Dubiel, R.F., Dickinson, K.A., 1992, Geology of Radon in the United States: in Gates, A.E., and Gundersen, L.C.S., (eds.), Geologic Controls on Radon; Geological Society of America Special Paper 271, p. 1-16.

Gundersen, L. C. S.; Wanty, Richard B., (eds.) 1991. Field studies of radon in rocks, soils, and water. U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S. G.P.O., Bulletin 1971, xxi, 334 p. ill. ;28 cm.

Gundersen, L.C.S., 1991, Radon in Sheared Metamorphic and Igneous Rocks: in Gundersen, L.C.S., and Wanty R.B., (eds.) 1991, Field Studies of Radon in Rocks, Soils, and Water: USGS Bulletin #1971, p. 38-49.

Gates, A.E., Gundersen, L.C.S., and Malizzi, L.D., 1990 Comparison of radon in soil over faulted crystalline terrains: glaciated versus unglaciated, Geophysical Research Letters, V. 17 n.6 p. 813-816.

Gates, A.E. and Gundersen, L.C.S., 1989, The role of ductile shearing in the concentration of radon in the Brookneal mylonite zone, Virginia: Geology, v. 17, p. 391-394.

Gundersen, L. C.; Reimer, G. M.; Wiggs, C. R.; Rice, C. A., 1988. Map showing radon potential of rocks and soils in Montgomery County, Maryland. Miscellaneous Field Studies Map 2043, 1 map :col. ;102 x 91 cm., on sheet 107 x 137 cm., folded in envelope 30 x 24 cm.