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Meredith Richardson Martin, PhD

Meredith Martin is the Water Resources Mission Area Chief Science Advisor

Meredith Martin has been serving as the Water Resources Mission Area (WMA) Chief Science Advisor since 2022. In this role, Meredith provides both tactical and strategic support as the senior aide to the Associate Director and sits on WMA’s leadership body, the Executive Council. Meredith serves as the WMA Liaison to the USGS Director’s Office and the U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. As the primary conduit of information flow to/from the Bureau and Department levels, she is responsible for designing and implementing strategies to ensure appropriate situational awareness of water-related activities across multiple levels of leadership in WMA, USGS, and DOI. Furthermore, Meredith regularly coordinates with external partners as the main point of contact and representative for the Associate Director on executive-level interagency and intergovernmental activities.

Prior to joining USGS, Meredith spent two years at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She first came into the federal government through NOAA’s Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. As a Fellow in the Department’s Office of the Chief Data Officer, Meredith was instrumental in solidifying the role of the Commerce Data Governance Board and developing the Department’s first Commerce Data Strategy, and she supported Admiral Gallaudet (former NOAA Deputy Administrator) as he stood up NOAA’s Science and Technology Synergy Committee under the NOAA Science Council. Meredith then served as the Senior Advisor to the Chief Data Officer for Climate and Environment. In this role, Meredith led the writing for the data-related sections of the Commerce Strategic Plan and served as the Department-level technical expert on climate and environment-related policy issues. Further, she led efforts at Commerce to expand climate data access to underserved communities through public-private partnerships and served on the US Global Change Research Program’s Climate Resilience Information System (CRIS) Leadership Team.

Meredith has seven years of experience in ecohydrology designing and performing novel research for understanding the impacts of human activities on natural ecosystems. This was achieved through numerical modeling of ecosystem nutrient dynamics, water and energy balance, and theoretically-derived thermodynamic properties at representative study sites, including forested, alpine, logged, burned, and agricultural ecosystems. Her dissertation, Thermodynamics to determine emergent vegetation and ecosystem responses to human-induced perturbations, studied the role of temperature and changing environmental conditions on the existence and stability of vegetation in a variety of climates. Additional research projects include cost-benefit analyses to study green infrastructure options as well as ecosystem services studies and life cycle assessments to compare alternative uses for agricultural products.