RESTON, Va. -- The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm the nomination by President Clinton of Dr. Charles G. Groat as the new Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt will swear him into office.
"Dr. Groat has the right mix of academic background, skills, and experience for providing leadership to the USGS," Babbitt said. "In the wake of several natural disasters that have beset our country in recent weeks, including Hurricane Georges, flooding in Kansas now most recently, flooding in south Texas, there is a pressing need for good science to guide safe and informed decisions. The U.S. Geological Survey plays a critical role in science in this country and, indeed, all over the world. We welcome Dr. Groat's considerable talent to lead our premiere science agency in the many important natural resource challenges that lie ahead."
Dr. Groat, 58, is a distinguished professional in the earth science community with over 25 years of direct involvement in geological studies, energy and minerals resource assessment, groundwater occurrence and protection, geomorphic processes and landform evolution in desert areas, and coastal studies. He currently serves as Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Projects at the University of Texas at El Paso, following three years as Director of the Center for Environmental Resource Management. He was also Director of the University's Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. Program.
Prior to joining the University of Texas, Dr. Groat served as Executive Director (1991-95) at the Center for Coastal, Energy, and Environmental Resources at Louisiana State University. In 1991-92, he was Executive Director for the American Geological Institute. From 1983-88, he served as assistant to the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, where he administered the Coastal Zone Management Program, and the Coastal Protection Program.
From 1978-1990, Dr. Groat held positions at Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources which included serving as professor for the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and as Director and State Geologist for the Louisiana Geological Survey. He also served as associate professor (1976-78) at the University of Texas at Austin, in the Department of Geological Sciences, and as Associate Director and Acting Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology.
Among his many professional affiliations, Groat is a member of the Geological Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologist. He has also served on over a dozen earth science boards and committees and has authored and contributed to numerous publications and articles on major issues involving earth resources and the environment.
A native of Westfield, New York, Groat received an A.B. degree in geology from the University of Rochester in 1962, an M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1967, and his Ph.D. in 1970 from the University of Texas at Austin.
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