Leahy Statement

From Federation of Earth Science Information Partners

Back to 2017 Nominations and Ballot

Pat Leahy, AGI

Nominee for At Large Member, ESIP Board

I am very pleased to stand for a member-at-large position on the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Board. As a large federation of member organizations, I feel strongly that a non-profit organization is an effective and efficient way to advance partnerships and collaborations that will lead to the goal of integrating science and data into mainstream use. Certainly, my career to date shows my commitment to the integration of science , the use of science and information to broader and importantly non-technical audiences so that science data and interpretations can be used to solve some of society’s most challenging problems.

My career has three distinctly different aspects. I served as a scientist, manager, and executive with the U.S. Geological Survey. While Chief of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, I worked effectively with the incorporation of non-USGS data into the various assessments conducted across the Nation. While Chief Geologist and Associate Director, I advanced the development of data collection programs and innovative products designed for a broad collection of audiences in need of timely and practical earth-science information to mitigate natural hazards, enhance assessments of natural resources, understand changing environmental conditions, develop a greater understanding of climate change impacts, and ensure the development and expanded use of fundamental products such as geologic maps. While Acting Director, I was fortunate to receive the approval of the White House to launch Landsat 8 to replace early satellites that were long past their operational life. I also served on the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Committee to ensure interagency collaboration across federal science agencies. Finally, I led the organization responsible for the use of classified assets for civilian uses.

More recently, I served as Executive Director of the American Geosciences Institute(AGI), a federation of 51 geoscience organizations. AGI has active programs focusing on education particularly at the K-12 level, public awareness through many media including television and a monthly magazine, public policy through various publications, fellowships, Congressional briefings, webinars, and speciality fora, workforce studies to gauge the health and emerging trends in the geoscience workforce globally, and support of geoscience research through an indexing database called GeoRef. I recently became Executive Director of the AGI Foundation, whose sole purpose is to raise funds to support the efforts of AGI. Through these experiences, I have honed my skills in governance of foundations, seeking strategic partnerships, developing mutually beneficial collaboration, and delivering information in a meaningful way to non-scientific audiences. I believe my skill base will be valuable on the ESIP Board.

I am pleased that the focus of ESIP for the next three years will be on the integration of science and data into mainstream use. I believe this should be one of the highest aspirations of the Earth Scientist. It is a very lofty goal that requires ESIP to have strong links to the user community who may not understand the value of earth science to them. Success in this realm is often difficult to achieve. However, with visionary leadership and a committed federation great strides are possible. ESIP serves a vital role in the Earth Sciences and I would be pleased to contribute to its success as a Board Member.