Dr. David Applegate was confirmed by the US Senate via a voice vote on 4 Aug 2022 to serve as the next Director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Dr. Applegate’s appointment as Director builds upon his decades of experience in Earth Science policy and administration.
After receiving degrees in geology from Yale and MIT, including a PhD thesis focused on metamorphic rocks and the geologic evolution of Death Valley, Dr. Applegate switched tracks to a career in Washington DC, with a stint on the Energy and Natural Resources committee, initially as an AGU Congressional Science Fellow. He then worked as the director of government affairs for the American Geosciences Institute before joining the USGS in 2004 as the first Senior Science Advisor for Earthquakes and Geologic Hazards. He next served as Associate Director for Natural Hazards where he led the Coastal & Marine Geology, Earthquake Hazards, Global Seismographic Network, Geomagnetism, Landslide Hazards, and the Volcano Hazards Program. He has served as the interim director of the USGS since January of 2021. Dr. Applegate is also an adjunct professor at the University of Utah where he still occasionally teaches field courses to undergraduates.
Dr. Applegate was the president of the GSW in 2003, and he continues to be engaged in its mission of providing a forum for geological interchange through a program of regularly scheduled formal talks, informal communications, opportunities to meet colleagues, field trips, and public service. The GSW members represent a wide cross-section of the local geologic community.
We would like to extend our congratulations to Dr. Applegate!