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USGS Presents John Wesley Powell Awards
Released: 10/6/2003

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Heather Friesen 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4469



Recognizing Achievements in Mapping, Water, and Government Affairs

The U.S. Geological Survey presented the 2003 John Wesley Powell Award to governmental, educational and organizational partners who have worked with the USGS to provide mapping data to the public, to develop new methods in stream monitoring, and to unite public policy to science. The USGS recognized the three recipients at its annual awards ceremony in Reston, Va., Sept. 25.

"I commend all of the 2003 John Wesley Powell Award recipients for their distinct achievements in furthering the mission of the U.S. Geological Survey," said USGS Director Charles G. Groat. "Through partnerships with State and local government, educational institutions, and societies and associations, USGS can better serve the Nation."

The John Wesley Powell Award recognizes an individual or group, not employed by the USGS, whose contributions to the agency’s objectives and mission are noteworthy. John Wesley Powell, the second director of the USGS, was a distinguished scientist responsible for setting the high standards that govern the USGS today.

The 2003 John Wesley Powell Award recipients are:

University of Delaware Data Mapping and Integration Laboratory (DataMIL)
Delaware DataMIL participants Dr. John Callahan, Dr. Richard Sacher, William S. Schenck, Michael B. Mahaffie, and Christina Callahan created the foremost pilot project of The National Map using Internet Mapping Service (IMS) technology. The National Map provides public access to geospatial data and information from multiple partners to help inform decisionmaking by resource managers and the public across the country. The Delaware DataMIL is a resource for the State of Delaware. Linking local and State data with Federal datasets provides efficiencies in emergency response, as well as cost savings in spatial data maintenance. "The First State" is truly first in supporting the vision of The National Map.

Dr. William Plant, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington
Dr. William Plant is recognized for his research on the use of radar to monitor river discharge. During 1997-1999, Dr. Plant, with the assistance of the USGS, developed a vehicle-mounted microwave radar system to measure river surface velocity on the Skagit River in Washington State. Dr. Plant also oversaw the adaptation of this microwave device for installation in a helicopter. Currently Dr. Plant is assisting the USGS and the National Science Foundation on a series of tests on the San Joaquin River in California and on the Cowlitz River in Washington, on the use of surface velocity measurements to monitor river discharge. These tests will eventually facilitate the operational use of radar to routinely monitor river discharge and will result in a safer, more cost-effective and more accurate method for stream flow measurement.

American Geological Institute’s Government Affairs Program
The American Geological Institute (AGI) represents more than 100,000 earth scientists working in business, industry, academia, and government. Through its Government Affairs Program (GAP), AGI has built a strong voice for the earth science community and is forging a link between scientists and decision makers. GAP has helped the USGS serve the Nation by bringing earth science to the forefront in the formulation of public policy. GAP has provided expert testimony to Congress on a full range of topics, including natural hazards, homeland security, energy and water resources, ocean policy, geologic mapping, global climate change and other environmental issues, science funding, and education.


The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

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