For Marcia McNutt, the new director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and science advisor to the secretary of the interior, the clock is ticking. “Everyone feels that we have perhaps 3 years in which a very ambitious agenda needs to be accomplished,” McNutt told Eos in a recent exclusive interview. “We want to make sure by the end of [U.S. President Obama's] first term we have got significant accomplishments on issues such as climate change, environment, and energy, and other things that are important to the president.”
“Everything is on a fast track to move quickly,” she said. “Everything had to be done yesterday, if not last week.” While the political process often requires immediate scientific information, the scientific process can take a bit longer, McNutt said, noting that it is fortunate research at the USGS has persisted in many areas.