Public Release: 

Dr. P. Patrick Leahy of the American Geosciences Institute awarded Pick and Gavel Award

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA--The Association of American State Geologists (AASG) has recognized the Executive Director of the American Geosciences Institute, Dr. P Patrick Leahy with its prestigious Pick and Gavel Award. This award was initiated by AASG in 1999 to recognize distinguished friends of geology who have made major contributions to advancing or facilitating the role that geoscience plays in our society.

"Many of the complex geoscience issues we face today are of significant interest to the public." Leahy said, "Indeed, earth-science problems often involve serious conflict, have costly and long-term consequences, require timely action on the part of a policy maker, and reveal significant gaps in our knowledge and understanding."

Following his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Boston College, and a Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he had a distinguished career at the U.S. Geological Survey with assignments including Chief of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, Chief Geologist of the Geology Division, Associate Director for Geology and as acting Director. Leahy joined the American Geosciences Institute in 2007 as its Executive Director, and continued work on programs like Earth Science Week, facilitating coverage of Federal-level geoscience legislation with the Geoscience Policy Program, monitoring the geoscience workforce. The recently launched Center for Geoscience and Society will continue to bridge gaps that exist between geoscientists, educators, policy makers and the general public. He also serves as a U.S. Commissioner to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Dr. Jonathan Arthur, Florida State Geologist, and President of AASG had this to say of Leahy, "[Leahy] is a friend and vital, dynamic part of the geoscience community, and he embodies its spirit. Awareness of geosciences in this nation has been heightened significantly through effective education and communication guided by his wisdom and instilled by his enthusiasm and creativity." Recent recipients of Pick and Gavel awards include Congressman Ken Calvert in 2014, Congresswoman Betty McCollum in 2013, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Jim Moran in 2012. Leahy was honored with a dinner at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. on Tuesday March, 10th, 2015.


The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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