GEOLOGY, RADIONUCLIDES, AND SCIENCE ADMINISTRATION
Scientist Emeritus, USGS
Dr. Gundersen is a Scientist Emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey, having spent 34 years there as a research scientist, program manager, and senior executive. The first half of her career focused on conducting and managing research projects in geochemistry, ore deposits, and interdisciplinary studies of radionuclides in rocks, soils, and water; eventually assessing the geologic radon potential of the United States. She received numerous grants from DOE and EPA and worked with diverse partners in the health and geological science communities. From 1995-98, she served as a program manager for both the Energy Resources Program and Mineral Resources Program. She served as the only geologist on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Risk Assessment of Exposure to Radon in Drinking Water from 1997-1999.
In 1998, she became a senior executive and the Associate Chief Geologist for Operations. In 2001, she was appointed the Chief Scientist for Geology overseeing $260M in research programs encompassing the Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslides, Coastal and Marine Geology, National Geologic Mapping, Energy and Mineral Resources, and Global Climate Change programs. She served in that capacity for 10 years before becoming the first Director of the Office of Science Quality and Integrity where she established and directed scientific integrity, ethics, education, career development, publication quality, research excellence, and other programs across the USGS. She co-wrote the Department of Interior Scientific Integrity Policy released in 2011 and the update released in 2013. She chaired the American Geophysical Unions Task Force on Scientific Ethics, producing the current AGU Policy on Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics.
Her academic background includes undergraduate and graduate work in structural geology and geochemistry at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and at the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder. She received the DOI Superior, Meritorious, and Distinguished Service Awards, the Unit of Excellence Award, the Secretary of the Interior’s Bronze Executive Leadership Award, and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. In 2012 she received the Geological Society of America, Geoinformatics Division award for Outstanding Contributions to Geoinformatics. She has published numerous papers and presented hundreds of lectures in the fields of geology, geoinformatics, science management, scientific integrity, and ethics.