Senator Jeff Bingaman Honored with USGS Coalition Leadership Award

27 September 2011

Joint Release

WASHINGTON — Honored for his extraordinary public service, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) has received the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coalition’s Leadership Award.  The award recognizes Senator Bingaman for his long-term support of the USGS and for his leadership on legislation and policies on natural resources, public lands, and energy for current and future generations.

Dr. Craig Schiffries, co-chair of the USGS Coalition and director for geosciences policy for the Geological Society of America, called Senator Bingaman, “One of the nation’s leading proponents of science and technology.”  He also reaffirmed the Senator’s belief that, ‘sustained investment in science and technology is essential in order to ensure future American innovation and to maintain a competitive economy for high-wage job creation – just as in the case of our national security, our economic future depends on us remaining the world leader in science and technology.’

The award, which was given on 21 September during the coalition’s annual reception, was presented by Dr. John Geissman, president of the Geological Society of America, professor of geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, and longtime resident of New Mexico.  In his remarks, Dr. Geissman celebrated the Senator’s “continued commitment to the support of the sciences, and notably the geosciences and a key federal agency, the USGS, as well as science education at all levels in this country.”

Also on hand for the presentation was USGS Deputy Director Suzette Kimball, who recognized Senator Bingaman’s appreciation for the knowledge and skill of the agency’s scientists, many of whom were  called upon to brief his congressional colleagues on diverse issues “from rare-earths to remote sensing.” She also praised his sponsorship of the Secure Water Act, which she predicted “will guide USGS and Bureau of Reclamation water research for years to come.”

Senator Bingaman, who is the third-longest serving member of the Senate, chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over public lands and national energy policy.  He also chairs the Senate Finance Committee’s Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and he is a member of other committees on economic and health policy.

The USGS Coalition is an alliance of over 70 organizations united by a commitment to the continued vitality of the U.S. Geological Survey and its ability to provide critical data and services to the nation. The USGS provides independent, high-quality data, information, research support, and assessments needed by federal, state, local and tribal policymakers, resource and emergency managers, engineers and planners, researchers and educators, and the public.  The Coalition supports increased federal investment in USGS programs that underpin responsible natural resource stewardship, improve resilience to natural and human-induced hazards, and contribute to the long-term health, security, and prosperity of the nation.