Mary Jo Baedecker, USGS scientist emerita and former USGS chief scientist for hydrology, has been named a 2011 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fellow for her pioneering research on aquifer contamination.
Baedecker is joining an elite group of professionals recognized for premier
achievements in research and highest regard by their peers," comments
Marcia McNutt, USGS director. "The entire USGS is celebrating this honor,
because it also reminds us that the foundation of each of our studies to help
support timely decisions is the best quality science."
She is one
of only 60 scientists, just 0.1 percent of AGU members, elected as AGU fellows
in 2011. AGU Fellows are elected for their exceptional scientific
contributions, including a major breakthrough, discovery or paradigm shift. The
honor will be recognized at a ceremony on Dec. 7, 2011, at the annual AGU
meeting in San Francisco.
Jo's elegant fundamental scientific investigations not only moved the field of
contaminant hydrogeology forward, but also influenced and inspired younger
generations of scientists to tackle the difficult problem of understanding
contaminants in aquifers," says Mary Anderson, professor emerita at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison, who nominated Baedecker for the award.
joined the USGS as a research chemist in 1974. Early in her career, she studied
aquifers contaminated by landfill waste. Baedecker's groundbreaking work offered,
for the first time, a detailed and comprehensive picture of the impact of
landfills on aquifers. The paper published on this research in the journalGround
Waterwas selected as a 20th century benchmark paper in the field of
ground water research by the International Association of Hydrological
played an integral role in the development of the USGS Toxic Substances
Hydrology Program. Her leadership contributed to the international recognition
of the program, making it a model for aquifer studies around the world.
served as the USGS chief scientist for hydrology and the leader of the USGS
National Research Program, which develops new information, theories and techniques
to anticipate, understand and solve problems facing resources managers.
Baedecker was named the Darcy Lecturer for the Association of Groundwater
Scientists and Engineers, and in 2002, she received Distinguished Service
Awards from both the Department of the Interior and the Geological Society of
America for her professional leadership and service. She received the Meinzer
Award from the Geological Society of America in 2010 for her significant
contributions to the field of hydrogeology.
retired from the USGS in 2004, where she continues work in contaminant
hydrogeology as a scientist emerita.
undergraduate work was completed at Vanderbilt
University (1964). She
received a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Kentucky
(1967) and a Ph.D in geochemistry from The George Washington University (1985).
From 1968 until 1973, she was a research scientist at the University
of California-Los Angeles.