Marcia McNutt, PhD
“As humans, we are intrinsically part of the environment. Anything that is released into the air, the water, the soil, has the potential to make it into our lungs, our stomach, our blood, our brain, our nervous system, and change essentially our health and who we are.”
Marcia McNutt is the President of the National Academy of Sciences and Chair of the National Research Council. Previously, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Science and Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), where she coordinated the response to a number of ecological disasters, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
As the former President and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, McNutt led the institution in its development of biological and chemical sensors for remote ocean deployment, installation of the first deep-sea cabled observatory in U.S. waters, and advancement of the integration of artificial intelligence into autonomous underwater vehicles for undersea missions.
A trained geophysicist, McNutt studied marine geophysics with a focus on the dynamics of the earth’s upper mantle and lithosphere on geologic time scales. She held the title of E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics at MIT and directed the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering. She is a veteran of more than a dozen deep-sea expeditions.
McNutt is a fellow of the the American Geophysical Union, of which she was President; the Geological Society of America; American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the International Association of Geodesy. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
She has been awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal and the Maurice Ewing Medal as well as honorary doctoral degrees from Boston University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the University of Minnesota, and Colorado College.
McNutt earned her B.A. in physics from Colorado College and her Ph.D. in earth sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she currently holds a visiting appointment.