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Smiling woman facing camera with chin in her hand and a dark business jacket on.Geophysicist Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, has been awarded the AAG’s highest honor, the AAG Atlas Award. Dr. McNutt will speak at AAG 2022, reflecting on what she has learned in a trailblazing career that includes serving as President and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and as the first woman to direct the US Geological Survey, where she led numerous disaster response efforts, including earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

During the Deepwater Horizon crisis, McNutt led a team of government scientists and engineers at BP headquarters in Houston to contain the oil and cap the well. For her contributions, she was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal.

McNutt’s academic career started at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was a Professor of Geophysics, and directed the MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science & Engineering Joint Program. She received her BA in physics from Colorado College and her PhD in Earth sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

As AAG’s flagship honor, the Atlas Award was launched in 2010 to recognize and celebrate outstanding, internationally recognized leaders who advance world understanding in exceptional ways. The image of Atlas shouldering the weight of the world is a powerful symbol for this award program, as our nominees are those who take the weight of the world on their shoulders and move it forward, whether in science, politics, scholarship, or the arts. Dr. Marcia McNutt joins esteemed past recipients of the Atlas Award, including Primatologist Jane Goodall, international human rights and political leader Mary Robinson, civil rights icon Julian Bond, public intellectual Noam Chomsky, and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

AAG is honored to offer this recognition to Dr. McNutt and welcome her to speak at AAG 2022. Find out more and register here.