Geological Survey director coming to IU

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The nation’s top geologist will hold a two-part open forum lecture at Indiana University today. Marcia McNutt is the first female director of the U.S. Geological Survey. Her two lectures at Indiana University will highlight the U.S. outlook on fossil fuel availability and production as well as recent natural disasters and their implications.

Photo: Michael Quinn / National Park Service

IU geology professor Michael Hamburger says McNutt will likely address some hot-button issues.

“The questions of the availability of fossil fuels, the connection with big political issues like the XL oil pipeline, and some government decisions on access to oil reserves for example in the Arctic national wildlife refuge are highly controversial and highly charged and I expect she’ll be addressing some of those issues head-on,” Hamburger says.

Immediately after her inauguration, the president dispatched McNutt to respond to 2010′s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Hamburger says she will likely discuss this experience, along with recent natural disasters — such as the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan.

Indiana Geological Survey Director John Steinmetz says the lectures offer a rare chance for Hoosiers.

“Dr McNutt does not visit many academic institutions,” Steinmetz says. “So, I find this a remarkable occasion to be so privileged at Indiana University to have her visit.”

McNutt will deliver her first lecture on earthquake resiliency at noon in the Patton Room of the IU Geology Building. She will address the U.S. outlook on fossil fuels in the IU Fine Arts Auditorium at 4 p.m. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

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