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Recipient of the 2004 Excellence In Leadership Award

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Peter Martin

In recognition of your outstanding acts, services, and achievements that exemplify and support the USGS goals throughout the bureau.

The award will be presented at U.S. Geological Survey's Honor Awards Ceremony on October 19, 2004, in Reston, Virginia.


Peter Martin

Peter Martin consistently demonstrates leadership excellence in his role as the Program Chief of the Desert and Eastern Sierra Nevada of the California District. As Program Chief, Peter directly or indirectly supervises 21 professionals and currently manages more than 35 projects. Peter's success stems from his technical strength and his management style.

The scientific accomplishments of the San Diego Projects office are in many ways a reflection of Peter's own technical strength. He was a primary motivator, in terms of inspiration and funding, of the MONKES project, an innovative data collection hardware/software tool currently being implemented throughout the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Peter was also a member of a team that developed a patented downhole groundwater sampling device known as the IZ-machine. In addition to his ability to pursue the development of pioneering tools, his geochemistry and numerical modeling expertise have helped develop new projects and complete current projects. Peter's dedication to collecting innovative new data as part of any study has fundamentally influenced the approach taken in countless projects in the California District.

Peter has completed the USGS Leadership 101 class and he continues to practice the USGS Guiding Principles. For example, he holds himself and others accountable for both successes and failures; he encourages those under his supervision to be successful in their careers; he easily collaborates with researchers in other disciplines; and he selflessly serves as an unofficial mentor and teacher to USGS personnel of all grade levels. Peter's leadership is expressed by his skills at explaining customer needs to project staff and encouraging them to adapt their expertise to specific project needs. His staff members and associates consistently achieve greater results and accomplish more than they could have without his guidance. This leadership style is especially effective in high visibility settings such as investigating the environmental impacts of large scale projects. Whether addressing water supply development at Cadiz, CA, or chromium contamination at Topock, CA, Peter's scientific leadership furthers the USGS reputation as a fair and impartial research organization.

Within the California District, Peter was an early adopter of the USGS policy of cross-discipline research. He has fostered an environment that encourages communication between geologists, hydrologists, and geochemists. He also has been a leader in including researchers from the Geologic and Biologic Resource disciplines to take part in many projects. These collaborations have resulted in successful scientific products in the Mojave Desert, Ventura County, and the San Francisco Bay area.

Many of Peter's ongoing projects are the result of the successful completion of earlier projects. He has an uncanny ability for anticipating and meeting the needs of the customer and is readily available to them to answer questions, make presentations, or take part in meetings. While addressing their needs, Peter is constantly educating customers on the value of rigorous, innovative science.

One of Peter's strongest traits is that he leads by example. If a project report needs to be completed, he is the last person to leave the office. Peter will not ask a staff member to perform any task that he is unwilling to perform. Peter is capable of admitting when he is wrong whether he is interacting with superiors or staff members; however, he will strongly defend his convictions and beliefs when he believes they are correct. He keeps staff members involved and informed, which gives them the satisfaction of contributing to the decision-making process. He is the first to take responsibility for an error made by a staff member and the first to give credit to the same staff member for a job well done. In addition, Peter genuinely cares for those under his direction and consistently balances the interests of an individual with those of the group. Besides being an exemplary leader for his own staff, Peter generously gives his time to help on multiple projects for which he has no direct responsibilities.

This nomination was submitted by members of Peter's staff and colleagues. Peter's mentorship of his employees has provided valuable training in hydrology by transforming their educational experience into practical application. His hard work and dedication has resulted in his group's collective and individual success. Peter Martin is deserving of the 2004 USGS Excellence in Leadership Award because of his selfless and lasting contributions to his employees and colleagues, the California District, and the USGS.

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