Energy & Environment

Trump taps former astronaut to head US Geological Survey


President Trump on Friday named James Reilly, a former astronaut and oil exploration geologist, to lead the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

At USGS, which is part of the Interior Department, Reilly would be responsible for the nation’s information on main natural resources and natural hazard. USGS conducts research and monitoring in areas like biology, earthquakes and hydrology.

Reilly is currently a technical adviser on space operations at the Air Force’s National Security Space Institute.


He’s worked as the chief geologist at oil exploration firm Enserch Exploration Inc. and has also worked at intellectual property and design firms.

Reilly spent 13 years at NASA, flying on three space shuttle missions and making five spacewalks, the White House said.

Reilly must be confirmed by the Senate to take the job.

Of the agencies within the Interior Department whose directors require Senate confirmation, only the Bureau of Reclamation and Office of Insular Affairs have confirmed heads.

Steven Gardner is awaiting confirmation to be director of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining.

Tags Donald Trump Interior Department NASA Trump nominations United States Geological Survey
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