Jan. 30, 2013 • Dr. Marcia McNutt will be leaving her post as the USGS Director on Feb. 15, 2013 just after the scheduled launch of the next Landsat, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, scheduled to launch on Feb. 11, 2013. During Dr. McNutt’s tenure both the design and build of the ground system for LDCM—to be renamed Landsat 8 after launch—was successfully completed.
Additionally on the Landsat-front, McNutt oversaw Landsat 5 and 7 operations and the recent decision to decommission the 29-year old Landsat 5.
McNutt’s confirmation on Oct. 21, 2009 made her the first female USGS Director in the agency’s 130-year history. The free Landsat data policy begun in 2008 has continued during her leadership and the number of free Landsat scenes distributed to data users around the world has topped nine million.
+ McNutt Resigns as Head of USGS, But Will Stay Till After Landsat 8 Launches, Space Policy Online
+ Marcia McNutt Leaving as USGS Director, ScienceInsider
Safeguarding freshwater resources is crucial, and while scientists use a variety of ground-based techniques to gauge water quality, the Landsat program has provided water quality data from orbit for decades.