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IEP Lead Scientist Leaves For USGS

March 2014

As the first lead scientist for the Interagency Ecological Program (IEP), Anke Mueller-Solger provided scientific leadership and coordination for the nine IEP member agencies and worked as part of the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program and others to tie IEP science and monitoring into the larger scientific program relating to the Bay-Delta ecosystem.

After six years as the IEP Lead Scientist, however, she’s leaving to become the Associate Director for Projects with the California Water Science Center of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), whose main office is at CSUS. At the Center she will guide and direct the “many, many” research projects going on there from about 150 people working throughout the State.

“What draws me there is I’m really interested in the science they do at the Center, and I’ll learn some new things,” she said. “The Bay-Delta is endlessly fascinating, but there is more to California water, for example groundwater.”

She added that she also really likes the USGS motto, “Science for a Changing World”. “That’s exactly what I want to provide,” she said, “and the USGS is a great organization for doing this – as a strong Federal science partner in “One Delta, One Science” and other California water science initiatives.”

Mueller-Solger, who was born in the Rhine River town of Speyer, Germany, received her Vordiplom and Diplom (the German versions of a BS & MS) in Biology at the University of Goettingen. She came to California as a college exchange student in 1990 and stayed on to get her Ph.D. at UC Davis.

She began working in the Delta about 15 years ago as a postdoctoral student for a USGS-UC Davis project sponsored by CALFED and joined the California Department of Water Resources as an environmental scientist before becoming the IEP Lead Scientist.

“Anke’s passion and energy for science is boundless,” says Peter Goodwin, DSC’s Lead Scientist. “She is an outstanding scientist who can combine her intellectual curiosity with the ability to explain how things work. Fortunately, her new position will keep her heavily engaged in building our science community and raising awareness of the importance of science to inform the decisions that will maintain the quality of life for Californians.”

“I will miss working so closely with many of the people here—it’s really been a great group to work with,” Mueller-Solger said. “There’s recently been a lot of forward thinking and building going on here, in the IEP and in the Science Program, and also in the Stewardship Council itself and it’s been fun and exciting to be part of this. It’s a bit of a bummer that I won’t be quite as deeply involved with implementing what’s been built and planned, but I’m not really going away – I’ll just be wearing a different hat and hopefully be able to help better connect Delta science to what’s happening beyond the Delta.”

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)