Dr. Marcia McNutt began her academic career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she directed the Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science & Engineering. She is a veteran of more than a dozen deep-sea expeditions, on most of which she was chief or co-chief scientist.
McNutt served as president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), in Moss Landing, California. During her time at MBARI, the institution installed the first deep-sea cabled observatory in U.S. waters, and advanced the integration of artificial intelligence into autonomous underwater vehicles for complex research missions.
From 2009 to 2013 McNutt directed the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). During her tenure the USGS responded to a number of major disasters, including earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For her response to the oil spill, McNutt was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal.
McNutt served as editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals from 2013 to 2016, and on July 1, 2016, she began a six-year term as the 22nd president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), succeeding Ralph J. Cicerone, who served two terms as NAS president and who was also a member of Carnegie Corporation of New York’s board of trustees until his unexpected death in November 2016.
McNutt holds a BA in physics from Colorado College and a PhD in earth sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. McNutt has been honored with numerous awards and with memberships in leading professional societies, including the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest society of earth scientists, for which she served as president.