Blasch, who started at his new job June 15, previously served as assistant director of the USGS Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center. He takes over in Idaho from acting director Greg Clark. Clark will retain his duties as associate director for scientific investigations.
Blasch says his first priority is to learn more about the state’s water issues and how the USGS can continue to support science-based decision making. He also said he hoped to take a regional approach to water resources issues.
“Idaho faces many of the same challenges as Montana and Wyoming,” said Blasch. “Water crosses state lines, and so do many of the issues around water such as drought and water availability for agriculture and energy production. Successfully addressing these issues requires regional collaboration.”
Blasch graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994 with an undergraduate degree in civil and environmental engineering and an MA in meteorology. He was commissioned that year as a U.S. Air Force officer, serving as an active-duty bioenvironmental engineer until 1998. He later joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve and continues to serve.
He completed his doctoral degree in hydrology at the University of Arizona.
The USGS Idaho Water Science Center has its headquarters in Boise and field offices in Boise, Post Falls, and Idaho Falls, as well as a project office at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls.