Peter R. Stevens, geologist

July 9, 2011

Peter R. Stevens, 87, who grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and spent 42 years with the U.S. Geological Survey as a geologist and hydrologist, died June 20 at his home in Vienna. He had Alzheimer’s disease.

Mr. Stevens, who retired from USGS in 1993, spent 17 years working on issues concerning management of hazardous nuclear waste. He also was a liaison to the U.S. Department of Energy.

He spent his early USGS career conducting geologic mapping a Navajo reservation to find water for Navajo schools. He later worked in Texas, on problems of salt contamination of the Brazos River.

He published dozens of professional papers and was a recipient of a USGS meritorious service award.

Peter Ryan Stevens was born in Boston and adopted as an infant by a Quaker family. He spent World War II managing his family’s apple orchards in Durham, N.H. He graduated in 1951 from the University of New Hampshire.

He was a past president of the Vienna Host Lions Club and was an usher at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna. He received a top Lions Club award for service and leadership.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Rhoda Pickwick Stevens, and their two sons, Curtis Stevens and Scott Stevens, all of Vienna; and two grandchildren.

According to his family, Mr. Stevens was once at the airport in Austin, Tex., when his flight to Washington was canceled. He was approached by first lady Lady Bird Johnson, who overheard the conversation and invited him to fly on a government plane with other stranded federal employees.

— Adam Bernstein

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