Dr. Virginia Burkett Dr. Virginia Burkett is the Chief Scientist for Global Change Research at the U.S. Geological Survey. In her capacity as chief scientist at USGS, Dr. Virginia Burkett has been a Lead Author on the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third and Fourth Assessment Reports (2001 and 2007) and the forthcoming IPCC Technical Paper on Water (2008). She formerly served as chief of the Forest Ecology Branch at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, as the Director of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and as the Director of the Louisiana Coastal Zone Management Program.