BOD Election 2019 - Candidate Profile

Phil Wannamaker

Research Professor

Electromagnetic Geophysics Energy & Geoscience Institute

University of Utah


1994 - Present Research Professor University of Utah/EGI
1983 - 1994 Senior Scientist University of Utah Research Institute
1983 Ph.D., Geophysics University of Utah, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics
1976 B.Sc., Engrg Geology Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada


2015 Featured Graphic U.S. Cascadia MT Resistivity Synthesis, Future Geophysics Facilities Report to NSF
2013 Presenter Earthscope National Meeting, Workshop on MT TA Regional Site Selection (SE Appalachians chosen)
2009 - 2010 In-Field Coordinator MT TA site selection, permitting and deployment, NW Intermontane region
2007 - 2009 Chair IRIS/Earthscope Electromagnetic Working Group (EMWoG)
2005 Invited Reviewer MT Studies, First Earthscope National Meeting
1997 - 2007 Scientist-in-Charge EMSOC National Instrumentation Facility

Selected Other Service to the Seismological Community

2019 Plenary Speaker SAGE/GAGE Workshop - Earth in 4D: Advances in Geophysics in Extreme Environments
2016 Invited Presenter UNAVCO Workshop on Scientific Drivers and and Future of Mount Erebus Observatory (MEVO), Antartica
2014 PI/Co-I Integrated CAFE/EMSLAB/KLAMATH Cascadia MT transects, published GGG
2011 Attendee Earthscope-GeoPRISMS Science Workshop on Eastern North America (ENAM)
2011 Fellow Geological Society of America
2006 Attendee Earthscope Workshop on Integrated Geologic Framework for USArray
1998 - 2002 Review Panelist National Science Foundation/Earth Sciences Division/Continental Dynamics


With the decision to establish a substantial pool of portable magnetotelluric (MT) systems at the PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC), IRIS, NSF and the earth science community at large have entered a new era. The next few years must see the effective selection of the components of the new instrumentation pool through competitive evaluation of commercial vendor products, and integration of the MT pool within the PIC with effective deployment and support for projects including international collaboration. It is essential to ensure education of earth scientists both as MT specialists and as integrative practitioners. We must expand our vision for the potential of MT whether as an individual technique or in cooperative interpretations with seismology and broader geoscience.

I believe the breadth of my career interests, collaborations and accomplishments are an advantage for serving on the IRIS Board of Directors. These include seminal advances in multidimensional MT model computation, and the planning and execution of major field campaigns both in the U.S. and internationally with impactful dissemination of results. Our research group at Utah in particular pioneered collection capability for high-fidelity MT data over polar ice sheets leading to several international collaborations in Antarctica illuminating orogenic processes and volcanogenic architecture. Transitions in institutional resources for U.S. geophysics over the next several years need careful handling for the sake of our new generations of Earth scientists.   It is an honor to stand for election to this important position.