BOD Election 2019 - Candidate Profile

Richard C. Aster

Professor of Geophysics and Department Head

Geosciences Department

Colorado State University


2014 - Present Professor of Geophysics and Department Head Colorado State University
2011 - 2012 Associate Chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Science New Mexico Tech
2008 - 2011 Chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Science New Mexico Tech
2000 - 2013 Professor of Geophysics New Mexico Tech
1996 - 2000 Associate Professor of Geophysics New Mexico Tech
1991 - 1996 Assistant Professor of Geophysics New Mexico Tech
1991 Postgraduate Research Geophysicist Scripps Institution of Oceanography
1987 - 1991 Research Assistant Scripps Institution of Oceanography
1985 - 1987 Research Assistant University of Wisconsin-Madison
1984 - 1985 Research Fellow University of Wisconsin-Madison
1991 Ph.D, Earth Sciences Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California-San Diego
1986 M.S., Geophysics University of Wisconsin-Madison
1983 B.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering (with additional major completed in Physics); Graduation with high honors and distinction University of Wisconsin-Madison


2019 - Present IRIS Board of Directors
2018 - 2019 IRIS Earthscope Transportable Array Coordinating Committee Chair
2006 - 2018 Polar Networks Science Committee; Chair (2015-2016)
2015 Future Geophysical Facilities Required to Address Grand Challenges in the Earth Sciences Co-Editor
2012 - 2014 IRIS Data Management System Standing Committee Chair
2008 - 2009 Seismological Grand Challenges in Understanding Earth's Dynamic Systems Co-Chair
2002 - 2005 Education and Public Outreach Standing Committee Chair
1998 - 2013 Principal Investigator, New Mexico Tech IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center and EarthScope USArray Array Operations Facility

Selected Other Service to the Seismological Community

2018 Textbook Author, Aster, R., Borchers, B., Thurber, C., Paramater Estimation and Inverse Problems, Third Edition (in press)
2017 - 2020 Southern California Earthquake Center Advisory Council Member
2009 - 2010 Seismological Society of America, President
2008 - 2014 Seismological Society of America, Board Member; Liaison to American Geosciences Institute
2008 - Present Seismological Society of America, Government Relations Committee Member


I have research and educational interests in earthquake, volcano, and cryosphere seismology, as well as in geophysical imaging and other inverse problems.  My students and I have worked extensively with data from the GSN and with portable instrumentation and data from PASSCAL and have done our share to exercise the spectacular resources of the DMC.  I also serving to expand PASSCAL and EarthScope operations in the creation of the Instrument Center at NM Tech.  I strive to assist in the promotion and advancement of seismology with the public, funding agencies, undergraduate students, university administrators, policy makers, and other audiences, and was one of the early chairs of Education and Public Outreach standing committee when that program was in its formative period.  IRIS today continues to support and nurture an outstanding and historic community for seismology; (academic) generations of seismologists in the U.S. and globally have strongly benefitted from the investments and partnerships of NSF, DOE, DOD, USGS, and other agencies, and from IRIS’s many positive influences, including its persistent and effective evangelism for open data.

I believe that it is critical that the IRIS leadership continue to diligently and effectively advocate for seismology with these varied audiences, as well as advance win-win partnerships with other communities. Less appreciated, perhaps, is that IRIS has also cultivated strong leadership and other professional skills amongst its membership through its broad community engagement and service activities.  I strongly wish to see that early career and other mentorship efforts continue to be a strong element of IRIS in the future.  I’d be honored to serve on the IRIS Board of Directors to advance IRIS as a strong state-of-the-art, highly responsive, and community-building facility for seismology and the wider world.