About IRIS

Founded in 1984 with support from the National Science Foundation, IRIS is a consortium of over 100 US universities dedicated to the operation of science facilities for the acquisition, management, and distribution of seismological data. IRIS programs contribute to scholarly research, education, earthquake hazard mitigation, and verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

IRIS is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of Delaware with its primary headquarters office located in Washington, DC. IRIS is governed according to By-laws.



Find out more about IRIS through its proposals and program reviews, newsletters, annual reports, and other publications.




IRIS is a world leader in advancing discovery, research, and education in seismology to understand our planet and to benefit society.


Mission Statement

(updated by the IRIS Board, November 2015)

 The mission of the IRIS Consortium, its members, and affiliates is to:

  • Facilitate investigations of seismic sources and Earth properties using seismic and other geophysical methods.
  • Promote exchange of seismic and other geophysical data and knowledge through the use of standards for network operations and data formats, and through pursuing policies of free and unrestricted data access.
  • Foster cooperation among IRIS members, affiliates, and other organizations in order to advance seismological research and education, expand the diversity of the geoscience workforce, and improve Earth science literacy in the general public.

IRIS membership comprises virtually all US universities with research programs in seismology, and includes a growing number of Educational Affiliates, US Affiliates, and Foreign Affiliates.

IRIS management is provided through a small staff headquartered in Washington, DC. IRIS facilities are primarily operated through member universities and in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey. A Board of Directors and several standing committees provide IRIS with advice on managing its facilities.

Support for IRIS comes from the National Science Foundation (including the EAR Instrumentation and Facilities Program, EarthScope, and Office of Polar Programs), other federal agencies, universities, and private foundations.