BOD Election 2020 - Candidate Profile

Alan Levander

Carey Croneis Professor of Earth Science

Department of Earth Science MS-126

Rice University


07/16 - Present Rice Energy and Environment Initiative Operations Committee Rice University
07/11 - 06/15 Director, Rice DAVinCI Project Rice University
04/98 - Present Co-Director, Rice Center for Computational Geophysics Rice University
07/96 - Present Carey Croneis Professor, Department of Earth Science Rice University
07/98 - 06/11 Chair, Department of Earth Science Chair, Department of Earth Science, Rice University.
07/94 - 06/96 Professor, Department of Geology & Geophysics Rice University
07/88 - 06/94 Associate Professor, Department of Geology & Geophysics Rice University
07/84 - 07/92 Consultant for: Chevron Oil Field Research Company (84-92), ARCO Oil and Gas (87), Exxon (92), and Western Geophysical Research (85 & 89) Chevron Oil, Arco Oil & Gas, Exxon and Western Geophysical Research
07/84 - 07/88 Assistant Professor, Department of Geology & Geophysics Rice University
4/83 - 6/84 Research Geophysicist Gulf R&D Company
1/82 - 1/83 Consultant Gulf Research & Development Company
7/81 - 12/81 Geophysical Aid Gulf Research & Development Company
6/80 - 9/80 Research Geophysicist Shell Development Co
6/77 - 3/79 Geophysicist: U.S.G.S., Menlo Park, CA. Exchange Scientist to the U.S.S.R. USGS; USSR
11/73 - 5/76 Research Assistant: Geology Department University of South Carolina
1984 Geophysics;Thesis Title: Shear wave velocity structure of the lithosphere in northern California. Stanford University
1978 Geophysics Stanford University
1976 Geology University of South Carolina


2012 External Review Committee, IRIS Data Management Center
2009 PASSCAL Active Source Seismology Committee, Co-Chair
2006 - 2008 IRIS-PASSCAL Standing Committee Chair
2004 - 2007 OBSIP Oversight Committee
2003 - 2005 IRIS Planning Committee
1998 - 2002 IRIS Data Management System Steering Committee
1993 - 1996 IRIS Executive Committee, Vice-Chairman
1987 - 1989 IRIS Data Management Center Steering Committee

Selected Other Service to the Seismological Community

2013, 2016 External Review Committee, DoE, Seismic Source Characterization Project
2012 - 2014 Guest Editor, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Special Issue on USArray
2011, 2015 External Advisory Committee, Geophysics Department, Colorado School of Mines
2011 - Present Cooperative Institute for Deep Earth Research (CIDER), Executive Committee
2011 Cooperative Institute for Deep Earth Research (CIDER), Summer Program Organizer
2009, 2010 Cooperative Institute for Deep Earth Research (CIDER), Proposal Writing Committee
2010 NSF Cooperative Math-Geosciences Panel
2010 - 2015 Editorial Board, Solid Earth
2009 - 2014 Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG), Seismology Working Group, Chair
2009, 2016 Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG), Proposal Writing Committee
2007 - Present Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG), Executive Committee
2008 - Present External Advisory Committee, German Science Foundation: South Atlantic Special Research Project
2006, 2008,2010, 2011 Cooperative Institute for Deep Earth Research (CIDER) Workshop, Lecturer
2005 - Present Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG), Seismology Working Group
2004 - 2006 Scientific Program Committee, Backbone of the Americas, Geological Society of America
2001 - 2006 NRC Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics
1997 - 2003 USArray Steering Committee
1997 - 1999 Ocean Bottom Seismology Steering Committee
1998 - 2001 Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research
1994 - 1995 Seismology Advisory Panel, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
1994 - 1997 Geological Society of America, Geophysics Division Management Board; Chair 1996
1989 - 1994 Executive Committee, Acoustic Reverberation Special Research Program, ONR
1986 - 1989 Associate Editor, Geophysics



My career started at about the time that IRIS was formed, and would have been vastly different without access to  the seismic instrumentation and data access tools that IRIS provided. Before IRIS there was literally no seismic instrumentation available to a small institution like Rice. I attended an historic (and bitterly cold) meeting in Madison, Wisconsin during the winter of 1984 at which PASSCAL was founded. PASSCAL was soon merged with the nascent GSN to form IRIS.  Starting with fairly modest funding in the late 1980’s IRIS has grown to be one of the most influential international community organizations in the Earth Sciences. Following a grass roots community initiative, IRIS and UNAVCO jointly fielded and have successfully operated EarthScope. Following this success, the seismological and geodetic communities now face the challenge of merging their facilities into a unified organization.

Each phase of growth within IRIS was debated at length within both the IRIS committee system and the seismological community. With guidance from the IRIS staff, the committee system has been successful at balancing resources in response to community needs, fostering innovation in instrumentation, data services and education, developing leadership within the community, vastly broadening the scope of the community IRIS serves, and educating the public about seismology, Earth Science, and science more generally.  The latter is a particularly important task today.  Over the course of IRIS’ history the organization has democratized seismology, set international standards for open data, and established new levels of international cooperation and resource sharing. Today the scientific challenges in seismology are as great as ever and the societal challenges are equally so, particularly for increasing diversity in our profession, and in the many levels of public education: This is an exciting time for seismology as well as for the IRIS organization. It is an honor to stand for election to the IRIS board.