IRIS and the Seismology Community Mourns the Passing of Rick Benson

Dear IRIS Community:

We have very sad news to share with all of you. This past Sunday, February 6, 2022, we lost our dear friend and colleague Rick Benson to a tragic accident while he was trimming trees to help his community and neighbors. Rick has been a huge presence within IRIS for the past 28 years as part of the IRIS Data Management Center. Rick led the “engine room” team at the DMC, as the operations group is called. In this role, Rick collaborated with people all over the world to facilitate receiving and archiving data at the DMC. For those who requested data from the DMC, Rick was the primary interface, answering questions, providing cheerful and tireless instructions and training. An entire generation of seismologists have come of age knowing that Rick was the go-to person for all questions around data access, networks, and more. Rick’s tragic passing has created a huge hole in our organization and the seismology community at large. 

Rick’s family has indicated that they will hold a memorial service in the coming months. We will distribute further information about plans as they become available. In the mean time, we have set up a web-based "memorial board” and encourage everyone to use this online memorial as a way to share memories and photos of Rick or messages to Rick’s family.

We will sorely miss Rick's smile, energy, cheerful optimism, helpfulness, and humor. We all extend our deepest sympathies to Rick’s family.

Bob Woodward, IRIS President
Rick Aster, Chair, IRIS Board of Directors