professional service

SMU geothermal scientist Maria Richards becomes first woman president of the Geothermal Resources Council

Maria Richards, SMU Geothermal Laboratory

Maria Richards, coordinator of the SMU Geothermal Laboratory in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, has become the 26th president of the Geothermal Resources Council (GRC), as announced by the GRC on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. She is the first woman president in the history of the global energy organization.

The GRC is an international geothermal body that focuses on continuing professional development for its members through its outreach, information transfer and education services.

Richards has been at the forefront of SMU’s geothermal energy research for more than a decade, and the University’s mapping of North American geothermal resources is considered the baseline for U.S. geothermal energy exploration. SMU’s Conference on Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields, which she directs, is pioneering the transition of oil and gas fields to electricity-producing systems by harnessing waste heat and fluids.

Her projects range from computer-generated temperature-depth maps for Google.org to on-site geothermal exploration of the volcanic islands in the Northern Mariana Islands. Along with Cathy Chickering Pace, she also coordinates the SMU Node of the National Geothermal Data System funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Recently, Richards and her colleagues completed a high-resolution shallow Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) potential analysis for the Cascades region of the U.S. Pacific Northwest for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Her other projects include the Eastern Texas Geothermal Assessment, the Dixie Valley Synthesis, and the resource assessment for the influential MIT report The Future of Geothermal Energy.

She previously served on the GRC Board of Directors and was chair of the Outreach Committee in 2011-12. She was also a Named Director of the 2015 Board for the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA).

Richards holds an M.S. degree in physical geography from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a B.S. in environmental geography from Michigan State University.

SMU VP Lori White is 2015-16 chair-elect of leading professional organization for student affairs administrators

Lori S. White, SMYSMU Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White has been voted 2015-16 chair-elect of NASPA, the leading association for the student affairs profession. She took on her new duties after the Business Meeting at the 2015 NASPA Annual Conference on Tuesday, March 24, in New Orleans.

Dr. White will serve one year as chair-elect before beginning her term as board chair during 2016-17. She will serve as past board chair in 2017-18. She will also serve as a member of the Executive Committee of NASPA’s Board of Directors.

During her more than 30 years working in higher education, Dr. White has served as associate vice president for student affairs at the University of Southern California and has also worked at Stanford, Georgetown and San Diego State Universities and the University of California-Irvine. She has served as SMU’s VP for student affairs since 2007 and is also a clinical professor in the University’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Her research and teaching emphases include the student experience in higher education and the preparation and mentorship of new, mid-level and aspiring senior student affairs professionals. She has written numerous articles and book chapters and has presented widely at professional meetings.

Dr. White is active nationally in several higher education organizations and has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and for the NASPA Foundation. In 2009 she was named a Pillar of the Profession by NASPA.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Dr. White earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and English from the University of California-Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in education administration and policy analysis with emphasis in higher education. She also participated in Harvard University’s Management and Leadership in Education Program.

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession. The organization’s work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy and research for 14,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and eight U.S. territories.

By | 2015-04-08T13:06:00+00:00 April 8, 2015|Categories: For the Record, News|Tags: , , , , , |

SMU geothermal scientist Maria Richards named 2016 president-elect of the Geothermal Resources Council

Maria Richards, SMU Geothermal LaboratoryMaria Richards, coordinator of the SMU Geothermal Laboratory in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, has been named president-elect of the Geothermal Resources Council. She will become the 26th president of the global energy organization beginning in 2017, and the first woman president in its history.

Richards has been at the forefront of SMU’s geothermal energy research for more than a decade, and the University’s mapping of North American geothermal resources is considered the baseline for U.S. geothermal energy exploration. SMU’s Conference on Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas fields, which Richards directs, is pioneering the transition of oil and gas fields to electricity-producing systems by harnessing waste heat and fluids.

“The Geothermal Resources Council is a tremendous forum for expanding ideas about geothermal exploration and technology related to this commonly overlooked source of energy provided by the Earth,” Richards said. “It’s a great opportunity for educating people about an energy source that covers the whole gamut – from producing electricity for industries, to reducing our electricity consumption with direct-use applications, to even cooling our homes.”

“This also is a unique occasion for me to encourage and mentor young women to participate in the sciences throughout their careers and get involved in leadership roles,” she added.

SMU’s seventh international geothermal energy conference and workshop is scheduled for May 18-20, 2015, on the Dallas campus. Designed to reach a broad audience, from the service industry to reservoir engineers, “Power Plays: Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields,” is an opportunity for oil and gas industry professionals to connect with the geothermal and waste-heat industries to build momentum. The conference is a platform for networking with attendees from all aspects of project development. Presentations will highlight reservoir topics from flare gas usage to induced seismicity and will address new exploration opportunities, including offshore sites in the eastern United States.

Find information and registration for SMU’s 2015 Geothermal Energy Conference: smu.edu/geothermal

Richards’ projects at SMU’s Geothermal Laboratory vary from computer-generated temperature-depth maps for Google.org to on-site geothermal exploration of the volcanic islands in the Northern Mariana Islands. Along with Cathy Chickering Pace, Richards coordinates the SMU Node of the National Geothermal Data System funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Richards has previously served on the Geothermal Resources Council Board of Directors and was chair of the Outreach Committee in 2011-12. She is also a Named Director of the 2015 Board for the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA).

Richards holds an M.S. degree in physical geography from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a B.S. in environmental geography from Michigan State University.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

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