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Geothermal Resources Council
Geothermal Resources Council Welcomes New President
Maria Richards is new President of the GRC

January 27, 2017

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has welcomed Maria Richards as the 26th President of the global geothermal energy organization, succeeding Paul Brophy.

Maria Richards is the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Geothermal Laboratory Coordinator in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dallas, Texas.  Her research is on geothermal resources and energy development.  Maria's previous projects include updating the Geothermal Map of North America, developing temperature maps for Google.org, and on-site geothermal exploration in the Peruvian Amazon and the Northern Mariana Islands.  

Producing geothermal energy from oil and gas fields is one of her research goals, thus works directly with technology companies and the oil and gas industry to find overlapping opportunities.  As an extension of this effort, she coordinates the SMU Geothermal Lab Conference, Power Plays: Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields.  Another area of interest is using boreholes to quantify the extent and rate of climate change occurring by measuring the equilibrium temperature down the length of a well to see the direct impact of the surface air temperature on Earth.

Maria and her colleagues recently completed a high-resolution shallow Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) potential analysis for the Cascades region of the U.S. Pacific North-West for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Other past projects include the SMU Node of the National Geothermal Data System funded by the Department of Energy, the Eastern Texas Geothermal Assessment, the Dixie Valley Synthesis, and the resource assessment for the influential MIT Report on the Future of Geothermal Energy.

Maria 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 2015-16 Board for the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA). Maria holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Geography from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a BS in Environmental Geography from Michigan State University.

About the Geothermal Resources Council

With the experience and dedication of its diverse, international membership bolstering a more than 45-year track record, the Geothermal Resources Council has built a solid reputation as one of the world's preeminent geothermal associations. The GRC serves as a focal point for continuing professional development for its members through its outreach, information transfer and education services.

For more information :

Geothermal Resources Council

2001 Second St - Ste 5
Davis, California
United States, 95617-1350

Ian Crawford
Geothermal Resources Council
Tel: 530.758.2360


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