The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) had announced Maria Richards as president-elect. Her term as the council’s 26th president will begin in January 2017, when Paul Brophy’s term as president ends.

Richards has previously served on the GRC board of directors and was chair of the Outreach Committee from 2011 to 2012. She holds a master’s degree in physical geography from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a bachelor’s degree in environmental geography from Michigan State University.

An avid industry researcher, Richards is the Southern Methodist University (SMU) geothermal laboratory coordinator in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dallas. She studies geothermal resources and energy development with project experience ranging from temperature-depth maps for to on-site volcano geothermal exploration.

Her main focus involves the use of oil and gas fields for geothermal energy. The research involves coordination of an SMU conference and collaborations with technology companies and the oil and gas industry.

Her most recent work involved a new Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) potential analysis for the Cascades region of the U.S. Pacific Northwest for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Additional projects completed by Richards include the SMU Node of the National Geothermal Data System funded by the Department of Energy, the Eastern Texas Geothermal Assessment, the Geothermal Map of North America, a Dixie Valley Synthesis, and the resource assessment for the influential MIT Report on the Future of Geothermal Energy.

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