Michael E. Wysession

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Washington University

St. Louis, MO  63130






Education and Employment


IRIS and EarthScope Service


Selected Other Related Service 



IRIS is not that different from you or me. As it ages, IRIS (the Consortium) is getting wiser, more competent and creative, and is overflowing with new ideas. The physical body of IRIS (the Facility), on the other hand, is just getting older, and not better. These next years will be very challenging for IRIS, but it is vital that the health of the Facility be improved for the Consortium to continue to thrive. In terms of funding, it may be the unfortunate case that IRIS will need to “run fast in order to stand still,” (like one of us on a treadmill). And maybe run even faster. The completion of EarthScope will bring additional financial challenges. Having IRIS emerge through its first competitive bid as a stronger program will require a creative and concerted effort on many fronts. We need to make a stronger case for the necessity of continuing to monitor Earth’s motions by strengthening ties with other programs and institutions including risk and hazards assessment communities, international weapons monitoring efforts, and other geosciences (such as glaciology) that are benefitting from our work. IRIS is a role model internationally, and there may be additional possibilities here. It is important that IRIS encourage the development of a new generation of cheaper and better sensors, vital for bringing the kinds of financial relief that advances in computer hardware have. IRIS also needs to look for additional outreach opportunities in order to increase the public awareness of the exciting areas of research and discovery we are involved with. We know how vital IRIS has been to the continued health of many areas of geophysics, and we need to make sure that that health is maintained in the upcoming years.