James E. Quick is the associate vice president for research, dean of graduate studies, and professor of earth sciences. Dean Quick comes to SMU after a distinguished twenty-five year scientific career with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). He assumed this newly-created position at the University in August 2007 after serving as Program Coordinator for the Volcano Hazards Program with the Survey.
At the USGS he performed fundamental research on volcanic processes and was in charge of monitoring the nation's 169 volcanoes to provide critical early warning of eruptions. Threats from active volcanoes range from the dramatic destruction of property and life on the ground to eruption of volcanic-ash clouds that constitute severe risks to jet aircraft in flight. The budget for this research group was approximately $26 million per year.
Dean Quick's career with the USGS began in 1981 after he earned his Ph.D. in geology from the California Institute of Technology. His first tour-of-duty was spent in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This six-year assignment allowed him to conduct research on some of the oldest rocks recording the formation of the oceanic crust. He also became a keen observer of the geo-political situation in this important region of the world.
Upon his return to the United States, Dean Quick assembled an international team of scientists to study the magmatic evolution of deep crust, which is the birthplace of the magmas that produce the largest explosive eruptions. His research has taken him to more than 35 countries around the world; he has published widely in numerous scientific journals and maintains an active research agenda on magmatic processes.
Dean Quick is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Capellini Medal of the Geological Society of Italy. He is a member of the Dallas Council on Foreign Relations, and his professional affiliations include the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior.
Jim Quick received his M.Sc. in petrology in 1974 from the University of Minnesota and the B.Sc. in geology in 1972 from the University of California, Los Angeles.