Maria Richards of SMU takes over presidency at Geothermal Resources Council

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) is welcoming Maria Richards of SMU as the 26th President of the association.

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

Maria RichardsMaria 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, 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.

The Geothermal Resources Council is an international geothermal body, with a focus on continuing professional development for its members through its outreach, information transfer and education services.

You can find details about all the members of the Board of GRC here.

For more information, please visit