Biographical Note:


is a Special Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.

Richards has been on the faculty of Columbia since 1971, where he has conducted research on the theory of seismic wave propagation, the physics of earthquakes, the interior structure of the Earth, and the application of seismological methods to explosion and earthquake monitoring. He is a co-author of the globally acknowledged advanced text book “Quantitative Seismology.”  Prior to formal retirement in 2008, Richards was Professor of Natural Sciences at Columbia University.

Richards has written numerous professional papers on the application of seismological methods to the monitoring of nuclear testing. He served two terms as a visiting scholar at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in 1984 and 1993, and spent sabbaticals at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1989 and Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1997.

Richards was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008. He is a former president of the seismology section of the American Geophysical Union, has served on the Board of Directors of the Seismological Society of America, and received that society’s 2009 medal for outstanding contributions in seismology.