A photo of professor Mark Richards, a middle-aged white man with blue eyes and sandy hair who wears glasses.
Mark Richards, incoming provost and professor, Earth and Space Sciences

The University of Washington has named Mark Richards as incoming provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. An accomplished geophysicist, Mark will hold a faculty appointment as a professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, pending a vote by the UW Board of Regents.

College of the Environment Dean and Mary Laird Wood Professor Lisa J. Graumlich says, “Earth scientists are trained to look for the big picture, plan for the long-term, judiciously employ data to support inference, and be nimble when intricate field research plans encounter the real world. These skills often translate well in academic leadership, as evidenced by Mark’s accomplishments. I couldn’t be more excited to gain an eminent Earth scientist as our provost who brings a wealth of talent and experience to the position and a distinguished research career to our College.”

Mark’s studies include mantle convection and large-scale dynamics of the Earth’s interior, and the internal dynamics of Venus, Mars and the Moon. His work includes observational, experimental and computational methods. He currently leads an international team exploring the enormous Deccan Traps volcanic eruptions in India 66 million years ago, which coincided with the great Chicxulub meteor impact (near Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula) and the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs.  Mark comes to the UW from the University of California, Berkeley where he is a professor of Earth and planetary science and special assistant for diversity in the mathematical and physical sciences

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