UTEP Professor Named California Academy of Sciences Fellow
Last Updated on October 06, 2021 at 10:00 AM
Originally published October 06, 2021
By UC Staff
Aaron Velasco, Ph.D., professor of geological sciences in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Resources Sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso, was announced as one of 14 new fellows of the California Academy of Sciences.
The Fellows of the California Academy of Sciences are a governing group of more than 450 distinguished scientists, nominated by their colleagues and appointed by the academy’s board of trustees in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the natural sciences. Velasco and all other new fellows were inducted during a ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from the California Academy of Sciences,” Velasco said. “This distinction illustrates the quality of innovative research and societal impact that is taking place at UTEP. I am thankful and humbled to be named among some of the country’s brightest minds and look forward to serving the academy while upholding the University’s mission.”
As a fellow, Velasco will be a partner in the pursuit of the academy’s mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning and collaboration. Fellows enhance the academy's positive impact on research, public engagement and education through individual and collaborative efforts with researchers and staff.
Velasco joined UTEP as a faculty member in 2002. Before arriving in El Paso, the California native held various technical and research positions, including work at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Throughout his career, Velasco’s research has spanned a variety of seismological subjects, including earthquake source modeling, seismotectonics, earthquake hazards, and nuclear treaty monitoring research (seismic event detection, location and discrimination). He has also studied hydroacoustic wave propagation and explored military applications of seismology.
In 2017, Velasco was appointed as the state seismologist by the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). As the RRC’s seismologist, Velasco serves on the Governor’s Technical Advisory Committee for the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program run by The University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology. He also works with RRC staff in reviewing disposal well permit applications in areas of historic seismicity to ensure proper requirements are in place to prevent or minimize the potential for induced seismic activity.