Brian Shiro

Brian Shiro serves as Supervisory Geophysicist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). As Seismic Network Manager, he oversees HVO's seismic and infrasound instrumentation, data processing and data distribution from about 100 stations in Hawaii. He also manages HVO's formal response to significant earthquakes as USGS Advanced National Seismic System regional coordinator for Hawaii.



  • Supervisory Geophysicist (Seismic Network Manager) - U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory: Hilo, HI (2016-03 to present)
  • Geophysicist (Watchstander) - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center: Honolulu, HI (2005-09 to 2016-03)
  • Graduate Assistant (Seismology) - Washington University in Saint Louis: Saint Louis, MO (2000-07 to 2005-05)
  • Undergraduate Assistant (Geochemistry and Geodesy) - Northwestern University: Evanston, IL (1998-09 to 2000-06)
  • NSF/NASA Fellow (Glaciology and Exploration Geophysics) - Juneau Icefield Research Program: Juneau, AK (1999-06 to 1999-08)
  • NSF REU Intern (InSAR Geodesy) - University of Alaska Fairbanks: Fairbanks, AK (1998-06 to 1998-08)
  • NSF REU Intern (Applied Physics) - Rice University and NASA Johnson Space Center: Houston, TX (1997-06 to 1997-08)


  • Ph.D. (in progress), Geology and Geophysics - University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa: Honolulu, HI
  • M.S., Space Studies - University of North Dakota: Grand Forks, ND (2010)
  • M.A., Earth and Planetary Sciences - Washington University in Saint Louis: Saint Louis, MO (2002)
  • B.A., Integrated Science Program, Geological Sciences, Physics - Northwestern University: Evanston, IL (2000)
  • Graduate Summer Schools:
    International Space University: Vancouver, BC (2005)
    NASA Planetary Science Summer School: Pasadena, CA (2003)
    NASA High Performance Computational Physics Summer School: Greenbelt, MD (2002)

Awards (selected since 2000)

  • HVO team, Runner up, Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals People's Choice Award (2019)
  • HVO team, Finalist, Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (2019)
  • USGS STAR Award for 2018/19 government shutdown work (2019)
  • USGS STAR Award for 2018 eruption work (2019)
  • DOI Unit Award for Excellence of Service to HVO for work during Kilauea eruption (2019)
  • Stearns Fellowship (2016)
  • NOAA 10 Year Length of Service Award (2015)
  • NOAA Service Awards (annually 2006-2015)
  • NASA Astronaut selection "Highly Qualified" group, top 2-6% (2012)
  • NOAA Citation Award for performance during 2009-2011 Pacific tsunamis (2012)
  • NASA Flight Opportunities Program, co-Investigator (2012)
  • NOAA Climate Data Modernization Program (CDMP) grant, PI (2010)
  • NASA Astronaut selection "Highly Qualified" group, top 3-12% (2009)
  • NASA Planetary Science Summer School fellowship (2003)
  • NASA High Performance Computing Summer school fellowship (2002)
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention (2002)
  • IRIS Workshop student travel grant (2002)
  • Carl Tolman Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2001)
  • Eagle Scout with 5 Palms (1993)

Media (selected since 2016)


  • Flinders, A.F., C. Caudron, I.A. Johanson, T. Taira, B. Shiro, and M. Haney (2020). “Seismic velocity variations associated with the 2018 Lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kīlauea, Hawaiʻi”, Bulletin of Volcanology, 82(47), doi:10.1007/s00445-020-01380-w.
  • Wu, S.-M., F.-C. Lin, J. Farrell, B. Shiro, and 3 authors (2020). "Spatiotemporal Seismic Structure Variations Associated with the 2018 Kīlauea Eruption Based on Temporary Dense Geophone Arrays", Geophysical Research Letters, 47(9), 2019GL086668, doi:10.1029/2019GL086668.
  • Tepp, G., A.J. Hotovec-Ellis, B. Shiro, and 3 authors (2020). "Seismic and Geodetic Progression of the 2018 Summit Caldera Collapse of Kīlauea Volcano”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 540, 116250, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116250.
  • Wassermann, J., F. Bernauer, B. Shiro, adn 3 authors (2020). “Six‐Axis Ground Motion Measurements of Caldera Collapse at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi ‐ More Data, More Puzzles?”, Geophysical Research Letters, 47:5, doi:10.1029/2019GL085999.
  • Patrick, M.R., 8 authors, and B. Shiro (2019). "Cyclic lava effusion during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano: data release", U.S. Geological Survey data release, doi:10.5066/P9PJZ17R.
  • Patrick, M.R., 8 authors, and B. Shiro (2019). "Cyclic lava effusion during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano", Science, 366(6470), doi:10.1126/science.aay9070.
  • Wilson, E.L., 13 authors, and B. Shiro (2019), "A portable miniaturized Laser Heterodyne Radiometer (mini-LHR) for remote measurements of column CH4 and CO2", Applied Physics B, 125:211, doi:10.1007/s00340-019-7315-8.
  • Tepp, G., B. Shiro, and W. Chadwick (2019). “Volcanic hazards in the Pacific U.S. territories”, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3036, 6 p., doi:10.3133/fs20193036.
  • Neal, C.A., 54 authors, and B. Shiro (2019). "The 2018 rift eruption and summit collapse of Kīlauea Volcano", Science, 363(6425), 367-374, doi:10.1126/science.aav7046.
  • Patrick, M.R., T.R. Orr, D.A. Swanson, T. Elias, and B. Shiro (2018). "Lava lake activity at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano in 2016", U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5008, 58 p., doi:10.3133/sir20185008.
  • Kelley, C., 17 authors, and B. Shiro (2015). "Volcanic platforms, ancient reefs, ridges, and seamounts: mapping the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument", Schmidt Ocean Institute, Final Project Report for Falkor Cruises FK140307 and FK140502, 34 pp.
  • Wang, D., 13 authors, and B. Shiro (2012). "Real‐time forecasting of the April 11, 2012 Sumatra tsunami", Geophysical Research Letters, 39(19), L19601, doi:10.1029/2012gl053081.
  • Shiro, B. (2011). "Demystifying 'The Power of the Sea'", EARTH Magazine, June 2011 issue, pp 54-55.
  • Shiro, B.R. (2010). "In Situ Geophysical Exploration by Humans in Mars Analog Environments", Master's Thesis, University of North Dakota.
    [Note: Name change from "R. Brian White" to "Brian R. Shiro" in 2003]
  • White, R.B. (2002). "Outer Rise Seismicity and Dynamics: Implications for Plate Rheology and Seamount Loading at the Tonga Subduction Zone", Master's Thesis, Washington University in St. Louis.
  • White, R.B. (2000). "Dislocation Models of Creep in the New Madrid Seismic Zone", Undergraduate Senior Honors Thesis, Northwestern University.
  • White, R.B., I. Kay, and G. Adema (1999). "Seismic Profiles on the Demorest Glacier, Juneau Icefield, Alaska", JIRP Open File Report 1999.