Burke Minsley


Burke Minsley joined the USGS in 2008 as a Research Geophysicist with the Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center in Denver, Colorado. After receiving a B.S. in Applied Physics from Purdue University in 1997, Burke began his career as a field geophysicist working on offshore seismic vessels before receiving a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT in 2007. His work involves the development and implementation of innovative ground-based and airborne geophysical methods used in interdisciplinary studies to improve our understanding of Earth's geosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere. Burke's projects are interdisciplinary and geographically diverse, including permafrost mapping in Alaska, critical zone studies in a mountain headwater system in Colorado, and a large regional water availability study in the lower Mississippi River valley. He also works on development of computational methods for uncertainty quantification in geophysical datasets and associated geologic or hydrologic interpretations. In 2012, Burke received the PECASE award for his fundamental research on advancing airborne electromagnetic survey methodology and its use in studying permafrost. He is currently serving as President of the Near-Surface Geophysics Section of AGU from 2021-2022.


Ph.D. Geophysics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007

B.S. Applied Physics, Purdue University, 1997


2008 - present: Research geophysicist, Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO

2007 - 2008: Postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

2002 - 2007: Research assistant, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

1997 - 2002: Field geophysicist with WesternGeco, offshore

Honors and Awards

USGS Unit Award for Excellence of Service - LandCarbon team member, 2017

Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE), 2012

USGS Superior Service Award, 2012

Paper one of 'Ten Best of SAGEEP' 2010, 2011

Outstanding Student Paper Award, Near Surface section, Fall AGU, 2006

Martin Family Society Fellowship for Sustainability, MIT, 2004 - 2005