William F Waite, Ph.D

Bill Waite has spent his career being thrilled, confused, inspired and exasperated by gas hydrates – an educational relationship he began as a Stanford post-doc before shifting to the U.S. Geological Survey in 1999. He has moved from laboratory studies of physical properties of pure gas hydrates, to laboratory and field measurements of the physical properties of gas hydrate in sediment.



Doctor of Philosophy and Masters of Science, Physics, University of Colorado: 1992-1998
Dissertation: A restricted meniscus motion model for wave attenuation in partially fluid-saturated porous rock, supervised by Prof. Hartmut Spetzler.

Bachelor of Arts, Physics (magna cum laude), Oberlin College: 1988-1992
Senior Thesis: Prediction and Measurement of Total Nuclear Reaction Cross Sections, supervised by Prof. Robert Warner.

Professional Positions

Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA: 1999-Present
Leader of the Gas Hydrate Project’s Laboratory Program.  I coordinate research between the Woods Hole, MA and Menlo Park, CA laboratories in support of Gas Hydrate Project studies.  I lead or co-lead fundamental, applied and synthesis-level studies of gas hydrate, with a focus on physical property measurements in pure gas hydrate, gas-hydrate-bearing sediment, and gas-hydrate-bearing pressure cores. Current Assignment: Lead USGS scientist for physical property studies in the NGHP-02 project.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University/U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA: 1998-1999                                                              Bridged the gas hydrate laboratory efforts at Stanford University and U.S. Geological Survey, measuring wave velocities and thermal properties of ice and of gas hydrates.

Professional Activities

Selected Invited Seminars:

2017: Methane gas hydrates: A tale of bubbles great and small. Talk presented at the University of New Hampshire, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center Seminar Series, April 7, 2017.

2016: Overviews of US involvement in pressure coring, with emphasis on recent results from the joint Indian effort. Presentation given in Sapporo, Japan to Japanese and Indian representatives from AIST, JOGMEC, and India. Presentations given in February and June.

2015: What do we learn from physical property measurements? Presentation given aboard the D/V Chikyu during the National Gas Hydrate Program NGHP-02 research cruise offshore India, May 6, 2015.

2015: Applications of Pressure Core Characterization Tools: Insights from the Nankai Trough. Invited talk given at the Gulf of Mexico Scientific Planning Workshop for Methane Hydrate Pressure Coring and Analysis, University of Texas, Austin, TX, March 9, 2015.

Rendering Scientific Judgement

Advisory Committees:

Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory

Gas Hydrate Reservoir Modeling for the National Gas Hydrate Program of India (NGHP)

University of Texas Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Project

Thesis committee member:

Colorado School of Mines

Georgia Institute of Technology

GeoForschungsZentrum (Potsdam, Germany)

Associate Editor:

Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology (currently: guest editor for the NGHP-02 special volume)

Journal of Geophysical Research B, Solid Earth (Jan. 2003 – Dec. 2011)


2013 Exceptional Reviewer Award from American Institute of Physics (for the journal Review of Scientific Instruments)

2013 Certificate of Reviewing Excellence from Elsevier Publishing (for the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering)

2011 Reviewer Certificate of Appreciation from the American Chemistry Society


Member, American Geophysical Union (1987 – present)

Member, Phi Beta Kappa, Scientific Honor Society (1992 – present)

Member, Sigma Xi, Society for Research Scientists (1992 – present)