Dr. Maria Richards is the SMU Geothermal Laboratory Coordinator in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. Her research is on geothermal resources and energy development. Projects vary from computer generated temperature-depth maps for Google.org to on-site geothermal exploration of the volcanic islands in the Northern Mariana Islands. Currently her concentration is on the conversion of oil/gas wells into geothermal energy producers. Maria was on the Geothermal Resources Council Board of Directors and was chair of the outreach committee in 2011-12. She holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Geography from University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a BS in Environmental Geography from Michigan State University.