A native of California, Clark R. Wilson received his BA degree in physics, from the University of California at San Diego, and MS and PhD degrees in Earth Sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California. He joined the UT Austin faculty in the Fall of 1976 as an assistant professor, was promoted to full professor in 1989, and was designated the Wallace Pratt Professor of Geophysics in 1992. Prior to his appointment at UT he held summer employment with Shell Oil Company, and while a student at Scripps spent over 6 months at sea as a participant in marine geophysical expeditions. During the period 1996-1999 he was invited to serve at NASA Headquarters, Washington DC as Program Scientist for Geodynamics and Geopotential Fields, via an intergovernmental personnel assignment. During that period he oversaw research planning and funding, and was liaison officer for several international space missions, including Oersted (with Denmark) and SAC-C (with Argentina). While at UT Austin, Wilson has served twice as Geological Sciences Department Chairman (1990-94 and 2004-2007). Currently he sits on the Board of Directors of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Frame Service, and on the Board of UNAVCO, Inc. as Corporate Treasurer. Wilson's research and publications in geophysics include reflection seismology, seismology applied to earthquake engineering, and numerous studies in the field of geodesy, including causes of earth rotation variations, and the use of space geodetic measurements (of Earth's gravity and rotational variations) as measures of global climate change. He is currently a member of the NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) science team investigating applications of time variable gravity to hydrologic and other problems, and works closely with the UT Austin Center for Space Research which oversees the GRACE mission. His field studies focus on the use of a superconducting gravimeter for monitoring subsurface fluids. He continues as one of the co-directors of the National Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) facility at UT Austin, collaborating with colleagues in the Geotechnical Engineering group in the Department of Civil Engineering.

Areas of Expertise

Geophysics, including gravity, space geodesy, and applied seismology


Research Locations



William T. Pecora Award - USGS and NASA (Group Award as Member of the GRACE Science Team (2007)

Fellow - International Association of Geodesy (1995)

National Honor Society - Phi Kappa Phi (1994)

Houston Oil and Minerals Excellence Award - Department of Geological Sciences (1994)

Wallace E. Pratt Professor of Geophysics - University of Texas at Austin (1992)

Editor's Citation as an Outstanding Referee - Journal of Geophysical Research (1989)

Jackson and Shell Centennial Teaching Fellows - University of Texas at Austin (1984 - 1992)

Young Faculty Award - ARCO Oil Company (1981)

Chairman, Editor Search Committee for Reviews of Geophysics, American Geophysical Union (2004)

Member, Geodynamics Commission Executive Committee , International Association of Geodesy (2003 - 2007)

Chairman, Scientific Organizing Committee 7th International Congress of Earth Sciences Santiago Chile, International Association of Geodesy (2002)

Member, Technical Program Committee 71st Annual Meeting, Society of Exploration Geophysicists (2001)

Co-convenor, IAG Assembly, Budapest, International Association of Geodesy (2001)

Member, Directing Board, International Earth Rotation Service (2000)

Member, Whitten Medal Committee , American Geophysical Union (2000 - 2004)

President, Geodynamics Section, International Association of Geodesy (1999 - 2003)

Head, Hydrology Bureau Geophysical Fluids Center, International Earth Rotation Service (1999 - 2004)

Member, Commission 19 (Earth Rotation), International Astronomical Union (1997 - 2000)

Co-Convenor, Argentine-US Space Conference, Buenos Aires, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (1997)

Coordinator, IERS New Directions workshop, International Earth Rotation Service (1996)

Member, Macelwane Medal Committee, American Geophysical Union (1996 - 1998)

Member, Editor Search Committee for Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union (1996 - 1997)

Secretary, Geodynamics Section, International Association of Geodesy (1995 - 1999)

Chairman, Special Study Group 5.173 Interaction of the Atmosphere and Oceans with Earth's Rotational Dynamics, International Association of Geodesy (1995 - 1999)

Fellow, International Association of Geodesy (1995)

Member, Geodesy Section Nominating Committee, American Geophysical Union (1995)

Member, Public Affairs Committee, American Geophysical Union (1994 - 1996)

Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research (Geodesy), American Geophysical Union (1993 - 1999)

Member, IAG Working Group on Global Change, International Association of Geodesy (1992 - 1994)

Member, Committee on Earth Studies, National Research Council (1992 - 1995)

Representative, SEG Council District III, Society of Exploration Geophysicists (1991 - 1993)

Member, Special Study Group 5.143 - Rapid Earth Rotation Variations, International Association of Geodesy (1991 - 1995)

Corresponding Member, International Earth Rotation Service (1991 - 1996)

Member, Special Study Group 5-98 Atmospheric Excitation of Earth Rotation, International Association of Geodesy (1987 - 1991)

Judge, Austin Area Science and Mathematics Fair, Austin Geological Society (1984)

President, Austin Geological Society (1982 - 1983)

Vice President, Austin Geological Society (1981 - 1982)

Judge, International Science Fair, Society of Exploration Geophysicists (1979)

Graduate Students

Chad A Greene, Ph.D., expected 2016
My PhD research is toward reducing uncertainty in projections of sea level rise by assessing the effects of ocean interaction with the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. In my masters research, I developed tools for acoustic quantification of methane hydrates and gas flow from underwater seeps.

Hongqiu Wu, M.S., 2011
A transportable superconducting gravimeter for hydrologic studies.

Nedra Bonal, Ph.D., 2007
Dissertation topic: Field Studies of Fractured Rock using Seismic and Radar Observations

Ki-weon Seo, Ph.D., 2005
Dissertation topic: GRACE satellite gravity and hydrology

Erick Leuro, M.S., 2004
Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric Studies of Subsidence near El Paso Texas.

Krishnavikas Guidipati, M.S., 2003
Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometric Studies of Subsidence in Arizona