Head of the Department of Geosciences, Aster focuses on geophysics, seismological imaging and source studies, and Earth processes encompassing earthquakes, volcanos, glaciers, oceans, and geology. His research has drawn from significant seismological field studies in western North America, Italy, and Antarctica.
Aster is the founder and principal investigator of the New Mexico Tech IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center, which supports seismological studies around the world. He has received several awards for his work, including the National Science Foundation Antarctic Services Medal in 1999 and the New Mexico Tech Distinguished Research Award in 2010.
Aster received his B.S. in electrical and computer engineering and physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1983. He earned his M.S. in geophysics from the same institution in 1986, and his Ph.D. in earth science from the University of California, San Diego, in 1991.