Bradford named dean, vice provost of global initiatives

John Bradford

Colorado School of Mines has named John Bradford its next vice provost of global initiatives and dean of earth resources and environment programs.

Bradford, professor and head of the Geophysics Department, will assume the new role July 1. As one of three vice provost and deans in the Office of Academic Affairs, Bradford will be responsible for strategic initiatives related to international program enhancements and partnerships as well as managing a diverse portfolio of departments that includes Petroleum Engineering, Mining Engineering, Geology and Geological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geophysics, Applied Math and Statistics, and the Colorado Geological Survey. 

"We are enthusiastic to have John take on this new role at Mines," Interim Provost Tom Boyd said. "He's a leader who will bring significant experience to the role. In the two short years he has led our Geophysics Department, he has successfully moved that program through a significant time of transition with a positive and forward-looking attitude and approach. I expect he will do the same in his new role as vice provost and dean."

A leader in the world of exploration geophysics, Bradford has been a member of the Mines faculty since 2017 when he was appointed the Geophysics Department head. He joined Mines from Boise State University, where he served on the faculty from 2001 to 2017 and as director of the Center for Geophysical Investigation of the Shallow Subsurface from 2006 to 2009.

Before his time at Boise State, Bradford served as an academic research scientist at the University of Wyoming from 1999 to 2001 and worked as a research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center from 1995 to 1999, where he focused on topics ranging from spectral decomposition for seismic exploration to utility detection with ground-penetrating radar.

Bradford earned his PhD in geophysics from Rice University, where he was an EPA STAR Graduate Fellow. He also holds bachelor's degrees in both physics and engineering physics from the University of Kansas. Awarded life membership in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in 2012, Bradford has held multiple leadership positions within SEG, including president from 2015 to 2016.

"We are seeing major global transitions in the energy economy, the need for minerals, stress on water resources and urbanization. Mines is preparing the scientists and engineers of the 21st century to lead these transformations," Bradford said. "I am looking forward to working with faculty, students and staff to usher in a new era at Mines."

Bradford's research is focused on developing field and computational methodologies for quantitative analysis of near-surface seismic and ground-penetrating radar data. He has used these methods to solve a variety of interdisciplinary science and engineering problems and has led field projects in the Arctic, Europe, Asia, Africa and across the U.S. 

Bradford will replace the retiring Ramona Graves, who has served as vice provost of global initiatives and dean of earth resources and environmental programs since 2018 when the position was created as part of a reorganization of the Office of Academic Affairs. The second woman in the U.S. to earn a doctorate in petroleum engineering, Graves PhD '82 also served as dean of the College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering from 2013 to 2018 and head of the Petroleum Engineering Department from 2007 to 2012.

Paul Sava, C.H. Green Chair of Exploration Geophysics, will serve as interim head of the Geophysics Department as a nationwide search for Bradford's replacement begins.

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.