Matthew Pritchard

Matthew Pritchard

Director, Institute for the Study of the Continents (INSTOC)
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


Matt Pritchard is a geophysicist who measures changes in the shape of the Earth and develops models of the myriad processes that cause these changes including: earthquakes, volcanoes, groundwater, landslides, and glaciers. Prior to arriving at Cornell in 2005, Pritchard was a Harry Hess Postdoctoral Scholar at Princeton University, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology, and an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago.

Research Interests

Geophysics, glaciology, geodesy, tectonics, and volcanology; Optical and radar satellite remote sensing, subsurface energy systems.

Research Group Members

Teaching Interests

Global geophysics, active tectonics, planetary surfaces and geophysics, remote sensing, glaciers, lunar geology, and subsurface energy systems.

Selected Publications

  • Melkonian, A. K., M. J. Willis, M. E. Pritchard, A. J. Stewart.  2016. "Recent changes in glacier velocities and thinning at Novaya Zemlya."Remote Sensing of Environment.
  • Shillington, Donna J., James B. Gaherty, Cynthia J. Ebinger, Christopher A. Scholz, Kate Selway, Andrew A. Nyblade, Paul A. Bedrosian, Cornelia Class, Scott L. Nooner, M. E. Pritchard, others.  2016. "Acquisition of a Unique Onshore/Offshore Geophysical and Geochemical Dataset in the Northern Malawi (Nyasa) Rift."  Seismological Research Letters 87 (6): 1406-1416.
  • M. E. Pritchard, Patricia M Gregg.  2016. "Geophysical evidence for silicic crustal melt in the continents: where, what kind, and how much?."  Elements 12 (2): 121-127.
  • Delgado, Francisco, M. E. Pritchard, Daniel Basualto, Jonathan Lazo, Loreto Córdova, Luis E Lara.  2016. "Rapid reinflation following the 2011-2012 rhyodacite eruption at Cordón Caulle volcano (Southern Andes) imaged by InSAR: Evidence for magma reservoir refill."  Geophysical Research Letters 43 (18): 9552-9562.
  • Melkonian, , Andrew K., Michael J. Willis, M. E. Pritchard.  2016. "Stikine Icefield Mass Loss Between 2000 and 2013/2014."  Frontiers in Earth Science 4.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Geodesy Section Award (American Geophysical Union) 2015
  • Kavli Fellow and speaker at the Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium (Kavli Foundation) 2015
  • Editor's citation for Excellence in Refereeing (American Geophysical Union) 2013
  • National Earthscope Speaker (Earthscope National Office) 2012
  • Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award (Illinois Math & Science Academy) 2011


  • BA (Physics), University of Chicago, 1997
  • MS (Geophysics), California Institute of Engineering, 2000
  • Ph D (Geophysics & Seismology), California Institute of Technology, 2003


Research Group Members

Graduate Students

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