Brian Shiro (Research Collaborator)


Brian Shiro’s lifelong ambition is to promote both the exploration of space and improvement of sustainable living on Earth.  This has led him to pursue many synergistic opportunities in the earth and space sciences in a career spanning fifteen years.  In that time, Shiro has led or participated in numerous field expeditions to remote locations around the globe, including Antarctica, Alaska, Canada, and various tropical Pacific islands.  His most recent field work has focused on applications in environments analogous to the Moon or Mars.  In 2009 and 2010, he served as crew Geophysicist on a month-long simulated Mars mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station on Devon Island, Canada and as Commander on a two-week mission at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.  In both cases, he led projects searching for permafrost and groundwater to glean lessons astronauts may use one day on other worlds.  His planetary analog experience also includes the 2012 NASA RESOLVE lunar rover field campaign on Mauna Kea, and he currently serves as a research collaborator and mission support manager for the NASA HI-SEAS Mars analog mission on Mauna Loa.

Shiro was a Highly Qualified NASA astronaut applicant in 2008 and 2012, placing him within the top 10% of applicants.  Recognizing the growth of commercial spaceflight opportunities, he co-founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Astronauts for Hire (A4H) in 2010 to help build the next generation commercial astronaut workforce. Shiro serves as A4H’s President/CEO and is a Director on its Board of Directors.  Through A4H, he has completed astronaut training in a high-gravity centrifuge, zero-gravity parabolic flight, emergency survival skills, and spatial disorientation.  Brian is also a private pilot, scuba diver, marathon runner, and regular speaker at area K-12 schools on earth and space science topics.

Since 2005, Shiro has worked as a Geophysicist at the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.  In this capacity, he applies operational science principles to continuously monitor the globe for earthquakes, access their tsunamigenic potential, and issue tsunami warnings as needed.  He is also currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, where he applies geophysical exploration techniques to search the subsurface for resources that could support life on other planets.  Shiro holds a B.A. (2000) with majors in Integrated Science, Geology, and Physics from Northwestern University, a M.A. (2002) in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis, and a M.S. (2010) in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota.  He is also a graduate of the International Space University’s Space Studies Program (2005), which led to his giving an invited presentation on wildfire forecasting using space technologies to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 2006.