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University of North Dakota
Associate Dean
Center for Aerospace Sciences
Earth System Science


Dr. George A. Seielstad is Director of the Northern Great Plains Center for People and the Environment at the University of North Dakota. In this position he develops and promotes the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAC), a major research initiative Seielstad founded in 1994. Before coming to UND, Seielstad had an active career as a radio astronomer, first at the California Institute of Technology's Owens Valley Radio Observatory, then at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, where he was Site Director. He earned his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Dartmouth College. His Ph.D. in Physics is from the California Institute of Technology. Seielstad has been published widely: he has authored more than 60 refereed articles and three books, among them Cosmic Ecology: The View from the Outside In, and At the Heart of the Web: The Inevitable Genesis of Intelligent Life. Seielstad came to UND in 1993 as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in The Odegard School and Professor in the Department of Space Studies. In 1994, he was named Associate Dean of the School, and Director of the Earth System Science Institute, a multi-disciplinary research organization dedicated to studying global environmental issues. In October 1997, Seielstad was named The Oliver Benediktson Professor of Astrophysics. In 2006, he was named Senior Advisor to the President of the University of North Dakota. Currently Seielstad is Chairman of the Executive Management Board for NASA's Deep Space Network. He also served on a National Science Foundation's Committee of Visitors for the Atmospheric Sciences. He is a nominee for the U.S. Geological Survey's National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Active Archive Advisory Committee.