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Founded in 1984 with support from the National Science Foundation, IRIS is a consortium of over 125 US universities dedicated to the operation of science facilities for the acquisition, management, and distribution of seismological data for fostering cooperation among IRIS members, affiliates, and other organizations in order to advance seismological research and education.

IRIS programs contribute to scholarly research, education, earthquake hazard mitigation, and verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.