He was born Arturo Pineda Alcaraz to Conrado Alcaraz and Paz Pineda in Manila, Philippines. He was a college graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the Mapua Institute of Technology (1937).
Arturo Alcaraz started his professional career as an aide in the geology division of the Bureau of Mines. He then applied for a government scholarship which eventually qualified him to study in the United States when the Philippines was still a commonwealth under U.S. sovereignty. He entered the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a Master of Science degree in Geology. When he returned to the Philippines, he rejoined the bureau and was hired as assistant geologist to Busuanga Island, the northernmost islet off Palawan. In May 1942, he became Chief Geophysicist of the Philippine Weather Bureau.
When Alcaraz temporarily left his government job during the liberation of Manila in 1945, he volunteered for a few months as a civilian engineer for the United States Army. After that, he returned to the Weather Bureau and remained as chief of the Geophysical Division. In 1947, he had his first close-range experience of volcanic eruption when Mayon Volcano in the Bicol region of southern Luzon erupted. In 1948, he received a grant from the United States Government to study microseismology at Opalocka Naval Air Station in Florida.
In 1951, the Commission on Volcanology (ComVol) was officially created under the National Research Council and appointed Alcaraz as Chief Volcanologist which he held until 1974.
- Philippine geographical journal. Philippine Geographical Society. 1976. Philippine Geographical Society
- World directory of crystallographers and of other scientists employing crystallographic methods. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1960. ISBN 978-0-7817-1970-4. International Union of Crystallography
- NIST special publication. U. S. Govt. Print. Off. 1969. National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S.), United States. National Bureau of Standards
- http://www.rmaf.org.ph/Awardees/Biography/BiographyAlcarazArt.htm 1982 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service - Arturo Pineda Alcaraz
- http://www.gf.org/fellows/168-arturo-p-alcaraz Arturo P. Alcaraz - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation