Solitary tree in desert with sand dunes in background

Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service

Information on the Award

The Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service is presented annually and recognizes significant contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics from a mid-career or senior scientist. Nominees are assessed on their mentorship of early-career scientists, leadership on community research initiatives, or other collaborative research efforts.

The award is presented during the AGU Fall Meeting.

Image of Earth from space with Satellite

Award Benefits

AGU is proud to recognize our section honorees. Recipients of the Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service will receive the following benefits with the honor:

  • 1

    Award plaque

  • 2

    Recognition in Eos

  • 3

    Recognition at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year

  • 4

    Complimentary ticket to the Geodesy section event at the AGU Fall Meeting during the award presentation year

Eligibility

To better understand eligibility for nominators, supporters and committee members, review AGU’s Honors Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • The nominee is required to be an active AGU member.
  • The nominee must be primarily affiliated with one of the following sections: Geodesy, Seismology, or Tectonophysics.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be candidates for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Silver Award Committee members; and
    • a
    • All full-time AGU staff.

  • Nominators are required to hold an active AGU membership.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be nominators for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Silver Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

  • Individuals who write letters of support for the nominee are not required to be active AGU members.
  • The following individuals are not eligible to be supporters for the award during their terms of service:
    • AGU President;
    • AGU President-elect;
    • Council Leadership Team members;
    • Honors and Recognition Committee members;
    • Silver Award Committee members; and
    • All full-time AGU staff.

The following relationships need to be identified and communicated to the Award Committee but will not disqualify individuals from participating in the nomination or committee review process. These apply to committee members, nominators, and supporters:

  • Current dean, departmental chair, supervisor, supervisee, laboratory director, an individual with whom one has a current business or financial relationship (e.g., business partner, employer, employee);
  • Research collaborator or co-author within the last three years; and/or
  • An individual working at the same institution or having accepted a position at the same institution.

Individuals with the following relationships are disqualified from participating in the award nomination process as a nominator or supporter:

  • Family member, spouse, or partner.
  • A previous graduate (Master’s or Ph.D.) and/or postdoctoral advisor, or postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.
  • A former doctoral or graduate student, or a former postdoctoral fellow may not write a nomination letter for a former advisor but may write a supporting letter after five years of terminating their relationship with the nominee beginning on 1 January after the year the relationship was terminated.

Water in a fissure between tectonic plates in Iceland

Nomination Package

Watch our tutorial on successfully submitting a nomination package or read our how-to guide.

Your nomination package must contain all of the following files, which should be no more than two pages in length per document.

  • A nomination letter that states how the nominee meets the selection criteria. It should include details about significant contributions to the research and careers of early-career scientists, and/or the development of research programs and infrastructure that benefit the scientific community. Nominator’s signature, name, title, institution, and contact information are required and letterhead is preferred.
  • A curriculum vitae for the nominee.
  • A selected bibliography stating the total number, the types of publications and the number published by AGU.
  • At least one, and up to three, letters of support. Supporter’s signature, name, title, institution, and contact information are required and letterhead is preferred. We encourage letters from individuals not currently or recently associated with the candidate’s institution of graduate education or employment.

Submission Process

Nominations should be submitted online.

Submissions are reviewed by the Paul G. Silver Award Committee.

Submit
artist rendering of earth in space with sunrising

Recipients

Field Photo:

Ramon Arrowsmith

Field Photo:

Doug Toomey Field Photo

Judith Savaso Chester received the 2019 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2019, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given annually and recognizes “significant contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics from a mid-career or senior scientist” through “mentorship of early-career scientists, leadership on community research initiatives, or other collaborative research efforts.”

 

Citation

Prof. Judith (“Judi”) S. Chester is an outstanding scientist who uses a powerful combination of experiments and field observations to understand earthquake faulting; however, this award recognizes her exemplary efforts on behalf of the broader community.

In 2004, the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) recruited Judi to help lead the effort in Fault and Rupture Mechanics. She played a key role in guiding that enterprise through consistently clear thinking and constructive suggestions. She subsequently served on the SCEC board, then again in a more prominent role as the vice chair of the Planning Committee. As vice chair, she guides the research enterprise of a large and diverse research community. This is hard work, it is important work, and it is community work that represents a substantial time commitment and attests to Judi’s unselfish character. Judi has now been involved in SCEC leadership for over 15 years; however, during that time she has done much more.

From 2010 to 2016, Judi assumed leadership roles in AGU’s Physical Properties of Earth Materials group. From 2013 to 2017, she was on the Executive Committee of DEFORM. Since 2013, she has managed the National Science Foundation EarthScope Office for Physical Samples from San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD), the community resource for storing and making available cores recovered from the San Andreas. SAFOD was a key component of EarthScope, which Paul Silver, to whom this award is dedicated, helped initiate. Judi’s community efforts are particularly impressive because she carried out many of them simultaneously, all while maintaining her own vigorous research program.

Judi is an outstanding scientist who has unselfishly contributed her time and talents in support of a broader research community that spans the three sponsoring AGU sections and beyond. Judi Chester is an exceptionally worthy recipient of the 2019 Paul G. Silver Award.

—Gregory C. Beroza, Department of Geophysics, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Response

Thank you, Greg, for your thoughtful citation. I am truly honored to receive the Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service from the Tectonophysics, Seismology, and Geodesy sections of AGU. This award also is a tribute to the work of the many individuals who conceived of, built, and supported two major scientific programs that I have been very fortunate to participate in, the SAFOD EarthScope initiative and the Southern California Earthquake Center. The foundational scientific vision of each program and their specific research priorities have captivated and energized me through much of my career. Participating in these endeavors offered me the opportunity to interact with two large, overlapping research communities that focused on understanding all aspects of earthquake behavior. They opened multiple paths for participation, helped me grow as a scientist, and introduced me to interdisciplinary research. Through their examples, I learned about collaborative leadership, and it has been an honor to return these gifts through service.

There are many individuals I would like to recognize but can only name a few. First, the SAFOD leaders, Steve Hickman, Mark Zoback, and William Ellsworth, for their hard work over many years; and Terry Tullis for inviting me to SCEC’s first Fault and Rock Mechanics (FARM) workshop in 2002 and opening my eyes to the world of SCEC. That meeting changed my professional life and set me on a path with Terry, Ruth Harris, Nadia Lapusta, and many others to advance FARM-related priorities within the SCEC community. I thank Tom Jordan and John McRaney for their contributions to SCEC over many years, and the SCEC business office, now expertly led by Tran Huynh. Greg, it has been a pleasure working under your thoughtful and expert leadership. Finally, I would like to thank Fred, my colleague, collaborator, and partner.

—Judith Savaso Chester, Texas A&M University, College Station

Harold Tobin will receive the 2018 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2018, to be held 10–14 December in Washington, D. C. The award is given annually to recognize a scientist who has made “outstanding contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish cooperation in research.”

 

Citation

Harold Tobin recently became the new director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) at the University of Washington. Over the past 17 years, Harold has devoted the better part of his career to leading the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE), to date the most ambitious initiative for earthquake study using ocean drilling.

Harold studies the subduction megathrust and fore arc through seismic imaging and deep drilling, but his interests encompass rock mechanics, fault mechanics, earthquake seismology, and field geology. His scientific vision, multidisciplinary knowledge, and great leadership qualities position him extremely well to lead a community initiative as ambitious and complex as NanTroSEIZE.

NanTroSEIZE faced unprecedented challenges. It not only needed to integrate knowledge of plate tectonics, seismology, structural geology, marine geology, hydrogeology, borehole physics, and many other fields, but also has had to push the limit of drilling and monitoring technology. Its success also depends on its leader’s ability to create and maintain a work environment that nurtures cooperation among scientists of all levels, across their vastly different cultural and scientific backgrounds.

Today, after numerous site surveys, 11 drilling and instrumentation expeditions, and a number of technological and funding crises, NanTroSEIZE has built a seafloor borehole transect accompanied by a monitoring network and is on its way to the final phase of drilling to the megathrust itself. It has generated a huge body of science by borehole sampling and monitoring and by stimulating associated research. A generation of young scientists grew up with NanTroSEIZE, motivated and trained to study great earthquakes and tsunamis in new ways. What Harold and his coleaders from Japan have accomplished together is truly remarkable.

The Paul Silver Award is the best way to recognize Dr. Harold Tobin’s outstanding contributions to the fields of seismology and tectonophysics through his “leadership in community research initiatives.”

—Kelin Wang, Geological Survey of Canada, Sidney, B. C.

Response

Thank you so much for this recognition, Kelin, which comes as a complete and humbling surprise to me. I learned early on in graduate school from the great Casey Moore that going for something big with a diverse team makes for the most exciting and fun science. I took that superb advice to heart, and it has made for a rich and rewarding career path.

I have been lucky to get to be the “head cheerleader” for the more than 120 colleagues who have been part of NanTroSEIZE, many more than I can name here. But I particularly am grateful to Gaku Kimura, Greg Moore, Masa Kinoshita, Mike Underwood, Eiichiro Araki, Lisa McNeill, Michi Strasser, Kiyoshi Suyehiro, and, above all, Demian Saffer. Besides Casey, Mark Brandon and Eli Silver got me started in subduction zone research. Along the way, I’ve been very lucky to work with and learn from so many others, and I thank you all. Heartfelt thanks especially to all of my colleagues at New Mexico Tech and University of Wisconsin–Madison who supported my efforts in organizing big science even though it didn’t necessarily bring the big bucks back to the home institution. Former students Matthew Knuth, Tamara Jeppson, Susanna Webb, Sarah Bremmer, and many others have been phenomenal. Finally, none of what I have done would have been possible without the love and tolerance of my family, Mary Dwyer and Kira and Iris Tobin.

Very soon we are headed out on International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 358 to try to finally reach our megathrust target. Meanwhile, in this new chapter of my career at Washington, the two “big science” hats I’m wearing—the PNSN and the SZ4D planning project—promise many more years of fun science working with dedicated and creative people. I couldn’t be more excited about the future.

—Harold Tobin, University of Washington, Seattle

David Mainprice will receive the 2017 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 11–15 December in New Orleans, La. The award is given annually to recognize “a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish cooperation in research.”

 

Citation

As befits a Silver awardee, David Mainprice’s scholarship transcends boundaries of mineral physics, tectonophysics, and seismology, enabling improved understanding of S wave splitting, thermal diffusivity, phase transitions, and relations among deformation, elastic moduli, and seismic properties. David was directly connected to Paul Silver; they co-authored two influential papers and maintained a personal friendship. But more important in the context of this award are David’s intellectual generosity, enthusiastic mentorship, and kind cooperation with students and colleagues. Beginning in 1990, he committed to making his petrophysics programs and databases freely available. Nowadays, collaborating with Hielscher, Bachmann, Schaeben, and others, David is a major contributor and teacher of MTEX, an open-source code providing robust statistical assessments of crystal preferred orientation, seismic velocity anisotropy, and shear wave polarization. At any given meeting, there are always a spectacular number of posters displaying figures using MTEX or his older software. David’s generosity extends to hosting research visits in Montpellier and providing workshops worldwide. It was easy to collect heartfelt and eloquent quotations illustrating his influence as a mentor and collaborator. D. Prior, Otago University, said, “Mainprice’s contributions…to texture measurement have been trendsetting, yet openly available…. [His lab] made world-class EBSD instruments available to international users…. [When] launched 15 years ago, it included many components built in-house, sometimes out of commonly available household items (including coffee filters).” K. Michibayashi, Shizuoka University, commented, “I was very much inspired by David…[and] still rely on his products and basic ideas.” Q. Wang, Nanjing University, commented, “[Dave is] a generous teacher and friend. He helped to establish my career and taught me how to become an honorable scientist.” S. Misra, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, quoted a Sanskrit aphorism: “Sharing knowledge gives humility; humility gives character.” Misra concluded that David Mainprice epitomized the essence of that saying.

—Brian Evans, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge —Andrea Tommasi, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France

Response

First, I thank Brian Evans and Andrea Tommasi, who wrote the citation. It is very humbling to have received this award associated with the name of Paul Silver, an extraordinary seismologist, genial colleague, and great friend who is greatly missed by all. I acknowledge the people who taught me many things, starting with lectures at Kingston Polytechnic based on practical work and fieldwork. Ernie Rutter at Imperial College, where my research started under his direction, is an exceptional person with unlimited talents. He taught me countless things, including tensors, which at the time was of little interest to me! I was fortunate to have Mervyn Paterson as my Ph.D. supervisor at Australian National University, a man with a very strong background in physics and a very critical eye for detail. He set the standards I tried to follow. Some years later I took a sabbatical in Brian Evans’s group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where again I learned more about rock deformation from one of the masters of the subject. In addition to the names above, I have collaborated with many researchers who were young at the time. I will mention some of these people, as space is limited: Yvon Montardi, Shaocheng Ji, Philippe Blumenfeld, Jan Behrmann, Keith Benn, Geoff Lloyd, John Wheeler, Bernard Seront, Guilhem Barruol, Alain Vauchez, Hartmut Kern, Anke Wendt, Walid Ben Ismaïl, David Jousselin, Gwen Lamoureux, Benoit Ildefonse, Marcos Egydio-Silva, Luigi Burlini, Benoit Dewandel, Jerome Bascou, Benoit Gibert, Ela Pera, Katsuyoshi Michibayashi, Patrick Cordier, Philippe Carrez, Stanislav Ulrich, Fabrice Fontaine, Miki Taska, Manuele Faccenda, Arnaud Metsue, Qin Wang, Richard Law, Ralf Hielscher, Helmut Schaeben, Bjarne Almqvist, Razvan Caracas, Alex Mussi, Claudio Madonna, Lucille Bezacier, Marie Violay, Rolf Bruijna, Sylvie Demouchy, Santanu Misra, Luiz Morales, Victoria Shushakova, Ewin Frets, Takako Satsukawa, Mainak Mookherjee, Tanvi Chheda, Steve Peuble, Fabio Arzilli, José Alberto Padrón-Navarta, Thomas Chauve, Maurine Montagnat, Sandra Piazolo, and Baptiste Journaux.

—David Mainprice, Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France

Robert Reilinger will receive the 2016 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish collaboration in research.

 

Citation

Robert Reilinger is honored with the Paul Silver Award for inspiring so many researchers and students, in so many countries, to collaborate in the construction of a vast geodetic observatory centered on the Eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia but stretching from Morocco in the west, Azerbaijan in the east, the Black Sea in the north, and Ethiopia in the south. Rob has orchestrated this sustained and very productive collaboration, despite the many political tensions in the region, by his generosity and evident lack of self-interest, his contagious enthusiasm for seismotectonics, his willingness to work hard in the field, year after year, especially in the emergencies trigged by earthquakes, and by his desire to see his many partners, especially his younger partners, publish the fruits of their efforts. Rob has helped to build technical capacity by organizing training programs as and when they were needed, both at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and within the region. Rob has also been generous with his ideas, and the papers that he has written with his colleagues at MIT and throughout the Tethyan region have contributed to, and helped inspire, a flood of new insights into the geodynamics and the seismicity of this region. Paul Silver was an excellent and hard-working scientist, a great organizer, a generous mentor, and a kind soul. All these things are true of Robert Reilinger as well, which makes him a really fitting person for this honor. Thank you, Rob, for all that you have done for our science, and for all that you have done for our community.

—Tony Watts, Chair, Joint Tectonophysics, Seismology and Geodesy sections, Silver Award Committee

Response

Thanks for your very generous citation, Tony. I’m incredibly flattered to receive this award, and grateful to have an opportunity to acknowledge some of those individuals who have contributed to my personal and professional development. Jack Oliver gave me a start in geophysics and advised me to “focus on doing good work—everything else will take care of itself.” Muawia Barazangi taught me the importance of careful observations and the intense dedication needed to be a scientist. Our geodynamic studies of the Africa-Arabia-Eurasia plate system would never have happened without Nafi Toksoz inviting me to work at MIT, and to collaborate with Bob King, Simon McClusky, and Aykut Barka (deceased), each as personally committed to this research as I have been for the past 30 years. Philippe Vernant and Mike Floyd have more recently carried much of the scientific “weight.” Carrying on from Aykut, Semih Ergintav has maintained a remarkable, perhaps unique, collaboration in Turkey motivated by ongoing earthquake hazards. Sergy Balassanian (deceased) and Arkady Karakanian (Armenia), Fakhraddin Kadirov and Samir Mammadov (Azerbaijan), Valentine Kotzev and Ivan Georgiev (Bulgaria), Mikhail Prilepin (Caucasus, Russia), Ali Tealeb and Salah Mamoud (Egypt), Rebecca Bendick and Shimelis Fiseha (Ethiopia), Ghebrebrhan Ogubazghi (Eritrea), Galaktion Hahubia, Giorgi Sokhadze, and Tea Godoladze (Georgia), Demitris Paradissis (Greece), Abdullah ArRajehi (KSA), Muawia Barazangi, Francisco (Paco) Gomez, Mohamad Daoud, Riyadh Ghazzi (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan), Driss Ben Sari and Abdelilah Tahayt (Morocco) all participated in early efforts to map deformation—their whole hearted cooperation and willingness to work across borders allowed our project to proceed. I hope all of our partners will take personal satisfaction from this award. UNAVCO has been, and remains, an invaluable resource, beginning with the engineers, James Stowell, Jim Normandeau, Dave Mencin, and Karl Faux among others, with continuing, uninterrupted support essential to our research.

—Robert Reilinger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

Robert Smith will receive the 2015 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish collaboration in research.

 

Citation

Bob received his bachelor’s degree from Utah State University in 1960 and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1967. Soon thereafter, he joined the University of Utah faculty. He is a talented geophysicist whose scientific work focused on Yellowstone and the tectonics of the Basin and Range. To a remarkable degree, he has made outstanding contributions to each of the areas of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) sections sponsoring the Silver Award.

Bob played an important role in the development of multiple major initiatives over the last 30 years. He helped form the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) in 1984. His contributions as an early developer of scientific GPS geodetic networks helped lead to the creation of the University Navstar Consortium (UNAVCO) in its early days in the 1980s, and he helped guide it through its eventual incorporation. He served many years on the Advisory Council for the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), including as its first chair. He was a cofounder of the National Science Foundation (NSF) EarthScope program focused on understanding the structure, evolution, and active tectonics of North America. He was the founding scientist of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory in 1990 and continues as coordinating scientist.

Bob represents the best in unselfish collaboration in scientific research and in scientific organization and infrastructure development. In addition to the many students he trained in his own group at Utah, his influence extends internationally through collaborations he fostered with younger scientists around the world. He is also known for the exceptional time and energy he devotes to educating the public, civil and emergency response authorities, and politicians on earthquake and volcano hazards. The Paul G. Silver Award recognizes Robert Smith’s outstanding, multifaceted, and sustained record of service to the AGU community.

—Gregory C. Beroza, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Response

It is most rewarding to receive the Silver Award in the name of Paul G. Silver, a long-time scientific collaborator, and I thank the Seismology, Geodesy, and Tectonophysics sections, with whom I have been affiliated for than 45 years. I formulated much of my philosophy when I experienced the 1959 M 7.3 Hebgen Lake, Mont., earthquake that was closely followed when I learned how to fly a jet in the U.S. Air Force in 1963 and in only 1 year learned how to drive a dog team exploring Antarctica as the U.S. exchange scientist to the British Antarctic Survey. My early academic efforts involved, with associates, forming the Program for Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL) consortium for seismic instrumentation that later merged into IRIS. On the basis of my using GPS and leveling work in Yellowstone, colleagues and I formed a geodetic instrument consortium, UNAVCO. Again, associates and I formed a consortium to study the evolution of North America, treating it as a natural geologic laboratory, forming the EarthScope program. Moreover, my interests in understanding earthquake physics through integrating multiple geologic data led me to become a member of SCEC, where integration of methods and tools is practiced so well. And I have always viewed Yellowstone as “a window into Earth processes” that led me along with National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists to form the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. Critically, I have always involved and mentored young faculty, successfully supervising 70 graduate students, and tried to set an example of how to organize their own science programs. In closing, I am grateful to the NSF and the USGS for their support and to the University of Utah, which has always supported my academic interests.

—Robert B. Smith, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Stephen Hickman received the 2014 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, held 15–19 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award is given annually to recognize a scientist who has made “outstanding contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish cooperation in research.”

 

Julia K. Morgan received the 2013 Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish collaboration in research.

 

Citation

Julia Morgan received her Ph.D. in 1993 from the Cornell University. She joined the Department of Earth Sciences at Rice University in 1999 and has been a full professor since 2009. Julia is well known for a rare combination of skills in field geology and quantitative modeling. Her broad scientific background and leadership quality make her an exemplary leader for a major scientific program as multidisciplinary as Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins (GeoPRISMS) (http://www.geoprisms.org).

In 2009, when the MARGINS program was coming to a successful closure, Juli chaired a committee to lead its transition to GeoPRISMS and to develop a science plan for the new program. Her vision and efforts set GeoPRISMS on a promising path before she became its inaugural chair in 2010. GeoPRISMS consists of two main topics (for convergent and divergent boundaries) with five primary sites around the globe for focused collaborative studies. Research methods include geodesy; seismology; and various marine and land-based geophysical, geochemical, and geological methods, under the broad category of tectonophysics. Synergy with other national and international scientific programs needed to be explored. Collaborative relationships with other countries that are intimately linked to GeoPRISMS science needed to be nurtured. Changes in funding scenarios in response to the U.S. economy needed to be respected. In dealing with competing scientific interests of different groups, hard decisions and compromises needed to be made. Juli handled this complex and demanding task calmly, energetically, and unselfishly.

Juli’s hard work has paid off. The results are successful proposals, effective community interactions, motivated young scientists, and clearly articulated science. From the initial development of GeoPRISMS science and implementation plans to today’s smooth operation of the program, with an increasing global effect, each step is a demonstration of Juli’s dedication to serving the scientific community. She truly deserves the Paul Silver Award.

—KELIN WANG, Pacific Geoscience Centre, Geological Survey of Canada, Sidney, British Columbia

Response

Thank you, Kelin, for your kind words and nomination, and thanks to the Tectonophysics, Seismology, and Geodesy sections for extending this honor. I also want to recognize the efforts of so many others who really drove the GeoPRISMS program; my job was primarily as a facilitator, channeling the great ideas of the community into distinctive scientific opportunities benefiting a large number of researchers, and what a creative, energetic, and generous community it is. It has been particularly satisfying to watch GeoPRISMS grow during my term as chair, especially with the enthusiastic involvement of the students and early-career researchers who are the future of the program.

I wish to give special credit to the people who worked the hardest on behalf of the program, specifically, members of the GeoPRISMS steering committee, the education advisory committee, and so many workshop organizers and other contributors to the GeoPRISMS Science and Implementation Plans. I am grateful to the National Science Foundation for entrusting me with this responsibility and providing the guidance and funding to keep the program going. My staff did the hard work of keeping things running smoothly; thank you, Alana Holmes, Charles Bopp, Susi Haveman, August Costa, and Anaïs Férot.

And I need to acknowledge the ongoing contributions of Geoff Abers, who ensured the smooth transition from MARGINS to GeoPRISMS. He also served as advisor and mentor throughout my term and continues to be involved in productive GeoPRISMS activities. Without his paving the way, none of this would have been possible.

Finally, I am grateful for all that I learned during my term about continental margins, scientific cooperation, and exciting research problems still to be solved. I am much richer for these experiences and for the colleagues I gained along the way. I look forward to working with all of you in years to come.

—JULIA K. MORGAN, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Andrew Nyblade received the Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the fields of geodesy, seismology, or tectonophysics through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish collaboration in research.

 

Citation

Andrew Nyblade is the first recipient of AGU’s new Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service. This award is given jointly by the Seismology, Geodesy, and Tectonophysics sections to a section member who has made outstanding contributions to these fields through mentoring of junior colleagues, leadership of community research initiatives, or other forms of unselfish collaboration in research. The award was named for the late Paul Silver as a tribute to the excellence and generosity of his scientific service and the importance of his research on mantle anisotropy, continental evolution, subduction zone dynamics, and earthquake source processes.

Andy Nyblade received a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University in Ohio and his Ph.D. in 1992 from the University of Michigan. He then did a postdoc at Penn State, where he has largely been ever since, becoming a full professor in 2007. Andy is a first-rate scientist who has specialized in seismic and other geophysical investigations of the African continent, which have highlighted the unique dynamical and thermal properties of the African mantle. His service contributions have been truly exceptional, in particular his development and leadership of the AfricaArray project, which has established key programs to improve African geophysics education and instrumentation.

Working in collaboration with African scientists, AfricaArray has installed a number of seismic stations across Africa, while training young African seismologists in order to build an in-house capability to collect, analyze, and interpret the data, which of course are also freely available to scientists around the world. The goal is not simply to collect African data and leave but to build local institutions, infrastructure, and expertise. The program has now expanded to include geodesy and other fields.

The success of this project required Andy’s vision and drive, his ability to build and sustain relationships, and his perseverance in obtaining funding from a variety of sources. He has supervised and mentored many African students who have come to Penn State. In addition, Andy has worked to improve geoscience training for students in U.S. minority-serving institutions, including historically black colleges and Hispanic-serving universities in Texas and California. He has served as an outstanding research advisor and mentor to numerous younger scientists, many of whom have gone on to faculty positions themselves. Overall, Andy Nyblade has compiled an outstanding record of service, including unique contributions to educating underserved populations in both Africa and the United States, as well as obtaining new data sets and important new research results.

—PETER M. SHEARER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.

Response

I would like to thank Peter Shearer for his citation and the Seismology, Geodesy, and Tectonophysics sections for this honor. Paul Silver was a friend and mentor, and so receiving this award is especially meaningful. I first met Paul in 1993 when I was a postdoc writing a National Science Foundation proposal to deploy a seismic network in Tanzania and recall his strong encouragement to not cut back on the size of the project in spite of the cost. The project, which was funded, helped pave the way for the development of AfricaArray more than a decade later, illustrating Paul’s far-reaching influence on the community through his support of junior scientists.

While I am receiving this award in large part because of the achievements of the AfricaArray initiative, those achievements are not mine alone but reflect the dedication and efforts of many scientists; their willingness to share research infrastructure, data, and training courses; and their commitment to improving geoscience education in Africa. In 2004, when Paul Dirks, then head of the School of Geosciences at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and I developed the plan for AfricaArray, it was abundantly clear that we needed to address the underrepresentation of students from disadvantaged communities in South Africa. We soon realized that extending a focus on diversity to other African countries, as well as to the United States, would serve to further strengthen AfricaArray, and thus, a multinational diversity program was made a cornerstone of the initiative, along with a pan-African seismic network and a training program for African postdocs and students.

I would like to thank all of the many AfricaArray partners, faculty, postdocs, students, and sponsors and, in particular, Paul Dirks, Ray Durrheim, Roger Gibson, and Sue Webb (University of the Witwatersrand) and Gerhard Graham (Council for Geoscience, South Africa) for their important contributions to building AfricaArray.

—ANDREW NYBLADE, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Honors Contacts

AGU Staff Headshot Moore

Artesha Moore

Vice President, Affiliation, Engagement & Membership

202-777-7530 | [email protected]

Graphic silhouette of a person

Leah Bland

Program Manager, Honors

202-777-7389 | [email protected]

AGU Staff Headshot Maymi

Rosa Maymi

Director, Engagement and Membership

202-777-7322 | [email protected]

Graphic silhouette of a person

Hannah Hoffman

Honors and Affiliation Program Coordinator

202-777-7515 | [email protected]