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Seth Stein Named William Deering Professor of EPS

February 4, 2013

Seth A. Stein, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Northwestern University, has been appointed the William Deering Professor in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

His research focuses on plate tectonics, seismology and space geodesy.

He conducts ongoing studies of earthquakes and tectonic processes including the New Madrid seismic zone in the central U.S., the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and the Andes. Other studies focus on the thermal evolution of oceanic lithosphere.

Stein is among the leading geophysicists of his generation. He is known for his contributions to our understanding of global plate motions, mantle heat flow and large earthquakes.

Following the 2004 Sumatra earthquake, which surprised geologists in its location and intensity, Stein and colleague Emile Okal began to reassess what controls the occurrence of potential similar earthquakes in particular geographic areas.

In his career, Stein has earned many honors, including the James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union, election as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Geophysical Union, and selection as the first scientific director of the University NAVSTARR (GPS) Consortium from 1998 to 2000.

He is active in the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology's education and outreach program, currently serving as a distinguished lecturer, to help improve public understanding of earthquakes and how to reduce their impact on society. He started Northwestern's undergraduate environmental science program.

Stein has co-authored two textbooks, "Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes and Earth Structure" (with M. Wysession), 2003, and "Exploring Our Evolving Planet: An Introduction to Geophysics" (with M. Wysession and J. DeLaughter), currently in preparation.

He has co-edited "The Adria Microplate" (2005), "Plate Boundary Zones" (2002) and "The Mesozoic Pacific" (1993). Another co-edited volume, "Continental Intraplate Earthquakes," is also in preparation.

From 1993 to 1994 Stein was a visiting senior scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

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