SMU seismologist Brian Stump named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Brian Stump

SMU seismologist Brian Stump named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Brian W. Stump, Albritton Professor of Geological Sciences and AAAS Fellow, SMUSMU seismologist Brian Stump has been named an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow for distinguished contributions to his field, particularly in the area of seismic monitoring in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Stump, Albritton Chair of Geological Sciences in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences of SMU’s Dedman College, is the fifth SMU professor to be recognized as an AAAS Fellow.

> Learn about Dr. Stump’s work at the SMU Research blog

“Dr. Stump is a scientist of the first rank and brings the results of his outstanding research into the classroom, where his students benefit from his example and insights as a scholar,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He richly deserves the AAAS recognition by his peers and we are proud that he calls SMU home.”

“Brian’s work has been seminal in scientists’ ability to rapidly and accurately discern the difference between an earthquake, a conventional explosion (such as might occur in a mining accident) and a nuclear test,” said James Quick, SMU vice president for research and dean of graduate studies. “His research is tremendously important to all of us, and yet he is equally committed to teaching and serving as a mentor to young faculty.”

> SMU News: SMU-UT study shows “plausible” connection between DFW quakes and saltwater injection well

Stump is well known regionally for his continued work researching the increase of small earthquakes that have been occurring in North Texas since 2008. But his work in detecting ground motion from explosions has for more than 20 years proved invaluable to the United States government in ensuring that the world’s nuclear powers abide by their agreements related to underground nuclear testing. He served as scientific adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Disarmament from 1994 through 1996 and continues to be called upon frequently to assist the U.S. government in the interpretation of seismic and acoustic data.

“I’m humbled by the recognition by the AAAS that science impacts the society in which we live,” Stump said. “I really believe that. And the work we’ve done at SMU on inducted seismicity in North Texas has that same blend of real science and societal impact.”

> Brian Stump on CBS-11 News: Report looks at drilling wastewater and North Texas earthquakes

For the last five years Stump has chaired the Air Force Technical Applications Center Seismic Review Panel, which provides a review of federally funded efforts in nuclear monitoring. He served as a committee member on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Seismology and Continental Dynamics from 2007 through 2012, and recently completed a term as board chair for Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), a consortium of more than 100 universities funded by the National Science Foundation.

Stump joined SMU in 1983 from the Seismology Section of the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. He graduated summa cum laude from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon with a bachelor of arts in physics in 1974, received a master of arts from the University of California-Berkeley in 1975 and received his Ph.D. in geophysics from UC-Berkeley in 1979 after completing a thesis titled Investigation of Seismic Sources by the Linear Inversion of Seismograms.

SMU faculty previously named as AAAS Fellows:

  • Volcanologist and research dean James Quick, who was named a Fellow in 2013
  • Environmental biochemistry scholar Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs and a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, who was named a Fellow in 2003
  • Anthropologist David Meltzer, Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory in the Department of Anthropology who was named a Fellow in 1998
  • James E. Brooks, provost emeritus and professor emeritus in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, who was named a Fellow in 1966.

The AAAS Fellows program began in 1874. AAAS members may be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections, by three Fellows, or by the association’s chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and forwards a final list to the AAAS Council, which votes on the final list of Fellows.

> Read more from SMU News

SMU experts share perspectives on 2011 Japan quake in fund-raising lecture April 12

Japan quake relief T-shirt created for SMU fund-raising effortsTwo SMU faculty members with unique perspectives on the Japanese earthquake will speak at a public fund-raising lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in Room 123, Fondren Science Building. (The location has been changed from its original venue in McCord Auditorium.)

Dedman College Dean William Tsutsui was in Tokyo at the time of the earthquake as a member of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation. He will be joined by Brian Stump, Albritton Professor of Geological Sciences in Dedman College, a recognized seismology expert who leads a national university consortium funded by the National Science Foundation and works with the U.S. Geological Survey to manage global earthquake data.

Admission to the lecture is $10; SMU students will be admitted free with campus ID. Proceeds will benefit disaster relief efforts in Japan. RSVP online at the Japan Association at SMU (JASMU) website.

At the event, JASMU will sell a fund-raising T-shirt designed by its members (pictured right), priced at $20. The shirt features images of a crane and Mt. Fuji, both symbols of Japan, with a large wave symbolizing the recent disaster. “We hope that Japanese people will find a way to recover from the 2011 Japan earthquake just like cranes rising into the sun,” the students wrote on the JASMU homepage.

Half Price Books donated the assistance of its design team and covered the cost of the T-shirts and production, ensuring that all money raised through the T-shirts can go directly to relief efforts in Japan. The money will be given to the American Red Cross through SMU’s Institute for the Study of Earth and Man (ISEM).

The shirts will also be available from SMU’s booth at the 2011 Earth Day Dallas event, April 22-23 in the Dallas Arts District.

For more information, visit the Japanese Association at SMU website or call Yuri Kimura at 214-909-0786.

April 12, 2011|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU community raises funds for Japan earthquake and tsunami victims

Japan quake relief T-shirt created for SMU fund-raising effortsThe Japanese Association at Southern Methodist University (JASMU) will raise funds for victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami through an upcoming lecture and T-shirt sales.

The newly formed organization is led by Yuri Kimura, a Ph.D. candidate in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Noritoshi Hiyama, who is pursuing an M.B.A. in the Cox School of Business; and Isaac Saito, who is pursuing an M.S. in systems engineering in Lyle School of Engineering.

“We hated seeing what was happening in our country, and we wanted to do something to help as quickly as possible,” Kimura says. “We hope others on the SMU campus and around Dallas will join us in our quest to raise funds for those in need in Japan.”

Two SMU faculty members with unique perspectives on the Japanese earthquake will speak at a public fund-raising lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in Room 123, Fondren Science Building.

Dedman College Dean William Tsutsui was in Tokyo at the time of the earthquake as a member of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation. He will be joined by Brian Stump, Albritton Professor of Geological Sciences in Dedman College, a recognized seismology expert who leads a national university consortium funded by the National Science Foundation and works with the U.S. Geological Survey to manage global earthquake data.

Admission to the lecture is $10; SMU students will be admitted free with campus ID. Proceeds will benefit disaster relief efforts in Japan. RSVP online at the JASMU website.

In addition, JASMU will sell a fund-raising T-shirt designed by its members, priced at $20. The shirt features images of a crane and Mt. Fuji, both symbols of Japan, with a large wave symbolizing the recent disaster. “We hope that Japanese people will find a way to recover from the 2011 Japan earthquake just like cranes rising into the sun,” the students write on the JASMU homepage.

Half Price Books donated the assistance of its design team and covered the cost of the T-shirts and production, ensuring that all money raised through the T-shirts can go directly to relief efforts in Japan. The money will be given to the American Red Cross through SMU’s Institute for the Study of Earth and Man (ISEM).

The SMU community can buy the T-shirts for the first time during the Cox School of Business 7th Annual International Festival. Sales will take place 5:30-8:30 p.m. March 25 in the James M. Collins Executive Education Center.

Additional shirt sales will take place March 28, 29 and 31, and on April 1 and 8 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The shirts will go on sale from 2-6 p.m. April 9-10 at the Half Price Books Dallas flagship store, 5803 East Northwest Highway.

The shirts will also be available at the April 12 campus lecture and from SMU’s booth at the Earth Day Dallas event, April 22-23 in the Dallas Arts District.

For more information on the upcoming events, visit the Japanese Association at SMU website, or call Yuri Kimura at 214-909-0786.

Written by Christina Voss

March 22, 2011|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU scientist Brian Stump leads global seismology consortium

SMU's Albritton Professor of Earth Sciences Brian StumpBrian Stump, Albritton Professor of Earth Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been elected chair of the board of directors for a university-based consortium that operates facilities for the acquisition, management and open distribution of seismic data.

The programs of the Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology (IRIS) contribute to scholarly research, education, earthquake hazard mitigation and verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

IRIS was founded in 1984 with support from the National Science Foundation. The late Eugene T. Herrin Jr., who held the Shuler-Foscue Endowed Chair in the University’s Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, was a founding member. IRIS facilities primarily are operated through its more than 100 member universities and in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Scientists from member institutions participate in IRIS management through an elected nine-member board, eight regular committees and ad hoc advisory groups. Stump’s term of office as chair of the board is for three years, and will expire at the end of 2013.

“IRIS was formed because it was realized that we needed to support the global seismic network and needed the free exchange of information and ideas,” Stump said. “Instrumentation is so expensive that the seismic community needed to find a way to make equipment available to anyone who needs it for research, regardless of the size or funding capability of their parent institution.”

More than 4,000 portable monitors are available through the IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. These instruments proved invaluable to Stump and his SMU team in researching a series of small earthquakes that occurred in North Texas between October 30, 2008, and May 16, 2009. The ability to quickly place monitors at the site of the original quakes allowed scientists to record 11 earthquakes between Nov. 9, 2008, and Jan. 2, 2009, that were too small to be felt by area residents.

“The monitors available to IRIS members are well-used assets,” Stump said. “They’re constantly in service, like library books that fly off the shelves. We never have enough equipment.”

Stump also is one of two distinguished lecturers sponsored this year by IRIS and the Seismology Society of America.

The Global Seismographic Network consists of more than 150 permanent stations around the world. It is operated by IRIS in cooperation with the USGS Geological Survey and allows seismologists to examine large events occurring anywhere to determine if they were caused by natural events such as earthquakes, or man-made events such as mine explosions or nuclear tests.

> Read more from SMU News
> Visit the IRIS website at iris.edu

February 8, 2011|News, Research|

Renowned SMU seismologist Gene Herrin dies

Eugene T. Herrin Jr.Eugene T. Herrin Jr., an internationally respected seismologist and holder of the Shuler-Foscue Endowed Chair in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, died of a heart attack on Nov. 20, 2010.

An SMU professor since 1956, Herrin is known for his pioneering work in nuclear surveillance. He discovered that certain wave generators, including explosions and earthquakes, create not only seismic waves but also infrasound waves. Based on that discovery, Herrin was one of the first proponents of using seismo-acoustic analysis to distinguish the difference between mining explosions, earthquakes and nuclear weapons tests.

Early in his career, he made seminal contributions in the areas of heat flow and earthquake seismology, including the development of the fundamental regional travel time curves still in use by the seismological community.

He played a significant scientific role in the development of infrasound detection of atmospheric tests and the design and implementation of a global seismic network for test ban verification and earthquake detection. He also made contributions to national security through successful and enforceable nuclear proliferation negotiations. In addition, he played an important role in the development of plate tectonic theory and the creation of array seismology to detect small earthquakes at great distances.

“Dr. Herrin’s work has played a critical role in establishing accurate worldwide monitoring of nuclear tests,” said Brian Stump, Claude C. Albritton Jr. Chair in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “His research was fundamental in creating the international monitoring network that enforces the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.”

As a consultant to Teledyne-Geotech for more than 50 years, Herrin played an important part in a successful university-industry relationship, said Jack Hamilton, retired Teledyne-Geotech CEO and engineer. “Dr. Herrin played an indispensable part in our company’s development of instruments used in nuclear test monitoring.”

Herrin’s first breakthrough in experimental seismology occurred in 1963 when he determined that the earth’s mantle is not laterally homogeneous as previously thought. He won the Grove Karl Gilbert Award from the Geological Society of America for this contribution.

A devoted teacher, Herrin supervised 25 Ph.D. candidates during his years at SMU. His students now play important research roles worldwide in the monitoring of nuclear tests, Stump said.

“I owe everything I am as a scientist to Dr. Herrin,” said Jessie Bonner, a senior scientist at Weston Geophysical who earned his Ph.D. in geology in 1997 from SMU. “The best thing about Dr. Herrin as a mentor is that he wouldn’t do the work for you. He would come down to the geophysics lab, grab a chair and we would work on the problem together. He would give me just enough information to solve the problem on my own.”

Dr. Herrin was honored with a chiming of the bells at SMU at noon on Nov. 29. A celebration of his life will take place at a later date.

> Read more about Gene Herrin from SMU News

November 29, 2010|News|
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