Masters Awarded Beno Gutenberg Medal


Guy Masters, a geophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, will receive the Beno Gutenberg Medal from the European Geosciences Union during its general assembly in April.

The union recognized Masters for his research on free oscillations, reverberations of the solid earth that occur after large seismic events. Masters began working with fellow Scripps geoscientist Freeman Gilbert on free oscillations in the 1980s.

"I'm tremendously thrilled to be honored with this medal," said Masters, "especially because it's named for one of the great scientists in our field and a person whose work has had a direct influence on my own research."

Masters is the current director of the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at Scripps. He joined IGPP as a Cecil and Ida Green Scholar in 1979 after receiving his doctorate from Cambridge University.

Masters' research interests include studying the fine structure of the earth's mantle and core and incorporating aspects of physics, geodynamics, and geochemistry into Earth models.

"Efforts to understand the implications of Guy's models and their interpretations has inspired the growth and development of an entirely new branch of geophysics, namely global geodynamics/tectonics," said Gilbert. "A new generation of geophysicists has embarked on a series of continuing studies that attempt to understand the dynamics, the thermo-chemical structure, and the temporal evolution of Earth's mantle and cores. It is very rare for a scientist to have made such a primary impact on the profession of geophysics, but Guy has done it and he has done it modestly."

The union will present Masters with the medal during its assembly held April 3-8 in Vienna, Austria. Masters will deliver a "Medal Lecture" about the history of his research on free oscillations as part of his receipt of the award.

The medal is named for Beno Gutenberg, a German scientist whose early work included determining the radius of the core-mantle boundary of Earth in 1911. Gutenberg directed the seismological laboratory at the California Institute of Technology for 10 years and remained affiliated with CalTech until his death in 1960.

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