Prominent Marine Geologist to Receive Prestigious Cody Award from Scripps Institution of Oceanography


A marine geophysicist known for his work with marine magnetic anomalies has been selected to receive the 2007 Robert L. and Bettie P. Cody Award in Ocean Sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Steve Cande, a professor of marine geophysics and a former director of the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps, will be awarded the prestigious prize during a private ceremony on Sept. 20.

As part of the award, Cande will present a public lecture on Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. in 4500 Hubbs Hall on the Scripps campus, 8602 La Jolla Shores Dr. in La Jolla. The lecture, "Reading the Ocean Tapes: How Oceanographers Decipher the Motion of Tectonic Plates from Natural Magnets Embedded in the Floor of the Oceans," is designed for a lay audience. On Sept. 20 he will present another lecture at 2 p.m. in 4500 Hubbs Hall. This more technical lecture, "Cenozoic Motion Between East and West Antarctica: An Elusive Link in the Global Plate Circuit," is intended for a scientific audience. Both talks are free and open to the public.

In his research, Cande uses magnetic anomalies to analyze tectonic plate motions in the world's ocean basins. The data allow him to study the processes by which the oceanic crust is formed at mid-ocean ridges, and to analyze the behavior of Earth's magnetic field. Perhaps best known for his work using magnetic anomalies to understand when polarity reversals of Earth's magnetic field have taken place, Cande has also studied variations in the paleointensity of Earth's magnetic field that are recorded in the oceanic crust. Although most of his work has been with magnetics data acquired at sea, Cande has also collected data from aircraft flying over the Weddell Sea near Antarctica and Chile Ridge in collaboration with scientists from the Naval Research Lab.

Cande has worked extensively on the tectonics of the southern Chile continental margin, where he lead several expeditions that investigated the effects of an active spreading ridge colliding with a deep-sea trench. He has researched tectonic plate motions in the central and south Atlantic oceans and was a co-chief scientist on a cruise aboard the deep sea drilling vessel Glomar Challenger that sought to identify the origin of geochemical anomalies in the ocean crust near the Azores. His work for the past 15 years has focused on the motions of the Antarctic, Australia and Pacific plates and the tectonics of the seafloor near the continental margin of the Ross Sea near Antarctica.

Cande received a B.S. degree in geology and geophysics from Yale University in 1970 and a Ph.D. in marine geophysics in 1976 from Columbia University. He worked at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University from 1977 until 1992 when he moved to Scripps Oceanography. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Cande has led 19 seagoing expeditions, and estimates that he has collected about 280,000 kilometers of magnetics data during his time at sea.

The biennial Cody Award, which consists of a gold medal and a $10,000 prize, recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in oceanography, marine biology and Earth science.

It was established by an endowment from the late Robert Cody and his wife Bettie, and a substantial contribution from Capital Research & Management Company, in recognition of Mr. Cody's service to the Los Angeles-based firm. Robert Cody's affiliation with Scripps Oceanography dates back to his youth and his association with William E. Ritter, his great uncle and founder and first director of Scripps.

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