Scripps Geophysicist Peter Shearer Awarded AGU’s Inge Lehmann Medal

American Geophysical Union recognizes contribution to the understanding of earthquakes

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has awarded Peter Shearer, a professor of geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, the Inge Lehmann Medal.

Named in honor of Inge Lehmann who discovered the earth’s solid inner core in 1936, this annual prize is given to a senior scientist with outstanding contributions in their research of Earth’s mantle and core.

Shearer, a specialist in seismology, is among 36 scientists honored by the American Geophysical Union this year. These awards are given to those who have pushed the frontiers of their science forward in different areas and have made outstanding achievements and contributions to the earth and space sciences community.

A man wearing a hat with mountains in the background.
Scripps professor Peter Shearer enjoying the mountain view

Shearer is a part of the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at Scripps. He is also a leader in developing new methods to improve the understanding of earthquakes in California and around the world. In 1999, Shearer was named an AGU Fellow for his contributions to Earth and space science through an innovation in his field of seismology.

“I was surprised and delighted to learn that I would be receiving the Lehmann medal this year,” said Shearer. “Inge Lehmann is a giant in my field of observational seismology, best-known for her discovery of Earth's solid inner core, but she also did important work on upper-mantle seismic discontinuities. I am truly honored to receive an award in her name.”

Scripps alumna Kristine Larson (PhD ’90) was also honored by AGU with the Charles A. Whitten Medal, given to a senior scientist in recognition of outstanding achievement in research on the form and dynamics of the earth and planet.

The 2020 AGU Fall Meeting will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. To learn more about the Scripps Oceanography presence at the conference, including highlighted talks and poster presentations, visit

Established in 1919, AGU aims to advance discovery and solution science that accelerate knowledge and create solutions that are ethical, unbiased and respectful of communities and their values. AGU will host an online celebration to formally recognize this year’s recipients during its Fall Meeting, which will take place on Dec. 9. Find additional details about the event here.

About Scripps Oceanography

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego is one of the world’s most important centers for global earth science research and education. In its second century of discovery, Scripps scientists work to understand and protect the planet, and investigate our oceans, Earth, and atmosphere to find solutions to our greatest environmental challenges. Scripps offers unparalleled education and training for the next generation of scientific and environmental leaders through its undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. The institution also operates a fleet of four oceanographic research vessels, and is home to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the public exploration center that welcomes 500,000 visitors each year.

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