Scripps Oceanography Scientist Awarded Medal from Seismological Society of America


J. Freeman Gilbert, professor emeritus of geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, has been selected to receive the 2004 Medal of the Seismological Society of America (SSA).

SSA awards the medal "for outstanding contributions in seismology and earthquake engineering." Gilbert will receive the medal at the SSA's annual meeting in Lake Tahoe, Calif., on April 28, 2005.

"Freeman Gilbert is the father of modern very low-frequency seismology, the study of the oscillations of the earth after large earthquakes," said Robert Parker, director of the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at Scripps. "Such oscillations, like the ringing of a bell, can persist for weeks and even months after the initial event. Professor Gilbert laid the theoretical foundations, and built on them an observation edifice that has become an invaluable storehouse of information about the deep interior of the earth, information that can be obtained in no other way. This is truly an outstanding contribution to seismology."

Gilbert has worked at Scripps since 1961 and was a founding faculty member of IGPP, which was established in 1980. He served as IGPP's associate director from 1976 through 1988.


Gilbert is among the nation's most distinguished interpreters of seismological data. He has applied computational methods to seismic problems and has studied global earthquake source mechanisms and geophysical inverse theory.

In 1994 he was elected a foreign fellow of Italy's Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei, of which Galileo was a founding member. Gilbert is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He won two Guggenheim fellowships to the University of Cambridge, was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 1966, and has won the Balzan Prize, AGU's Bowie Medal and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Gilbert received his bachelor's degree and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Founded in 1906, the Seismological Society of America is a scientific society devoted to the advancement of earthquake science. SSA has members throughout the world representing a variety of technical interests, including seismologists and other geophysicists, geologists, engineers, insurers and policy makers in preparedness and safety.

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