Thomas H. Jordan

Thomas H. Jordan

Thomas H. Jordan is director of the Southern California Earthquake Center,
University Professor, and W. M. Keck Foundation Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California. As SCEC’s principal investigator since 2002, he has overseen all aspects of its program in earthquake system science, which currently involves over 600 scientists at more than 60 universities and research institutions worldwide (http://www.scec.org). The center’s mission is to develop comprehensive understanding of earthquakes and use this scientific knowledge to reduce earthquake risk. Jordan established SCEC’s Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability and has been the lead SCEC investigator on projects to create and improve a timedependent, uniform California earthquake rupture forecast. He currently chairs the International Commission on Earthquake Forecasting for Civil Protection (appointed by the Italian government), is a member of the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council, and has served on the Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee of the U. S. Geological Survey. He was elected to the Council of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and has served on its executive committee. He was appointed to the Governing Board of the National Research Council in 2008. Jordan’s research is focused on system-level models of earthquake processes, earthquake forecasting and forecast-evaluation, and full-3D waveform tomography. His other interests include continental formation and tectonic evolution, mantle dynamics,
and statistical descriptions of geologic phenomena. He is an author on approximately 190 scientific publications, including two popular textbooks. He chaired the NRC panels that produced two decadal reports, Living on an Active Earth: Perspectives on Earthquake Science (2003) and Basic Research Opportunities in Earth Sciences (2002). Jordan received his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. (1972) from the California Institute of Technology. He taught at Princeton University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography before joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the Robert R. Shrock Professor in 1984. He served as the head of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences for the decade 1988-1998. In 2000, he moved from MIT to USC, and in 2004, he was appointed as a USC University Professor. He has
been awarded the Macelwane and Lehmann Medals of the American Geophysical Union and the Woollard Award of the Geological Society of America. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

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