Geophysicist Robert Coe earns Outstanding Faculty Award

Robert Coe

Robert Coe, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, has received the Outstanding Faculty Award for 2009-10 from the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences. The award recognizes faculty who have provided outstanding contributions in the areas of research, teaching, and service to the campus and community.

"Dr. Coe is an internationally known and highly respected scientist who is held in high regard for his excellence in research, teaching, and service. He is truly an important asset to our campus and to the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences," said dean Stephen Thorsett in a letter announcing the award.

Coe is a geophysicist who has done important work in the areas of geomagnetism and paleomagnetism. Much of his research involves the investigation of the paleomagnetic record preserved in the magnetization of rocks. This record shows how the magnetic field of the Earth has varied over time, and Coe uses it to investigate the movement of continents and tectonic plates as well as the behavior of the "geodynamo" in Earth's core that generates the magnetic field. His work involves a combination of fieldwork and detailed laboratory measurements.

A fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Coe has received numerous awards in recognition of his research accomplishments. He is also widely praised as a teacher by students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Paul Koch, chair of Earth and planetary sciences, described Coe as "a teacher of great skill and commitment who has made excellent contributions at all levels of curriculum."

Coe's service to the campus has included playing key roles on numerous Academic Senate committees and serving twice as department chair. He has also served on advisory committees for the AGU, National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences, and as president of the AGU Geomagnetism/Paleomagnetism section.

Coe earned his B.A. at Harvard University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from UC Berkeley. He joined the UCSC faculty in 1968.