Earthquake expert Emily Brodsky featured in NSF lecture series

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Emily Brodsky

Emily Brodsky, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, is among the distinguished speakers featured in the National Science Foundation's "Voices From the Future" lecture series. Videos of Brodsky's presentation and an interview with her are posted on the series web site (or see the videos below).

The National Science Board initiated the "Voices From the Future" lecture series in honor of the 60th anniversary of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2010. With speakers nominated by the NSF directorates, the series focuses on investigators relatively early in their careers with potential for making an impact on research, science education, communication, and broadening participation; and individuals who have made stunning discoveries that have changed or influenced the direction of science.

In her presentation, "Earthquakes Triggered by Seismic Waves," Brodsky discussed why earthquakes happen when they happen. She gave the lecture on December 2, 2010, at NSF in Arlington, Virginia.

Brodsky is an earthquake physicist whose research focuses primarily on identifying the processes that trigger earthquakes and constraining the forces and processes that occur inside a fault zone during slip. These studies require tools from a number of fields, including seismology, hydrogeology, and field geology. Brodsky is best known for quantifying the role of seismic waves in earthquake triggering and constraining the role of lubrication in fault slip. In related work, she has studied the interactions between seismic waves and hydrological systems to show that earthquakes can measurably increase the effective permeability of distant aquifers. She also studies other rapid geological processes such as explosive volcanism, landslides, and glacial slip.

Brodsky earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1995, doctorate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2001, and was a 2001 Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley. She is the recipient of the inaugural 2005 Charles Richter Early Career award from the Seismological Society of America. She was also honored with the 2008 James Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and she is an AGU Fellow. Brodsky was a 2009-10 distinguished lecturer for the NSF Earthscope program, and she is currently a distinguished lecturer for the Geo-Prisms program. She was also a recipient of an NSF CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development Program) award.