Earth scientist Patrick Fulton to receive Early Career Award from AGU

AGU's Jason Morgan Early Career Award recognizes outstanding research contributions

Patrick Fulton

Patrick Fulton on board the scientific drilling vessel Chikyu. (Photo credit: JAMSTEC/IODP)

Patrick Fulton, an assistant researcher in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, has been chosen to receive the Jason Morgan Early Career Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Established in 2009 by the AGU Tectonophysics Section, the award recognizes outstanding research contributions at an early career stage and acknowledges the exceptional potential of the awardee.

Fulton studies earthquake physics and tectonic processes, focusing on questions related to the frictional strength of fault zones and hydrologic and thermal processes, such as frictional heating. He has been working with Emily Brodsky, professor of Earth and planetary sciences, on the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST) to study the Tohoku fault off the coast of Japan, which was responsible for a devastating magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

As part of the JFAST international team, Fulton was involved in the installation and retrieval of a temperature observatory that was deployed in a borehole drilled into the fault beneath the seafloor at a depth of 7 kilometers below the ocean surface. The JFAST project was a record-breaking technological accomplishment involving a large international team of scientists, and it yielded important scientific results.

Fulton earned his B.S. in Earth and atmospheric sciences from Georgia Institute of Technology and Ph.D. in geosciences from Pennsylvania State University. He came to UCSC in 2012.