Geoscientist Emily Brodsky elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Emily Brodsky
Emily Brodsky (photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

Emily Brodsky, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Brodsky joins 12 other UCSC faculty (including four others in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences) who are members of the academy, one of the highest honors a U.S. scientist can receive. The new members also include several UCSC alumni, including Danesh Moazed (Ph.D. biology ’89, B.A. biology ’85), Pamela Silver (B.A. chemistry ’74), and Gia Voeltz (B.S. biochemistry and molecular biology ’94).

Brodsky’s research focuses on the mechanics underlying earthquakes, addressing questions about the processes that trigger earthquakes and the constraining forces and processes that occur inside a fault zone during slip. She currently chairs the steering committee of SZ4D, an ambitious coordinated research initiative to investigate the processes that underlie subduction zone hazards.

After the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake off the coast of Japan, Brodsky helped organize and lead a major international expedition to study the fault. Her recent work includes important findings about earthquakes induced by human activities in which fluids are injected deep underground (e.g., hydraulic fracturing, wastewater disposal, and geothermal wells).

Brodsky has served on the boards of directors of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) and the Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology (IRIS). A fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Geological Society of America (GSA), she has received many awards and honors for her work, including most recently the 2021 Price Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and the 2022 Nemmers Prize in Earth Sciences. She joined the UCSC faculty in 2005.

The new members of the National Academy of Sciences will be formally inducted next year at the 2024 NAS Annual Meeting.