‘Physics of Surfing’ Teacher Named to National Academy of Sciences

by Matt Ball on May 4, 2011

Geophysicist David Sandwell, professor of geophysics at Scrips Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, was named to the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to the freshman seminar in the physics of surfing, Sandwell also teaches satellite remote sensing and geodynamics, and is a pioneer in seafloor mapping.

“Sandwell’s research focuses on mapping large-scale topographic features beneath the ocean using data collected by remote-sensing instruments on satellites orbiting the earth and sonars on research vessels. He has been chief scientist on several seafloor mapping expeditions to remote areas of the South Pacific. In conjunction with colleagues, Sandwell developed the most detailed map to date of the global sea floor, providing scientists with the first uniform resolution view of 70 percent of the earth and opening up new areas of research in marine geology and geophysics. He uses these data to investigate the tectonics and geodynamics of the ocean basins. He was also involved in the Magellan mapping mission to understand the geodynamics of Venus. Much of his current research is focused on the use of radar interferometry data to measure crustal deformations associated with earthquake processes.”

Read more about this serious scientist, who takes the time to make a connection with kids in one of the more popular courses on campus, in this Scripps announcement.

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