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ASU professor receives national award for outstanding scientific service

Ramon Arrowsmith is the recipient of the Paul G. Silver Award for outstanding scientific service from the American Geophysical Union


ASU Professor Ramon Arrowsmith is the recipient of the Paul G. Silver Award for outstanding scientific service from the American Geophysical Union.

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November 16, 2020

Announced recently by the American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest earth and space science society, Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration Professor Ramon Arrowsmith has been selected for the Paul G. Silver Award for outstanding scientific service.

“This award recognizes the significant contributions that Professor Ramon Arrowsmith has made to the fields of geodesy, seismology, and tectonophysics through his mentorship of early-career scientists and his leadership on community research initiatives and collaborative efforts,” said Meenakshi Wadhwa, director of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. “We appreciate Ramon tremendously as a stalwart member of our school’s community here at ASU, and so it is especially nice to see him recognized more broadly by his colleagues in the earth science community.”

Arrowsmith has more than 25 years of experience studying the paleoseismology, earthquake geology and geomorphology of fault zones and publishing about their history of activity and hazards. He is also the co-founder and co-principal investigator of the OpenTopography effort, a portal to the largest collection of freely available high-resolution topography data. In addition, he and his students conduct ongoing research on active faulting, earthquake geology, tectonic geomorphology and the geologic framework for human origins.

“We have all benefited from Paul Silver’s leadership and legacy,” Arrowsmith said. “I was fortunate to meet him on several occasions and appreciated his wit and the spark that drove major science activities on which I was later able to contribute. I am humbled to be in the same list as those who have been awarded before and I also congratulate Doug Toomey, the other recipient this year of the Paul G. Silver Award.”

Arrowsmith has held a number of administrative positions at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, including associate chair of the Geological Sciences Department, school deputy director and school associate director of graduate studies. He is currently the school’s associate director of operations.

“I was inspired to serve by the example of many, including mentors Dallas Rhodes, David Pollard and Manfred Strecker,” Arrowsmith said. “And ASU School Earth and Space Exploration Professor Jim Tyburczy showed me a firm and balanced approach to leadership. My service as associate and deputy to school directors Kip Hodges, Lindy Elkins-Tanton and Meenakshi Wadhwa has given me an opportunity to learn about academic administration and help students, faculty and staff.”

Addressing the recipients of the 2020 AGU section awardees, AGU President and Council Chair Robin Bell stated in their awards announcement, “You have achieved outstanding accomplishments in your disciplines despite the recent challenges that our global community has faced. You have made important contributions to the scientific community by challenging, reinforcing, or reinvigorating all of us to think bigger, broader or differently. Like those before you, each of your contributions has served as a building block to and for others to advance our understanding of Earth, its atmosphere and oceans, and space, including the planets and beyond.”

AGU will formally recognize this year’s award recipients during their fall meeting, which will be held online Dec. 1-18.

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