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College of Arts and Sciences|Diamond Jubilee -- 75th Anniversary

Scott B. Smithson

Master of Arts - 1959 - Geology

After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma, Scott Smithson worked with Shell Oil Company and the Geotechnical Corporation. In the U.S. Army he was an electronics technician.

Following his master's degree at UW, he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway, where he earned his PhD in 1963. In 1964, he joined the Geology faculty at UW and is currently a professor in that department. During his academic career, he has been a Visiting Professor and Visiting Scientist at universities around the world, including the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Cornell University, the University of Bergen, and the Institute for Geophysics in Germany. The author or co-author of more than 100 scientific publications, he has presented papers before such august organizations as the Royal Society of London. He is a member of Norway's Academy of Science, and has been an Associate Editor for Geology, Precambrian Geology, and the Geological Society of America Bulletin. Smithson is one of the world's leading researchers in studies of the Earth's crust, and particularly on the seismic evaluation of underground strata. He has participated in research projects around the world, including joint work with Russian scientists at the Kola Superdeep Borehole. His research projects have drawn millions of dollars of outside support, particularly from the National Science Foundation. In 1988, he received the UW Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award. At UW, Smithson has developed a program of graduate study unique in the nation. It features interdisciplinary study, and collection and analysis of geophysical field data using leading edge computer technology. As a result, graduates of his program are among the most highly sought in the world.

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