A Johns Hopkins geophysicist was among 72 U.S. scientists
elected today to membership in the National Academy of
Sciences at the organization's 144th annual meeting, held
in Washington, D.C.
Peter Olson, a professor in the university's Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, joins 17 other Johns Hopkins faculty members currently in the academy, an honorary society that advises the government on scientific matters.
Olson's research focuses on understanding the dynamics of the Earth's interior, including both the mantle and the core. He is especially interested in how these two major parts of the Earth interact to produce plate tectonics, deep mantle plumes and the geomagnetic field. He combines theory, numerical models and laboratory fluid dynamics models, and uses these to interpret global geophysical data pertaining to the deep interior.
Olson currently is collaborating with colleagues around the world and graduate students at Johns Hopkins to study the dynamics of the Earth's core, particularly the magnetohydrodynamic processes by which the geomagnetic field is generated in the fluid outer core, and why and how it reverses its polarity. He also is investigating magnetic dynamos in other planets.
Olson received a bachelor's degree in geology in 1972 from the University of Colorado, Boulder, earned a master's degree in geophysics in 1974 and his Ph.D. in geophysics in1977, both from the University of California, Berkeley. He also was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.
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