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Biography

Mary Lou Zoback
U. S. Geological Survey
Menlo Park, California

Dr. Zoback received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. all in Geophysics and all from Stanford University. She entered college in 1970 planning on majoring in oceanography. An elasticity course taught by a mechanical engineer with a strong interest in plate tectonics introduced her to that exciting and still emerging theory. She transferred to Stanford as a junior and immediately began taking geology and geophysics courses to supplement her math and science background. After a National Research Council Post-Doc with USGS Heat Flow Studies group from 1978-1979, she joined the permanent staff of the USGS and has been a research scientist in the earthquake program ever since. Her major area of interest is active tectonics, with emphasis on the relationship of the in-situ tectonic stress field to earthquake deformation. Regions of interest range from the Basin and Range province, the San Andreas fault system, as well as intraplate regions. She served as the Leader of the World Stress Map Project of the International Lithosphere Program from 1986 to 1992 , a project involving more than 40 scientists from over 30 different countries with the objective of compiling and interpreting geologic and geophysical data on the present day tectonic stress field to infer the relative magnitudes of different forces acting on the lithosphere. Dr. Zoback has served on numerous national level committees and panels related to on topic ranging from geodynamics to high-level radioactive waste storage. She is active in several professional societies including the American Geophysical Union (currently President of the Tectonophysics Section) and the Geological Society of America. Honors include the AGU Macelwane Award (1987) for significant contributuions to the geophysical sciences by a young scientist of outstanding ability, USGS Gilbert Fellowship Award for a one year sabbatical in Karlsruhe, Germany (1990-1991), and election into the National Academy of Sciences (1995).

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