Dr. Chuck Langston Takes Helm at U of M’s Earthquake Center University News
For release: December 3, 2008

For press information, contact Gary Patterson, 901/678-5264

Dr. Chuck Langston
Dr. Chuck Langston
The University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), a premiere institute for the study of the causes and consequences of earthquakes, is now under the leadership of a new director, Dr. Chuck Langston. Langston takes the helm from Dr. Arch Johnston, who led the organization to international prominence over a tenure that began with a staff of three in 1978 and grew to 55 in 2008. Johnston remains at the Center as founding director.

Langston completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at the California Institute of Technology and came to Memphis after serving as a professor of seismology at Penn State for more than 23 years. He has served as president of the Seismological Society of America and as chair of the National Science Foundation Visiting Committee for the Southern California Earthquake Center. In 2003, Langston was selected as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Designation as an AGU Fellow requires a prolific history of publication and quality research that has led to eminence in one or more fields of geophysics. The AGU has more than 38,000 members representing 117countries. Only 0.1 percent of members are chosen to be Fellows.

Under Johnston’s leadership, CERI became a state agency in 1978 and a Tennessee Academic Center of Excellence in 1982, with mandates to perform research and provide information related to regional earthquake hazards and seismic monitoring.  The Center’s faculty now includes nationally and internationally recognized earth scientists and a talented pool of graduate students who also perform research around the globe, including such sites as Antarctica, South America, Indonesia, the Caribbean, Africa, India, Taiwan, and China.

The CERI seismic network has grown to be the largest in the eastern Unites States, consisting of 140 seismograph stations distributed across the central and eastern states. This expertise in seismic monitoring has led the Center to become a primary partner in the Advanced National Seismic System, a nationally standardized system of high-quality seismic instrumentation supported by the US Geological Survey.

More information about CERI is available online at www.ceri.memphis.edu

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