May 25, 2020

UCalgary geophysicist wins prestigious Canadian Geophysical Union Medal

Professor David Eaton receives 2020 J. Tuzo Wilson Medal
Dr. David Eaton of the Department of Geoscience is this year's J. Tuzo Wilson Medal recipient.
Dr. David Eaton of the Department of Geoscience is this year's J. Tuzo Wilson Medal recipient. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

“This award is deeply meaningful to me. The medal is named for J. Tuzo Wilson, who is a giant in the field of solid Earth geophysics and was instrumental in early development of modern plate tectonic theory,” says Dr. David Eaton, PhD, professor in the Department of Geoscience and NSERC/Chevron Industrial Research Chair in Microseismic System Dynamics.

The J. Tuzo Wilson Medal is given annually to recognize scientists who make outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge in any research area of the Canadian Geophysical Union. Winning this medal is the highest national distinction a geophysicist can achieve in Canada.

Eaton’s work focuses on induced earthquakes, characterizing microseismic activity associated with enhanced hydrocarbon recovery, and seismicity and structure of the Earth’s lithosphere.

“Receiving this major national geoscience award is a tremendous accomplishment and highly deserved honour for Dr. David Eaton. It recognizes the outstanding and highly innovative research contributions he has made to the field of seismology throughout his academic career and confirms his research is leading at the national and international stage,” says Bernhard Mayer, department head, geoscience.

This is the third time within a decade that the winner of the J. Tuzo Wilson medal is a current (Dr. Eaton, 2020) or former faculty member (Dr. Wu, 2019; Dr. Cook, 2011) from the University of Calgary's Department of Geoscience.

“This really enhances the department’s reputation as one of the top geoscience departments in Canada and fosters the outstanding international reputation of its geophysics program,” says Mayer.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for all of the past recipients of the Wilson medal, and I feel honoured to be similarly recognized by the Canadian Geophysical Union,” says Eaton, who is also a CGU past president.

Dr. David Eaton pictured in the Gallagher Library at UCalgary

David Eaton in the Gallagher Library.

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

The Canadian Geophysical Union

The Canadian Geophysical Union serves as a national group for geophysical sciences. What began as a society dedicated to the scientific study of the solid earth, has evolved to include all aspects of the physical study of Earth and the space environment. With over 400 members, the union not only serves as a national group for geophysical sciences — hosting annual meetings, an awards program, and supports student involvement, but also represents Canada in the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics through the Canadian National Committee.