Peter Shearer is a professor of geophysics in the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California, San Diego. He is currently SIO Associate Dean.
Shearer is a leader in developing new methods to improve our understanding of earthquakes in California and around the world. He analyzes large seismic data sets to learn about earthquakes and Earth’s internal structure. In global seismology, he has studied upper-mantle discontinuity properties, scattering from small-scale structures, and seismic attenuation. He has pioneered the use of back-projection methods to image large earthquake ruptures, including the devastating 2004 Sumatra–Andaman and 2011 Japan earthquakes. In Southern California and Hawaii, he has focused on improving micro-earthquake locations and focal mechanisms using robust methods and waveform cross-correlation.
Born in Boston, Shearer grew up in Northern California. He received a B.S. in geology and geophysics from Yale University. He worked as a geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park before beginning graduate school at Scripps; he received a Ph.D. in geophysics from Scripps. He completed postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge (UK), then rejoined Scripps, initially as a postdoctoral Green Scholar.
He has won numerous awards, including Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award at Scripps, the AGU Gutenberg Lecturer, and election to the National Academy of Sciences. He served for several years on the Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS) Executive Committee and as President of the Seismology Section of the AGU. He is an Editor for Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL) and the President-Elect of the Seismological Society of America (SSA). He has written a textbook on seismology and has published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Last updated June 2017