Terry Quinn, associate director of the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named director of the institute. Quinn was interim director during the national search for a director this past year.
The institute, one of two research units within the university’s Jackson School of Geosciences, has a nearly 40-year history as an international leader in geophysical studies, ranging from expeditionary field programs in the oceans and at the poles, terrestrial and lunar seismology, quantitative and exploration geophysics, and most recently, studies of ice sheets and of climate.
Since 2006 Quinn has held joint appointments as a senior research scientist at the institute and professor in the Jackson School’s Department of Geological Sciences.
Among previous honors, Quinn was the Joint Oceanographic Institute’s Distinguished Lecturer for 2006-2007. The Jackson School named him a Jackson Research Excellence Fellow in 2007.
Quinn’s research focuses on the chemical makeup of marine sediments and coral reefs to investigate how climate has changed over the past 10,000 years. Most recently, he and his students have investigated past climate in the western Pacific Ocean, tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. He is interested in developing tools to reduce uncertainties in geological records of climate and to help scientists use records of past climate to improve computer models that predict future climate.
Quinn received his Ph.D. in geological sciences from Brown University in 1989 and his master’s degree from Wichita State University in 1984.
“As interim director, Terry showed firsthand he has the leadership abilities the Institute and Jackson School need for us to reach our goal of becoming a preeminent geoscience institution,” said Sharon Mosher, dean of the Jackson School.
“I am honored to stand on the shoulders of the giants in the field that came before me to lead the Institute for Geophysics and to partner with the Jackson School to achieve our common goal of preeminence in the geosciences,” said Quinn.
His appointment as director begins Sept. 1.