John G. Anderson

Term: 2017-2020


John Anderson is a professor of geophysics in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering and the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). John teaches an annual class on the fundamentals of engineering seismology, along with other classes covering physics of the earth, theoretical seismology, seismic hazard analysis, and earthquake source physics. He has been involved in establishing strong motion networks in the US, Mexico, and Turkey, and in research on fundamental and applied problems related to seismic hazards and strong earthquake ground motions. 

He is currently Chair of the National Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment Steering Committee, in support of the National Seismic Hazard Map and related products of the U. S. Geological Survey, and a member of their Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee. In the teaching role, the class on engineering seismology reaches about 30 students each year in civil engineering, geological engineering, and other majors. Anderson has also served on dozens of graduate committees for students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNR, especially students associated with the faculty in the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research and their Large-Scale Structures Laboratory and Earthquake Engineering Laboratory.

Anderson’s current research is on generation of broadband synthetic seismograms suitable for use in engineering applications, characteristics of strong motions, and estimating the magnitude of earthquakes in continental crust based on observations of mapped faults. He is an active participant in the Southern California Earthquake Center, and has collaborated with international scientists, mostly in Japan, Mexico, and Turkey, and to a lesser extent in several other countries.

Anderson has served on the Board of Directors for the Seismological Society of America and COSMOS. He has been an associate editor for the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America and guest editor for the recent Earthquake Spectra volume on the 2014 National Seismic Hazard Model. He was Director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory from 1998-2009, and also chair and then member of the Nevada Earthuqake Safety Council. He received the Bruce A. Bolt Medal of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Seismological Society of America (SSA), and COSMOS in 2015. He earned his B.S. in Physics at Michigan State University and his M.S. and Ph.D in Geophysics from Columbia University in New York.