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Utah professor honored for work on tracing causes of earthquakes

Utah professor honored for work on tracing causes of earthquakes

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SALT LAKE CITY — A University of Utah researcher has been honored with a national award for his work in tracing the cause and effects of earthquakes in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Robert B. Smith, an emeritus professor and research professor of geophysics, was notified this week that he would receive the 2011 John Wesley Powell Award from the U.S. Geological Survey. Smith is also a coordinating scientist at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, run jointly by the USGS, University of Utah and National Park Service.

The USGS credits Smith for his work on earthquake research and for the operation of the network that records quakes in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton areas. He was also honored for his efforts in educating the public, civil and emergency response authorities, and politicians on earthquake and volcano hazards.

The award is named for John Wesley Powell, a pioneer in exploring the Colorado River and the second director for the USGS from 1881 to 1894.

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