Rosenstiel School Professor Receives Prestigious Geophysics Award

Tim Dixon is honored for his pioneering contribution in the field of space geodesy

Tim Dixon

MIAMI — December 6, 2010 — Tim Dixon, a professor of Marine Geology and Geophysics at the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami (UM), is the recipient of the 2010 George P. Woollard Award from the Geological Society of America (GSA). Dixon received the award at the 2010 GSA annual meeting in Denver for his pioneering work on the study of a variety of geologic processes using space geodesy techniques.

“Tim pushed the boundaries on the types of geologic problems that can be studied with these sophisticated tools,” said Rosenstiel School research associate professor and colleague, Shimon Wdowinski. “His contributions have paved the road for a large number of researchers, including myself, who use space geodesy techniques to study a large variety geological processes that affect our planet, as well as its inhabitants. ”

Dixon’s research focuses on the application of space geodetic and remote sensing data to study Earth’s surface and sub-surface processes, such as earthquake hazard, volcanic processes, coastal subsidence and climate change.

“I am extremely grateful to GSA and members of the Geophysics Division for honoring me with this award,” said Dixon. “The research I have done would not have been possible without the contributions of a large number of dedicated scientists and engineers who create and maintain the infrastructure we call satellite geodesy.”

Dixon pioneered GPS observations in the Caribbean, and was the first to estimate a long-term rate and seismic hazard from the Eriquillo Fault, which caused the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. Dixon and colleagues are currently using space geodesy to address a number of socially important problems related to hydrology, sea-level rise and global change, including subsidence in Mexico City associated with ground water withdrawal and melting of the Greenland ice cap.

As director of UM’s Geodesy Laboratory and co-founder of the Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS) Dixon helped establish a vigorous space geodetic research at UM to train students and visiting research scientists from around the world about the latest tools of space geodesy and promoting its use for a wide variety of geologic problems.

Established in 1888, The Geological Society of America provides access to elements that are essential to the professional growth of earth scientists at all levels of expertise and from all sectors: academic, government, business, and industry. The Woollard Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to geology through the application of the principles and techniques of geophysics.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

marine geology and geophysics •  prestigious •  award •  dr. shimon wdowinski •  dr. tim dixon •