Tanya Atwater
Curriculum Vitae



Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1960-63

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1965

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Ph.D., 1972


Academic Positions:


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Summer Fellow in marine geophysics, 1965

U. de Chile, Santiago, Visiting Research Associate in earthquake seismology, 1966

Stanford University, Research Associate in paleomagnetism, 1970-71

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Assistant Professor of marine geophysics, 1972-73

USA-USSR Exchange Scientist, 1973

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (in Joint Program with Woods Hole Oceano-graphic Institution), Assistant Professor of marine geophysics, 1974-79 (working part time while raising child); Associate Professor, 1979-80

University of California, Santa Barbara, Professor, 1980-present


Awards and Honors:


Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering, M.I.T.)

Phi Beta Kappa (University of California, Berkeley)

Sigma Xi National Lecturer 1975-76

Sloan Fellow 1975-77

Elected Fellow, American Geophysical Union

Elected Fellow, Geological Society of America

Scientist of the Year, Science Year 1980, World Book Encyclopedia

Winner with 19 others of AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, 1980

Winner, Encourage Award, Assoc. of Women Geoscientists, 1984

Moon Distinguished Lectureship, San Angelo State College, Texas, 1985

Bernstein Distinguished Lectureship, Carleton College, Minnesota, 1995

Elected, National Academy of Sciences, 1997

Listed in numerous "Who's Who" and other bibliographic volumes

Featured scientist/role model in various books and museums (both concrete and virtual)


Professional Activities:

Field Research

Participant or chief scientist of numerous oceanographic expeditions to the north-eastern Pacific, central north Atlantic, Gulf of California, Galapagos region, south-eastern Pacific, and south central Pacific, including five expeditions with the submersible Alvin.

Participant or leader for various on-land field expeditions to Iceland, Galapagos, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Afghanistan, Turkey, Nepal, Ecuador, Chile, Newfoundland, Antarctica, the former Soviet Union including Soviet Georgia and Tadjikistan, and many localities in the Western United States and in Southern California.

National and International Professional Committees

Member, State Department Public Advisory Committee on the Law of the Sea, 1979-81

Chairperson, Ocean Margin Drilling, Mid Ocean Ridge Advisory Committee, 1979-1982

Member, Inter-Union Commission on the Lithosphere, Working Group 2B, 1987-1990

Member, International Drilling Project, Tectonics Panel, 1989-1992

Member, Earth Science I Panel, International Science Foundation, 1993

Member, Amer. Geophys. Union Ewing Award Committee, 1980-1982

Member, Amer. Geophys. Union Macelwane Award Committee, 1994-96

Member, Amer. Geophys. Union Fellows Committee, 1980-1982, 1994-96

Member, Amer. Geophys. Union Tectonophysics Executive Committee, 1994-1996

Professional Conferences and Meetings

Annual participant, Amer. Geophysical Union fall national meetings, San Francisco

Annual participant, Geological Soc. Amer. national meetings, invited speaker 1995, 1996

Occasional participant/speaker/organizer for international, national, and sectional meetings of the Internat. Geological Congress, Amer. Assoc. Pet. Geol., Amer. Assoc. Adv. Science, Nat. Science Teacher's Assoc., Assoc. Women Geoscientists, etc.

Participant and speaker, numerous specialty and regional conferences, 1980-90

Participant and speaker, Rocky Mountain Chapman Conference (Santa Fe, NM, 1992), E. California Shear Zone Workshop (U.C.S.B., 1992), Mendocino Triple Junction Workshop (invited kickoff speaker, Menlo Park, 1997), Chapman Conference on Plate Dynamics and Kinematics (invited kickoff speaker, Marshall, CA, 1997), Clarence Hall Symposium (invited speaker White Mt. Research Station, 1997), Mantle Dynamics Symposium (Harvard, 1977).


Professional communication

Frequent invited colloquium speaker for university colloquia, including (in the 1990s): Scripps Inst. of Oceanography, Lamont-Doherty Earth Obs. of Columbia U., Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., Harvard U., Cornell U., Calif. Inst. of Technology, U.So.Calif., U.C. Los Angeles, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C.Davis, U. Arizona, U. Alaska, U. Oregon, U. Wyoming, U. Utah, U. South Florida, Brigham Young U., Texas A. & M. U., New York City College, Queen's College, Carleton College, Colorado College, Whitman College, Navajo Nation Community College, C.S.U. San Diego, C.S.U. Sacramento, C.S.U. Northridge, C.S.U. Chico, C.S.U. Fresno, C.S.U. Long Beach, U.C.S.B. Dept Geological Sciences

Frequent invited lecturer for professional organizations, including (in the 1990s): Alaska Geological Society, California Academy of Sciences, Four Corners Geological Society, U. S. Geological Survey at Denver, South Coast Geological Society, Bay Area Ground Water Resources Association, Sacramento Ground Water Resources Association, Santa Barbara Geologists' Lunch Group


University Service:


Member Marine Science Institute Advisory Committee, 1982

Chairperson, secretary, member, College of Creative Studies Exec. Com., 1986-90

Member, Chancellor's Planning Committee, 1987

Member, College of Letters & Science Budget Committee, 1989

Member, Letters and Science General Education Committee 1991, 1996-97

Chairperson, member, U.C.S.B. Student-Faculty Comm. on Student Conduct 1991-96

Member, College of Letters & Science Executive Comm., 1996-1998

Member, Advisory Committee, ICESS, 1997-

Member, Academic Senate Budget Advisory Group, 1997-

Chairperson or member, numerous Departmental committees, esp. concerning undergraduate curricula, and student advising.

Faculty Undergraduate Advisor for 30-50 departmental majors, most years.

Admissions, Recruitment, and New Student Orientation Activities

Chairperson, member, Comm. on Admissions and Enrollment, 1982-83, 1986-87

Member, Admissions Advisory Committee, 1987

Member, Systemwide Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools, 1984-85

Member, University Fellowship Committees, various years

Member, U.C.S.B. Transfer Evaluation Workgroup 1992-94

Speaker, participant, UCSB Scholar Day, numerous years

Speaker, faculty panelist for New Student Summer Orientation Programs, most years

Efforts concerning the status of women and the prevention of sexual harassment

Securer of womens' rights to go to sea and work on oceanographic ships (generally not allowed) (numerous ships, one at a time, and the submersible Alvin, 1965-80)

Member, Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women, 1981

Chairperson for Graduate Affirmative Action Advisory Committee, 1982-83

Participant, Chancellor's Affirmative Action Council, June 1983

Member, Women in Science lecture series planning com., UCSB Women's Center, 1989

Participant, numerous Sexual Harassment Prevention Workshops

Chairperson or member of several Academic Senate Ad Hoc Sexual Harassment Case Committees, 1990-96

Chairperson Department Grievance Committee, most years

Commencement Activities

annual participant, 1981-97

commencement speaker, 1981

Dean's committee for commencement speakers, 1982; faculty marshall, various years


Public Service and Outreach:

Community groups

Invited geological lecturer for Sierra Club (numerous times), various Gem and Mineral Societies, various retirement groups and homes, Mensa, U.C.S.B. Emeriti, U.C.S.B. Staff Enrichment Day, U.C.S.B. Faculty Women's Club, U.C.S.B. Foundation, S. B. Unitarian SUN group, S.B. Museum of Natural History Docents (numerous times), S.B. Newcomers Club, Goleta Cosmopolitan Club.

Teacher Education

Workshop leader, fieldtrip organizer and leader, and Inservice Day organizer for K-12 teachers: Calif. Science Implementation Network (conducted two 2-week workshops/field trips plus 8 Inservice days statewide); South Coast Science Project (annual lectures and trips); S. F. Exploratorium Workshop, 1994; Gold Coast Science Teachers field trips 1995 and 1996; Ventura Co. Middle School field trip, 1996; Science Partnership for School Innovation (U.C.S.B. partnership with local middle and high school teachers) (numerous presentations, workshops, and field trips, creation of local teaching materials); individual consultations for various teachers.


Frequent consultant concerning earthquakes, tectonics and the San Andreas Fault for public media, including: Time-Life Books, Time Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, N.Y.Times, L.A.Times, S.B.Newspress, numerous film/video producers, projects for various museums including the Smithsonian, L.A. Museum of Science and Industry, S.B. Museum of Natural History, and others, etc.




General Education

Taught Geology 4 (Oceanography) every year (180-670 students per class) 1980s. Created, instituted, and supervised Geo 4 labs 1981-3. Taught Geology 2 (Physical Geology) every year (140 students per class) 1990s. Revamped Geo 2 labs 1993-6, including addition of local field trips. Taught Geology 2 and 4 Honors Sections, including special field trips, all years. Co-led Geology 18 field trips, 4-5 days each trip, most fall and spring quarters, scouted and led San Andreas - Big Sur trip, fall 1995.

Upper division courses

Taught Geology 105 (Marine Geology) 1983-87. Taught Geology 157 (Plate Tectonics) all years, regularly updated the labs and exercises.

Graduate Courses

Taught Geology 135 (Graduate Plate Tectonic Seminar) all years. Taught or co-taught Geology 270 (Topical Seminars) various years.

Graduate Research

Served on numerous graduate committees. Supervised graduate projects of Jeff Severinghaus, 1985-1988.

Creation of teaching materials

Directed various individual undergraduate and graduate topic tutorials.

Wrote scripts, created imagery, supervised animation production and shooting and personally narrated 20 minute teaching film "Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics", 1983-1988, more than five hundred copies sold. Created tectonic and geologic computer animations, 1996-7, for distribution on the web.

Efforts toward the improvement of University pedagogy.

Group leader and participant, Chapman Conference: Scrutiny of Undergraduate Science Education 1994.

Geoscience spokesperson for the N.S.F. Review of Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, 1995.

Participant in various Teaching Innovation Workshops at national professional meetings, NAS/NRC education workshop, Pomona, and others.

Pending membership

National Academy of Sciences Committee on Undergraduate Science Education.


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