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Helmberger, Donald V. (Geophysicist)



  • Existence: 1938 - 2222


Background: Director, Seismological Laboratory, 1998-present; Caltech Professor of Geophysics, 1970-present.


Description: Donald Vincent Helmberger was born in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota (BS 1961). He received his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California, San Diego, in 1965 and 1967 respectively. He held a research associate position at MIT from 1967-1969, followed by an assisstant professorship at Princeton, 1969-70. After coming to Caltech in 1970, his research centered on high-frequency modelling of earthquakes to determine details of orientation and rupture processes. In 1998 he succeeded Hiroo Kanamori as the fifth director of Caltech's Seismological Laboratory.


Collection Notes: Oral history, 2001: A 49-page interview conducted by Shirley K. Cohen; covers early life, Caltech career, including some history of the Seismological Laboratory and reminiscences of seismology, geology and planetary science at Caltech.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Donald V. Helmberger Oral History Interview with Shirley K. Cohen [sound recording], 1999-05-27 - 1999-06-03

Scope and Contents Interview in two sessions, May and June 1999, with Donald V. Helmberger, Smits Family Professor of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. He begins by recalling his family background and childhood on a farm in Northern Minnesota, one of thirteen children. Matriculates at the University of Minnesota in 1956 (B.S. 1961). Summer work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1961; sails to Alaska on a research vessel studying the structure of the...
Dates: 1999-05-27 - 1999-06-03

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