The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) has announced that Dr. Erik Brown, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences, is the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Research for 2002-2003. Dr. Brown will receive his award during a public ceremony April 30 at 3:15 p.m. in the UMD Life Science Building, room 185.
Following the award ceremony, Professor Brown will present a seminar about his work on Himalayan tectonics called "How Fast do Mountains Move" Views of Himalayan Tectonics and Links to Past Climate." A reception will be held in Griggs Center, (second floor UMD Kirby Student Center,) following the lecture.
Professor Brown's presentation will discuss the two fundamentally different views of the processes that may have led to the formation of the Himalayas. These views were developed from drastically differing descriptions of the relationship between the surface expression of faults, (earthquakes), and the deeper crustal processes. Professor Brown will present field evidence testing hypotheses that indicate that the Karakorum Fault, considered by many to be one of Earth's greatest strike-slip faults, and one that plays a key role the kinematics of Asian deformation, is in actuality only modestly active. This provides a cautionary example of how incorrect application of fundamental theories can lead to elegant but unsound conclusions.
Professor Brown received his A.B. in chemistry from Princeton University in 1985 and his Ph.D in Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1990. In 1995 he joined the faculty in the UMD Department of Geological Sciences and the Large Lakes Observatory.
Dr. Brown has undertaken fieldwork in over a dozen countries including Mongolia, Zaire, China, India, Australia, France, and the United States. During 2001-2002 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the French Centre Europeen de Recherche et d'Enseignement de Geosciences de l'Environement.