John Vidale has been since 2017 a Professor at USC. He was an undergrad at Yale and gained his PhD from Caltech, then worked for UC Santa Cruz and the USGS in Menlo Park, before teaching at UCLA for a decade, and came to Seattle in 2006. Until 2017, he was a Professor at the University of Washington, Director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, the Washington State Seismologist, and minor Facebook doyen. While at UCLA, he was acting then interim director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics from 2002 on, too long. His honors include the Macelwane Medal (1994) and the Gutenberg Lecturer (2009) by the American Geophysical Union and the Researcher of the Year by the College of the Environment at UW (2011).

Research Interests

His research focuses on earthquakes, Earth structure, volcanoes, and the hazards of strong shaking. His work has elements of numerical modeling, basic science, fundamental funding mudwrestling and pleading, and earthquake hazard mitigation.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 16: Geophysics

Secondary Section

Section 15: Geology