News Release

Brian Atwater named to the National Academy of Sciences

The Orphan Tsunami of 1700 cover

May 2007

Brian Atwater, author of The Orphan Tsunami of 1700: Japanese Clues to a Parent Earthquake in North America, was named to the National Academy of Sciences on May 1, 2007. An affiliate professor of Earth and space sciences at the University of Washington and a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Atwater is among 72 new members elected in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Atwater studies geologically recent earthquakes, tsunamis, and other hazards. He is widely notes for work that uncovered evidence of a giant earthquake off the coast of Washington, and later work uncovered evidence of a destructive tsunami wave in Japan with no known source. Atwater connected these events and determined that the wave was caused by the Pacific earthquake on January 26, 1700 - an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0, on par with the most powerful earthquakes of the past century.

Atwater joined the University of Washington in 1986. The National Academy of Sciences was developed by Congress in 1863 to advise the government, upon request, on any matter involving science or technology.