Stanford University
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park


Understanding Earth. Benefitting Society.

Thompson Postdoctoral Fellowship

The generosity of alumni and friends allows us to honor Professor Thompson’s legacy by supporting the research of an exceptionally creative, early-career scientist.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest.  Please download our current advertisementand apply through our online portal. Applications received by 01/01/21 will receive fullest consideration, but the position will remain open until filled.  We always invite strong candidates to contact faculty with whom they are interested in working.

2020 Thompson Advertisement


Stephanie Lettieri

Recipients of the Thompson Fellowship

Nate Lindsey (2020-2021), worked with Lucia Gualtieri and Biondo Biondi.  PhD U.C. Berkeley.  His research develops new methods to record seismic waves, which he uses to solve open questions in Earth science. He is currently using offshore and onshore telecommunications cables with Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) to capture earthquake and ambient seismic wavefields with 1,000 - 10,000 sensing points at watershed apertures in his new position as Research Scientist in the Department of Geophysics.

Matt Siegfried (2017-2018), worked with Dusty Schroeder and Jenny Suckale. PhD with Helen Fricker, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, U.C. San Diego. His research interests include subglacial hydrology, ice sheet grounding zone dynamics, ice sheet mass balance, and remote sensing method development and ground-truthing. At Stanford, he focused his research on Antarctic sub-glacial hydrology. Matt recently joined the Colorado School of Mines as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geophysics.
Norimitsu Nakata (2013-2015), worked with Greg Beroza and Jesse Lawrence. PhD with Roel Snieder, Center for Wave Phenomena, Colorado School of Mines. Nori's research interests include crustal and global seismology, exploration geophysics, volcanism, and civil engineering. In particular, he studies subsurface and civil structures by using seismic interferometry and attenuation estimation, bandwidth enhancement, and auto-focusing methods. Nori joined the School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma as the Wagner Assistant Professor.

Lin Liu (2011-2013), worked with Howard Zebker and Rosemary Knight. PhD with John Wahr, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder. Lin's research interests include cryosphere geophysics, near surface geophysics, geodesy, remote sensing, and interactions of the solid earth with the atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere. In particular, he has been studying the dynamics of the active layer of ice-rich permafrost on the North Slope of Alaska using InSAR. Lin is currently Assistant Professor of Earth System Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Darcy Ogden (2008-2010), worked with Paul Segall. PhD with Gary Glatzmaier, U.C. Santa Cruz. Darcy's research interests are in computational fluid dynamics, predicting the hazards of supersonic volcanic eruptions using numerical simulations, supersonic turbulent entrainment, and shock waves. She was most recently an Assistant Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

German Prieto (2007-2008), worked with Greg Beroza on seismic tomography and ground-motion predictions using the ambient seismic field.  PhD with Peter Shearer, U.C. San Diego. German received the 2010 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award.  He is currently Associate Professor in the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, as well as Visiting Professor at M.I.T., focusing on understanding the diversity of earthquakes and their associated ground motions.

Charlie Wilson (2003-2004), worked with Simon Klemperer and Biondo Biondi on crustal- and local-scale seismic imaging. PhD with Craig Jones, University of Colorado Boulder. Charlie currently works as a portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management.

Anupama Venkatamaran (2002-2003), worked with Greg Beroza on seismological attenuation measurements. PhD with Hiroo Kanamori, Caltech.  Anu currently works as a Geophysical Associate for ExxonMobil in Houston.

About George Thompson

George Thompson with his wife, Anita, at their mountain cabin, the ’Thompson Tree Farm’

George Thompson with his wife, Anita, at their mountain cabin, the ’Thompson Tree Farm’ 

George was an incredible, influential scientist who produced seminal research on tectonics and mineral deposits, a leader, and a man with great personal warmth. George is remembered for his intellectual achievements, considerable and often honored, but even more for his life exemplary in generosity and mentorship.

George’s career at Stanford began as a grad student in 1946, and he taught the university’s first geophysics class while still a student – well before there was a department of geophysics. He became a faculty member, he built the Geophysics Department, attracting junior faculty who brought additional breadth and depth, and forging partnerships with industry.  He served as Chairman of the Geophysics Department for many years, and also of the Geology Department, showing his breadth of interest and ability.  He became our School’s fifth Dean in 1987; and when he finally stepped down to accept an emeritus title, it was only so he could return to his research and mentoring.  George never stopped.  He published his last paper, at age 97, shortly before his death.

Thompson Plaque

George is remembered for his mentorship, his leadership, his generosity, and his humility.  The last is well-expressed in George’s own words as he accepted the Penrose Medal:

“I humbly accept as the representative of all those in the geoscience community whose creative insights continue to make geology inspiring. They include many students, colleagues, mentors, my lifelong partner Anita, and our family.  I cannot begin to name them all or even their institutions, but my appreciation is expressed by a quotation of unknown origin:

“I have warmed by fires I did not build

           I have drunk from wells I did not dig.” 

We have confidence that our Thompson Fellows will continue George’s legacy!

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