Disaster Humanities and Social Science Division
International Strategy for Disaster Mitigation Lab
Visiting Professor
Ph.D.(Geophysics & Space Physics)

Distinguished Professor
Research Subject(s)
Earthquake physics, tsunami propagation, statistical physics, forecasting, complex systems, quantitative finance
Research Activities

Current Research Projects:
Burst dynamics of earthquakes and other nonlinear systems; earthquake nowcasting;  tsunami early warning;  earthquake alerts using machine learning


John was a Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology (1980-1982) at the Caltech Seismological Laboratory.  He was also a Member (1990 - 1997) and Chair (1994-1996) of the scientific Advisory Council to the Southern California Earthquake Center.  He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (1995-present), an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, and a Visiting Professor at Tohoku University.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2005), the American Geophysical Union (2008), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2017).   He was a co-winner of the NASA Software of the Year Medal (2012), one of NASA's two highest honors.  

John received his B.S.E from Princeton University (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi), and M.S. (1973) and Ph.D. (1976) from the University of California at Los Angeles. In addition to natural hazards and earthquakes, he also has professional interests in forecasting, validation of forecasts, and quantitative finance.  He has co-organized (along with Michael Maouboussin, Chris Wood and Martin Lebowitz) a yearly meeting on risk for the Santa Fe Institute, often held at Morgan Stanley, Inc., in New York.  He teaches courses in Risk and Natural Disasters; Complex Systems; and Econophysics and Quantitative Finance at the University of California, Davis.