Anne Meltzer, Lehigh University

Anne Meltzer, professor of earth and environmental sciences, has been named the first holder of the Francis J. Trembley Chair in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lehigh University. 

As a seismologist, Meltzer studies earthquakes and the structure of the earth through naturally and artificially generated seismic waves. Published in many highly respected journals, Meltzer’s research has had a great impact in the field of earth science. In 1999, she received the Albert and Alice Weeks Visiting Professorship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An observational seismologist, she focuses her research on the geologic processes involved in mountain building and deformation along continental margins. Her research is collaborative with colleagues from other earth science disciplines at Lehigh and at other institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Her research interests have taken her and her students to many remote, beautiful and interesting parts of the world, in North America, South America, the Caribbean and Asia, including the Himalaya of Pakistan and Tibet. Most recently, she has been engaged in multidisciplinary research to understand the origin of high topography in central Mongolia and has used aftershocks from significant earthquakes to better understand deformation and faulting. 

She has distinguished herself in the research community by twice serving as chair of the Board of Directors of the Independent Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), a consortium of more than 120 American academic institutions and over 120 foreign affiliates, dedicated to the operation of scientific facilities for the acquisition, management and distribution of open seismic data. In this role, Meltzer worked closely with the geoscience community in a successful effort to secure funding from the National Science Foundation for EarthScope, a new initiative to establish observational facilities to measure deformation of the earth in real time at continental scales and to better understand the structure, evolution and dynamics of the North American continent. She later served as chair of the EarthScope Program Committee and the EarthScope Steering Committee. She also helped establish a new initiative within IRIS to support international development efforts to build technical infrastructure and human capacity to improve earthquake monitoring, research and education in developing countries.

From 2004 to 2011, Meltzer served as the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chaired Lehigh’s department of earth and environmental sciences from 2002 to 2004. She was the recipient of the Class of 1961 Professorship in 1998 and was promoted to the rank of professor in 2001. In addition to serving as chair of the earth and environmental sciences department, Meltzer served as the director of LEO (Lehigh Earth Observatory), which installed a seismic station at Lehigh to monitor local, regional and global seismic activity. Data from this station is part of a regional seismic network monitoring seismicity in the northeastern U.S. Under her direction, LEO successfully obtained significant funding from the Keck Foundation, the Culpeper Foundation and the William Penn Foundation to expand research funding and opportunities available to graduate and undergraduate students.

The Francis J. Trembley Chair was established by Lehigh alumna Marjorie M. Nemes, who received her M.S. in 1951 and Ph.D. in 1955 in bacteriology. The position is named in honor of Francis Trembley, who was a former chair of biological sciences at Lehigh and a pioneer ecologist.