Oral history interview with Lynn R. Sykes 1997


Sykes, L. R (Interviewee)
Doel, Ronald (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Lynn R. Sykes 1997
Childhood: born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, son of meteorologist; early education in Fairfax County, Virginia; Massachusetts Institute of Technology: B.S., M.S., geology, geophysics, 1955-1960; U.S. Geological Survey: pressure research, summer, 1956; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute: geophysical research in Europe, at sea, 1959-1960; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory [LDEO]: PhD., geophysics 1960-19 65, restructuring of LDEO, Columbia administration, member, executive committee of LDEO, 1968, fundraising issues, succession of LDEO directors; seismological research in California, East Africa, Greenland, South Pacific, Fiji, Japan; funding of research projects; development of seismological instrumentation; introduction of computers into recording of seismological data; development of continental drift theory, transform faulting, plate tectonics; Columbia University: assistant professorship, geology, formation of Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences; effort to improve environmental science curriculum, job availability; Columbia acquisition of Biosphere II: opposition to management, curriculum; involvement in nuclear test ban: development of instrumentation and stations, Threshold Test Ban Treaty testimony for Senate, 1972, visits to China, Russia, collaboration with Russia and American intelligence, controversy over use of Soviet weapons; earthquake prediction for Environmental Science Services Administration, 1966-1968; personal development through psychoanalysis; earthquake prediction, 1965-present: collaboration with Russian, Japanese seismologists, prediction in New England, New York, California, Alaska; member, Predictive Evaluation Council, 1979-1982; chairman, National Earthquake Prediction Council, 1984-1988; formation of Southern California Earthquake Center, 1991; Indian Point Nuclear Reactor: testimony to New York State, 1976; reminiscences of colleagues.
Collection Name
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory oral history collection
Sykes, L. R; Columbia University; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Biosphere 2 (Project)
oral histories; sound recordings
Note (Biographical)
Interviewed by Ronald Doel on October 9, 1996, and January 4, May 24, June 23, July 9, July 28, and July 29, 1997.
Note (Provenance)
Lynn R. Sykes, Gift 1999
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
Persistent URL
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Available digital content for this interview.