Charles Officer

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Charles Officer
Charles B. Officer Jr. headshot.png
Membership Society of Exploration Geophysicists, American Geophysical Union, Seismological Society of America, Geological Society of America, and American Physical Society
BSc Physics
MSc Physics
PhD Geophysics
BSc university Brown University
MSc university Yale University
PhD university Columbia University


Charles B. Officer, Jr. born Dec. 15, 1926, died April 13, 2016, He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1944 at which time he joined the Naval Air Corps. The Navy sent him to college and he attended Williams before being transferred to Brown University, where he completed his undergraduate studies with the degrees of Sc.B. in physics in 1947, a M.A. in physicsfrom Wesleyan University in 1948, M.S. in physics from Yale University in 1949, and in 1952 Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia University.

  • From 1947 to 1948 he held a teaching fellowship at Wesleyan University.
  • From 1948 to 1949 he was an instructor of physics at Yale University.
  • From 1949 to 1951, as research associate in geophysics at Lamont Geological Observatory of Columbia University, he was primarily engaged in geophysical exploration of the continental margins.
  • From 1951 to 1953 he held the position of geophysicist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, engaged in research on various problems dealing with underwater sound transmission, ambient noise, and channel propagation, under contract with the U.S. Navy.
  • For the years 1953-1954, he was a Fullbright Fellow in geophysics in New Zealand.

He also had a teaching position at Rice University in Houston, Texas. After achieving tenure at Rice he struck out on his own in 1960 to create a consulting company which he built up into Alpine Geophysical Associates, Inc., a scientific research and engineering company, located in Norwood, N.J. While working at Alpine, he ran for congress from the second district of N.H. and lost by just a few hundred votes in one of the closest elections in N.H. history. In 1968, he left the business world to return to his scientific roots and moved his family to Hanover, where he started a scientific writing career that would span several decades and resulted in over 10 books, including the bestseller, “Tales of the Earth”. He also taught many classes at Dartmouth in both the Earth Sciences Dept. and Thayer School of Engineering over the years and is still remembered fondly by his many students.

Dr. Officer was a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, American Geophysical Union, Seismological Society of America, Geological Society of America, and American Physical Society.[1]


Charles Officer Jr. received the 1953 Best Paper in Geophysics Award for his paper The refraction arrival in water covered areas".[2]


Oral History Transcript — Dr. Charles Officer & Trixie Officer[2]


  1. Contributors, Geophysics 1953 v. XVIII n.4 p.978.
  2. Officer, C., Jr. (1953). ”THE REFRACTION ARRIVAL IN WATER COVERED AREAS.” GEOPHYSICS, 18(4), 805–819. doi: 10.1190/1.1437931[1]

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Charles Officer
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