Jeffrey Shragge

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Jeffrey Shragge
Jeffrey Shragge headshot.png
Latest company Colorado School of Mines
BSc Queen's University
MSc University of British Columbia
PhD Stanford

Jeffrey Shragge is an Associate Professor in the Geophysics Department at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), and is a co-Director of the Center of Wave Phenomena, a long-standing industrial research consortium at CSM. His PhD thesis at Stanford was on wave-equation migration in generalized coordinate systems and his publications include papers on a wide range of topics including seismic modeling, seismic imaging, inversion, teleseismic analysis, GPR, geo-archaeology, and geochemistry. He has published 45 papers in prestigious journals such as Geophysics, BSSA, JGR, and co-authored over 75 Expanded Abstracts at international meetings. In recent years, Jeff has served the SEG as Chair of the Committee for Student and Early Career Programs (CUSP; 2015-18), the Chair of the Travel Grants Committee(2015-16), the Chair of the Field Camps Committee (2017-18), the SEG Volunteer Liaison for Student Programming, and has served as an Associate Editor (2009-13), Assistant Editor (2013-2019), and Editor-in-Chief (2020-12) for Geophysics.

Biography Citation for the SEG J. Clarence Karcher Award 2010

It is my pleasure to write this citation for Jeffrey Shragge who is receiving the J. Clarence Karcher award recognizing young geophysicists of outstanding abilities for their contributions to the science and technology of exploration geophysics. Jeff is truly one of the most gifted geoscientists of his generation; he has demonstrated this with an outstanding publication record on a wide range of topics.

Jeff received a bachelor’s degree from Queen's University, a master’s from the University of British Columbia, and a doctorate from Stanford. Jeff is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Western Australia and a member of the Centre for Petroleum Geoscience and CO2 Sequestration. Jeff has a creative and inquisitive mind, a rare talent for identifying important and challenging geophysical problems, and an aptitude for making connections between seemingly disparate fields of knowledge. He also has an incredible gift for writing and public speaking and a friendly and collaborative personality which enables him to interact with scientists on a wide range of topics. Jeff has published on subjects as diverse as seismic imaging, waveform inversion, teleseismic imaging, geochemistry, ground-penetrating radar, and geo-archeology. In the past eight years, Jeff has published 12 papers in prestigious journals, including Geophysics, the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, and the Journal of Geophysical Research. During the same time, Jeff has authored or co-authored 15 presentations at international conferences, including annual meetings of SEG and AGU. Such a broad research portfolio is uncommon for a young scientist at this early career stage.

Jeff’s PhD thesis, “Wave-equation migration in generalized coordinate systems”, addresses one of the main limitations of migration with wavefield extrapolation, which is its inability to propagate waves beyond the theoretical limit of 90%. This limitation prevents wavefield extrapolation from imaging steeply dipping structures which is a major obstacle for our industry in areas of high geological complexity. His thesis discusses a strategy for improving wavefield extrapolation by reformulating wavefield propagation in generalized coordinates with geometries that conform to the propagation direction and permit imaging with turning waves. Jeff used complex differential geometry to reformulate the Laplacian operator of the governing wave equation using subtle mathematics and clever engineering techniques which make his methodology computational effective. Jeff’s generalized Riemannian wavefield extrapolation is applicable for arbitrary 3D nonorthogonal coordinate systems, and its main uses are in imaging steeply dipping reflectors and in imaging from complex topography.

While engaging in his diverse and far-reaching research, Jeff led several geo-archaeological expeditions in Mexico and in Argentina. His voluntary engagement in these activities demonstrate his desire to explore new ideas and to help colleagues from related disciplines.

Even more impressively, Jeff twice led geophysical field camps in Romania for the students of the University of Bucharest. These activities were performed on behalf of and with support from SEG, which underlines Jeff's commitment to our Society. He has served SEG as a member and Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Student and Early Career Programs and continues to serve as an Associate Editor for Geophysics.

Besides being an outstanding scientist, Jeff is an avid cyclist and a bold explorer. Prior to taking his current position at the University of Western Australia, Jeff cycled solo more than 5800 km from Ukraine to China. He has collected all his trip notes in a book soon to be released—a must read, for sure!

I can hardly think of a more deserving recipient of the Karcher award than Jeff Shragge and I feel privileged to count myself among his friends and collaborators.[1]


  1. Craig Beasley et al. (2010). SEG 2010 Awards Citations. SEG 2010 Awards Citations, 29(11), 1394-1410. Contributed by Paul Sava.

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