Susan Hubbard

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Susan Hubbard
Susan S. Hubbard headshot.png
Latest company Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
BSc Geology
MSc Geophysic
PhD Civil and Environmental Engineering
BSc university University of California, Santa Barbara
MSc university VPI&SU, Virginia
PhD university University of California at Berkeley

Biography 2015

Susan S. Hubbard is the Director of the Earth Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is a Senior Scientist, leads the Sustainable Systems SFA., and co-leads NGEE-Arctic and ASCEM. She received her BA in geology, her MS in geophysics, and her PhD in Engineering (UC Berkeley, 1998). She has previously worked at the US Geological Survey and for the Petroleum Industry. Dr. Hubbard sits on several scientific advisory boards and serves as the Associate Director for the Berkeley Water Center. She is a Co-Editor for the Vadose Zone Journal and an Associate Editor for JGR-Biogeosciences. Susan was awarded the Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award by the Near-Surface Geophysical Community in 2009, was the Geological Society of America's Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer in 2010, was selected as a Geological Society of America Fellow in 2011, and was inducted into the University of California Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Alumni Academy in 2014.[1]

Research Interests

Susan’s research focuses on advancing the use of geophysical methods for shallow subsurface characterization and monitoring and the use of integrated datasets to investigate environmental problems. She edited the first book on hydrogeophysics, and has published over 100 papers on this topic. Susan Hubbard’s research can be generally categorized into the following four areas:

  • Hydrogeological researchHydrogeophysical research has focused on the development and testing of estimation methodologies that permit systematic fusion of geophysical and hydrogeological datasets for improved understanding of subsurface hydrogeological properties.
  • Biogeophysical ResearchBiogeophysical and Remediation Monitoring research includes the development and testing of petrophysical models and estimation frameworks that permit the interpretation of time-lapse geophysical signatures in terms of remediation-induced biogeochemical transformations.
  • permafrost-cablesPermafrost Geophysics research focuses on characterizing active layer and permafrost variability in vulnerable Arctic ecosystems and on monitoring biogeochemical changes associated with freeze-thaw processes and carbon degradation.
  • Precision Viticulture ResearchPrecision Viticulture research focuses on integrating remote sensing and ground-based geophysical datasets with soil, plant, and climate-based information to guide the optimal development of new or management of existing vineyards in a manner that honors the natural variability of the
  • Environmental Synthesis ResearchEnvironmental Synthesis activities include those that strive to advance research across disciplinary boundaries and scales as needed to tackle 21st Century natural resource problems.


  • Professional Certificate in Winemaking and Viticulture, UC Davis, 2009
  • Ph.D. Engineering, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1998. Dissertation: 'Stochastic Characterization of Hydrogeological Properties using Geophysical Datasets'. University Council on Water Resources Top Dissertation Award in Water Processes.
  • M.S. Geophysics, Dept. of Geological Sciences, VPI&SU, Virginia. Thesis: Integrated seismic reflection data processing and interpretation of Southern Appalachian tectonic history.
  • B.S. Geology, Dept. of Geology, University of California, Santa Barbara. Departmental Highest Honor Award.

Professional Positions

  • 2013+ Director, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA
  • 2010-2013 Deputy Director for Programs, Earth Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA
  • 2010+ Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA
  • 2002-2010 Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA.
  • 1998-2002 Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA.
  • 1990-1993 Geophysicist, ARCO Oil and Gas Co
  • 1985-1987 Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Seismology.


  • 2013-2014: Distinguished technical communication for the 'BER virtual laboratory:Innovative Framework for Biological and Environmental Grand Challenges', DOE/SC-0156, bestowed by the Society for Technical Communication, Washington DC
  • 2014: Distinguished Alumni Award, UCB Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • 2013: Outstanding 'Women @ The Lab'
  • 2011: GSA Fellow
  • 2010: GSA Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2009: Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award, Near Surface Geophysical Society
  • 2009: Top Associate Editor Award, Journal of Hydrology
  • 2008: The Leading Edge of Exploration 'Most Influential Article' Recognition
  • 1998: Dissertation Award in Water Processes, Univ. Council on Water Resources
  • 1994 Jane Lewis Fellowship, UC Berkele
  • 1993 Antonia Fung Memorial Fellowship, UC Berkeley
  • 1993 Maybelle B. Tucker and John T. Tucker Fellowship, UC Berkeley
  • 1991 ARCO Co-Worker Achievement Award
  • 1990 Cooper Award for Appalachian Research Advances, Virginia Tech
  • 1989 AMOCO Oil Fellowship, Virginia Tech
  • 1988 ARCO Fellowship, Virginia Tech
  • 1988 Aubrey E. Orange Award for Excellent scholastic achievement, Virginia Tech
  • 1988 Chevron Fellowship, Virginia Tech
  • 1986 Top Geological Sciences Major Award, UC Santa Barbara
  • 1985 Outstanding Senior in Geological Sciences Chevron Award, UC Santa Barbara
  • 1984 Outstanding Woman in Petroleum, Ventura County Scholarship
  • 1984 Outstanding Junior in Geological Sciences Union Oil Award, UC Santa Barbara

Media and Social Media

  • Genomes to Watershed video, December 2014
  • Arctic research video story, December 2014: PBS KQED 'Deep Look', The Hidden Perils of Permafrost.
  • Arctic research media highlight, UCB Engineering: The underground: Studying the Arctic tundra, Innovations, February 2014 issue
  • Arctic research media highlight, 'Witness the Arctic' Arcus Highlight, 2013
  • Arctic geophysical research media highlight, 'Imaging Permafrost' 2013 PNAS highlight on NGEE Geophysical Efforts
  • Video, Susan Hubbard, 2013, YouTube Video describing NGEE project
  • Video Enhanced Microbial Hydrocarbon Recovery, Susan Hubbard EBI video, 2013
  • Arctic research media highlight, Science Today, March 12, 2012
  • Arctic research, NGEE field blog
  • Arctic research media highlight, 'Permafrost Science Heats up in the U.S.', Nature News, December 19, 2011
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, Wine Enthusiast, 'Water into Wine', May 2009
  • Video, Precision agriculture media highight, Susan Hubbard on CNN, [email protected], November 1, 2003 CNN Video Clip and Text Summary
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, 'Radar in the Vineyard', Wine Business Monthly Volume X, No. 11, p.35, Nov., 2003
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, California Agriculture, Vol. 58, Number 1, January 2004
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, The Economist, December 18, 2003
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, 'Radar fur die Reben', Der Spiegel, December 2003, Germany
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, Science News, May 29, 2004
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, New York Times, April 15, 2004
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, 'Cat Scan your Soil, California Farmer Magazine, December 2003
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, Yahoo News, April 2004
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, Vitaviniccultura, October 23, Chile
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, The Toronto Star, December 2004
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, The Daily Cal, Berkeley, 2004
  • Precision agriculture media highlight, 'Il buon vino? Lo sceglie il radar', Corriere, Italy, 2004
  • Precision agriculture interview and science story, TECH TV, November 18, 2003

SEG Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting 2011 [2]

Jonathan B. Ajo-Franklin, Thomas M. Daley, Yuxin Wu, Susan S. Hubbard, John Peterson,Belinda Butler-Veytia, and Bob Kelley received 2011 Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting for their paper Multi-level continuous active source seismic monitoring (ML-CASSM): Mapping shallow hydrofracture evolution at a TCE contaminated site.


  1. Lawrence Berkeley Lab Homepage
  2. Honors & Awards Program, SEG Annual Meeting 2012, 4:30 p.m., Sunday, 4 November 2012, Mandalay Bay Convention Center,Las Vegas, Nevada USA