John C. Mutter
is the Associate Vice Provost of the Columbia
Earth Institute, Executive Deputy Director of the Lamont-Doherty
Earth Observatory, and Professor of Earth and Environmental
Sciences, Columbia University.
Professor Mutter studies
complex Earth system dynamics using geophysical methods. In recent
years, he has used his expertise in the behavior of these systems,
the inherent limits to their predictability as the basis for studying
science-based issues of sustainable development. Currently, he is
focusing on understanding how scientific advances made in developed
countries can be used to elevate the condition of people in developing
Professor Mutter received
a B.Sc. in Physics and Pure Mathematics from the University of Melbourne,
Australia, a M.Sc. in Geophysics from the University of Sydney,
Australia, and a Ph.D. in Marine Geophysics from Columbia University.
Born in Melbourne, he is an Australian citizen and a permanent U.S.
Professor Mutter's early
research interests included marine seismology and tectonics, the
study of physical mechanisms and processes associated with seafloor
spreading, continental extension and the development of passive
continental margins. Initial studies focused on rifting and volcanism
in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. He continues those research thrusts
with recent studies of active rifting in the Woodlark Basin off
Papua New Guinea, as well as his other work on complex system dynamics.
More recently he has turned his attention to the vexing issue of
the role of earth systems in sustainable development.
From 1970-80, Professor
Mutter served as a Geophysicist with the Bureau of Mineral Resources,
Canberra, ACT, Australia. From 1980 on, he has been at Columbia
University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Columbia Earth
Institute, serving in research, teaching and administrative positions
with increasing responsibility. In research, he moved from Research
Associate in 1982 to Senior Research Scientist in 1989; in teaching,
he advanced from Columbia University Faculty Fellow in 1982 to Professor
of Earth and Environmental Sciences in 1991. Administratively, he
became Associate Director for Geophysics and Geology in January
1993, Director of Research in January 1994, Interim Director of
the Observatory in March 1994 until September 1996 when he became
Deputy Director of the Observatory and its Director of Research
until May 1999. At that time, he was again appointed Interim Director
through November 2000 when he was appointed Executive Deputy Director.
Professor Mutter has
authored or co-authored more than 70 articles in scientific journals
and many popular articles. His fieldwork includes over 30 cruises
aboard Columbia's research vessels and others in all parts
of the world's oceans.
Professor Mutter is
married to Carolyn Zehnder Mutter, Assistant Director for Science
Management of the International Research Institute (IRI) for climate
predication located on the Lamont-Doherty campus. He has five children,
three from a previous marriage.