Student Life

San Diego is one of the most popular destinations in the United States, with a diverse cross section of society, picturesque settings, miles of beaches, and the assortment of sports and leisure activities that Southern California is famous for. The University of California, San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography both provide a strong academic support structure for graduate students at IGPP with excellent research and support facilities.

Extra-curricular activities

Each year, IGPP students organize a camping trip to the nearby Southern California desert parks such as Anza-Borrego or Joshua Tree. This is an opportunity to enjoy the local wilderness areas, get a fantastic view of the stars, and bond with your fellow students. All IGPP students are warmly encouraged to attend. Other activities include the annual beach barbecue, ski trip (to Mammoth), pizza parties, and the daily tea break (3:30 pm in the Munk Reading Room). Interaction with other SIO students can be found at TGIF (Fridays @ 5 pm, Surfside) or through intramural sports (innertrube water polo, soccer, softball, beach volleyball, and more). IGPP is located within walking distance of world-class snorkeling and surf spots.


San Diego's predominantly warm, sunny weather is one of its main attractions. Winters are very mild with an average temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius). Summer temperatures range between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (22 and 30 degrees Celsius). Even in the summer months the evenings can turn cool, so visitors should make sure they pack a light jumper or jacket.

Sports & Recreation

With over 70 miles of beaches, a semi-enclosed bay (Mission Bay), and numerous canyon trails and national parks, San Diego enjoys a diverse array of outdoor activities including watersports (surfing, sailing, sea kayaking, kelp forest SCUBA diving, snorkelling, whale watching) and land-based sports (hiking, biking, running, racing). Several world famous surfing beaches and dive sites are close to IGPP, as well as the nearby La Jolla Glider Port for airborne adventurers. The Anza Borrego Desert State Park, the largest State Park in California, provides visitors with outdoor beauty, wildlife, and desert flora. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, with 26,563 acres of alpine meadow, forested mountain peaks and some 110 miles of hiking trails is another popular destination, as is Palomar State Park, with it's spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

Arts & Culture

A thriving arts and culture community is found in San Diego, with over 90 museums, two Tony ® Award-winning theatres, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Opera, the Mainly Mozart Festival, the La Jolla Summerfest, diverse live music, innovative dance, and numerous festivals.

Graduate Program

The Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics has strong ties with Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California, San Diego, both of which provide research opportunities, administrative support and state-of-the-art facilities. The broad range of geophysical research expertise is acknowledged globally, and there are individual geophysics curricular groups that specialize in different fields. Please visit the Research or Staff pages for more information, or to find out more about the program curriculum visit the Program Overview page.

IGPP has extensive computing resources, with an excellent network support infrastructure. The main network is run on Mac OSX, with support for SGI and IBM, and we have on-site technicians to help with all aspects of computing.

Prospective Students

Many (but not all) graduate students in geophysics work at IGPP, although both students and advisers with geophysical interests are also found in GRD and MPL. For general information about the Geophysics Curricular Program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, please visit the Geophysics Curricular Group, which runs the geophysics part of the graduate program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

If you want to apply to graduate school in geophysics, go to the Scripps Graduate Department. For information on current IGPP graduate students and IGPP graduate student life, please use the links on the toolbar on the left.

Research at IGPP

Annual Report

To access the IGPP annual report, which includes descriptions of each researchers current area of focus, please click here.


Research Groups


Research Topics

Click on a topic for academic staff engaged in that research. Some academic staff maintain their own website(s) detailing their work further; these can be found on their contact page (links to these are embedded under each topic).

Antarctic Ice Sheets


  • No researchers for this topic.

Fluid Mechanics

  • No researchers for this topic.


  • No researchers for this topic.

High Pressure Petrology

Landscape Systems

  • No researchers for this topic.

Lunar Magnetism and Seismology

  • No researchers for this topic.

Marine Electromagnetic Induction

Marine Gravity

Mineral Physics

Ocean Bathymetry

Ocean Observatories


Paleo Seismology

  • No researchers for this topic.


Radar Techniques

Satellite Laser Altimetry

Seafloor Gravity

Seismic Anisotropy

Seismic Hazards


  • No researchers for this topic.





To get driving directions to IGPP, you can click here for a larger interactive Google Map.

The respective laboratories of IGPP are located at the following addresses:


Revelle Labs
  • Bldg 2000 8765 Biological Grade, La Jolla CA 92037
  • Bldg 3000 8775 Biological Grade, La Jolla CA 92037
  • Bldg 4000 8785 Biological Grade, La Jolla CA 92037
  • Bldg 1000 8795 Biological Grade, La Jolla CA 92037
Munk Lab
  • 8800 Biological Grade, La Jolla CA 92037


The parking lots surrounding SIO & IGPP, with the exception of a few metered spaces, all require UCSD parking permits. Permits are required between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., with the exception of Saturdays and Sundays, which are free all day. Visitors should go to room 307 (Business Office) in the Munk Lab for parking permits. Permits are good for the entire day and cost $8.00. Please be aware that these permits are limited to green "B", yellow "S", and "V" spaces. Alternatively, street parking is available on La Jolla Shores Boulevard; however, spaces are usually taken by 8 a.m. There are metered spaces available at the bottom of the hill by the director's office. Each of the large P's on the map indicates an SIO parking area. Long term permits can be purchased at the parking office in the center of campus. For detailed information please see the Visitor Parking section of the UCSD web site.

Emergency Response Building Maps