The Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics was dedicated in 1964, after a formal decision to develop the Institute in 1960. The original idea for the Institute was hatched in 1959 to "attract able minds away from traditional forms of physics," particularly because new geophysics departments had started to appear in other parts of the United States. At this time there was no UC San Diego, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was known as the University of California, La Jolla. The Institute was initially to be focused on planetary physics, with an emphasis on the Earth-Moon system. Click here to view the complete IGPP timeline from the 1960's to present.

The Evolution of IGPP "The Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP)" Oceanography: v. 16, n. 3/2003. From the Special Issue - Scripps Centennial edition of Oceanography: The evolution of IGPP from its inception in 1959, as recalled by directors: Munk, Gilbert, Orcutt, Zumberge and Parker.


LONG-TERM GOALS are specific areas of activity that have been singled out for attention over the next 5-10 years. They utilize our strengths, address our weaknesses and take into account the opportunities and threats posed by our environment.

The Systemwide LONG-TERM GOAL is:

To promote basic research involved in understanding the structure, origin, and evolution of the solar system and its planets.

The Cecil and Ida Green IGPP goals are to:

  • foster basic and fundamental research of the highest standard.
  • educate PhD-level students in the conduct of research through classes, experimentation and the analysis of geophysical data and to provide an apprenticeship in research and education which includes experience in practical aspects of a career in science.
  • develop new activities that interface the geophysical sciences with other appropriate disciplines and interdisciplinary efforts and with engineers, scientists and others seeking to solve specific problems.
  • maintain modern infrastructure for conducting research including buildings, computer networks, computing, mass storage, seagoing instrumentation, communications, and global observatories. Much of this work will involve the conduct of applied research.
  • develop strong relationships with federal agencies, Congress, civic leaders, and industry in support of scientific research and education in general and geophysics in particular.
  • provide information and services to assist students and PostDocs in making informed education and career decisions.
  • enhance inter-campus and campus-laboratory cooperation through the development and support of Systemwide IGPP initiatives.
  • maintain and enhance IGPP's endowment through the Cecil and Ida Green Foundation for Earth Sciences.
  • ensure that support of research at IGPP continues to grow to support modernization and shifts in research and teaching emphases with time.
  • ensure a renewal in the academic staff which will promote new ideas and directions in geophysical research.
  • improve the tools for business management and university administration to build a staff that can accommodate the expected growth in needed services over the next two decades.
  • improve training for technical and computer programming staff to ensure that competitiveness is maintained over the next two decades.


Listed in decreasing order of importance for meeting the long-term goals and objectives.

  • The Cecil and Ida Green IGPP is recognized internationally as an outstanding research and teaching institution in geophysics. The scientific and service reputation of the faculty is outstanding, This quality is an essential resource for IGPP.
  • IGPP has substantial financial support from a broad range of government agencies.
  • IGPP faculty and staff are open to new ideas and novel approaches. Generally, it has a flexible, can-do approach and can respond to new opportunities.
  • The engineering and computing personnel at IGPP are well trained and highly experienced and capable of meeting tomorrow's challenges in instrumentation and field work.
  • The management personnel at IGPP are well-trained in modern management techniques and are technically competent to accomplish the new and challenging tasks which lie ahead.
  • IGPP's infrastructure (buildings, labs, computer network, computing, and mass store) are modern and can be readily upgraded.
  • IGPP faculty and staff are tightly-knit and generally make extraordinary efforts to plan and coordinate research and teaching with their fellows.
  • IGPP has a growing endowment which is used to support visitors, meet some matching funds requirements, support global network expansion, enhance outreach, and occasionally build or refurbish facilities. The Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Foundation for Earth Sciences ensures an involvement of San Diego business and civic leaders in IGPP affairs.
  • In an era when collaborative proposals are more and more common, IGPP is well placed to both initiate and participate in such collaborations. This is increasingly common at IGPP and the Green Scholar program is very helpful in fostering necessary contacts. The collegial relationships, which have been fostered over years, are also important for this purpose.
  • The great range of expertise of the IGPP faculty allows an interdisciplinary approach to research in Earth and space sciences.
  • The academic staff at IGPP is intimately involved in the creation of new national and international programs in geophysics including USArray, DEOS, IOOS, PBO, InSAR, and others.
  • An extensive and well-supported lecture and visitor program affords students and faculty opportunities for contacts with geophysics outside of IGPP.


The Cecil H. and Ida M. Green branch of the University of California Systemwide Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) is located in La Jolla, and is strongly linked to Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) through joint faculty appointments, research interests, and shared facilities.

IGPP research in La Jolla covers many fields, including global seismology, marine seismology and geodesy, geodynamics, geomagnetism, and geodesy.


IGPP Green Foundation

The Green Foundation provides support for visiting scholars and for innovative research projects, carried out by IGPP scientists, that may benefit from seed or matching funds.

Annual Reports

The annual report summarizes the research accomplishments of our scientists.

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