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Research site named for Jack Townshend

University of Alaska Fairbanks has renamed a 46-acre research site in honorof its visionary and developer, Jack Townshend. The Jack Townshend College International Geophysical Observatory is a network of eight state-of-the-art facilities that collect geomagnetic, seismic and geophysical data to support research at the Geophysical Institute, the International Arctic Research Center, the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as other national and international organizations. The site is situated northwest of Smith Lake behind the UAF campus.

Townshend, 82, is a long-time USGS geophysicist that has worked with the university research community for 46 years. He designed and developed CIGO, a project that took 10 years to complete, with encouragement from GI Director Roger Smith and Syun-Ichi Akasofu, former director of both the GI and IARC.

"Jack Townshend is a world leader as a creator of excellent observatories," Roger Smith said.

The research site was completed in 1996. It is one of five scientific observatories Townshend has helped develop across the globe during his career that spans more than six-and-a-half decades.

The renaming of the CIGO site is the third honor Townshend has received from UAF. In 1995 Townshend received an honorary doctorate of science from the university. Four years later an area of campus was renamed Townshend Point. Today, the site is marked by a large boulder and bronze plaque and is located at the crest of College Hill, near the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

Jack Townshend was appointed as the special projects coordinator for the USGS Geomagnetism Program in Golden, Colo. and principal consultant and advisor of CIGO in 2002. He continues to serve in those positions today.

USGS Geophysicist Jack Townshend poses with Syun-Ichi Akasofu and Roger Smith at the Control/GPS Building for the recently renamed Jack Townshend College International Geophysical Observatory July 20. Townshend credits the development of the observatory to encouragement he received from GI Director Roger Smith and Syun-Ichi Akasfou, former director of both the Geophysical Institute and International Arctic Research Center. Geophysical Institute Information Office photo.
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