Frank Revetta, earthquake expert and long-time SUNY Potsdam professor, receives national award for research and service
Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 8:35 am

POTSDAM -- SUNY Potsdam Professor Emeritus Dr. Frank A. Revetta, a longtime faculty member in the Department of Geology, has been honored with an award for his research and service.

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Eastern Section, presented Dr. Revetta with its 2012 Distinguished Service Award at its annual meeting in Spring 2012. A longtime member of the association, Revetta had served as its treasurer for more than 15 years, stepping down in 2011.

In the North Country, Revetta is known as the "earthquake man," with news outlets and local residents calling him if they feel tremors. He is the founder of the Potsdam Seismology Network.

Revetta began teaching geology at SUNY Potsdam in 1962, and continues to teach there with the title of Professor Emeritus of Geology. During his tenure at SUNY Potsdam, he has presented more than 180 abstracts with students as co-authors at professional meetings, particularly the Geological Society of America, as well as many other geoscience organizations.

Revetta has consistently involved his students in his research. Together, he and his students have completed thousands of gravity measurements, resulting in 20 gravity maps across New York, and a gravity map of the whole state. Revetta and his students have presented interpretations of the gravity anomalies on the map have been presented at many conference meetings since. Working with Lamont- Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Revetta has overseen the installation of a seismic network to collect seismic data in the Northeastern United States. He and his students continue to use their knowledge and expertise to provide services to communities in New York. Each year, during the summer and fall semesters, he conducts geophysical surveys for communities and residents.

Revetta has been recognized for his work with numerous awards, including the SUNY Potsdam President's Award for Excellence in Distinguished Teaching, the President's Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Service and the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Distinguished Teaching. The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association has also presented him with Honorary Lifetime Membership. In addition, he has received the John M. Clarke Award from the New York State Geological Survey.

Revetta received his bachelor's degree in geology in 1953 from the University of Pittsburgh. He then attended Indiana University until 1954, where he served as a teacher's assistant and worked on his master's degree in geology and geophysics. He then served two years in the U.S. Army as a laboratory technician in Metz, France. This work included running physical and chemical tests on all petroleum products used by the Army. Six months before discharge, he was promoted to chief laboratory technician.

In 1957, he finished the requirement for a master's degree in geology-geophysics from Indiana University Bloomington. He then conducted seismic surveys in western Wyoming for Geophysical Service Inc. In 1970, Frank received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, where his research included a detailed gravity survey of western New York and eastern Pennsylvania, followed by another gravity survey of northern New York and western Pennsylvania.