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Multiple Job Position Announcements from the SCEC Community

Date: 02/23/2022

Dear SCEC Community,

Please see below for the following position announcements:

1. USGS Mendenhall post-doctoral opportunity in fiber optic and array seismology for earthquake early warning
2. USGS Earthquake Early Warning Project Chief (Supervisory Geophysicist, GS-15)
3. Director, USGS Earthquake Science Center (ESC)
4. Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics - Community Manager & Research Software Engineer
5. Caltech George Housner Postdoctoral Fellowship in earthquake engineering


On behalf of Jeff McGuire, USGS:

USGS Mendenhall post-doctoral opportunity in fiber optic and array seismology for earthquake early warning

The purpose of this Mendenhall Fellowship opportunity is to advance our understanding on fiber optic (FO) seismology for earthquake early warning (EEW) applications using array processing techniques.  A successful applicant should have the background and interest to pursue research on distributed acoustic sensing of earthquake waves with fiber optic cables and with traditional seismic arrays for EEW, focused on using seismic array processing techniques with either FO or traditional seismic arrays.  Array processing offers a robust method for determining slowness and back azimuth from arriving waves, which can help identify seismic phases and the earthquake source location at regional distances, in areas not easily instrumented with standard networks.

The ShakeAlert EEW system is live in California, Oregon, and Washington.  It relies on methods that are well optimized for dense seismic networks.  However, many of the largest earthquakes that could produce shaking within the ShakeAlert reporting region will occur outside of the well instrumented areas, such as offshore in the subduction zone.  Properly characterizing these earthquakes as quickly as possible presents one of the greatest opportunities for success in EEW, and more active research is needed to improve the methods used for these difficult to instrument regions. Method development can be done using a growing number of publicly available fiber optic and traditional seismic array datasets.  There will also be opportunities to design and collect new datasets during the term of the fellowship.

Even with the great potential for FO datasets to complement an EEW system like ShakeAlert, numerous fundamental questions remain. Among these, the most important ones include: how well dynamic strains in the fiber represent true ground strain, how signals within the FO array vary due to coupling and site effects, quantifying detection limits in frequency space, isolating seismic signals from natural and anthropogenic noise, the performance of FO systems in the near-field, optimal array geometries and sampling configurations, and differences in performance related to fiber engineering.

For more information about this Mendenhall post-doctoral fellowship opportunity please see: 

Applications, including a research proposal, are due by April 1, 2022, at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/620162700.

If you are interested in applying, please reach out to any of the advisors for this research opportunity:

Jeff McGuire <jmcguire@usgs.gov>, Andy Barbour <abarbour@usgs.gov>, Clara Yoon <cyoon@usgs.gov>

Learn more about the Mendenhall fellowship program here:

Full listing of research opportunities is available here:


On behalf of Doug Given, USGS:

USGS seeks qualified applicants for the position of:

Earthquake Early Warning Project Chief (Supervisory Geophysicist, GS-15)

Major Duties: 

  • Serves as the Chief of the USGS ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) Project and as the EEW National Coordinator to develop and operate the ShakeAlert West Coast EEW system.
  • Leads the technical, organizational, and educational components of the USGS ShakeAlert Project, including developing project work plans and budgets.
  • Advises and coordinates operations of the West Coast Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) seismic and GPS networks.

Other information:

  • This is a Permanent, Full-Time position located in Pasadena, CA
  • Limited telework is available
  • Salary is $150,832 (Step 1) to $176,300 (Step 10) 
      NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 1
  • Open to all U.S. Citizens; a background investigation will be required

To apply or get more information:

  • Go to USAJOBS.gov: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/636978200
  • You must apply by March 14, 2022 (12:00pm EDT)
  • Please apply early and carefully follow the instructions for uploading your resume and transcripts. 


ShakeAlert Project webpage



On behalf of Keith Knudsen, USGS:

Work with USGS! 

Applications are being accepted for a full-time GS-15, Supervisory Interdisciplinary Geophysicist or Geologist to serve as Director, USGS Earthquake Science Center (ESC). Possible duty stations include Moffett Field, CA, Pasadena, CA, or Seattle, WA.  

The ESC Director is responsible for: 

  • Defining the overall science program of the Earthquake Science Center; 
  • Managing the research, monitoring, personnel, and financial aspects of ESC to fulfill the mission of the USGS[KKL1] ;  
  • Overseeing the planning, conduct, and completion of all ESC activities, including broad areas of geologic research related to assessment and monitoring of geologic hazards nationally;  
  • Overseeing a vibrant group of staff to: collect a wide range of data on earthquakes, faults, and crustal deformation; conduct research to increase our understanding of earthquake source processes, occurrence, and effects; and synthesizing this knowledge into probabilistic seismic hazard assessments, aftershock forecasts, and ground-shaking scenarios for anticipated major earthquakes. 

This Center leads the National Strong Motion Project and the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system, houses renowned rock mechanics laboratories and deep borehole geophysics facilities, conducts extensive geophysical, geologic, and paleoseismic investigations along active faults, and conducts scientific investigations following significant earthquakes, both in the U.S. and internationally.  

With partners, ESC operates the California Integrated Seismic Network and Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, as well as seismic networks at sites of induced seismicity, and operates geodetic networks through the western U.S.   

Learn more: The position is posted on USAJOBS.gov, open to all U.S. Citizens. See: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/637056900 

Applications will be accepted through March 14, 2022.  

Please read all of the application instructions thoroughly. All applicants must submit transcripts and other required documentation with their application prior to the vacancy closing in order to be considered. 

  • Since this is a professional series position, there is an education requirement. Applicants should submit copies of all (unofficial) transcripts.  
  • If a current or former federal employee is applying for the position, they MUST submit a copy of their last performance appraisal (which can be found in their eOPF). If they do not have a performance appraisal, they MUST provide a statement explaining why.  
  • If a current or former federal employee is applying for the position, they MUST submit a copy of their SF-50 (which can be found in their eOPF) to confirm their eligibility to apply.   
  • Resumes should include a month and year, along with their relevant work experience for each period of employment.  Resumes or CVs should contain enough details regarding their work experience to evaluate whether applicants have the specialized experience. 
  • Please submit ALL required documentation prior to the close of the announcement.    


On behalf of Lorraine Hwang, UC Davis:

Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics

Headquartered at UC Davis, the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics (CIG) develops, supports, and disseminates community-accessible software for the international geodynamics research community. CIG software supports a variety of geodynamic research from mantle and core dynamics, to crustal and earthquake dynamics, to magma migration and seismology. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), CIG is a community-governed organization that is committed to develop and maintain the geodynamics community through community participation across this research spectrum. Software developed is made available to the public under open-source software licenses.

We are hiring for 2 positions at CIG HQ @ UC Davis:

Community Manager @CIG
We seek a Community Manager (CM) with a background in the geosciences to develop and lead community engagement, education, and diversity initiatives for our community. The CM will work with our community to construct new online courses and cultivate and maintain communication channels. The CM will promote within the organization issues in Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI). The CM will assist in organization wide activities.  The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree in the geosciences, familiarity with developing online course content, a strong interest in science communication, and experience with programming/scripting language(s). 

For more information, please see our job posting at https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF04650.

Research Software Engineer @CIG
The Research Software Engineer (RSE) is responsible for developing strategies for and leading community efforts in the development of modern workflows and repositories for reproducible high-performance computational models in geodynamics. The RSE engages the community and leads the software development effort in establishing standardized parallel in-/output formats and other interfaces for community software. In this role, the RSE participates in the development of collaborative activities that utilize, test, and extend CIG products, including testing and benchmarking efforts on the nation’s largest available supercomputers. The RSE assists in and collaborates with efforts to containerize high-performance modeling software.

For more information, please see our job posting at https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF04614.


On behalf of Domniki Asimaki, Caltech:

The Mechanical and Civil Engineering (MCE) Department at the California Institute of Technology invites applications for a George Housner Postdoctoral Fellowship in earthquake engineering. The intent of the program is to support innovative early career scientists in making a significant, original research contribution. The potential research topics should focus on cross-cutting themes related to infrastructure resiliency and subsurface engineering in the context of natural or manmade earthquake hazard. The postdoctoral research scholars are expected to concentrate on their research and writing; collaborate with the MCE and Caltech research community; mentor graduate and undergraduate students; and give public seminars/lectures on their research.

The duration of the appointment is typically two years, contingent upon good progress in the first year, with the annual stipend of $65,000, and a research expense fund of $5,000. Only those who have received their Ph.D. after May 15, 2019 and do not hold a tenure-track position are eligible to apply. All fellows must have successfully defended their dissertations prior to the commencement of the appointment.

The application review will begin on February 15, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. To apply, go to https://applications.caltech.edu/jobs/housner. Candidates should submit the following materials: 

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • One-page research statement that, in part, reflects on the relation of the applicant’s interests to the ongoing earthquake engineering related research in MCE and identifies potential MCE faculty host(s);
  • One or two research papers or dissertation chapters related to the candidate’s major research theme;
  • Three confidential letters of reference submitted by the letter writers directly to the web portal.

If there are any questions about the application process, please contact housner-admin@caltech.edu.


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