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Four Job/Research Opportunities from the SCEC Community

Date: 08/26/2022

Dear SCEC Community,

Please see below for the following announcements:

USGS Mendenhall Post-doc on Improving Ground-motion Characterization for USGS Products
Stanford Science Fellows: post-doctoral fellowship opportunity
Senior System Administrator at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics
Three-year Postdoctoral Research Position on Induced Seismicity Related to Fluid Injection

On behalf of Kyle Withers, USGS

USGS Mendenhall Program Post-doctoral Opportunity on Improving Ground-motion Characterization for the USGS Earthquake Hazard Products

The USGS Mendenhall program has a post-doctoral opportunity (#21-36) for recent graduates, entitled: “Improving ground-motion characterization for the USGS earthquake hazard products: Nonergodic, simulation, machine learning, and intensity-based methods.”

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produces several public-facing products meant to quantify and communicate earthquake hazard, mitigate earthquake risk, and improve post-event situational awareness. These include the National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM), the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning (EEW) system, and ShakeMap. These products all rely on forecasts from ground-motion models (GMMs), and some rely on ground-motion-to-intensity-conversion equations (GMICEs) to convert peak ground shaking into Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) for communicating shaking levels to the public. These products could be improved through innovations in the ground-motion modeling components.

We seek Mendenhall Postdoctoral Scholars to investigate and develop models for ground motion with the goal of improving shaking forecasts in USGS hazard products, including the National Seismic Hazard Model, the ShakeAlert EEW system, and ShakeMap. We seek candidates with interest in one or more of four possible topic areas (1) modeling intensity-based ground motions; (2) the use of 3D simulations to improve ground-motion estimates or PSHA; (3) nonergodic approaches to ground-motion modeling; and (4) the use of machine learning in ground-motion modeling. Example research directions that may be addressed by the Fellow are provided for each topic area at: 


but other research efforts to improve ground-motion characterizations in earthquake hazard products are also encouraged.  

Applications are due November 1, 2022, and more information about the program, the opportunity, and how to apply can be found at: 


Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Research Advisors early in the application process to discuss project ideas. 

Proposed duty stations: Moffett Field, California; Pasadena, California; Golden, Colorado.  

Research advisors: Grace Parker (gparker@usgs.gov), Kyle Withers (kwithers@usgs.gov), Annemarie Baltay (abaltay@usgs.gov), Morgan Moschetti (mmoschetti@usgs.gov), Sara Minson (sminson@usgs.gov), Susan Hough (hough@usgs.gov), Mark Petersen (mpetersen@usgs.gov), Brad Aagaard (baagaard@usgs.gov), Robert Graves (rwgraves@usgs.gov), Eric Thompson (emthompson@usgs.gov), and Bruce Worden (cbworden@contractor.usgs.gov)


On behalf of Jonathan Payne, Stanford

Stanford Science Fellows: post-doctoral fellowship opportunity

The Stanford Science Fellows program invites applications from outstanding graduating doctoral students and early career postdoctoral scholars (no more than three years from degree and no more than two years of prior postdoctoral experience by the start of their term) with a clear intellectual drive to advance foundational research in the natural sciences and a strong commitment to engage collaboratively with a diverse community of scholars.

Stanford Science Fellows are an interdisciplinary community of exceptional postdoctoral scholars from around the globe whose work is driven by a sense of wonder about the natural world. Stanford’s top-ranked science and engineering departments, as well as its many interdisciplinary laboratories and research institutes, are situated in close proximity to each other on campus, providing a wide range of opportunities for collaboration. Stanford Science Fellows will have access to faculty and facilities within Stanford’s Schools of Humanities and Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Earth, and Sustainability as well as at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Stanford Science Fellows will hold primary appointments in the academic unit appropriate to their research interests. In addition to generous compensation and benefits, Fellows also receive research, travel, and relocation allowances. Fellows must be eligible and available to start their terms between July 1 and September 1, 2023.

To apply, please upload the following materials by October 14, 2022:

  • A cover letter
  • A curriculum vitae including publications, full legal name, contact information, and (expected) date of PhD, which must be received by the start of the fellowship
  • Email addresses of the writers of three letters of recommendation, which must be received by October 14. A letter from the candidate’s PhD advisor is advised
  • A statement of up to two pages about the candidate’s career goals, relevant experience, and how the candidate would contribute to the goals of the Stanford Science Fellows program
  • A research statement of up to two pages addressing the following questions: What is the candidate’s research problem? What does the candidate expect to accomplish on a 3- to 5-year timescale? Why is Stanford the best place for the candidate to pursue these goals?

To receive full consideration, all application materials--including recommendation letters--must be received by October 14, 2022.

Application Link: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/22268


On behalf of Rosalind Gamble, University of Texas

Senior System Administrator at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics

The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) seeks to hire an experienced IT professional as a Senior Systems Administrator. UTIG is one of the three research units of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Scientists and students at UTIG conduct expeditionary research in Earth Science in all parts of the world, and are also involved in planetary missions and climate modeling. These research projects produce large data sets and require computational analysis and visualization. This position is dedicated to support these activities at UTIG’s location at the University of Texas J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

Purpose: Provide high level computing infrastructure support, maintain security of the computer 
network, and lead a small team of IT professionals.

Responsibilities: Coordinate with other IT staff to maintain a secure computer network that meets the 
demands of the research and administration of the institute. Specific tasks include:

  • Oversee the installation, configuration, maintenance, and integrity of servers hosting scientific research computing and office services and network (including WiFi and switches).
  • Monitor, coordinate, and conduct timely software installation and upgrades to operating systems and software packages. Maintain systems in accordance with established University of Texas IT policies and procedures (including those pertaining to Internet security, export control, and proprietary elements of regulatory and /or commercial agreements).
  • Implement IT infrastructure and policies in compliance with CUI/EAR/ITAR requirements, as per University of Texas regulations. Recommend enhancements to the systems. Monitor systems to achieve optimum performance levels. Ensure server data integrity by evaluating, implementing, and managing system backups and data redundancy measures.
  • Recommend IT purchase configurations and obtain quotes for hardware and software that support the institute’s research, or are necessary for compliance with UT regulations.
  • Perform general problem solving for potential issues with personal computers. Manage inventory of University-owned desktop and laptop computers.
  • Provide technical advice and consultation to Institute leadership and investigator groups, as related to scientific and engineering requirements and system objectives, available hardware and software configurations and capabilities; and recommend optimal systems.
  • Present recommendations to management. Often responsible for achieving operational status within required time parameters and with acceptable operating performance. Develop and maintain standards, process improvements, and documentation.
  • Detect, anticipate, and mitigate network and system vulnerabilities. Resolve problems for large systems. Recommend policies for systems use and functionality.
  • May perform system administration for Critical Network Services such as DNS, IPAM, NMS, among others.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor degree in Computer Science or a related field with at least five years of appropriate experience.
  • Knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures in systems administration.
  • Broad Linux administrative skills, including the maintenance of the computer systems and software licenses.
  • Detailed knowledge of mid-scale Linux storage hardware and software.
  • Working knowledge of Windows and Macintosh network administration.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and projects with many stakeholders, together with a small team of IT professionals.
  • Strong strategic planning and problem solving skills, with attention to detail.
  • Strong verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills with both non-technical and technical users.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficiency in shell scripting (bash, tcsh) and programming skills (e.g., C, C++, FORTRAN, Python)
  • Experience securing computer systems and networks (local and network firewalls) and use of automated backup systems.
  • Experience installing and maintaining complex software used to image and analyze scientific data (e.g., Paradigm, Landmark).
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a self-directed manner, manage complex projects, and stay up-todate with the latest technology developments and best practices and apply the knowledge in the workplace.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

Required Materials:

  • Resume/CV
  • 3 work references with their contact information, at least one reference from a supervisor
  • Letter of interest

For further information regarding this position and to apply, please visit


On behalf of J. Ole Kaven, USGS

Three-year Postdoctoral Research Position on Induced Seismicity Related to Fluid Injection

We have an opening for a 3-year Postdoctoral Research position to perform research on induced seismicity related to subsurface fluid injection. This posting is within NORSARs Applied Seismology Group, and the Postdoc will be integrated with and funded through the VISTA Center for Modeling of Coupled Subsurface Dynamics at the Department of Mathematics, University of Bergen.

The project will be conducted in close collaboration with the USGS Earthquake Science Center in Menlo Park/Moffett Field/Pasadena, California. An external research stay of about 3 months duration is included for this position. The successful applicant will have access to unique field data from the COSO geothermal monitoring network. The main research question focuses on the interpretation of temporal stress-field changes, potentially caused by an interplay of local geothermal production and injection wells and larger scale tectonic deformation. Potential approaches towards an interpretation can be new schemes of relative moment tensor inversion derived from the seismic network data. This position requires a background in seismology, a working knowledge of computer programming, and some experience in geomechanics or reservoir engineering is of advantage.

The candidate will:

  • Conduct original research in seismology related to induced seismicity.
  • Develop uncertainty quantification or other techniques for correlating observed seismicity with fluid injection rates and volumes.
  • Publish reports and peer-reviewed publications summarizing research findings. Present results at meetings and research conferences.
  • Work as part of a scientific team, interacting with seismologists, geologists, physicists, and computer scientists to design and implement high-impact research.

Required qualifications are:

  • PhD in Seismology, Geomechanics, Earth Science, Data Science related to Geophysics, or a related field.
  • Ability to formulate solutions related to understanding of the geomechanical behaviour of subsurface reservoirs and the underlying physical processes leading to induced seismicity or other seismology problems.
  • Experience with computer systems and modern programming languages (e.g. python, C/C++, shell scripting, matlab,…),
  • Demonstrated fundamental written and verbal communication skills. Experience writing and presenting reports, publications, and proposals, ability to interact effectively with a team of interdisciplinary scientists.
  • Experience with geophysical monitoring, focal mechanism or full moment tensor analysis and processing of microseismic data.

NORSAR has extensive experience in array seismology, microseismic monitoring and ray-tracing technology. We are seeking candidates to strengthen our research and development team. We deliver projects funded by clients such as the Research Council of Norway, EU, U.S. DOE and industry clients in addition to the mission on behalf of Norway on compliance to the nuclear test ban treaty. Embedded in these project activities is the scientific development of software solutions, machine learning and possible commercialization. A major portfolio segment is connected to projects concerning the safe storage of CO2 as well as different applications of fibreoptic technology. 

The right candidate will be a good communicator with great presentation skills, with the ability to both collaborate in a team and independently solve assignments. The candidate needs to be fluent in English, written and spoken. We offer a very diverse and challenging job within an international team of young and experienced researchers. We offer flexible working conditions and competitive terms.

Applications with documentation of competence, experience and letter of motivation, including contacts to references, should be sent electronically to careers@norsar.no as soon as possible and no later than October 1st 2022. Interested candidates may obtain additional information by contacting Dr. Volker Oye, volker@norsar.no or Dr. Joern Kaven, okaven@usgs.gov



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