Earthquake Analyst

Kansas Geological Survey, Univ. of Kansas   Lawrence, KS   Full-time     Information Services / Technology (IT)
Posted on December 31, 2021

Earthquake Analyst

Kansas Geological Survey

Position Overview

Responsibilities of the Earthquake Analyst include analysis of signals recorded by earthquake stations in Kansas using both command line and graphical user interface (GUI) software and maintain and interact with a relational earthquake database. Calculate and catalog earthquake focus with preliminary interpretation relative to geologic structures and trends. Other duties include seismograph station maintenance; inventory, test, and configure equipment; and monitor earthquake servers.  This position has the flexibility for up to 50% remote work during normal business hours and opportunity for overtime.

Prior academic exposure to earthquake or seismic theory is not required or expected. Candidates who are skilled in computing and would enjoy performing data analysis are encouraged to apply.

The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) Exploration Services (ES) section develops and uses several investigative methods to provide information about the subsurface, using both invasive and non-invasive approaches with a focus on higher resolution and accuracy while reducing cost.  

For more information about the KGS visit our website:

KU offers great benefits to employees with up to 176 hours of paid vacation earned per year, 96 hours of sick leave earned per year, nine paid holidays plus one discretionary day, a retirement program, medical & dental insurance, life and disability insurance, other benefit plan options, and State of Kansas discounts offered by various vendors. KU also offers employees educational and professional development opportunities. KGS at KU is a great place to work!

The University actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Job Description

50% Data Analysis: Assist with processing and analysis of data from about thirty 3-component earthquake stations located around Kansas. Data analysis steps include formatting, event identification and locating, refine event picking, quality control checks, and archive/catalog data. Perform enhanced analysis, such as calculating focal mechanisms and recursion relationships (b).

25% Quality Control and Reports: Perform rigorous quality control checks to ensure accurate time picks, minimal location errors, and a complete catalog (at and above the magnitude of completeness). Collaborate with other researchers to interpret earthquake and fault characteristics. Make graphs, maps, and tables, and assist with writing reports, newsletters, and brief website articles.  Work with Web manager on maintaining as current as possible all information in the public facing portion of the earthquake web pages.

20% Earthquake Database and Servers: Work with KGS database administrators to become familiar with and maintain institutional knowledge of the Oracle relational earthquake database.  QA/QC earthquake database, ensure proper functionality, program and implement database enhancements using PL/SQL.  Maintain already-configured earthquake servers and programs. 

5% Field Support:  Occasional visits to installation sites statewide will be necessary for troubleshooting and routine maintenance. Maintain earthquake station equipment inventory, stock field supplies, test equipment, and assist with mobilization/demobilization. Assist with section field crews as needed.

Position Requirements


  1. Valid Class "C" driver's license at onset of employment for travel to the field sites.
  2. Willingness to travel to field sites several days at a time.
  3. Work outside in Kansas, possibly in extreme conditions.
  4. Up to 50% of work may be performed remotely once full proficiency for data analysis is reached, which depends on the individual and is likely several months. 
  5. Possible occasional overtime outside of normal business hours to respond to significant earthquakes that meet pre-defined criteria.


Required Qualifications


  1. Bachelors in Physics, Engineering (e.g., Computer, Electrical, Mechanical), Geology, Mathematics, or related degree, to be completed by the time of appointment.
  2. Advanced computing skills (e.g. experience with computer programming, command line computing, scripting and/or experience using specialized scientific or engineering software, etc.) as evident by application materials.
  3. Demonstrated experience following written and/or oral instructions, and good oral communication skills. Written skills will be evaluated by the quality of the application materials and oral communication skills will be assessed during the interview and by reference checks.


Preferred Qualifications


  1. Scientific or engineering data analysis experience in academic or employment setting, as evidenced by submission of example(s).
  2. Basic mechanical/electrical experience (working with hand tools, etc.) or experience operating scientific instruments.
  3. Experience working independently and making decisions with remote guidance as evidenced by work experience.


Additional Candidate Instructions:

Complete the University of Kansas online application and upload the required materials:

  1. Cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications and position requirements.
  2. Resume.
  3. Contact information for three professional references.
Application review begins on January 10, 2022, and will continue until a pool of qualified applicants is received.  
KU is an EO/AAE,

To apply for this position please click the Apply!