Assistant Researcher - Earthquake Analyst - 11453BR

Assistant Researcher - Earthquake Analyst

Kansas Geological Survey
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

Work will include analysis of time-series signals recorded by earthquake stations using both command line and graphical user interface (GUI) software, and maintain and interact with an earthquake database. Establish, catalog, and preliminarily interpret earthquake focus relative to geologic structures, stress fields, and localized trends. Work will be independent with occasional interaction and minimal direct supervision. Other duties include seismograph station installation, maintenance and upkeep, and general field work potentially including assisting seismic and drill crews. Travel is required.

This position does not require prior academic exposure to earthquake or seismic theory. Candidates who enjoy performing scientific data analysis, working with scientific instruments, and are skilled in computing are encouraged to apply.

Job Description

Earthquake Research Support
60%: Assist with processing and analysis of data from more than a dozen 3-component earthquake stations located around Kansas. Data analysis steps include formatting, quality control checks, event identification and locating, refine event picking, assimilate locations into catalog, and archive data. Identify earthquakes using both visual inspection and software-based analysis. Manually pick arrival times of seismic waves, run computer programs to estimate epicenter location and event magnitude.

25%: Update and maintain earthquake database and map earthquake locations. Perform rigorous quality control checks to ensure accurate time picks and minimal location errors. Assimilate earthquake locations and attributes to identify spatial and/or statistical patterns in earthquake characteristics. Perform enhanced analysis, such as correlation to detect weak events and earthquake relocation, programming/coding to improve efficiency and/or accuracy of products. Collaborate with geophysicists and geologists to interpret earthquake and fault characteristics.

10%: Review events detected by the automated earth quake detection system. Update database to omit non-earthquake events. Work with KGS web administrator to update the earthquake websites.
Make graphs, maps and tables, and assist with writing reports and newsletters.

Field Support
5%: Assist with mobilization/demobilization, site selection and preparation, installing permanent and temporary earthquake stations, and installing and troubleshooting electronic equipment. Monitor station state-of-health through continuous live feed observations for station problems or equipment failures. Occasional visits to installation sites might be necessary for data retrieval, equipment welfare checks, troubleshooting, and routine maintenance, likely involving a significant number of self-driven miles to remote Kansas locations using KGS vehicles. Some publication and presentation of findings to peer community will be necessary. Interaction with local community leaders, landowners, and the news media might be necessary. Assist with data reduction tasks and section field crews as needed.

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelors in Physics, Astronomy, Geophysics, Electrical or Computing Engineering (or related degree with relevant coursework or research) by time of appointment.
  2. Scientific or engineering data analysis experience in academic or employment setting, submission of example(s) required.
  3. Advanced computing skills (e.g. experience with command line computing, scripting, or computer programming and/or experience using a specialized scientific or engineering program, etc.).
  4. Demonstrated experience to follow 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, by reference checks, and through scientific writing.


  1. Valid Class "C" driver's license at onset of employment.
  2. Ability to travel away from home-base for extended periods of time.
  3. Ability to work out of doors in possibly extreme conditions.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Computer programming (e.g. C++, Matlab, etc.) or relational database experience (e.g. Oracle, SQL, etc.).
  2. Experience with GPS data mapping using Google Earth, ArcGIS, or similar software.
  3. Experience operating scientific instruments in a lab or field setting.
  4. Experience with signal analysis.
  5. Mechanical and electrical skills as demonstrated by work experience.
  6. Experience working independently and making decisions with remote guidance as evidenced by work experience.

Additional Candidate Instructions


Apply online only at Complete the University of Kansas Unclassified Professional Staff profile and upload the required material:

1. cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications and position requirements

2. resume

3. examples of data analysis

4. unofficial transcripts (official transcripts will be requested from finalist)

5. contact information for three professional references

A complete application will consist of all items above; incomplete applications will not be considered.

Initial Review has been extended to May 7, 2018, position will remain open until filled.

Contact Information to Applicants

Annette Delaney
Kansas Geological Survey
University of Kansas

Advertised Salary Range

Starting at $42,000 per year, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Kansas Geological Survey
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins:
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