Job Opening

USGS ShakeAlert Chief Scientist


Posted: 12/01/2017

Open Until: 12/22/2017

Institution: USGS
Open Until: 2017-12-22

The USGS Earthquake Science Center is hiring a Chief Scientist for the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning (EEW) project. ShakeAlert is a system that provides alerts of impending earthquake ground shaking to end users, using data from seismic and geodetic monitoring networks along the west coast of the United States. 

The ShakeAlert Chief Scientist coordinates scientific research and development related to EEW, both within the USGS and with partner universities who cooperate in the ShakeAlert project. The Chief Scientist oversees a broad range of EEW research and development activities, including seismic and geodetic source modeling, wave propagation studies, strong ground motion estimation, rapid waveform analysis, and algorithm testing and validation. The Chief Scientist conducts independent scientific research in areas of relevance to EEW, publishes results in peer-reviewed journals, and represents the USGS on scientific committees and at conferences. The Chief Scientist serves as advisor to the ShakeAlert Project Chief, Director of the Earthquake Science Center, the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, other research institutions, and review and advisory committees concerned with implementation of EEW both in the U.S. and internationally. 

Applicants should have a strong record of research experience in a field relevant to earthquake early warning, including but not limited to: seismic or geodetic source modeling, wave propagation studies, strong ground motion estimation, earthquake probabilities, or rapid waveform analysis. Applicants should have excellent scientific leadership skills, preferably with leadership experience in large multi-institutional or multi-disciplinary projects. Applicants should also have good communication skills, including experience communicating with non-technical audiences. 

This will be a permanent position at the GS-14 or GS-15 level, depending on qualifications and experience, with a full performance level of GS-15. The duty station may be either Menlo Park, CA or Pasadena, CA. This job is open to U.S. citizens. 

Applicants must apply through USAJOBS at The vacancy announcement number is SAC-2018-0043. The application deadline is Friday, December 22, 2017, at midnight Eastern Time. 

Resumes must include detailed information for current and past positions: job title, name of company/agency, month/yr to month/yr, (e.g., March 2012 – June 2013), number of hours worked per week, salary, supervisor’s name and # (can include statement, “can call/do not call/contact me before calling,”) and narrative (not bullet list) of duties, responsibilities, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Resumes should be at least two pages, with half a page devoted to each position. (There is a template at Transcripts (unofficial is fine) and other documentation must be attached as required by the Vacancy Announcement. 


IRIS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to diversity and creating an inclusive workplace where all employee's backgrounds, talents and contributions are valued. If you require an accommodation to navigate or apply to our employment site, please send your request to: Human Resources or call (202) 682-2220 or fax (202) 682-0633.