Job Opening

Postdoc opportunity in planetary seismology, Univ. Alaska Fairbanks

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Posted: 05/29/2020

Open Until: 08/04/2020

The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has an
immediate opening for a postdoctoral fellow in the field of planetary
seismology. While a strong interest in planetary science is necessary,
candidates need not have direct research history in this field. A broad
seismology background is highly desirable.

Full project and position overview here

Developing an understanding of the interior structure of Venus and its
current level of geologic activity, particularly the nature and frequency
of volcanic and tectonic events, are high priority goals of NASA’s
planetary exploration program. A network of seismometers could achieve
these goals, but the desired observation period of at least weeks far
exceeds the ~1-hour lifetimes of previous landers in the harsh Venusian
surface conditions. NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has an ongoing
engineering effort to develop a seismometer capable of surviving for an
extended period in the Venus environment, and we are partnering to provide
relevant scientific expertise (a preprint about this effort is here
The Geophysical Institute houses a well-established seismology program as
well as a planetary science program with a focus on Venus geoscience. This
position is a collaboration between the two. We plan a one-year program to
develop a suitable catalog of Venus analog seismic events and use the
catalog to test elements of likely seismograph design and analysis. This
will comprise a number of project steps: 1) Estimate the possible nature
and level of seismicity on Venus guided by current understanding of the
similarities and differences in Venus and Earth’s lithospheric structure
and tectonic styles; 2) Use seismic records from earthquake,
non-earthquake, and anthropogenic sources to create a database of possible
analog Venusian seismic sources; 3) Evaluate the ability to determine
various aspects of Venus seismicity under potential seismometer
restrictions; and 4) Test and evaluate possible mitigation strategies for
current seismometer design limitations.

Questions about the project and position can be directed to Michael West (, after June 8) or Robbie Herrick (

How to Apply

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