Seismology Skill Building Workshop for Undergraduates - Summer 2020
IRIS Education and Public Outreach Program, Online Learning

Due to the overwhelming response to this course, registrations will close at 11:59pm (Eastern) on Thursday May 28th.  The strong response also means we will not be able to accommodate graduate students who requested to particpate in this year's course.

While the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to the suspension of the 2020 Undergraduate Internship Program, IRIS remains committed to the developing the Next Generation of Seismologists. To this end, the IRIS Education and Outreach program is offering a FREE seismology skill building workshop for any undergraduate (e.g. computer science, geophysics, geology, math, physics, engineering) student seeking to build skills in working with seismic data and scientific computing. The workshop will run every other week from June 1, 2020 through August 28, 2020. The goals of this workshop are to increase students'...  

  • interest in taking additional course work in seismology and scientific computing,
  • self-efficacy in using seismic data, and 
  • competitiveness in the graduate school or summer REU application process.

Workshop Format

This workshop will be offered as a fully online course only. Each module has been designed to develop a particular set of skills relevant for seismological research. New modules will be assigned every other week throughout the summer.  Modules will be introduced on Mondays via a webinar held at 3pm Eastern. Participants will then work through each module at their own pace during the remainder on the week. Participants will be able to ask questions, provide feedback, and share their successes and challenges with other participants through a moderated learning platform. Supplemental materials such as relevant papers, webinars, and other resources will be made available for those who wish to extend their learning. Weekly modules will conclude with a with a follow-up webinar held on Fridays at 3pm.  All webinars will be recorded to allow participants from across a variety of time zones to participate.  

Minimum Requirements

  • Participation: This workshop is intended for undergraduate students (e.g.. computer science, geophysics, geology, math, physics, engineering). Unfortunately, due to an overwhelming response, we will not be able to admit graduate students into this year's course.  There are no-minimum course or experiential requirements in order for students of all backgrounds to participate. However, students who have completed at least one semester of math and physics will be best able to benefit from the course, and 2 semesters of each math and physics would be ideal.
  • Computer/Internet: To participate, students will need to have access to a PC/Mac where they can install a virtual disk that will be provided, and SLACK for communication. Chromebooks or tablets are unlikely to be sufficient. Since the course is online and will require downloading of data, reasonable internet access (DSL, LAN, or cable connection desirable) is expected.


This course is being offered as an online workshop only. Participants will be provided with login credentials to access the workshop materials once their registration has been processed. 





We anticipate that each module will require roughly 5 to 6 hours per week. This includes a Monday webinar held at 3pm ET to introduce the module, a follow-up webinar held on Fridays at 3pm ET, and the actual self-paced exercises. Note that all webinars will be recorded.    

(Subject to revision):

June 1 - Module 1:  Introduction to scientific computing and coding strategies.  Applications will include Linux command line, shell scripting, and basic plot generation with Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), and discussion of general patterns of earthquakes in space, time, and magnitude.

June 15 - Module 2: Seismic recording and seismograms.  Applications will include time series analysis, digitization, filtering, and Seismic Analysis Code (SAC).

June 29 - Module 3: Data access and IRIS Data Request Tools.  Applications will include web services, data availability tools, Wilbur, and fetch scripts.

July 13 - Module 4: Event and waveform databases.  Applications will include an introduction to database software, strategies for organizing data, available catalogs, and hypocentral location software.

July 27 - Module 5: Introduction into Python, how it works (calculate something via a loop), basic uses. Applications for seismology in ObsPy including reading a seismogram, retrieving data, seismogram plotting, correlation detector, nuclear test, induced seismicity.

August 10 - Module 6: Jupyter notebooks.  Applications will include an introduction to notebooks, calculating background seismic noise reductions due to COVID19, spectrograms, and sonify seismograms.

August 24 - Module 7: Wrap-up, review, and next steps for pursuing seismology.  

Special sessions to be interspersed throughout the summer 

  • Networking
  • The graduate school process
  • Careers and career paths

There are currently no materials available for download.

Material from agenda

    Notice The application period for this course closed on Thu, May 28, 2020 - 11:59:00 PM.

    Important Dates
  • Short Course Dates:
    Jun 1st – Aug 28th
  • Registration:
    May 15th – 28th