Seismology Skill Building Workshop for Undergraduates


This workshop is intended for undergraduate students (e.g.... computer science, geophysics, geology, math, physics, engineering) or recent graduates who will be starting graduate school in the fall of 2021 that want to develop scientific computing skills within a seismological context. 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. Two semesters of each math and physics would be ideal.

Workshop Goals

The goals for the workshop are to participants... 

  • Knowledge, skills, and interest in seismology and scientific computing, 
  • Self-efficacy in using seismic data, and 
  • Competitiveness in the application process for graduate school, summer internships, or professional jobs.

Minimum System Requirements

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.


Mike Brudzinski, Miami University

Michael Hubenthal, IRIS EPO (primary contact for course - hubenth "at"

Others To Be Announced 

What 2020 Participants Said About the Workshop

Regardless of the degree of completion, respondents from 2020 held positive perceptions of the workshop! More than 95% of participants descirbed the workshop as high quality and >70% many were highly likely to recommend the workshop to their peers!

"I benefited a lot from this and would encourage people to give this workshop a try. It’s amazing the things you can create. I thought the Jupyter notebook was really cool!"

"This workshop was run fantastically and taught new concepts, but was not set up in a way that was meant to be overly challenging or stress-inducing. Great for people with little coding experience, all info was built up from the base level."

"Thought out and indepth real world exercises with guidance but room for learning and making mistakes"

"A lot of expectations I had going into the program were met. The courses were designed in such a way that it was easy to follow lectures and get help with challenges through the slack channels. It also was not one-dimensional as I was able to pick up some programming skills as well. Therefore, I would absolutely recommend to my colleagues"

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. 

May 31st to August 20th, 2021 w/ a weekly webinar on Mondays from 2pm to ~3:00pm US Eastern. 

Workshop Format

Every other week a new learning module will be assigned for students to complete. Each module has been designed to develop a particular set of scientific computing and computational thinking skills relevant for seismological research. Modules will be introduced and discussed via webinars held every Monday throughout the summer at 2pm US Eastern. All webinars will be recorded to support participants in other timezones. 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.  Based on the 2020 workshop, participants should expect to invest approximately 5-6 hours per per week including participating in the weekly webinar (or watching the recording).

Learning Modules 

A total of 6 learning modules will be assigned to students and each will consist of 5 to 7 assignments.   

Module 1 − Introduction to Linux command line, shell scripting, and basic plot generation with Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) that enables exploration of earthquake patterns in space, time, and magnitude, and Earth’s internal structure based on seismic wave travel times.

Module 2 − Introduction to Seismic Analysis Code (SAC) for viewing seismograms as both waveforms and spectrograms, and conducting time series analysis, filtering, and component rotation that enables detection, characterization, and interpretation of seismic wave patterns.

Module 3 − Use the myriad of IRIS waveform, metadata, and earthquake catalog request tools (e.g.., web services, earthquake browser, Wilbur, MUSTANG, etc.) to check data availability and access data that enables exploration of relationships between earthquakes and plate boundaries and earthquake frequency and magnitude.

Module 4 − Use various methods to visualize collections of seismic waveforms for a given earthquake and software for forward modeling and inversion that enables both estimation of subsurface velocity structures and earthquake hypocenter and fault plane solutions.

Module 5 − Introduction to Python and commonly used libraries (e.g., NumPy, Matplotlib, Pandas, and ObsPy) for retrieving, processing, and plotting of data tables and times series that enables rapid scientific analysis of earthquake catalogs and seismic waveforms.

Module 6 − Use existing and create new Jupyter Notebooks with Python to explain and share code with other scientists that enables advanced seismogram processing including removing an instrument response, calculating a spectrogram, and estimating temporal changes in cultural noise.

Final Assignment - TBD

Extra - We will also include special presentations throughout the workshop including the following...

  • Overview of careers in seismology and geophysics 
  • From Undergrad to PhD/MS - The graduate school process
  • Etc. 

The registration period is not currently open.
It will open at Mon, March 15, 2021 - 2:36:00 PM.

The abstract submission period for this workshop closed at .

The whitepaper submission period for this workshop closed at .

The webinar registration period for this workshop closed at .

A list of attendees is not yet available.

The scholarship application period for this workshop closed at .

Important Dates
  • Registration:
    Mar 15th – May 15th
  • Workshop dates:
    May 31st – Aug 20th
  • Workshop Location