Seismology Skill Building Workshop for Undergraduates (2023)


This FREE workshop is designed 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 2023 that want to develop scientific computing skills within a seismological context. We will also admit all currently enrolled graduate students into the workshop in addition to undergraduate students However, graduate students should recognize that this is an introductory workshop. 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 increase 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.

The geophysics skills developed in this workshop will help prepare you for graduate school and a rewarding careers across a range of career sectors including the federal & state governments, oil and gas, mining and mineral resources, research institutes and national labs, environmental services, academia, etc.  


  • Mike Brudzinski, Miami University
  • Michael Hubenthal, EarthScope Engagement (primary contact for course - Michael.Hubenthatl "at"
  • Gillian Goldhagen, Miami University
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant - TBA

End of Course Certificate 

The SSBW, by default, is a FREE, not-for-credit workshop . At the end of the workshop participants will receive a performance report certificate via email indicating the content of each module, the number of assignments completed for each module, whether the assignments were completed by the deadline, and your average score on each module.

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. 


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.

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. 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 week including participating in the weekly webinar (or watching the recording).

2023 Workshop Syllabus

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.

Module 7 (BONUS) −   Accessing and exploring GNSS data, interpreting GNSS plots, creating plots of GNSS station motion over time, removing the linear trend from GNSS data, examination of residuals and exploring  GNSS time series for signals of earth processes.

Optional Final Assignment 

  • Choose seismic recordings somewhere in the world
  • Create a Notebook to request and process the data
  • Annotate the process of how and why you chose the station(s), along with what you found from the processing.
  • Ideally, you should generate several plots in the Notebook to illustrate your findings and justify the conclusions you draw from them. 

More information about the Seismology Skill Building Workshop can be found here.

The registration period for this workshop closed at Mon, May 15, 2023 - 11:59:00 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 .

What Past Participants Said About the Workshop

More than 400 students from around the globe actively participated in the SSBW in each of the past two summers. Respondents to the end of workshop survey held very positive perceptions of the workshop after completing it! More than ~95% of participants described the workshop as high quality, 95% were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience in SSBW, and~75% were highly likely to recommend the workshop to their peers!

Participant Quotes:

"Because the workshop was so well developed, the activities were interesting and well guided. The professors were always very helpful and the communication was always good. Thanks!"

"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"

"As technology continues to advance, becoming a scientist in any field requires you to be at least an amateur programmer/coder. The two fields are becoming inextricably linked, and I think providing an introductory course in a scientific field alongside learning how to efficiently code with data specific to that field is an extremely useful way to introduce new students to said field of science."

"This was by far the best experience I've ever had learning online. I wish all of my online classes were this in-depth and helpful! If I had a friend who was interested in this sort of material, I'd recommend him/her to this workshop in a heartbeat!"

"The workshop is just the perfect way to look into the field of seismology and learn skills without a ton of class time or money."

"I loved how flexible the workshop was. I was able to work and complete another class online while completing it and I didn't feel like I had to set aside a lot of time for it. It was set up really well and I found it extremely helpful and interesting."

"It was very helpful experience... for beginners as well as someone who is interested in seismology... this workshop offered something new to learn."

"The workshop was life career-changing moment for me as it enabled me to gain much more confidence when it comes to computers. The added programming language such as python was a new introduction to the future world."

"First, it is free. Second, participants can learn basic to intermediate level seismology and computing skills. Third, the workshop is interactive (with the learning material and other students)"

"It's an incredible opportunity to get involved into seismology, not only from a theoretical point of view, but also from a practical one. It even helped me to decide which path could I follow for my master studies."

This form is closed as of 10/13/23 2:14
Important Dates
  • Registration:
    Apr 17th – May 15th