About Me

I am an earthquake guy. I’ve spent my career puzzling about the paroxysms of our planet. I was initially drawn to geology by my affection for wild places, especially the mountains. But I also enjoy understanding how things work. As a student at MIT and Stanford I was drawn to geophysics and seismology. I had a great career with the U.S. Geological Survey, but I ended up spending more time staring at a computer screen and going to tedious meetings than is really good for a person’s physical and mental health. You can see some of my scientific publications by clicking here.

In 2007 I bolted from my computer and headed for South America. I saw it as a way to get back to what drew me to geology in the first place. I wanted to get into the field and see how I would do looking at the earth, face to face, rather than through a bunch of instruments. And I was fascinated to learn that the brilliant Charles Darwin began his scientific career as a geologist. I didn’t get the computers and instruments out of my blood completely (as you can see above), but I have seen some amazing places, and met some wonderful people.

I hope that I can share some of the excitement I feel for learning about the natural processes that shape our planet, and that give our species an occasional surprising jolt. Geologists, Darwin most definitely included, have a slightly different way of viewing humankind’s place here on Earth. I believe that this perspective is more important to our species today than ever before.