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Position Vacancy Announcement, Kansas Geological Survey

Position: Earthquake Analyst

Official KU Title: Assistant Researcher

Tentative Start Date: Start June 11, 2018, or as soon as possible.

Application Deadline: Review begins May 7, 2018, position will remain open until filled. Extended

Salary, Employment Status, and Fringe Benefits: Salary is $42,000 or greater, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Full-time position, contingent on funding, subject to annual review. Benefits include university staff privileges; 22 days of vacation leave, 12 days of sick leave, and 9 holidays annually; group medical, dental, life insurance, and retirement program options.

Position Overview: Work will include analysis of time-series signals recorded by earthquake stations using both command line and graphical user interface (GUI) software, and maintain and interact with an earthquake database. Establish, catalog, and preliminarily interpret earthquake focus relative to geologic structures, stress fields, and localized trends. Work will be independent with occasional interaction and minimal direct supervision. Other duties include seismograph station installation, maintenance and upkeep, and general field work potentially including assisting seismic and drill crews. Travel is required.

This position does not require prior academic exposure to earthquake or seismic theory. Candidates who enjoy performing scientific data analysis, working with scientific instruments, and are skilled in computing are encouraged to apply.


Earthquake Research Support

60%: Assist with processing and analysis of data from more than a dozen 3-component earthquake stations located around Kansas. Data analysis steps include formatting, quality control checks, event identification and locating, refine event picking, assimilate locations into catalog, and archive data. Identify earthquakes using both visual inspection and software-based analysis. Manually pick arrival times of seismic waves, run computer programs to estimate epicenter location and event magnitude.

25%: Update and maintain earthquake database and map earthquake locations. Perform rigorous quality control checks to ensure accurate time picks and minimal location errors. Assimilate earthquake locations and attributes to identify spatial and/or statistical patterns in earthquake characteristics. Perform enhanced analysis, such as correlation to detect weak events and earthquake relocation, programming/coding to improve efficiency and/or accuracy of products. Collaborate with geophysicists and geologists to interpret earthquake and fault characteristics.

10%: Review events detected with by the automated earthquake detection system. Update database to omit non-earthquake events. Work with KGS web administrator to update the earthquake websites. Make graphs, maps and tables, and assist with writing reports and newsletters.

Field Support

5%: Assist with mobilization/demobilization, site selection and preparation, installing permanent and temporary earthquake stations, and installing and troubleshooting electronic equipment. Monitor station state-of-health through continuous live feed observations for station problems or equipment failures. Occasional visits to installation sites might be necessary for data retrieval, equipment welfare checks, troubleshooting, and routine maintenance, likely involving a significant number of self-driven miles to remote Kansas locations using KGS vehicles. Some publication and presentation of findings to peer community will be necessary. Interaction with local community leaders, landowners, and the news media might be necessary. Assist with data reduction tasks and section field crews as needed.

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelors in Physics, Astronomy, Geophysics, Electrical or Computing Engineering (or related degree with relevant coursework or research) to be completed by the time of appointment.
  2. Scientific or engineering data analysis experience in academic or employment setting, submission of example(s) required.
  3. Advanced computing skills (e.g. experience with command line computing, scripting, or computer programming and/or experience using a specialized scientific or engineering program, etc.).
  4. Demonstrated experience to follow written and/or oral instructions, and good oral communication skills. Written skills will be evaluated by the quality of the application materials and oral communication skills will be assessed during the interview, by reference checks, and through scientific writing.

Position Requirements:

  1. Valid Class "C" driver's license at onset of employment.
  2. Ability to travel away from home-base for extended periods of time.
  3. Ability to work outside in possibly extreme conditions.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Computer programming (e.g. C++, Matlab, etc.) or relational database experience (e.g. Oracle, SQL, etc.).
  2. Experience with GPS data mapping using Google Earth, ArcGIS, or similar software.
  3. Experience operating scientific instruments in a lab or field setting.
  4. Experience with signal analysis.
  5. Mechanical and electrical skills as demonstrated by work experience.
  6. Experience working independently and making decisions with remote guidance as evidenced by work experience.

Application Procedure

Apply online at Complete the University of Kansas Unclassified Professional Staff profile and upload the required material:

  1. cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications and position requirements
  2. resume
  3. examples of data analysis
  4. unofficial transcripts (official transcripts will be requested from finalist)
  5. contact information for three professional references

A complete application will consist of all items above; incomplete applications will not be considered.

Review begins May 7, 2018; position will remain open until filled. Extended

Contact Information

Annette Delaney at or (785) 864-2152.

Exploration Services

Exploration Services (ES) is an applied geophysics research and field service section of the Kansas Geological Survey which is a research and service division of the University of Kansas. ES develops and uses geophysical techniques to acquire information about the shallow subsurface. A principle research goal is to come up with less expensive, less invasive, and higher fidelity methods of characterizing and imaging the underground. This includes innovative methods of high resolution shallow seismic reflection, surface wave inversion, seismic scatter analysis, and refraction tomography.

The section also provides drilling in support of water, petroleum, and basic subsurface research. An active program in the maintenance and rehabilitation of wells drilled by the Kansas Geological Survey is also part of this section.

This section also runs a program designed to monitor changes and identify regional trends in the High Plains, Dakota, and alluvial aquifers. The Water Well Project annually measures about 1,380 wells in 47 central and western Kansas counties.

In addition, as part of their responsibilities, this section will install, maintain, and collect data from earthquake recording stations, both permanent and several temporary networks in Kansas to detect and analyze seismic activity.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.

Placed online March 26, 2018
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