Call for Cascadia 2020 Fieldwork participation

Opportunity for students and postdocs

Application deadline: March 8, 2020

Apply now

Schematic of the deployment pattern: white squares represent a grid of seismic stations spaced 10-15 km (6-10 miles) apart. The magenta lines are linear arrays of stations at 1 km (0.6 mile) intervals.


We hope to recruit field helpers to put 700 small temporary seismometers in the Oregon and southern Washington Coast Ranges. We would install the instruments at the end of May and recover them at the end of June and the second week of July.

The Cascadia2020 project aims to create a model of the subsurface to better understand seismic hazards associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The seismometers would record continuously, providing records of ground motion from earthquakes, background noise, and any other signals that occur during the deployment period. We also hope to coordinate with other researchers to record offshore signals generated by a research ship. Offshore signals would be detected onshore only by very sensitive seismometers, and would not be felt by humans or animals or damage natural or man-made structures. Computer processing of the seismic signals would allow us to generate an image of the subsurface geology to a depth of ~40 km (25 miles) using mathematical techniques similar to those used in medical imaging.


We are looking for about 17 participants across these levels: high school, community college, undergrad, grad and postdoc applicants. There is a need for both experienced and inexperienced field hands; each team will include at least one experienced field hand. We hope to receive applications from students representing the full spectrum of society including students with lived experiences such as veterans, non-traditional students as well as those disabilities that do not limit work in the field.

Seismic bootcamp

The primary deployment push will be preceded by a “seismic bootcamp” which will include discussions of regional tectonics, general seismology, and data processing as well as detailed instructions on how to interpret road logs and practice installing seismic stations. Students will be provided with brochures and training on effective methods for presenting the project to the public. The boot camp will also include a discussion of potential follow up student research projects using the data we acquire.


Participation in both the seismic boot camp and the deployment (time blocks 2 and 3) is required*. We encourage students to participate in both deployment and recovery so that their memory of the deployment sites will inform the recovery and to give them the opportunity to participate in all aspects of the experiment. However, inability to participate in the recovery is not a disqualifying factor.

1. May 22 – May 25 Reftek seismograph deployment
2. May 26 – May 28 Seismic bootcamp for all participants [required]
3. May 29 – June 1 Continued deployment of Rekteks with intense effort to deploy Fairfield and SmartSolo nodal seismographs [required]
4. June 22 – June 24 Recover SmartSolo nodal seismographs
5. June 28 – July 1 Recover Fairfield nodal seismographs
6. July 10 – July 20 Recover Reftek seismographs

*may be waived in exceptional cases


We will cover your food and lodging during the seismic bootcamp and field work.

icon-info-circle A few travel awards are available (6 x $500) – please indicate in the application form if you are applying to be considered and justify your need.

Applications should be submitted by March 8, 2020. Applicants will be notified on April 13. For further information, please contact:

  • Prof. Anne Trehu at Oregon State University: anne.trehu (at)
  • Prof. Emilie Hooft at University of Oregon: emilie (at)
  • Dr. Kathy Davenport at Oregon State University: davenpka (at)
  • Prof. Kevin Ward at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology: kevin.ward (at)
  • Dr. Erin Wirth at US Geological Survey: ewirth (at)