Announcing Gavin Hayes as USGS Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake & Geologic Hazards

Release Date:

On May 10, Gavin Hayes takes on the role of Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards within the USGS Natural Hazards Mission Area.  The Senior Science Advisor serves as the coordinator for the Earthquake Hazards, Global Seismographic Network, and Geomagnetism Programs and provides oversight and guidance across the full breadth of USGS geohazard-related activities.

Gavin Hayes

Photograph of Gavin P Hayes (Credit: Gavin Hayes, USGS. Public domain.)

Gavin comes to this position having spent the past 12 years as a research geophysicist at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) within the Geologic Hazards Science Center in Golden, CO.  He has compiled a strong research record publishing in leading journals focused on issues relating tectonics, earthquake seismogenesis, and earthquake hazards mainly in the context of global subduction zones. He has served as NEIC event coordinator for numerous significant global earthquakes, leading the delivery of rapid yet informative content for the public, media, government, aid agencies, and emergency responders. He has been instrumental in the development of NEIC’s rapid source characterization that includes the full size and rupture kinematics of large earthquakes. Gavin recently spearheaded NEIC's 5-year strategic plan and organized a USGS Powell Center working group on Future Opportunities in Regional and Global Seismic Network Monitoring and Science.

Among his awards, Gavin is a past winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. He received his Ph.D. in seismology from Penn State, which has subsequently recognized him with its Alumni Achievement Award and Alumni Society Early Career Award. His professional service includes a current role as editor for seismology at the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Great appreciation is due to Jonathan Godt, who has acted in the Senior Science Advisor role since the retirement of Bill Leith in February 2019 and can now return his full attention to his duties as the USGS Landslide Hazards Program coordinator. Everyone in the program office stepped up to help during this transition period. A final note of thanks to Bill Leith for the tremendous leadership he showed in the eight years that he served in the Senior Science Advisor role prior to his retirement and for remaining engaged in a part-time rehired annuitant capacity for nearly a year after he retired to help shepherd the Geomagnetism Program.