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Rufus D Catchings, PhD

Rufus Catchings is a seismologist working on
  • Earthquake hazards
  • Hydrogeology
  • Regional imaging of resources
  • Induced seismicity

Dr. Catchings’ scientific interests include seismic evaluation of the subsurface, particularly as it relates to earthquake and other hazards, groundwater and other resources, and tectonics. Catchings also develops seismic methodologies. He has conducted numerous studies and served as advisor for more than 60 local, state, federal, and international government agencies, and private organizations. He has served as research advisor for 15 M.S. and Ph.D. students. Catchings has more than 430 published works, including journal articles, reports, conference papers, and abstracts. 

Dr. Catchings has been a Research Geophysicst at USGS since 1981. He served as Chief Scientist for the Earthquake Hazards Team, 2005–2008. 


  • Bromery Award, Geological Society of America, 2018
  • Superior Service Award, U.S. Department of the Interior, 2000
  • Special Act Award, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1990, 2006
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America, 1997


  • Stanford University, PhD Geophysics, 1987
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, MS Geophysics, 1983
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Geophysics, 1980
  • Appalachian State University, BS Geophysics, 1979

External Research Database