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Geologic Hazards/Earthquakes/Volcanology Research Opportunities

The below list features profiles of USGS scientists who are looking for interns to assist with their research in different types of geologic hazards, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and other adjacent fields of study. Interested students should reach out to the individual researcher via the contact information provided. 

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Brad Aagaard, Research Geophysicist


My research focuses on modeling the dynamics of earthquake ruptures and the resulting ground motions as well as developing the associated software tools. I am involved in a wide range of projects associated with earthquake ground motions, such as processing ground-motion records, development of 3D seismic velocity models for the San Francisco Bay region, ground-motion amplification in sedimentary basins, and archiving and validating simulated ground motions. I am also involved in projects related to 3D modeling of interseismic, coseismic and postseismic crustal deformation. 

I am the lead developer of PyLith (; modeling 2D and 3D quasi-static and dynamic crustal deformation associated with earthquake faulting) and GeoModelGrids (a storage scheme and application programming tools for multi-scale Earth models, such as 3D seismic velocity models). I am primarily interested in internships related to application and further development of these tools for earthquake hazards research. 


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Katy Barnhart, Research Civil Engineer


I conduct research to advance our understanding of and ability to predict landslide runout. This includes numerical model development and application, generation of case studies, testing of hazard assessment methodologies, and more general investigation into the physical processes of landslide initiation, mobility, and runout dynamics. Current projects focus on postfire debris flows and landslide tsunamis.