Scott EK Bennett, Ph.D.

Scott is a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He works for the Pacific Northwest Geologic Mapping and Urban Hazards Project and the Lower Colorado River System Project in the Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center. His research is focused on geologic mapping, structural geology, neotectonics, and geomorphology of these and other regions of western North America.


Scott Bennett is a Research geologist who combines geologic mapping, structural geology, basin analysis, and geochronology to investigate the timing and rates of crustal deformation. His interdisciplinary and collaborative research focuses on quantifying surface and crustal processes that yield insight into lithospheric-scale plate tectonic systems.

Scott studies the deformation and evolving landscape of continents, collecting data that allows him to reconstruct tectonic movements over a large range of temporal and spatial scales, from earthquakes to orogenies and from faults to plate boundaries.  Scott has experience conducting research in the Cascadia subduction zone of the Pacific Northwest (USA and Canada), on both margins of the Gulf of California oblique rift, along the San Andreas fault system, within the Walker Lane, and across the Basin and Range including the Rio Grande Rift.


Professional Experience:

  • Research Geologist -- Tectonics and Geologic Mapping -- USGS Menlo Park, CA; 2017-present
  • Research Geologist -- Tectonics, Paleoseismology, and Geologic Mapping -- USGS Seattle, WA; 2015-2017
  • Mendenhall Post-doc -- Paleoseismology and Earthquake Hazards -- USGS Golden, CO; 2013-2015
  • Graduate Student Researcher -- Tectonics, Neotectonics, and Geologic Mapping -- University of California, Davis; 2009-2013
  • Exploration Geology Intern -- Basin Analysis and Tectonics -- Aera Energy; Summer 2011
  • Graduate Student Researcher -- Tectonics and Geologic Mapping -- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; 2006-2009
  • Engineering Geologist -- Landslide Analysis, Mapping, Paleoseismology, -- GeoConcepts, Inc. & Nolan Associates; 2002-2006



  • Ph.D., Geology, University of California, Davis; 2013
  • M.S., Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill; 2009
  • B.S., Geological Sciences, California State University, Northridge; 2004
  • Minor in Geography, California State University, Northridge; 2004