Tom Brocher

Tom is a research geophysicist at the USGS Earthquake Science Center, in Menlo Park, where he has worked for 32 years. He served as Director of the Earthquake Science Center for several years and prior to that served as the USGS Coordinator for Northern California Earthquake Hazard Investigations. His interests include earthquake hazard assessment, mitigation, and preparedness.


A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Tom received his B.S. in Geology from the University of Michigan in 1975 and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Princeton University in 1980. Before joining the USGS in September 1985, Tom worked as a research scientist at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he led several research cruises.  Since joining the USGS Tom has conducted seismic imaging studies of earthquake faults and sedimentary basins throughout the western US.  Tom helped lead the Seismic Hazards Investigation in Puget Sound (SHIPS) project and served as a co-project chief for the Pacific Northwest Earthquake Hazards Investigations project.  Tom helped assemble a detailed 3D geologic and seismic velocity model for northern California used for computer modeling of the 1906 and 1989 Loma Prieta earthquakes. Tom served as chair of the 1868 Hayward Earthquake Alliance, a public/private non-profit organization seeking to increase public awareness of that earthquake and the hazards posed by the Hayward Fault. Tom received several awards for that work as well as his work on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake centennial.  Tom has authored or co-authored 160 peer-reviewed publications and 250 meeting abstracts and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.