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2009 ASMSA Career Day Presentation: My Life as a Geophysicist

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2009 ASMSA Career Day Presentation: My Life as a Geophysicist

  1. 1. My Life as a Geophysicist Brian Shiro National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center ASMSA Alumni Career Day 10 April 2009
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>About Me </li></ul><ul><li>What I’ve done </li></ul><ul><li>Geophysics 101 </li></ul><ul><li>About my job </li></ul><ul><li>Pearls of wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. Goals <ul><li>Impress you with lots of pretty pictures that make you want to be an earth scientist. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce you to my job as a geophysicist. </li></ul><ul><li>Convey how ASMSA helped me get there. </li></ul><ul><li>Advice to students along the way (classes to take, helpful extracurriculars, decision-making, etc.). </li></ul>If I don’t directly address these goals sufficiently in the presentation, please ask questions!
  4. 4. Background <ul><li>Hometown: Paragould, AR </li></ul><ul><li>ASMS graduate (1996) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior Class President </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BA, Northwestern University (2000) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Majors: Integrated Science, Geology, Physics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MA, Washington University (2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth & Planetary Science, PhD study until 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Geophysicist with NOAA (2005-present) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pacific Tsunami Warning Center </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Astronaut applicant (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>MS, University of North Dakota (2010, exp.) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Some things I’ve done <ul><li>Field Work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alaska (1998, 1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colorado, Arizona, Utah (1998) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US and Canada from Florida to Alberta (2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fiji and Tonga (2001, 2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Antarctica (2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Northern Mariana Islands (2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hawaii (2005-present) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internships/Summer Schools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rice University and NASA (1997) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks (1998) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Juneau Icefield Research Program (1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NASA High Performance Computing Summer School (2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NASA Planetary Science Summer School (2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International Space University (2005) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Where I’ve Been Blue : permanent residence, Yellow : lived for a few weeks to months, Red : major conferences (may add Cairo, Egypt and Devon Island, Canada later this year)
  7. 7. Field Work - Alaska A B C D
  8. 8. Field Work - Alaska A B C D
  9. 9. Field Work - Colorado A C B
  10. 10. Field Work - Colorado A C B
  11. 11. Field Work - Fiji A B C D
  12. 12. Field Work - Fiji A B C D
  13. 13. Field Work - Antarctica A B C D
  14. 14. Field Work - Antarctica A B C D
  15. 15. Field Work - Marianas A C B
  16. 16. Field Work - Marianas A B C D
  17. 17. Anatahan Eruption 11 May 2003 I was the last person on this uninhabited island just 3 days before it erupted. Our team happened to be the first witnesses of the eruption from our boat. before after
  18. 18. What is Geophysics? <ul><li>Geophysics is the study of the Earth or other planets by quantitative physical methods. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Geophysicists study the Earth using physics. Earth scientists study the Earth. Atmosphere Oceans Surface Interior mantle core crust
  20. 20. Geophysics <ul><li>Plate tectonics </li></ul><ul><li>Volcanoes </li></ul><ul><li>Earthquakes </li></ul><ul><li>Tsunamis </li></ul><ul><li>Magnetic fields </li></ul><ul><li>Mineral resources </li></ul><ul><li>Earth’s deep interior </li></ul><ul><li>Other planets </li></ul>
  21. 21. Types of Science
  22. 22. What do Geophysicists Study in School? <ul><li>Science (geology, physics, chemistry) </li></ul><ul><li>Math (as much as you can) </li></ul><ul><li>Computers (programming) </li></ul><ul><li>Geography </li></ul>College degree minimum, Usually need graduate degree like Masters or Ph.D.
  23. 23. Plate Tectonics They move!
  24. 24. Plate Boundaries Movement is driven by convection … just like boiling water subduction zones
  25. 25. Ring of Fire Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Tsunamis at subduction zones Major tsunamis in Hawai`i: 1868, 1946, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1975 Hawai`i
  26. 26. 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami 2nd largest earthquake ever recorded (Mw 9.3), Nearly 300,000 dead
  27. 27. What is a Tsunami? <ul><li>A tsunami is a series of long-period waves created by an abrupt disturbance that displaces a large amount of water. </li></ul><ul><li>Caused by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earthquakes (72%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Landslides (10%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volcanoes (5%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Atmosphere (2%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Icebergs, Impacts, Unknown (11%) </li></ul></ul>most common least common
  28. 28. Tsunami Speed The deeper the water, the faster the tsunami. about 500 mph in deep water
  29. 29. NOAA <ul><li>Mission: To understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our Nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Established in 1970 but traces its roots back to 1807 as the Coast & Geodetic Survey. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center <ul><ul><li>Established in 1949 (following 1946 tsunami) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International center for Pacific Ocean since 1969 (following 1960 tsunami) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interim center for Indian Ocean since 2005 (following 2004 tsunami) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interim center for Caribbean Sea since 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scienfitic staff tripled from 4 to 12 in 2005. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>24x7 shift operations since 2006. </li></ul></ul>my office
  31. 31. PTWC Operations <ul><li>Seismic data analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Determine earthquake location, depth, and magnitude. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Issue initial tsunami message(s) based on earthquake parameters. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Sea level data analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Calculate tsunami travel times. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measure tsunami on sea level gauges, if one occurred. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forecast tsunami height with computer models. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Upgrade, downgrade, or cancel tsunami warning based on sea level readings and tsunami modeling forecasts. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Message Dissemination </li></ul>
  32. 32. Media Circus When big events happen, we have to work under the microscope. me
  33. 33. Earthquake Analysis <ul><li>Automatically detect earthquake at seismic stations worldwide. </li></ul><ul><li>Page PTWC scientists. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists examine data to determine earthquake location , depth , and magnitude . </li></ul>
  34. 34. Measuring a Tsunami Coastal Sea Level Sensor (aka: “tide station”) DART Buoy (aka: “tsunameter”)
  35. 35. Forecasting a Tsunami Computer Model for 15 Nov 2006 Kuril Islands event
  36. 36. In between events… <ul><li>Software development to improve the system </li></ul><ul><li>Webmaster for PTWC and development of </li></ul><ul><li>Field work in Hawaii to install & maintain seismic stations </li></ul><ul><li>Operate the USGS Honolulu Geomagnetic Observatory </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach (see photos) </li></ul>
  37. 37. Life Lessons <ul><li>Go to college away from home. Stay in the dorm at least a year. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider taking a year off before or after college. </li></ul><ul><li>Travel as much as you can. Nothing helps you grow more. </li></ul><ul><li>Try a variety of fields of study. Summer schools and internships are a good way to do this. </li></ul><ul><li>All decisions matter and can come back to bite you later. </li></ul><ul><li>Be flexible, but always have a long range plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Anything that can go wrong will, but learn and move on. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Recommended Reading <ul><li>The Seven Habits Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey </li></ul><ul><li>Now What?: The Young Person's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career by Nicholas Lore </li></ul><ul><li>Put Your Science to Work: The Take-Charge Career Guide for Scientists by Peter Fiske </li></ul><ul><li>Naked Earth: The New Geophysics by Shawna Vogel </li></ul><ul><li>The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho </li></ul>
  39. 39. Thanks! <ul><li>Contact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brian Shiro (aka: Brian White) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>email: [email_address] or [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>blog: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>twitter: @brianshiro </li></ul></ul>

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