I am a geophysicist
by training and have specialized in earthquake and volcanic seismology.
I have performed field work in the United States and many parts of the
world, including the Arctic, North Africa, New Guinea, the Middle East,
Central and South America, and, most recently, India. My adventures
during these field trips have included being trapped in the crater of
Mt. St. Helens just before an eruption, being charged by polar bears,
and being in a helicopter that ran out of gas at an altitude of 5000
I am most interested
in using seismology, geology, and satellite remote sensing to identify
and map active geologic structures and faults. I have also used seismic
activity to identify potential sources of geothermal energy. Because
I live in Idaho, I have worked a lot on earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.
I established a network of twenty seismograph stations in eastern Oregon
and central and western Idaho to monitor the many small earthquakes
that occur within about 150 miles of Boise. Other major research topics
I am currently pursuing include understanding how large earthquakes
are caused at places where tectonic plates collide (like along the Washington
and Oregon coast), and why very large earthquakes like the India earthquake
in 2001 occur in the interiors of plates. These studies have practical
applications because they allow me to make rough estimates of the earthquake
danger in the areas I study. My geothermal studies in Hawaii led directly
to the discovery of a geothermal resource that supplied about 1/3 of
the island of Hawaii's electricity.