student opportunities

students and postdocs I have advised


Ezgi Karasozen present

Helena Buurman 2013-2014

Silvio DeAngelis 2012-2013

graduate students

Stefanie Whittaker 2014-2017

Laura Hutchinson, M.S. graduated 2015

Celso Reyes, Ph.D. graduated 2015

Christopher Bruton, M.S. graduated 2014

Helena Buurman, Ph.D. graduated 2013

Matt Gardine, Ph.D. graduated 2010

Ophelia George, M.S. graduated 2010

Helena Buurman, M.S. graduated 2009


Josh MacEachern present

Julia Singer, M.S. 2012

Ayla Heinz Frye, undergraduate 2012

Qingping Lu, undergraduate 2011-2012

Matthew Leonawicz, undergraduate 2008

Tiffany Cox, undergraduate 2008

Jessica Hawthorne, undergraduate 2005

Kimberly Genareau, undergraduate 2003

Derek Adams, undergraduate 2003-2004

Suzanne Renolds, undergraduate 2002


Graduate student research assistantships are available each year in the Seismology and Geodesy Group. These research assistantships provide tuition and a competitive stipend, as well as travel to conferences and field work. The student body in the geophysics program is strong and our alumni go on to a wide range of jobs in seismology. Experience in geophysics is not prerequisite. But applicants should have a firm background in physics, mathematics, and/or computer science as well as a strong accompanying interest in the Earth sciences.


UAF's unique location provides a natural laboratory for research in earthquakes and tsunamis. Students in the seismology program frequently contribute to the efforts of the Alaska Earthquake Center, the Alaska Volcano Observatory, and other operational monitoring programs at the GI. Through these facilities, students complement their research with real world application. This video briefly introduces seismology and other disciplines at the Geophysical Institute. See the projects page for my current research interests and specific student opportunities.


The Geophysical Institute ("the GI") is home to 50+ faculty and more than 70 M.S. and Ph.D. students. The GI is one of several research institutes at UAF, the research campus of the University of Alaska system. Our faculty are interwoven with the Geosciences Department and other academic units. Our students are active outdoors and take advantage of Alaska’s limitless wilderness opportunities, often in conjunction with their research. As the second largest city in Alaska, Fairbanks combines the conveniences and cultural resources of a medium city with the wilderness and wildlife of interior Alaska. If this mix of quantitative science and application appeals to you, please feel to write me with specific questions.


In recent years we have accepted about 20% of applicants with interests in seismology and volcano seismology. The unusual nature of our program makes UAF geophysics more selective than might be anticipated. Though we try to select students based on their potential, and not necessarily their preparation, here are a few pointers if you are serious about a graduate degree at UAF in these fields: (1) Get a strong foundation suitable for the UAF geophysics program. At a minimum this includes math through linear algebra and preferably differential equations and a solid selection of physics coursework - and, of course, do well in these classes! Computer programming experience is not essential but is a significant asset. UAF is a great place to get involved in research from day one. In my opinion, it is not an ideal school to make up coursework deficiencies. (2) Get some experience. There are numerous summer opportunities to get hands-on geophysics experience. Excellent programs include the SAGE, IRIS, and UNAVCO-sponsored internship programs, though there are innumerable others. This type of experience is important because it allows you to figure out what type of research excite you and what don't. An internship is certainly not essential for graduate school admissions. However, it will give you the experience to write a meaningful personal statement and make sure that you are soliciting the appropriate programs and faculty. (3) Get in touch with us. If you have the appropriate academic preparation, then introduce yourself with an email. If you have any chance to meet us at professional meetings such as the annual AGU meeting, seize it. Successful scientists come in all flavors, but initiative and motivation are traits shared by all.