Project Overview

Field Work: Earthquakes and Subduction On- and Off-shore of the Alaskan Peninsula

Faculty Sponsor

Aubreya Adams (




One intrepid student researcher is sought to join the Alaska Amphibious Community Seismic Experiment (AACSE) team of 10 scientists to install seismometers in remote areas of the Alaskan Peninsula. 

During summer 2018, the AACSE team will install more than 100 seismometers on the Alaskan Peninsula, Kodiak Island, and in the neighboring Pacific Ocean, building an unparalleled dataset that will allow us to measure earthquakes, volcanoes, and crust/mantle structure near the Alaskan subduction zone in unprecedented detail.  Using this dataset, scientists will address the following questions:
  1. What changes in physical properties cause variation in seismic (earthquake) behavior along the Alaskan subduction zone, which has hosted some of the largest earthquakes recorded - but also shows areas that appear to deform without large earthquakes?
  2. Is the subducting uppermost mantle hydrated and what controls variations in hydration along strike?
  3. What controls variations in volcanic arc crust/mantle structure, volcanic composition, and the geometry of the system?
  4. How does the flow of mantle material in this subduction zone interact with large-scale plate tectonic motions?
The selected student researcher will travel to Alaska, and assist Prof. Adams and another experience collaborator in installing seismic stations on the Alaskan Peninsula.  This project will involve manual labor (lots of digging!) as well as technical work (testing electronic equipment) and documentation (through technical reports and social media).  Training will be provided, but applicants should eager to participate in all aspects of the field work.  Many stations will be in remote locations, so applicants should be comfortable traveling in small planes or helicopters and on rough roads.  Rain or shine, work must be done, so expect some cold or wet conditions.  So - the scenery will be beautiful, but the work will be real!

Applicants should note that this project is for training and field work ONLY.  Data from these instruments will not be available for analysis until late 2019.  Students are encouraged, but not required, to consider combining this field project with lab-based research with Prof. Adams or another faculty member.  If you would like to hear about other research opportunities that might be combined with this project, you should contact Prof. Adams directly.


Student Qualifications


Number of Student Researchers

1 student

Project Length

5 weeks

Applications open on 01/05/2018 and close on 02/05/2018

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (