Director - Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, Tenured Faculty Position

Seattle, Washington State
Sep 15, 2017
Nov 14, 2017
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The University of Washington (UW) seeks an energetic and visionary leader to become Director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). The tenured faculty position within the Department of Earth & Space Sciences is expected to be at the rank of associate or full professor. The Director will advance the mission of the PNSN ( through scientific pursuits, advocacy, and effective leadership. Operational and managerial duties with the PNSN will be shared or divided among existing faculty and staff.

As part of the Advanced National Seismic System, the PNSN is the authoritative regional seismic monitoring network in the states of Washington and Oregon. It is a collaboration of the UW, the University of Oregon, and the US Geological Survey. Currently there are 15 FTE PNSN staff positions at the UW. With a current annual budget of approximately 4 million dollars, PNSN staff operate more than 300 seismic stations in the Pacific Northwest, and make and distribute earthquake alerts, earthquake catalogs, ground motion maps, and earthquake early warnings (ShakeAlert). The network also monitors seismicity at the region’s 9 high-threat active volcanoes, and has provided critical data for studies of abundant regional non-volcanic tremor.

The Director is expected to maintain a vigorous externally funded research program and to demonstrate a commitment to both undergraduate and graduate teaching. The successful candidate will have: research expertise in geophysics or related discipline and evidence of an innovative and collaborative  research portfolio; skills at mentoring staff and students; the ability to communicate effectively to a broad range of stakeholders, including politicians, corporate partners, funding agencies and foundations, the media, the public, and students; and the ability to identify new opportunities, pursue funding, and facilitate project management.

This is a 100% FTE, multi-year, 9-month service period position with six months of state funded support and three months of salary support from PNSN operations. The accompanying administrative appointment as Director of PNSN is a 12-month appointment that provides an additional 3 months of salary support at 100% FTE. Teaching duties are expected to be 2 courses per year.

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or foreign equivalent in Geophysics or similar field, with a preference towards seismology. All University of Washington faculty engage in teaching, research and service. The UW promotes diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, and staff and the public; we seek applicants who are committed to these principles. Thus, we are strongly seeking candidates whose research, teaching, and/or service have not only prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion, but have also given them the confidence to fully engage audiences in higher education from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

Application Instructions

To apply, please send a curriculum vitae with publication list, and the contact information of 3 references. Applicants should also send 4 statements (less than 10 pages total for all statements combined): 1) A statement addressing research and leadership accomplishments, as well as future research plans. 2) A strategic vision for the seismic network. 3) A statement on teaching and mentoring. Applicants are also encouraged to include evidence of teaching effectiveness (e.g. teaching evaluations). 4) A statement on their past or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion (see, including reflections on social vulnerability with respect to natural hazards.

Electronic materials (.pdf) should be sent to with “PNSN Director Search: [Your Name]” in the subject line. Consideration of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Preference will be given to applications received prior to December 1, 2017, but applications received after this date may be considered. Questions pertaining to the application process or potential disability accommodations can be addressed to Scott Dakins (  Questions about the position can be addressed to Professor David Schmidt, search committee chair (

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.