Photo: Garishankar Nepal

Professional Appointments

U.S. Geological Survey

Earthquake Science Center, Earthquake Monitoring Project, National Strong Motion Project

  • National Strong Motion Project Data Center Manager:  At the USGS Earthquake Science Center, I oversee the Earthquake Monitoring Project activities of gathering, processing, reviewing, archiving, and disseminating strong-motion earthquake waveform data.  This includes collaborating on the development and operation of the Center for Engineering Strong Motion Data (CESMD), a cooperative datacenter of the USGS National Strong Motion Project (NSMP), the California Geological Survey (CGS) and the Advanced National System System (ANSS), for distribution of strong-motion data to the engineering community. Software is developed to collect data, to automate data quality control and processing tasks, increase reliability of strong-motion recording systems, and support CESMD operations, which leads to a better understanding of seismic sources, wave propagation effects, site amplification, and structural responses for the purpose of earthquake hazard mitigation.  I ensure that ANSS strong-motion data are distributed through the CESMD and works with national and international colleagues to collect, process, and distribute other sources of strong-motion data through the CESMD portal.  I am also actively involved in the operation of ShakeMap in Northern California and am collaborating on a special project using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to dynamically compile site response information at U.S ANSS Accelerometer sites (March 2020 - Current).

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board

  • Geophysicist: At the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board, I performed safety reviews focused on natural phenomena hazard characterizations for the Department of Energy’s nuclear facilities.  My projects included reviewing the updated ashfall hazard characterization for the Hanford site, the potential impact of human-induced seismicity on DOE facilities, new geotechnical and geophysical data for site response characterizations at DOE facilities, performing probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) sensitivity calculations associated with reviewing the potential impact of new paleoseismic trench data to the seismic hazard at Los Alamos, and geotechnical monitoring at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site (a mine storing low level radioactive waste).  A primary role of the position was to evaluate the impact of new seismic information to DOE nuclear facilities PSHAs.  I was also involved in reviews of Emergency Preparedness and Response (January 2017 - March 2020).

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Office of New Reactors, Division of Site Safety and Environmental Analysis,

Geoscience and Geotechnical Engineering Branch

  • Geophysicist:  Performed technical evaluations and confirmatory probabilistic seismic hazard analysis and site response calculations for to seismic hazard, surface faulting, and geologic characterization at new reactor facilities (North Anna, Turkey Point) for the Office of New Reactors, Division of Site Safety and Environmental Analysis, Geoscience and Geotechnical Engineering Branch; Reviewed seismic hazard re-evaluations for operating nuclear power plants in response to the March 2011 Tōhoku Japan earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi Accident (Hanford Site; Turkey Point; Braidwood; McGuire, Fitzpatrick).  Project management for safety evaluations of sites implementing the AP1000 nuclear power plant design and update to regulatory new reactor application guidance; Division-wide External Hazard GIS Project Creator and Manager; Qualified Technical Reviewer; Contracting Office Representative Certified (Level II) (August 2013 - January 2017)

Smithsonian Institution

National Air and Space Museum, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

  • Pre-doctoral Fellow:  Located and characterized the morphology of wrinkle ridges on Mercury and the Moon; produced statistical comparisons of length-displacement relations measured from new imagery and altimetry data collected by the LRO and MESSENGER spacecraft missions; developed Coulomb elastic dislocation models to constrain the geometry of faulting and amount of contractional strain; and acted as GIS consultant for other researchers investigating studies in planetary tectonics. (May 2012 - July 2013).  Project title: Coulomb elastic dislocation modeling and morphologic characterization of wrinkle ridges on the Moon and Mercury: inspired by MESSENGER's recent orbit

  • Graduate Fellow:  Mapped and characterized the morphology of contractional tectonic features called wrinkle ridges on Mercury and the Moon from new imagery and altimetry data collected by the LRO and MESSENGER spacecraft missions.  Facilitated creation and compilation of GIS database of tectonic features for the Moon and Mercury.  Aided other researchers with GIS investigations (May 2011 - May 2012).  Project title:  A comparison of wrinkle ridges on the Moon and Mercury: inspired in anticipation of MESSENGER's orbit of Mercury


University of Maryland

Department of Geology

  • Coordinating Teaching Assistant:  Created Geology in your Life Initiative; Trained and mentored GEOL110 teaching assistants and future coordinating teaching assistants; coordinated lab activities across all sections; organized course field trip; ensured consistency for teaching and grading among all lab sections; maintained the teaching collections, state of the lab, course website; organized teaching collections and supplies for move in and move out of lab during refurbishing (Spring 2011, Spring 2012)

  • Teaching Assistant: Taught laboratories for Physical Geology (GEOL110) (Sections taught: 14, Semesters taught: 9, ~25 students/section) and Structural Geology (GEOL341) (Sections taught: 4, Semesters taught: 4, 15-20 students/section), including in class lectures, demonstrations, and field trips (August 2007 - January 2013)

  • Map Laboratory Supervisor and GIS consultant:  Laboratory supervisor responsibilities include: maintaining the laboratory, updating computer software, updating ArcGIS software, backing up data, and occasionally setting   up room for events or discussions.  GIS consultant responsibilities includes providing field map production assistance and help with undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty interested in creating digital geologic maps and applying geospatial analyses to geologic research (January 2008 - July 2013).

National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center

The University of North Carolina at Asheville

  • Research Assistant:  Applied ArcGIS and other software to environmental issues, specifically related to flooding in Biltmore Village after Hurricanes Ivan and Francis in 2004, assembled graphics for 3-D models generated to illustrate the dynamics of flood hazards, created 3D Models of the UNC Asheville campus and Biltmore Village for the presentation of environmental issues to the public (January 2007 - May 2007).

North Carolina Geological Survey

  • Field Geology Apprentice:  Followed professional geologists in the field, experienced hands-on learning of geological field mapping techniques, assisted with consolidation and synthesis of eights quadrangle geologic maps of Western North Carolina, learned basis of landslide hazard mapping (May 2006 - May 2007).

Environmental Quality Institute

  • Laboratory Technician: Analyzed water samples for water quality (included pH analysis, acidification, paperwork, packaging), participated as a member of the research team (May 2006 - August 2006).