Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
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Associate Professor of Geophysics, of Electrical Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioMy research focuses on advancing the scientific and technical foundations of geophysical ice penetrating radar and its use in observing and understanding the interaction of ice and water in the solar system. I am primarily interested in the subglacial and englacial conditions of rapidly changing ice sheets and their contribution to global sea level rise. However, a growing secondary focus of my work is the exploration of icy moons. I am also interested in the development and application of science-optimized geophysical radar systems. I consider myself a radio glaciologist and strive to approach problems from both an earth system science and a radar system engineering perspective. I am actively engaged with the flow of information through each step of the observational science process; from instrument and experiment design, through data processing and analysis, to modeling and inference. This allows me to draw from a multidisciplinary set of tools to test system-scale and process-level hypotheses. For me, this deliberate integration of science and engineering is the most powerful and satisfying way to approach questions in Earth and planetary science.
The Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Professor of Geophysics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
I study active earthquake and volcanic process through data collection, inversion, and theoretical modeling. Using methods such as precise Global Positioning System (GPS) positioning and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) we are able to measure deformation in space and time and invert these data for the geometry of faults and magma chambers, and spatiotemporal variations in fault slip-rate and magma chamber dilation. The accumulation of shear strain in tectonic regions provides a direct measure of earthquake potential. Similarly, magma accumulation in the crust prior to eruptions causes measurable inflation. We use these data to develop and test models of active plate boundaries such as the San Andreas, and the Cascade and Japanese subduction zones, the nucleation of earthquakes, slow slip events, induced seismicity, and the physics of magma migration leading to volcanic eruptions. These physics-based models rely on principles and methodologies from solid and fluid dynamics.
I teach introductory undergraduate classes in natural hazards and the prediction of volcanic eruptions, as well as graduate level courses on modeling earthquake and volcano deformation and geophysical inverse theory.
James B. Macelwane Medal, American Geophysical Union (1990); fellow, American Geophysical Union (1990); fellow, Geological Society of America (1997); president, Tectonophysics Section, AGU (2002-04); U.S.G.S. Science of Earthquakes Advisory Committee (2002-06); California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Committee (2003-07); chair, Plate Boundary Observatory Steering Committee (2003-06); N.S.F. Panel, Instruments and Facilities Program (1997-2000); associate editor, Journal of Geophysical Research (1984-87). William Smith Lecturer, Geological Society of London (2011). Charles A. Whitten Medal, American Geophysical Union (2014), National Academy of Sciences (2016)
Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsPhysics of large-scale processes in the Earth
Assistant Professor of Geophysics and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioMy research group studies disasters to reduce the risk they pose. We approach this challenge by developing customized mathematical models that can be tested against observational data and are informed by community needs through a scientific co-production process. We intentionally work on extremes across different natural systems rather than focusing on one specific natural system to identify both commonalities in the physical processes driving extremes and in the best practices for mitigating risk at the community level. Our current research priorities include volcanic eruptions, ice-sheet instability, permafrost disintegration, induced seismicity and flood-risk mitigation. I was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers and the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.