I am interested in advancing our understanding of tectonic hazards such as earthquakes, volcanism, and landslides through geodetic measurements and numerical modeling. I also work on projects to understand how the Earth's cryosphere is responding to a changing climate. I depend on archives of satellite imagery for my research and as these archives continue to rapidly grow, I've become interested in cloud computing as a solution for more open and reproducible scientific workflows. Below you can read about past and current research I've worked on.
Space-based geodesy is entering a new era in which measurements are routine and global. However, scientists are having trouble keeping up with the flood of imagery from space. The Pangeo project is a community platform for Big Data geoscience that I am helping develop as part of a NASA ACCESS grant. As NASA moves large archives of imagery to the Cloud, it is essential to have computational tools to operate next to the data, thereby circumventing the bottleneck of data transfer. Pangeo focuses on developing open tools for interactive and scalable scientific computing. If you are interested in learning more, see this recent blog post.
Snow + InSAR
Measuring the water content in annual snowpack is a critical consideration for the nation’s water budget. In the western United States, 53% of freshwater runoff originates as snowmelt, and this water accounts for up to two-thirds of the input to the region’s major reservoirs. I'm currently investigating ways to improve hydrological models and water management with satellite-based synthetic aperture radar snowpack measurements. Satellite InSAR is an appealing technique to measure snowpack properties because measurements are unaffected by clouds and can provide global coverage with weekly repeats. Visit the NASA SnowEX page for more information on this topic.
"Probing the Lithosphere Together..." or PLUTONS is a large international multidisciplinary collaboration with the goal of constraining how magma accumulates and erupts in areas of active intrusion and volcanism. The project involved a synthesis of many geophysical and petrological datasets collected at two locations in the Andes where magma is believed to be actively accumulating in the crust. See the Publications page for many interesting results stemming from our studies, or watch this seminar presentation recorded at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. Thankfully, we have received funding to continue studying these regions through 2020 ("PLUTONS 2") with funding from National Geographic and NSF.