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AGU AMA: Hi Reddit, I’m Mike Brudzinski, Professor of Seismology at Miami University in Ohio, here to talk about earthquakes, how faults move, hydraulic fracturing, active learning on computers, and FanQuakes. AMA!
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I am Mike Brudzinski, Professor of Seismology at Miami University in Ohio. I’ve spent most of my career studying earthquakes big and small. The big ones I have worked on are the megaquakes formed at subduction zones where two tectonic plates collide and generate the largest earthquakes and tsunamis on Earth. These earthquakes are rare but potentially devastating, so I have also worked on the much smaller fault tremor and slow fault movements that seems to occur right below and possibly leading up to the really big earthquakes. My colleagues and I just published a paper indicating the likelihood of earthquakes does appear to be higher when the deeper roots of faults are moving slowly. Lately, I have also worked on swarms of small earthquakes triggered by oil and gas activities. My graduate student did a popular AMA when our paper came out linking a series of earthquakes to hydraulic fracturing in eastern Ohio (https://redd.it/2rjqad). This highlights one of my other passions: training the next generation of earth scientists. I have worked on developing courses and teaching modules that follow a strategy I refer to as “active e-learning”. This is where students learn science by actually doing it with computers instead of just listening to me lecture about it. In addition to making classes more engaging and flexible, the transition from student to researcher is more seamless and allows me to work with more students in my research. Lastly, I think science outreach is critical, and I found a fun way to do that recently by helping to measure how much fans shake the Ohio State stadium during football games. I’m looking forward to all sorts of questions about earthquakes, big and small, fast and slow, natural and human induced. And I would love to talk about education and outreach too! And let’s continue the discussion on Twitter @seismohio