The Geologic Hazards section welcomes new team member Jonathan Schmidt
This spring Jonathan Schmidt moved to Kentucky to begin his role as a seismologist at the Kentucky Geological Survey. Schmidt grew up in Oregon and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His first memorable encounter with geology was when he and his elementary school classmates experienced the effects of an earthquake near central Oregon. He spent a lot of time outside hiking and camping with his family, and his father, an employee of the U.S. Forest Service, introduced him to science and was one of his earliest mentors. Schmidt participated in Boy Scouts of America and earned the geology merit badge.
Schmidt earned his bachelor of science in geology with a minor in engineering from Brigham Young University–Idaho. He is preparing to defend his thesis in completion of his master of science degree in geophysics from New Mexico Tech. His thesis research uses earthquake location and coda attenuation to explore shallow structures above the Socorro Magma Body in central New Mexico. During his time as a graduate student, he was a member of the New Mexico Tech team competing for the 2017 AAPG Imperial Barrel Award, an international prospective basin evaluation competition for geoscience graduate students.
Schmidt gained experience in network seismology and instrumentation and earthquake source analysis from his professional experience in both the public and private sectors. He was previously employed as a seismic data analyst with PASSCAL Instrument Center. In this position, Schmidt worked with colleagues to provide recommendations for seismic station suitability and filtered and interpreted time series and state-of-health data.
Schmidt has also been employed by Spectraseis Inc. as a seismologist, where he created models for monitoring and identifying seismic events, diagnosed hardware issues to ensure data quality, and designed and calibrated 3-D velocity models from sonic log well data. In this role, Schmidt also provided analyses about microseismicity and magnitudes to clients and made recommendations for data collection and streamlined processing.
At the Kentucky Geological Survey, Schmidt will initially work on the Kentucky Seismic and StrongMotion Network and the Rogersville Shale project. He will be involved with installation and maintenance of the seismic network. He will also help maintain the seismic event databases and determine source parameters for local and regional earthquakes.
Schmidt has enjoyed the challenge of long-distance running since he joined his high school's cross country team. Over the years, he has participated in various running competitions, including the Moab Trail Marathon and the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon. Time with his family is often spent outdoors; they enjoy hiking, camping, and visiting parks. Schmidt also enjoys culinary experiences and completing Bob Ross painting tutorials with his family.