Harold Tobin is the director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at UW, where he holds the Paros Chair in Seismology and Geohazards. He serves as the Washington State Seismologist as well. His research involves the study of tectonic plate boundaries with a focus on how faults work and the conditions inside them that lead to earthquakes and tsunamis. He is especially interested in subduction zones, where the planet’s largest earthquakes and tsunamis take place, and how these dynamic places develop over time. His research has taken him to Japan, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Alaska, and Barbados, as well as the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Oregon, and he has spent well over 18 months in total at sea on scientific expeditions. Formerly on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he came to UW and PNSN in 2018. Here, he leads several major projects to better understand the hazards of earthquakes and tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest, develop earthquake early warning systems, and improve community resilience to these hazards.
Thanks to Paul Weibel for making this program possible!