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Outside the Classroom: Student Employment

Seismograph Technician

REPORTS TO:  Dr. Deanna van Dijk

JOB PURPOSE:  Monitor and adjust the seismograph, display earthquake data, visualize and develop system enhancements as desired.


  1. Monitor seismograph on at least a weekly basis and adjust as needed.
  2. Read and understand the seismograph manual.  Become familiar with displays and data storage.  Be able to store and retrieve data as needed.
  3. Display seismic activity for public viewing along with appropriate descriptive and explanatory information.  Be able to identify the characteristic parts of the seismic signal.
  4. Maintain a neat seismograph room.
  5. Be able to explain the seismograph operation to visitors.
  6. Keep the supervisor informed of seismic events and occurrences.
  7. The seismograph assistant is encouraged to think creatively about ways to enhance public awareness and contact with the seismic data, and seek ways to enhance and improve Calvin's seismic data station.


  1. Must be a GEO major with an overall Calvin GPA of 2.7 or better.  Course background in physics is desirable.
  2. Must be interested in earthquakes, seismicity, and working with sensitive motion-detection equipment and real time data collection.
  3. Must be willing to read the manual, decipher the computer storage and retrieval mechanisms, and become the resident "expert" on the seismograph.
  4. Must be able to complete tasks with minimal supervision.
  5. Must be able to work safely within applicable safety rules and regulations.
  6. Must be able to creatively display seismic data in an informative manner.
  7. Must be able to communicate effectively with supervisor on progress, ideas, and needs.
  8. Must be courteous, prompt, dependable and honest.
  9. Must be able to commit to a minimum of 1 year at this position. 



HOURS: Flexible, 4/week