PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Re: Nordic's in the PSN
From: John Hernlund hernlund@.......
Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 23:39:37 -0700 (MST)

On Sun, 30 Apr 2000, Edward Cranswick wrote:
>     Of course, in my case, after FORTRAN programing on IBM 360/30, a 360/44,
> and a 360/50 for four years (1967-1971) in the family business, the research
> department of local state mental hospital, I ran off as a geology major to the
> oil fields of Oklahoma to work as a roustabout so that I could re-establish
> contact with the physical Earth . . . and that was the beginning of my life in
> the Earth sciences: I wanted to pursue geology to that I could see the world.
>     Ironically, I ended up in seismology, the most mathematical techno-nerdy of
> the Earth sciences (at least it was then). I chased earthquakes, and so, unlike
> some of my more officebound seismological colleagues, I went out in the field
> and touched the Earth. But then, ironically again, I specialized in developing
> portable computer systems so that we could analyze the digital seismic
> waveforms recorded by our portable autonomous digital seismographs (PADSs) in
> near-realtime, i.e., while we were still in the field and data acquisition was
> still in process. So I can do everything on my field computer that I can do on
> my desktop back in the office -- it's like I never left the office . . . so why
> DID I leave the office . . . because I never saw the Earth.

   We need more seismologists like you!  I talked to a fellow who had done a
dissertation on attenuation of seismic waves in some area of the upper mantle
and when confronted with a chunk of olivine: he had no clue what it was!  Of
course, it behooves a seismo-guy or seismo-gal to know something about the
rocks they are studying; actually to know A LOT about these rocks.  Seismology
is not well respected among my friends, who sometimes surmise that a lot of it
is just chugging data into the same old routines to create tomographic images
and such.  Of course, there are too many seismologists who do just that, and
it is not something we consider science because a technician at an MRI lab
does the same thing and nobody calls them scientists.  Therefore it follows
that if seismology is a science, then these people are not really 

John Hernlund
E-mail: hernlund@.......



Public Seismic Network Mailing List (PSN-L)

[ Top ] [ Back ] [ Home Page ]

Larry Cochrane <cochrane@..............>