Seismology in Buffalo goes back to the very early days of the science when commercially manufactured seismographs first became available and one was installed at Canisius College. From then through the 1950's, most seismology in the US was accomplished through cooperative agreements among mostly autonomous stations. After World War II, funding from the US government turned seismology into "big science" based on larger and larger networks of stations, but the independent station at Canisius defied the odds and survived, while adapting to the changing needs of the community.
After covering the brief history above, we will look at local seismological conditions and how the Canisius station serves the local area.
Despite the low seismicity rate in Western New York, this is a great location for a seismograph station. Local rock formations make for good recording of distant earthquakes and there is just enough local earthquake activity to keep the public interested. So the Braun-Ruddick Seismograph Station emphasizes Earth science education at a variety of levels and through a range of media formats. New instruments, still in test mode, will give us excellent sensitivity to both local and distant quakes, while our older, lower sensitivity equipment makes for great demonstrations.
Mark Castner’s first work in seismology was in the 1960’s as a student at seismograph station SPO at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. In 1995 he began working with Fr. James Ruddick, S.J., Director of the Braun Seismograph Station, BUF, at Canisius College. Through the Physics Department, in 2003, Mark began offering an introductory course in seismology at the College. The course emphasizes the dynamic and sometimes destructive processes that are active within the Earth and how societies cope with living in earthquake prone areas of the world.
Mark became the director of the seismograph station in 2007 and continues to teach the seismology course. He retired as Director of Academic Computing and User Services in Information Technology Services at Canisius after 23 years. He is married with two children and six grandchildren.
This meeting is kindly being sponsored by Eco-Rental Solutions! Thank you for your support!