David Schmidt is a geophysicist who uses satellite and surface data to study the deformation of the earth’s crust, which is often too silent, subtle or slow to be detected by other means. By researching surface movement, he detects slow (or silent) earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest. His work contributes towards the development of offshore technologies that can better enable earthquake early-warning systems and monitor tectonic activity on the subduction zone. Additionally, he looks at the movement of the ground above volcanoes in an effort to map where magma is flowing beneath the surface. Lastly, he studies slow-moving landslides—that is, landslides that ooze down hillslopes—with the goal of better understanding how they work.