David Schmidt is a geophysicist who uses satellite data to study 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 also contributes towards the development of an earthquake early-warning system for the region. 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 understanding better how they work.