Earth Science Grads Investigate COVID-19 Response

Elizabeth Erickson is collecting video interviews of graduate students sharing their experiences during the pandemic. She aims to create a space to acknowledge the life of grads through COVID-19 and provide them the cathartic experience of recording their feelings into words for a virtual community of peers, affirming their existence and togetherness, even in isolation. She will record over 40 interviews through a mix of selective and snowball sampling.






Han Xiao repurposed his expertise in analyzing seismic data to reveal the information it contains about societal response to COVID-19 throughout the globe. Seismic noise includes "cultural noise" reflecting human activity. As human activity decreases, so does the energy recorded by seismic instrumentation, thus providing real-time monitoring and spatial mapping of activity patterns in response to the pandemic. For instance, Han noted a 4-12 dB decrease in mainland China, but only a 1-6 dB drop in Italy, reflecting different lockdown policies with respect to transportation. 
These projects are supported by grants from the Multidisciplinary Research on the Coronavirus and its Impacts (MRCI) initiative, and the College of Letters and Sciences.