Earthquakes lead Texas agency to hire seismologist

seismograph

AUSTIN (AP) — A key state agency has hired a seismologist, part of an effort to tackle a sudden increase in earthquakes in areas of Texas with significant oil and gas drilling activities.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates drilling statewide, announced Friday that it had hired seismologist David Craig Pearson, a former team leader for a Los Alamos National Laboratory seismic experimental field team. He holds a doctorate in geophysics from Southern Methodist University.

While an SMU doctoral student, Pearson was a graduate research assistant to Professor Brian Stump, who’s a member of the SMU earthquake team now studying North Texas seismic activity.

Pearson also is a former West Texas ranch manager and serves as vice president of the Rankin-based Upton County Water District.

Pearson will begin his duties April 1.

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