The 2020 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists is awarded to Weian Chao in recognition of his major contributions to using existing seismic networks to improve landslide monitoring, allowing authorities to act quickly to mitigate landslide damage.
The Seismology Division’s Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is attributed to Weian Chao for his outstanding contributions to improving landslide monitoring systems using existing seismological networks in Taiwan. Chao is a promising young scientist who was trained as a seismologist and is now a practitioner of Environmental Seismology, a rapidly emerging field that employs conventional seismological techniques to explore the earth’s surface processes.
Chao developed a system able to monitor large landslide activities in Taiwan in real time and under all natural conditions using the existing seismic networks: this has no precedent elsewhere in the world. As a result of this successful work, a significant step forward has been made in the effectiveness with which Taiwan can monitor its major mass-wasting activities and act in time to mitigate their damage. This is more impressive than the yet also impressive number of papers Chao has published in his brief professional career. These demonstrate the tangible evidence of his innovative approach in using common seismological techniques to address urgent societal needs for practical knowledge on geohazards in Taiwan.
Chao’s approach is applicable to other regions with comparable landscape settings without much alteration and before long will be a routine practice for established seismometer networks.