Research Projects
Current & Past Students
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Curriculum Vitae
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Geodesy: Technical
Info for Alaska Surveyors
Personal Info


PIRE Kamchatka Project

What's New

Visualization of displacements from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake
( see Ronni's page here)

GPS Velocity Field from Snay et al. (2016)

1964 Postseismic Velocity Predictions from Suito and Freymueller (2009)

GPS Velocity Field from Freymueller et al. (2008)


  2009 eruption of Mt. Redoubt

In Fall 2018, I moved to Michigan State University from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This website is still in transition, with some pages not yet updated from my old Alaska website.

Research Interests

My research combines geophysics and geodesy. I work both on understanding active earth processes, and on understanding and improving the tools we use to measure them. I find these two lines of my work to be significantly intertwined.

I study active crustal deformation processes. Think of it as geology in action. I am interested in the kinematics and dynamics of the active processes that shape the Earth. My active research projects include studies of tectonic deformation in plate boundary zones, earthquakes, postseismic deformation and the earthquake cycle, inflation and eruption of active volcanoes, glacial-isostatic adjustment and its effects on relative sea level, and variations in water, snow and ice via the deformation these load variations cause. The main tool for my research is the Global Positioning System (GPS), although I have also made use of Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometry (InSAR) and other geodetic tools. Using GPS it is possible to measure relative positions between GPS sites with a precision as good as a few millimeters. By repeating these surveys over a period of time, we can watch as plates move and the earth deforms.

In many parts of the world, measured motion and deformation of the Earth results from a combination of several different processes. That means that it is hard to avoid studying a broad range of geological or geophysical phenomena, which may be linked only through the fact that all affect our measurements. In any case, I have always had a hard time resisting the opportunity to think about and work on something new that catches my interest, and no matter what field I had chosen I probably would have developed a wide-ranging rather than intensely focused research program.

I have been at Michigan State University since Fall 2018, when I arrived to take up the Endowed Chair for Geology of the Solid Earth. Before that, I was at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks from May 1995 to August 2018. I received a Bachelor of Science degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1985, and MS and PhD degrees from the University of South Carolina in 1988 and 1991 respectively. Following my PhD, I worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford University for three and a half years.

Service Work

I am the Editor-in-Chief of the International Association of Geodesy's Symposia Series, and was recently the Chair of the Board of Directors for UNAVCO. Since 2015 (and until summer 2019), I am the Director of the EarthScope National Office. I am a past US representative to the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) and past Chair of the US National Committee for the IUGG. The USNC/IUGG promotes the advancement of geodetic and geophysical sciences in the United States and throughout the world by participating in the activities of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).

I can't help myself -- I keep busy!

Contact Info

Email: freymuel -at- msu.edu
Office 011 Natural Sciences (end of the corridor by the rock crusher!)
Phone 517-884-0433