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Departments & Programs




Lecture Classes

Professor Zoback teaches an introductory class entitled Sustainability and Collapse with Professor Russell Berman of the Comparative Literature Dept. Sustainability and Collapse is part of Stanford’s Thinking Matters curriculum. Sustainability and Collapse explores both scientific and humanistic approaches to questions of environmental sustainability through a study of novels, historical texts, and works of biogeography. Students learn to ask how textual and visual images inform our ideas about what it means to live sustainably and consider whether those ideas are in accordance with or in conflict with scientific understandings of human uses of nature. This class is taught in Autumn quarter each year.

Professor Zoback teaches a graduate level class entitled Reservoir Geomechanics. Basic principles of rock mechanics and the state of stress and pore pressure in sedimentary basins related to exploitation of hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs. Mechanisms of hydrocarbon migration, exploitation of fractured reservoirs, reservoir compaction and subsidence, hydraulic fracturing, utilization of directional and horizontal drilling to optimize well stability. Offered every other year, winter quarter. Offered every other year, winter quarter, alternate years with Tectonophysics.

Professor Zoback teaches a graduate level class entitled Tectonophysics with Professor Simon Klemperer of the Geophysics Department. This class investigates the physics of faulting and plate tectonics. Topics: plate driving forces, lithospheric rheology, crustal faulting, and the state of stress in the lithosphere. Exercises include investigating lithospheric temperature and strength profiles, calculation of seismic strain from summation of earthquake moment tensors, slip on faults in 3D, and stress triggering and inversion of stress from earthquake focal mechanisms. Offered every other year, winter quarter,alternate years with Reservoir Geomechanics.

Research Seminars

There are weekly research seminars in the following areas:

  • Stress and Crustal Mechanics (principally the students and post Docs in Professor Zoback’s research group)
  • Earthquake Seismology (with Professors Segall, Beroza and Dunham)
  • Shale Reservoirs (with Professors Kovscek and Wilcox)
  • Carbon Storage (with Professors Benson, Harris, Wilcox and Kovscek)