If you're trying to decide which graduate school you'd like to attend, here are some reasons why you should choose the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Earthquake Seismology @ UO
My group works on problems in seismology, fault mechanics, active tectonics, etc. Additionally, our department hosts one of the largest geophysics programs in the country. If you're interested in attending graduate school in earthquake seismology at UO please send me an email with a copy of your CV and a statement of why you're interested in working with me. I'm particularly interested in taking students that have ideas of what they'd like to work on and why we'd be a good fit.
Earth Sciences @ UO
The University of Oregon's Department of Earth Sciences is among the top geoscience programs in the world. Our faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their fields. We're a big department, but we're not too big. You'll still have regular meetings with your advisor(s), have the chance to interact with all faculty members, and there's a healthy graduate community to support you in your research endeavors. Recent graduates go on to postdoctoral positions, faculty jobs, and the private sector.
Eugene is a big-small town centered around the University of Oregon. With a population of approximately 150,000 it has all the conveniences of a larger city (e.g. restaurants, airport, etc.) without the traffic or the crowds. After living here for a few years my observations are that it sometimes rains, the softball leagues are very competitive, and some parts of town (and the people that live in them) are stuck in the 1970s. Also, the views of the Cascades, especially the Three Sisters volcanoes, do not get old.
Oregon is wild, beautiful, and unspoiled. An hour drive west of Eugene is the breathtaking Oregon coast where you can fish, surf, and eat local all in a day trip. You'll likely have whatever beach you choose to visit to yourself. An hour to the east are the Oregon Cascades. Both downhill and cross country skiing are slightly over an hour away. Two hours north, you'll find Portland, OR. A beer and hipster mecca, you'll need to make a pilgrimage north at some point, if not for Portland itself, to ski above the clouds at Mt. Hood or tour the spectacular waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge. Two plus hours south is Crater Lake National Park.