SSA News and Announcements
To subscribe to this page as an RSS 2.0 feed, click here: RSS
SSA frequently posts informal news notes and announcements of interest to the seismological community to our Facebook page — stop by and "Like" us today.
- GeoScienceWorld Launches OpenGeoSci Map-Based Discovery Platform (27 Oct 2013)
- BSSA Articles Now “Published Ahead of Print” (05 Oct 2013)
- EERI Technical Seminar Series: PEER NGA-West2 Project (16 Sep 2013)
- SSA Board of Directors Candidate Statements Now Available (06 Sep 2013)
- 2013 Geo-CVD Student Travel Grant Winners Announced! (26 Aug 2013)
- SSA Supports NSF's Merit Review Process (30 May 2013)
- SSA Signs Letter on Government Travel Restrictions (Updated - 29 May 2013) (29 May 2013)
- Earthquake Notes and Early SRL’s Are Now Online (01 Feb 2013)
- SSA Opposition Letter to Senate Amendment 2060 (03 Dec 2012)
- SSA Releases Statement on Conviction of Italian Seismologists (25 Oct 2012)
- SSA Hosts Congressional Briefings on Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) (28 Sep 2012)
- SSA Strategic Plan (04 Sep 2012)
- SSA Online Store (01 Sep 2012)
- BSSA and SRL Available on GSW Mobile Site (31 Aug 2012)
- Help identify regional ground motion databases and reports for PEER’s Global GMPE Project (19 Jul 2011)
- SSA Releases Statement on Prosecution of Italian Seismologists (30 Jun 2011)
- SSA President Rick Aster Testifies before Congress on USGS Budget Priorities (24 Mar 2011)
- House Holds Hearings on NEHRP Reauthorization (26 Jun 2009)
27 Oct 2013
OpenGeoSci (http://opengeosci.org) is a free, public web application featuring a map-based discovery interface providing geographic searching for more than 300,000 maps, cross-sections, charts, tables, and other high-value content from GeoScienceWorld publications.
BSSA and SRL are included in GeoScienceWorld, an aggregation of 45 earth science journals. At launch, OpenGeoSci includes material published since 2000.
The goal of OpenGeoSci is to further aid researchers in discovery of relevant valuable assets for academic research. Using a combination of search terms, map locations, and a choice of filters, results take users directly to data within the displayed articles. OpenGeoSci speeds the research process and exposes a broad audience of earth scientists and other professionals to a variety vetted resources.
“This innovative tool enables rapid discovery of an ever expanding collection of public and proprietary research assets,” says Alix Vance, Executive Director of GSW. “We are pleased to offer this unique application to over 4 million GSW users and the public alike.”
More information is available at OpenGeoSci.
5 Oct 2013
Readers of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA) no longer have to wait for rhe two months between issues of BSSA to read new articles. Beginning October 8th BSSA articles are being "Published Ahead of Print" (also known as "E-First" or "Pre-issue" publishing). As soon as an article has been reviewed, approved, copyedited, and formatted for publication, rather than being held until an entire issue is ready, it will be posted online. Every Tuesday BSSA articles which have been approved for publication in a future issue of BSSA will be made available to SSA members and BSSA subscribers.
To receive the weekly "Publish Ahead of Print" Contents alert email sign-up here..
SSA’s other journal, Seismological Research Letters (SRL), is targeted to go "E-First" in the summer of 2014.
16 Sep 2013
The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), in cooperation with the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) and partner organizations, will hold its 2013 Technical Seminar Series focusing on the PEER NGA-West2 Project.
The PEER NGA-West2 Project addresses important ground motion hazard issues including: Updating the popular database of the recorded ground motion, developing new ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs), scaling of response spectra for a wide range of damping values, directivity and directionality of ground motion, and new recommendations for soil amplification factors for building code applications. The project is coordinated by PEER, financially supported by the CEA, Caltrans, and PG&E, and co-sponsored by a number of organizations including SSA.
The technical seminar series will describe the NGA-West2 findings and its impacts for the earthquake engineering community.
SSA is a co-sponsor of the Technical Seminar Series, and SSA members will receive the EERI member registration rate.
Who Should Attend
Geotechnical, Lifeline, and Structural Engineers; Seismologists; Engineering Geologists; Urban Planners; Insurance Professionals; Students; and Risk Modelers. Attendees will receive 6.25 PDHs (Professional Development Hours).
Dates and Locations
Thursday, November 7: Salt Lake City, UT
Friday, November 8: Long Beach, CA
Thursday, November 14: Seattle, WA
Friday, November 15: San Francisco, CA
Register for a Seminar
Register online, or download a registration form, for the 2013 EERI Technical Seminar Series on PEER NGA-West2 Project at https://eeri.org/cohost/registration/tech-seminar-2013.
View or download the program flyer here.
6 Sep 2013
Statements from the candidates for SSA Board of Directors for 2014 were published in the September/October issue of Seismological Research Letters (SRL) and are available online here. The election closes at 5 PM PST on Friday, January 3, 2014. Please note that your membership must be renewed for 2014 before you can vote. Click here to renew now.
This year the SSA board of directors election will once again use an Internet voting system through Election-America. Members may now access their ballot for the SSA Annual Election directly from the Members’ Area (members will no longer be sent e-ballots and instead will need only to login to the Members' Area and click the "Vote Now" link). Reminders will be sent by Election-America and SSA. For assistance or to request a paper ballot, please contact SSA at 510.525.5474 or e-mail election [at] seismosoc [dot] org to request a paper ballot. (Please have your SSA Member ID number available.)
26 Aug 2013
This past July, the Seismological Society of America (SSA) invited U.S. graduate students to apply for a travel grant to attend the Sixth Annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day (Geo-CVD) in Washington, D.C., September 17–18, 2013. Many qualified students submitted applications for consideration, and the decision for choosing a student to receive the travel grant was very difficult for the selection committee.
The two students chosen to receive grants this year are Kevin Milner of the University of Southern California SCEC and Kevin Foster of Virginia Tech. The Student grant will cover up to $2000 of travel expenses (transportation, lodging, and food costs), and the winners will write a brief report on the experience for publication in the SSA journal, the Seismological Research Letters (SRL).
Many congratulations to the winners!
This student member opportunity would not have been possible without the generous support of the Weston Geophysical Corporation, and SSA gives them special thanks for offering one of this year's grants. The second grant was offered by SSA in response to the overwhelming number of applications received for consideration.
SSA thanks all of those who participated for the Geo-CVD Student Travel Grant opportunity. Stay tuned for updates and look for the winner's reports to be published in SRL in the coming months.
If you would like to participate in this year's Geo-CVD and would like to coordinate with SSA, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with 2013 Geo-CVD in the subject line.
SSA Student members, please be alert to other Student travel grant opportunities offered by the Society and coming up soon!
Yearly, SSA offers modest travel grants to attend the SSA Annual Meeting, and next year the meeting will be held in Anchorage, Alaska! Student travel grant information will be available shortly, so please check the SSA 2014 Annual Meeting page for updates as the first date of Abstract Submission approaches.
SSA also offers a bi-yearly reciprocal grant with the European Seismological Commission (ESC), and the next ESC General Assembly will be held in Istanbul, Turkey in August 2014. (This is a Joint Assembly with the European Association of Earthquake Enginnering.)
30 May 2013
The Seismological Society of America (SSA) has joined one hundred and nine other organizations in a letter to the members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding the merit review process and research portfolio of the National Science Foundation.
The letter cautions against changing the criterion for awarding grants, highlights the importance of the research supported by the foundation, and urges making the funding of basic research in all NSF-supported disciplines a national priority.
To view the full letter online or to view the entire list of signing organizations, go to http://cnsfweb.org/Letter.MeritReview.Smith.pdf
29 May 2013
On April 17, SSA joined other professional societies and associations in a letter to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting affirmation of “the Administration’s support of these open exchanges of information, and amend OMB guidance to specifically exempt federal employee travel to conferences, seminars, and meetings where attendance promotes agency interests as well as the professional development and competency of government scientists, engineers, or other specialized experts.” The letter asked for clarification regarding meetings that would be exempted from the memorandum.
A letter with similar wording, signed by SSA and over 60 other associations, was sent to key Members of Congress in late May. “We ask that you affirm Congress’s support of these open exchanges of information, establishing legislative guidance that exempts federal employee travel to conferences, seminars, and meetings where attendance promotes agency interests as well as the professional development and competency of government scientists, engineers, or other specialized experts," this this letter states.
To view either letter online, please select from the links below.
1 Feb 2013
Did you know that SRL began its life as a journal of the Eastern Section of SSA?
It began back in 1929 as Earthquake Notes, a tiny journal (4-8 pages) with news, an abstract or two, notifications of papers published elsewhere, and reports of scientific findings focused on Eastern North America. Over time it evolved to include more scholarly articles. Then, in 1987 it changed its name to Seismological Research Letters and in 1995 it assumed the format we use today. (The earlier journal survives in today's SRL as a special section on Eastern North America and intraplate earthquakes.)
And why is this important today?
Now when you view SRL online, you have access to issues back to 1929!
Due to the small size of most issues of Earthquake Notes (volumes 1-57), each of those issues is posted online as a single PDF that includes all the articles in the issue. You can see (and search on) the Table of Contents for each issue. In areas where earthquakes are less frequent, historical records and journal archives become especially important to the science.
3 Dec 2012
The Seismological Society of America has written and delivered the letter below to targeted Members of Congress opposing the passage of any postal reform bill that includes Senate Amendment 2060. Senate Amendment 2060, if approved, would strictly limit Federal spending on conferences and employee travel, and impose stringent constraints on the participation of government scientists in public meetings, scientific conferences, and professional society activities.
December 3, 2012
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
31 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Barbara Boxer
United States Senate
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer:
I am writing on behalf of the Seismological Society of America (SSA), an international scientific society of over 2,000 members devoted to the advancement of seismology and the understanding of earthquakes for the benefit of society, to respectfully urge you to oppose passage of any postal reform bill that includes Senate Amendment 2060, which is currently in the postal reform bill (S.1789) passed by the Senate in April, 2012.
SA 2060 is unrelated to the fiscal crisis facing the Postal Service and would have the unintentional effect of severely restricting government employees from attending meetings and conferences held by associations, nonprofits and other private sector organizations. While intended to improve accountability and financial reporting for government-sponsored meetings, the amendment in the Senate postal reform bill has unintentionally broad and serious implications for participation at non-governmental meetings that would hinder scientific progress in the public interest. One of the provisions, for example, would limit federal agencies’ participation to just a single conference sponsored by a private organization per year.
At SSA’s scientific meetings, many government, academic and consulting scientists share the latest research in earthquake seismology and related fields. In addition to seismologists, members include geophysicists, geologists, engineers, insurers, and policy makers actively engaged with government, academic, and private sectors to promote earthquake public safety. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of our focus on earthquake safety, many of these scientists also attend a conference focused on their broader discipline: geology, geophysics, engineering, etc.
Approximately 20% percent of the registrants for our annual meeting are employed by federal agencies such as the US Geological Survey, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and National Institute of Standards and Technology. The dialogue that takes place at meetings among government, academic and private sector scientists is essential to the development of informed policymaking on earthquake hazards. Our meetings are also heavily attended by university faculty and students, and the associations and interchanges that occur between government representatives and the next generation of scientists are critical to determining career paths and promoting future service to the U.S. Government. If SA 2060 were passed without modifications as part of postal reform, it would severely impact these dialogues.
While addressing the long-term solvency of the Postal Service is a critical issue, allowing SA 2060 to be included in any final bill would have long-term and serious repercussions for assuring that federal employees stay well-informed about current scientific results affecting the nation’s interests and would also be detrimental to the pipeline of young scientists who are considering national service.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue and please contact me if you have any questions about how this amendment affects the Seismological Society of America and many other science societies.
Executive Director, SSA
Seismological Society of America • 400 Evelyn Avenue, Suite 201 • Albany, California 94706-1375
Telephone: 510-525-5474 • Fax: 510-525-7204 • E-mail: email@example.com
25 Oct 2012
The Seismological Society of America has released the following statement on the conviction and sentencing of six Italian scientists and one government official for manslaughter in connection with the tragic L’Aquila earthquake of 6 April 2009:
The seismological community is alarmed by the conviction and sentencing of six Italian scientists and one government official for manslaughter in connection with the tragic L’Aquila earthquake of 6 April 2009. We are concerned that this verdict may only serve to reduce life-saving communication about earthquake hazards in the future in Italy and in many other countries around the world.
The occurrence of this disastrous earthquake illuminates both the high level of uncertainty in the science of short-term earthquake forecasting and the lack of a public policy framework in Italy and many other parts of the world for providing short-term guidance for coping with that uncertainty to the communities, populations, and infrastructure at risk.
Rather than pursuing unprecedented legal action against members of the seismological community, SSA urges public officials and community leaders to work to improve the way earthquake risks are communicated to the public. We also urge continued proactive efforts to support earthquake science and engineering and to establish and implement local and national programs in earthquake preparedness and risk mitigation. The best approaches currently available for mitigating the effects of future earthquakes are education, awareness, and preparedness of public officials and the general public, coupled with sound construction practices and retrofitting of older structures.
As background, SSA has posted the audio of a presentation by Thomas H. Jordan given at the Public Policy Luncheon at the SSA 2012 Annual Meeting on Lessons of L'Aquila for Operational Earthquake Forecasting.
Dr. Jordan chaired the International Commission on Earthquake Forecasting for Civil Protection. He is Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Earth Sciences at USC, and currently serves on SSA’s Board of Directors.
28 Sep 2012
On Friday September 28th SSA hosted two congressional briefings on Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) — a morning briefing on the House side and an afternoon session on the Senate side. The briefing moderator, Bill Leith of USGS Natural Hazards Risk & Resilience Assessment, provided an overview and discussed the USGS's efforts on EEW to date. Richard Allen of the UC Berkeley Seismological Lab detailed California’s current plans and timeline for public inclusion. Allen noted efforts still needed in order to make California’s EEW system suitable for the public and how that is addressed by current plans. Chris Terzich, with the Regional Consortium Coordinating Council, provided the public/private sector partnerships perspective and focused on the benefits of early warning for the private sector as well as the public safety angle.
Additional information about the briefing, including Powerpoint presentations and speaker biographies, is available on this page at the USGS website.
4 Sep 2012
For the last year SSA has been working to develop a strategic plan to set forth new SSA initiatives and future Society objectives. We are proud to announce that a basic plan has been carefully crafted with the help of SSA’s Board of Directors, outside consultants, and most notably SSA’s members.
A letter from SSA's President, Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, further describing the strategic plan process and the strategic plan itself are both now available online. SSA could not have accomplished this important task without the broad participation of SSA members and leadership. We now have a plan to guide us into the future.
To read the letter from the President and the Strategic Plan, please follow the link: http://www.seismosoc.org/inside/Strategic_Plan/message_from_the_president.php
1 Sep 2012
SSA has a new online store!
SSA has opened a new online store on Fieldhouse.com with everything from SSA shirts & sweats to baseball caps & back-packs. The online store has lots of different items for you to choose from.
Pick and personalize gifts for yourself, friends, and family.
Visit the SSA online store here: www.fieldhousestorecom/ssa
31 Aug 2012
GeoScience World has recently launched a new mobile-optimized site and SSA members can easily read both BSSA and SRL on any equipped mobile device.
The mobile sites have a user-friendly interface, easy search features, and will allow you to check out recent SSA journal articles on the go.
Visit the new GSW mobile sites for BSSA (http://m.bssa.geoscienceworld.org/) and SRL (http://m.srl.geoscienceworld.org/) from your handheld device and see for yourself how easy it is to read SSA's journals from anywhere!
19 Jul 2011
The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation has awarded the PEER Center with a project aimed at selecting a suite of Ground Motion Prediction Equations (GMPEs) that can be used for Seismic Hazard evaluation at global and regional levels.
To complete this work for the Global GMPE Project, PEER researchers are in the process collecting comprehensive data and publications from around the world. In an effort to make sure that all relevant information is collected, PEER is seeking help from all members of the earthquake community to identify regional resources. In particular, the following two items are needed:
(1) Any regional Ground Motion Databases with a minimum moment magnitude Mw of 4.5 (except PEER, SHARE, K-Net, and KIK-NET);
(2) Any published Reports and Papers showing compatibility or performance of exisiting GMPEs versus regional data.
Please direct your information, references or publications to firstname.lastname@example.org, before August 30, 2011 so that they can be included in the research project.
Additional information on PEER’s Global GMPE Project can be found at http://peer.berkeley.edu/globalgmpe/.
Thanks for your collaboration!
30 Jun 2011
The Seismological Society of America has released the following statement:
We are deeply concerned to learn that members of our society and their colleagues have been indicted by the Prosecutor’s Office in L’Aquila in connection with the tragic L’Aquila earthquake of 6 April 2009. The occurrence of this disastrous earthquake unfortunately brought into the harsh light of public scrutiny both the high level of uncertainty in the science of short-term earthquake forecasting and the lack of a public policy framework in Italy (and, for that matter, many other parts of the world) for providing short-term guidance to the communities, populations, and infrastructure at risk.
Rather than pursuing unprecedented legal action against members of the seismological community, SSA urges public officials and community leaders to work to improve the way earthquake risks are communicated to the public. We also urge continued proactive efforts to support earthquake science and engineering and to establish and implement local and national programs in earthquake preparedness and risk mitigation. Education, awareness, and preparedness of the public officials and the general public, coupled with sound construction practices and retrofitting of older structures are currently the best available approaches for mitigating the effects of future earthquakes.
24 Mar 2011
SSA President Rick Aster (left) testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee's subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
On 9 March 2011 the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on Examining the Spending Priorities and the Missions of the U.S. Geological Survey and the President’s FY 2012 Budget Proposal". SSA President Rick Aster provided invited testimony.
A webcast of the hearing is available at the Natural Resources Committee's website.
Also testifying were Marcia McNutt, USGS Director; John Palatiello of he Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS); Johnathan Price representing the Association of American State Geologists (AASG); Craig Schriffries of the Geological Society of America (GSA).
26 Jun 2009
Hearings on the Reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program: R&D for Disaster Resilient Communities were held on June 11, 2009 by the the US House of Representatives Committee of Science and Technology, subcommittee on technology and Innovation. Testimony of the invited witnesses is available on the Committee's website at http://science.house.gov/publications/hearings_markups_details.aspx?NewsID=2483. SSA submitted a written comment for the record. It is posted at http://www.seismosoc.org/society/government/NEHRP_reauth_comment.php.