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SSA Election 2014

SSA members are invited to vote for members of the Board of Directors in the 2014 election. The candidates’ statements are presented below, in the order they were received from the candidates. The election is open for voting until 5 PM PST on Friday, 3 January 2014.

Recent changes to the voting system make it easier than ever to vote and participate in the Society’s future. To vote, log in to the Members’ Area of the SSA website, and click on the “Vote Now” box after you have completed your 2014 member renewal (only the votes of renewed members in good standing will be tallied). Also, look for voting instructions and reminders from SSA ( or and Election America ( For assistance or to request a paper ballot, please contact or phone 510-525-5474.

Candidate Statements

[Photo of Laurie G. Baise]

Laurie G. Baise

Associate Professor, Tufts University

Principal fields: geotechnical earthquake engineering, engineering seismology, seismic-hazard mapping, regional wave propagation, site response, liquefaction

I am honored to stand for reelection to the Board of Directors of the Seismological Society of America. The last few years have been an exciting time for the SSA—and with a Strategic Plan in hand, I would welcome the opportunity to help carry out the stated vision. As an earthquake engineer, I have found a home at the SSA, where my interests in earthquake science and hazard are shared by so many of the members. The annual meetings provide an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss research with seismologists, geologists, and engineers, all with common interest in reducing seismic hazard. If re-elected, I would continue to work toward broadening the membership and encouraging greater participation from the engineering community in the Society’s meetings and publications. In the past year, I have also participated as Chair of the newly formed Communications Committee. In this role, we are exploring new ways of communicating both within the SSA and outside to the communities that might be affected by earthquake hazard. If re-elected, I would continue to help the SSA meet the stated goals in the strategic plan with particular focus on strengthening communication of “trusted scientific knowledge among the scientific, engineering and broader communities for societal benefit” (SSA Strategic Plan, 2012).

[Photo of Michael West]

Michael West

Alaska State Seismologist; Director, Alaska Earthquake Information Center; Research Associate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Principal fields: real-time seismology, network operations, natural hazards policy, instrumentation, seismic imaging, volcano seismology, glacier seismology, earthquake swarms

Much of what the seismology community does is threatened by poor funding and a lack of public understanding for how our science benefits society. SSA is the clearest collective voice for this community. Describing hazards, monitoring earthquakes, and characterizing Earth structure pay long-term dividends to the nation. Though a smart investment, their value needs to be reiterated constantly to sustain our science. Having served on the SSA Government Relations Committee over the past four years, I have come to understand the significance of the Society’s advocacy work. Sometimes it is a broad awareness campaign. Other times it is quiet personal conversations. SSA’s stature as an independent professional organization gives it a unique and powerful voice. I want to see our science vibrant and respected at all levels from K-12 education, to graduate programs, to public outreach, and to legislation at the state and federal levels. SSA is the best vehicle I know to achieve this.

[Photo of José A. Martínez-Cruzado]

José A. Martínez-Cruzado

University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

Principal fields: earthquake structural engineering, earthquake geotechnical engineering, strong ground motions

Since 1985, starting with the Mexico earthquake, I have been involved in this fascinating world of earthquakes. Studying the behavior of structures, the behavior of soils, and trying to understand the generation of earthquakes and the subsequent wave propagation, attenuation, site response and the structural response make it a very interesting and challenging life. But what makes it really thrilling is the social interaction with communities in earthquake- and tsunami- prone areas, explaining such a complex science to them in simple words, and looking together for reasonable alternatives to save their lives and property. Maybe the most challenging aspect has been to convince legislators to approve acts that will promote a more appropriate use of lands and structures. The Seismological Society of America, since 1906, has played a paramount role promoting the acquisition of knowledge, interaction among earthquake scientists, and transfer of knowledge to communities. As a member of the Board, I will emphasize the outreach of the SSA to the Latin American countries.

[Photo of Andy Michael]

Andy Michael

U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park

Principal fields: statistical seismology, short- and long-term earthquake forecasts, and seismotectonics

I am honored to run for the board because SSA supports two reasons I became a seismologist: earthquakes are fascinating, and our science benefits society. The meetings and journals help develop our research and the messages that flow from it. SSA is my favorite society because it is a friendly organization where it is easy to have an impact. I had the opportunity to be Editor of BSSA, from 2004 to 2010, and have chaired the Publications Committee since then. BSSA and SRL are key assets to our field, and SSA’s finances depend on publishing revenue. SSA’s strategic plan embraces the rapid dissemination of information and publication support for international authors with difficulty writing in English. We also need to provide open access, per new government regulations, without undermining our finances. I wrote about some of these issues in SRL ( thinkaboutbssa). We have made progress and are developing virtual special issues, spanning both journals, using publishahead- of-print. As a board member, I would continue working to develop our journals and other communication venues, and plan to work on membership issues. We must demonstrate and increase SSA’s value to all earthquake scientists internationally so that they will support the society and join our efforts.

[Photo of Eric Calais]

Eric Calais

École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

Principal fields: crustal deformation, space geodesy, tectonics

The field of seismology is increasingly multidisciplinary, as reflected by landmark initiatives such as SCEC or Earthscope. “Advancing seismology and the understanding of the science of earthquakes for the benefit of society” (as per SSA’s 2012 Strategic Plan) therefore requires developing cross-disciplinary bridges with neighboring fields such as geodesy, geology, rock mechanics, or engineering. It is also important that the SSA pursues and strengthens its role in representing the interests of the seismology community to decision- makers in order to promote our research and contribute to policy development for prevention, mitigation, education, and emergency response. The Society is an efficiently run organization in which members feel at home through its publications and meetings. It is important to continue this tradition while anticipating changes ahead—for instance a rapidly evolving publication landscape, the need to identify new sources of income in order to develop our activities, and the crucial importance of engaging the next generation of seismologists as well as the corporate sector. I was a strong advocate for the strategic planning exercise the SSA just went through. I am now committed to implementing the actions defined in that plan that will put the organization on a stronger path for its future.

[Photo of Christine A. Goulet]

Christine A. Goulet

Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), University of California, Berkeley

Principal fields: geotechnical earthquake engineering, ground motion and seismic-hazard characterization, structural response to ground motions

When I think of SSA, I think of an amazing community of individuals united by a thirst to learn, a commitment to scientific integrity and a desire to collaborate and disseminate knowledge. It is therefore with honor that I am running for a position on the board of directors. As someone working at the edge of multiple disciplines, I view the holistic approach to collaboration as the key to improved earthquake safety. In today’s computer-driven world, science progresses at a dizzying pace. Dissemination of information through electronic media is also very fast. Where we still are running behind is at the integration of information from different fields into global products and applications. There are many groups that need to come together to improve earthquake safety; scientists, engineers, and policy advocates are only a few. If we can improve the communication between these different groups, we will become more efficient at making ideas reach the built world. SSA provides us with the vision, the common goals, and a pathway to collaboration. I would love to be part of that vision. As a board member, I want to increase the Society’s outreach to professionals from various disciplines, starting with my fellow engineers.



Last Modified: 2013 Sep 14