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.
- Special Alert to U.S. SSA Members (12 May 2015)
- Call for Papers: SRL Focus Section on the 2015 Magnitude 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal Earthquake (08 May 2015)
- Nepal Special Collection, Research Papers on Himalayan Earthquake History Made Public by SSA (30 Apr 2015)
- John Anderson Honored with Bolt Medal for Strong-motion Earthquake Research (02 Apr 2015)
- March/April SRL Features Focus Section on the 24 August 2014 Magnitude 6.0 South Napa Earthquake (04 Mar 2015)
- SSA Announces Board of Directors Election Results (23 Jan 2015)
- SSA 2015 Annual Meeting — Pasadena, California (01 Dec 2014)
- SSA Announces 2014 Award Winners (17 Nov 2014)
- SRL Begins E-First Publishing (01 Oct 2014)
- Deborah Weiser Represents SSA at 7th Annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day (19 Sep 2014)
- SSA Board of Directors Candidate Statements Now Available (01 Sep 2014)
- 2014 Geo-CVD Student Travel Grant Winner Announced! (05 Aug 2014)
- Seventh Annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day September 16–17, 2014 (31 Jul 2014)
- SSA President-Elect & Members Testify for House Natural Resources Committee (04 Apr 2014)
- SSA President Tom Jordan Briefs U.S. Congress (07 Mar 2014)
- IRIS / SSA Distinguished Lecturers Announced for 2014 and 2015 Call for Nominations is Now Open! (30 Jan 2014)
- SSA Announces Board of Directors Election Results (24 Jan 2014)
- SSA Signs Letter Urging Federal Support for Seismological Research and Facilities (16 Jan 2014)
- 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)
12 May 2015
Time is short to express your opinion on attempts to cut funding for the NSF Geosciences Directorate. As you know, NSF Geo supports critical research in seismology and related fields. The full U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to take up H.R. 1806 — the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 — sometime during the week of May 18th. In that bill, the authorization for NSF Geosciences Directorate has been specifically targeted for an 8% cut, which critically underfunds the Earth science research, including disciplines that address natural hazards, extreme weather and changes to the Earth.
We encourage you to reach out to your Congressman/Congresswoman to express your discontent with the current America COMPETES Bill and encourage them to vote NO on the legislation when it comes to the House floor.
We have provided a downloadable template that can be used for guiding your conversation with your representative's office, or as basis for a letter if you prefer to fax or email your comments. Click here for help identifying your House Representative and getting the phone number in DC to call.
SSA Past President Lisa Grant Ludwig
Finally we have posted — as background information — the SSA 2015 Presidential Address, given at last month's SSA Annual Meeting in Pasadena by Lisa Grant Ludwig, immediate Past-President. She explained how and why earth science funding has been targeted.
The original intent of America COMPETES, which passed in 2007 and was reauthorized in 2010, was to recognize the importance of science contributions to the nation and endeavor to increase funding, with the aim of doubling budgets over time to those federal agencies and programs pursuing science. This recent effort does not adhere to those principles and instead seeks to reduce funding for geosciences and social sciences.
Again, the reauthorization of America COMPETES bill — which authorizes the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and research at the Department of Energy for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 —has already cleared the House Science Committee and is on its way to a vote by the full House. Act this week if you wish to make your views known.
8 May 2015
The 2015 magnitude 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake, which has taken a devastating toll on the country of Nepal and nearby regions, raises many critical scientific, engineering, and societal questions. This special section of Seismological Research Letters (SRL) aims to publish timely reports on the earthquake based on analysis of available data, focusing on a wide range of topics including the characteristics of the earthquake and its ground motions, implications for seismotectonics the impact on the built environment, characterization of the sequence, and implications for future hazard. Individuals interested in submitting contributions are strongly urged to contact the guest editors to discuss their planned contribution. The number of papers will be limited, and collaborative contributions among groups are strongly encouraged.
- Susan Hough <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Roger Bilham <email@example.com>
- Submission Deadline June 15th, 2015
- Acceptance Deadline September 1st, 2015
- Published Issue November-December issue of SRL
30 Apr 2015
In response to the April 25, 2015 earthquake in Nepal, SSA has assembled research papers that examine the tectonics, structure, and earthquake history of the Himalayas. To foster the exchange of information about this region, and in an effort to fulfill our goal to “Advance seismology and the understanding of earthquakes for the benefit of society,” these papers will be available free online until the end of June, 2015 (this special "virtual issue" does not appear in print).
The papers in this compilation, previously published in SSA’s two peer-reviewed journals, Seismological Research Letters (SRL) and the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), were selected by Publication Committee Chair Andrew Michael, SRL Editor-in-Chief Zhigang Peng, SRL Associate Editor Susan Hough, and BSSA Associate Editor Roland Bürgmann, with assistance from SSA President Ruth Harris.
The Nepal special collection is available through both the GeoScienceWorld and BSSA Online websites. Although these articles are free to all, SSA members may find it most convenient to access the collection through this link, which requires a log-in but will provide access to other papers you may wish to read at that time.
2 Apr 2015
Dr. John G. Anderson
John Anderson, professor of geophysics at the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR), is the recipient of the 2015 Bruce A. Bolt Medal. Jointly awarded annually by SSA, EERI, and COSMOS to recognize individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety.
The Bolt Medal is presented to the recipient at the annual meeting of the recipient’s choice among the three sponsoring organizations. Anderson will receive his award at the SSA Annual Meeting later this month in Pasadena.
4 Mar 2015
The March/April 2015 issue of Seismological Research Letters (SRL), Volume 86, Number 2A, features a special focus section on the 24 August 2014 Magnitude 6.0 South Napa Earthquake. The South Napa earthquake was the largest earthquake to strike the greater San Francisco Bay Area since the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, damaging residential and commercial buildings from Brown’s Valley through historic downtown Napa.
“The larger faults, like the San Andreas and Hayward faults, get the public’s attention, but lesser known faults, like the West Napa fault, can cause extensive damage. Unreinforced brick masonry and stone buildings have been shown to be especially vulnerable to earthquakes,” said Erol Kalkan, a research structural engineer at USGS and guest editor of the SRL special focus section, which features six technical reports that cover different aspects of the Napa quake.
23 Jan 2015
Votes are in for the SSA Annual Election!
Voting in the annual election of the Seismological Society of America closed on January 2, 2014 at 5 pm. Votes of current members that were received by the deadline were tabulated and validated by Election America, Inc.
The following four nominees for Director were elected to three-year terms which begin in April 2015: Bill Walter, Peter Shearer, Jessica Murray, and Doug Dreger .
The candidates' statements are available here.
The results will be published in the March/April issue of Seismological Research Letters (SRL 86:2).
Thank you to all of the members who participated in this year's election of the Board of Directors, especially those who stood for election.
1 Dec 2014
SSA’s 2015 annual meeting will be held 21 – 23 April at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. The meeting will provide a stimulating exchange of research on a wide range of topics with colleagues from all over the world. Oral presentations, poster sessions, exhibits, field trips, business meetings and social gatherings all provide participants the opportunity to meet and share with their peers.
Abstract submissions are now being accepted online (the abstract submission deadline is Friday, January 9th at 5 PM Pacific time). Descriptions of the 29 special sessions planned for the meeting are here.
Information and registration for exhibitors and sponsors is also available.
For further information please visit the meeting home page.
17 Nov 2014
SSA is pleased to announce the recipients of two prestigious awards for 2014.
Dr. Thorne Lay
Thorne Lay, Professor of Earth Science at UC Santa Cruz, will receive the Society’s highest honor, the Harry Fielding Reid Medal, which recognizes outstanding contributions to science and society. Dr. Lay is an influential seismologist and community leader whose research has refined our understanding of the Earth’s deep interior.
Known for consistently contributing to advances in some of the most difficult problems in seismology, Lay’s broad scientific outlook is reflected by the breadth of his research contributions to the imaging and improved understanding of Earth’s interior, the study of earthquakes and the monitoring of nuclear explosions.
Dr. Victor Tsai
Still early in his career, Victor Tsai, of Caltech's Seismological Laboratory, has already established himself as a leading seismologist, conducting pioneering research in the emerging fields of ambient noise and glacier and river seismology. For his work, the 32-year old Tsai will be awarded the Society’s Charles F. Richter Early Career Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the goals of the Society by a member early in his or her career.
These awards will be presented at the Society’s 2015 annual meeting held April 21-23, 2015 in Pasadena, California. Additional information is available in two press releases: Thorne Lay / Reid Medal and Victor Tsai / Richter Award.
1 Oct 2014
Readers of Seismological Research Letters (SRL) no longer have to wait for two months between issues to read new articles. Beginning October 1st SRL joins BSSA in publishing articles "ahead of print." 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 Wednesday SRL articles that have been approved for publication in a future issue of SRL will be made available to SSA members.
SRL has become a highly respected journal with one of the shortest times to publication of any journal in the field. Publishing articles ahead of print will make that even shorter.
To receive the weekly "Publish Ahead of Print" Contents alert email sign-up here..
19 Sep 2014
Deborah Weiser of UCLA, recipient of this years Geo-CVD Student Travel Grant, represented SSA at the annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day (GEO-CVD), September 16–17, in Washington D.C. Debbie participated in seven meetings on Capitol Hill, including Senator Patty Murray's constituent coffee and meetings with key staff in three Congressional offices (Representatives Rohrabacher, Bass, & Speier) and four Senate offices (Senators Boxer, Feinstein, Murray and Cantwell). Her report on her experience will appear in a future issue of SRL.
Geo-CVD ’14 was a great success, with over 100 individual Hill meetings scheduled for the 40+ participants this year. The overarching message for Geo-CVD is the importance of continued federal investment in geoscience research and development, and Debbie was also able to address her fields of interest in induced seismicity in California geothermal fields, earthquake early warning and earthquake preparedness education and outreach. The two-day event started with an informational session on the workings of Congress, the current budget situation, what to expect during the lame duck session after the election, and conversations with current Congressional staff on the "wows and woes" of working in Congress. The session allowed for the participants to interact with one another, practice their presentations for the Hill meetings to follow, and interact with government relations staff from the organizing societies to answer questions and provide helpful hints.
1 Sep 2014
Statements from the candidates for SSA Board of Directors for 2015 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 2, 2015. Please note that your membership must be renewed for 2015 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.)
5 Aug 2014
This past July, the Seismological Society of America (SSA) invited U.S. graduate students to apply for a travel grant to attend the Seventh Annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day (Geo-CVD) in Washington, D.C., September 16-17, 2014.
Deborah Anne Weiser of UCLA was selected for this year's grant. The Student grant will cover up to $2000 of travel expenses (transportation, lodging, and food costs), and winners are asked to write a brief report on the experience for publication in the SSA journal, the Seismological Research Letters (SRL). Many congratulations to the Deborah!
This student member opportunity would not have been possible without the generous support of Jim Lewkowicz and the Weston Geophysical Corporation, and SSA gives them special thanks for offering significant support for the first two year's of Geo-CVD grants. This support enabled SSA to launch this very successful program. A new fund has been established for member contributions to supply ongoing support for this program. Look for it when you renew your membership.
SSA thanks all of those who participated for the Geo-CVD Student Travel Grant opportunity. Stay tuned for updates and look for Deborah's report to be published in SRL in the coming months.
You don't have to be a student to participate in Geo-CVD. 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 2014 Geo-CVD in the subject line. More information on the program is available here. Additionally, this 2014 Geosciences Congressional Visits Day Flyer is available for download.
31 Jul 2014
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI), in collaboration with SSA and many other geoscience societies, invites geoscientists to come to Washington D.C. for the annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day (GEO-CVD) on September 16-17, 2014. Decision makers need to hear from geoscientists. Join us and many of your colleagues for this two-day event uniting geoscience researchers, professionals, students, educators, engineers, and executives in Washington D.C. to raise visibility and support for the geosciences!
A constructive visit from citizen geoscientists about the importance and value of geoscience, and geoscience-related engineering, research and education is the most effective way to inform and impact federal science policy.
For more information or to register for GEO-CVD please email SSA at <email@example.com>.
Download/View: 2014 Geosciences Congressional Visits Day Flyer.
What To Expect
Participants will spend the afternoon of Tuesday, September 16 at a workshop honing their communication skills. Participants will learn how Congress works, how to conduct congressional visits, and about relevant legislation, federal agencies, and programs. At the end of the workshop, participants are given time to craft and practice their message one-on-one with geoscience policy staff.
The second day, Wednesday, September 17, will consist of visits with members of Congress or their congressional staff on Capitol Hill.
Click here to read about last year’s Geoscience Congressional Visits Days.
4 Apr 2014
On 27 March 2014, the anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami, SSA President-Elect Lisa Grant Ludwig of the University of California Irvine, testified on behalf of SSA at a hearing on "Advances in Earthquake Science: 50th Anniversary of the Great Alaskan Quake" called by the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Also testifying were SSA Members John Vidale of the University of Washington and Bill Leith of the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston as well as earthquake engineer Reginald DesRoches of Georgia Tech.
A webcast of the hearing and PDF summaries of their testimonies are available on the Committee’s website.
7 Mar 2014
In March 1964, the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America struck Alaska, shaking Anchorage and an area larger than the state of California for more than 4 minutes and causing landslides and tsunamis that took lives in Alaska, Oregon, and California. This year, on February 28th, SSA President Tom Jordan (USC/SCEC) and SSA 2014 Program Committee Co-Chair Peter Haeussler (USGS, Anchorage) participated in a congressional briefing entitled “Exploring Earthquakes: Analyzing the Past to Protect Lives and Property Today.” Filling out the panel were John Schelling from the Washington State Military Department’s Emergency Management Division and moderator (and SSA Member) David Applegate (USGS, Reston).
The briefings, sponsored by SSA, USGS and the Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance, were held for members and staff in both the Senate and House of Representatives; the House briefing was open to the public.
The briefings highlighted the impact of the 1964 Anchorage earthquake and the devastation of the Northridge, CA earthquake of 1994, and advances in seismic technology over the past half century.
The briefings were well attended, with audience participants asking many and varied questions on lessons learned domestically and internationally, the prospect of earthquake early warning in the U.S., and the ramifications of seismic activity associated with hydraulic fracturing.
More information on the briefings, including downloadable Powerpoints of the speakers’ presentations, can be found on this page at the USGS website.
30 Jan 2014
The 2014 IRIS / SSA Distinguished have been announced!
Dr. Jean-Paul Ampuero and Dr. Meredith Nettles have been selected as the lecturers for the 12th year of this jointly-sponsored annual national lecture series in seismology. The 2014 Distinguished Lecture series Schedule will be available soon on the IRIS/SSA Distinguished Lecureship page of the IRIS website.
Dr. Jean-Paul Ampuero is an Assitant Professor of Seismology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. The topic of his lecture series is Deciphering the Physics of Earthquakes with Global Seismic Arrays.
Dr. Meredith Nettles is an Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Science at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbis University located in Palisades, New York.
2015 - Call for Nominations!
IRIS and SSA are pleased to announce the 'Call for Nominations' for the 2015 Distinguished Lectureship series. The selection committee seeks nominations from the seismological community for two lecturers for 2015. The general goal of the program is to increase the general public's awareness of the relevance of seismology through increased exposure.
Each of the two lectures will be given at least four times to general audiences at museums, universitites or other public venues with a target audience of 200 or more. The general scope of the research presented must have clear and acknowledged tie-ins to SSA and IRIS. Lecturers must be resident int he U.S. durning 2015.
Please note, for full consideration nominations must be received by Friday, February 28, 2014.
For more information, please see the '2015 Call for Nominations' page of the IRIS website.
24 Jan 2014
And the votes are in for the SSA Annual Election!
The annual election of the Seismological Society of America was held on January 3, 2014. Votes of current members that were received by the deadline, 5 PM on that date, were tabulated and validated by Election America, Inc.
The following four nominees for Director were elected to three-year terms which begin in April 2014: Laurie G. Baise, Eric Calais, Christine A. Goulet and Andy Michael.
The candidates' statements are available here.
The results will be published in the March/April issue of Seismological Research Letters (SRL 85:2).
Thank you to all of the members who participated in this year's election of the Board of Directors, especially those who stood for election.
16 Jan 2014
On November 5, 2013, SSA joined IRIS and AGU in a sending letter to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) urging federal support for seismological research and facilities in the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget.
The letter, addressed to Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Director of OMB and Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, emphasized the complementary role of major federal programs that have been successfully coordinated among multiple agencies.
The letter states: "The consensus building by multi-agency partnerships has focused these programs on high-priority national scientific needs including the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), Earthquake Early Warning (EEW), EarthScope, the Global Seismographic Network (GSN), and Collaborative Research Centers such as the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)."
SSA, AGU and IRIS: "urge the Administration to support these multi-agency activities and budget them at levels that allow the seismology community to continue to invest in research and technologies that ultimately protect people’s lives and property. From these efforts will come a nation more earthquake resilient."
To view the letter online click here.
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.fieldhousestore.com/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.