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Seismology and Society Quick Links

Government Relations Updates

DC CurrentsSSA issues periodic quick updates on actions in Washington, D.C. that impact earthquake science. Click here for the latest update (July 2014).

AGI Current Issues PageThe American Geosciences Institute, a federation of earth science societies including SSA, maintains an ongoing newsfeed of the most up-to-date geoscience policy information. Click here to visit the page.

U.S. Government Relations

The SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA (SSA) is an international scientific society devoted to the advancement of seismology and the understanding of earthquakes for the benefit of society. SSA was founded to "promote research in seismology, the scientific investigation of earthquakes and related phenomena, to promote public safety by all practical means, and to enlist the support of the people and the government in the attainment of these ends."

SSA is the largest and most respected society of seismologists in the world. We are an unbiased source of reliable information for any governmental agency or official seeking sound scientific advice. In the U.S. we are active participants in the Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance, the NEHRP Coalition, the USGS Coalition, the Coalition for NSF and the Geo-Policy Working Group. If you have questions, we invite you to contact us at GovtRel [at] seismosoc [dot] org.

SSA Government Relations Committee

SSA’s public policy activities include educating our members on policy issues that affect the science, issuing resolutions or position statements on seismic matters, and providing information on seismic issues to U.S. legislators and staff, including responding to invitations to provide testimony before congressional committees.

Members of the Government Relations Committee

Government Relations News Items

Special Alert to U.S. SSA Members (12 May 2015)

SSA 2015 Presidential Address: Seismology and Global Change (12 May 2015)

Deborah Weiser Represents SSA at 7th Annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day (19 September 2014)

2014 GEO-CVD Student Travel Grant Winner Announced! (5 August 2014)

SSA Government Relations Co-Chair, Woody Savage, Testifies for House Hearings on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act (NEHRP) (31 July 2014)

Seventh Annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Day September 16–17, 2014 (31 July 2014)

DC Currents — SSA President-Elect & Members Testify for House Natural Resources Committee (4 April 2014)

DC Currents — SSA President Tom Jordan Briefs U.S. Congress (7 March 2014)

SSA Signs Letter Urging Federal Support for Seismological Research and Facilities (16 January 2014)

DC Currents — SSA's returns from Washington. Sixth Annual GEO-CVD A Success! (27 September 2013)

GEO-CVD Student Travel Grant Winners Announced! (26 August 2013)

DC Currents — Sixth Annual GEO-CVD & Student Travel Grant Opportunity! (09 July 2013)

SSA Signs Letter on Government Travel Restrictions (29 May 2013)

SSA President–Elect Lisa Grant Ludwig Visits Congress (24 May 2013)

DC Currents — SSA Hosts Congressional Briefings on Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) (28 September 2012)

SSA Opposition Letter to Senate Amendment 2060 (03 December 2012)

DC Currents — John Anderson of SSA Gov't. Relations Committee Testifies before Congress (16 December 2011)

DC Currents — SSA Members Visit Washington (GeoCVD Day 2011) (30 September 2011)

DC Currents — Appropriations Bill Update (25 August 2011)

DC Currents — NEHRP Reauthorization and FY2012 Dept. of Interior Budget (15 July 2011)

SSA President Rick Aster Testifies before Congress on USGS Budget Priorities (24 March 2011)

Annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Days September 21 & 22, 2010 (25 June 2010)

DC Currents — SSA Government Relations Committee Chairman Stu Nishenko Testifies before Congress on NEHRP Reauthorization (January 2010)

DC Currents — Update on Recent Government Relations Actions (December 2009)

SSA Co-Sponsors Public Briefing on “Disaster Preparedness: Lessons from the Great Southern California ShakeOut” (30 July 2009)

House Holds Hearings on NEHRP Reauthorization (26 June 2009)

IRIS "Seismological Grand Challenges…" Report Now Available (14 May 2009)

Second Annual Geosciences Congressional Visits Days September 15 & 16, 2009 (14 May 2009)

OPINION: SSA Goes to Washington from SRL Vol. 80 No. 2 (March/April 2009)

NEHRP 2009-2013 Strategic Plan Available Online (26 November 2008)

AGI Publishes Transition Document for Next U.S. Administration (10 October 2008)

Public Briefing on Grand Challenges for Disaster Reduction (26 September 2008)

Geoscientists Visit Congress (15 September 2008)

SSA Releases New Summary of Public Policy Positions (7 August 2008)

SSA members Testify on USGS Budget (23 May 2008)

SSA Co-Sponsors Congressional Briefing (13 November 2007)

Position Statements

Getting Involved

Communicating with Congress
See this site for tips on how to write to or visit your congressional representative, or email SSA Executive Director Susan Newman at <snewman [at]> for assistance.

Congressional Fellowships
See this page for more information on Congressional Fellowships offered by earth science societies (Science Fellows augment Congressional staffs and can have a big impact on public policy).

Some Key Congressional Committees

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) is authorized by the following committees:

Research Subcommittee of the House Science Committee
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
House Science subcommittee on Technology & Innovation

After a program is authorized, funds must be appropriated for each government agency involved by one of the several subcommittees of the appropriations committees in the House and Senate.

NEHRP funds are divided among four agencies. The subcommittees that appropriates funds for the U.S. Geological Survey, part of the Department of the Interior, are called the "Subcommittee on Interior Environmental and Related Agencies" in the both Houses. The subcommittee of the Appropriations Committees that appropriates NSF and NIST funds is called the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. FEMA is appropriated under the Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

The subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee that appropriates NSF funds is called the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science in the Senate and Subcommittee on Science, the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce and related agencies in the Senate.

Last Modified: 2015 May 14