Workshops 2020

This year, SSA Annual Meeting attendees may take advantage of technical training workshops on Monday, 27 April 2020 and Friday, 1 May 2020. Attendance is limited, so register early!  Registration will open 2 January 2020. 

The workshops are organized by SSA members, who give generously of their time and expertise.  The cost of the workshops are subsidized by SSA and modest fees, which are available at a discount to SSA members.



Ally Skills Training

Monday, 27 April 2020, 2–4 PM or 4:30–6 PM

In any situation in which you possess social privilege (an unearned advantage over others), you can be an ally to those with less privilege. Being an ally takes understanding privilege and recognizing the subtle behaviors, unspoken rules and unquestioned traditions that perpetuate oppression. It also takes a willingness to take effective action. Allies are key to creating an inclusive culture in any organization or environment. This training will teach you what is needed to be an effective ally, and will include learning:

  • Why allies are needed and why targets don’t speak up.
  • How codes of conduct bolster equity and inclusion efforts.
  • How to recognize subtle forms of exclusion or harassment.
  • Strategies to interrupt and respond to bias and a chance to practice these skills.

Instructor:  Sherry Marts, S*Marts Consulting

Fee: Free, but RSVP required. Open to all.   


Machine Learning

Monday, 27 April 2020, 9–12 a.m. or 1–4 p.m.

Learn how to use machine learning in your research!

The increase in computational capability in the past decade has created new opportunities for machine learning and data science in the seismological fields. This workshop offers an introduction to machine learning concepts and a hands-on look at how to use them in seismological research.

The workshop will cover introductory machine learning topics such as regression, classification, clustering, data cleaning, feature engineering and automatic feature extraction with deep learning. Attendees will then learn about the practical issues that are encountered when applying these methods to waveform and seismicity data.

Laptops are recommended to follow along with the examples presented in class and to become familiar with workflows that can easily be adopted in your future research. The example code and data will be provided so you can continue to experiment after the workshop.

Instructors: Karianne Bergen, Youzuo Lin, Qingkai Kong, Maruti Kumar Mudunuru and Daniel Trugman

Fee (SSA Members only):

  • Member: $35
  • Early-career Member: $25
  • Student Member: $15 


Understanding and Analyzing Earthquake Catalogs

Monday, 27 April 2020, 1–4 p.m.

Earthquake catalogs provide deep insights into how the Earth works for our research and are a critical input to seismic hazard assessments.  These readily available resources are the result of analyzing seismograms to detect earthquakes, identify wave arrivals, and a series of inversions to produce estimates of hypocenters, magnitudes, moments, and focal mechanisms.  Understanding the strengths and uncertainties of each step is the key to doing excellent work. We will cover 1) the Southern California Seismic Network’s real-time and reviewed earthquake catalogs along with special catalogs with refined locations, template matching for increased event detection, and focal mechanisms; 2) the International Seismological Centre’s global Bulletin, the ISC-EHB Bulletin, and the ISC-GEM (Global Earthquake Model) catalogue; 3) the USGS Comprehensive Earthquake Catalog; and 4) catalog visualization tools to uncover artifacts, how to determine the magnitude of completeness and the parameters of the magnitude-frequency distribution.

Who should attend:  Those interested in using catalogs to understand temporal and spatial variations in seismicity rates, seismic hazards, as well as using catalogs for source physics studies.  Bringing a laptop with R installed will allow you to try some of the methods during the workshop.

Instructors: Egill Hauksson, Research Professor of Geophysics at Caltech and Manager of the Southern California Seismic Network; Andrew J. Michael, Seismologist at the United States Geological Survey; and Dmitry A. Storchak, Director of the International Seismological Centre.

Fee (SSA Members only):

  • Member: $35
  • Early-career Member: $25
  • Student Member: $15 


Writing an Impactful Scientific Paper

Monday, 27 April 2020, 1–4 p.m.

This workshop will help you learn what goes into writing an excellent peer-reviewed paper, and how to be a reliable reviewer for those peers. With examples of good figures, titles and abstracts as a guide, the instructors will demonstrate the elements that go into elevating a research paper to maximize its impact.  The roles of the editors, the reviewers, the authors and the journal production staff in the publication process will be discussed. Participants will also get an in-depth look at how to review colleagues’ papers in constructive and reliable ways. The free workshop is geared toward students and early-career seismologists, but is open to all Annual Meeting attendees

Instructors: Roland Bürgmann of University of California, Berkeley, BSSA associate editor emeritus; John Ebel of Boston College, founding editor-in-chief of SRL; and Brent Grocholski of Science and editor of all seismology papers for the journal.


  • Member rate: $35
  • Student Member: $15 
  • Non-Member $50

Borehole and Borehole Array Best Practices, Development and Testing

Friday, 1 May 2020, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM 

A one day workshop to share information for borehole operators, researchers and developers of the next generation geophysical and hazard monitoring boreholes and borehole arrays. There will be updates on best practices, the potential for new observations, testing of new approaches, recent developments, trends in borehole station array design and applications for significant initiatives. These initiatives include early earthquake warning and tsunami hazards systems. Performance trades related to cost, depth, signal to noise performance, maintenance and expected life of stations are an important consideration for these types of installations. Major borehole topics will Include:

  • Ocean boreholes and arrays, deep and shallow cased holes
  • Global science monitoring networks
  • EQ and Geologic hazard monitoring and warning networks
  • CTBTO/Nuclear monitoring
  • Multi-instrumented and cross disciplinary efforts

Instructors: Tim Parker, Nanometrics, Inc.; Pete Davis, UCSD (GSN); Adam Ringler, USGS (ASL); John Collins, WHOI (OBSIC); Dave Mencin, UNAVCO (GAGE). 

Fee (includes lunch):

  • Member: $50
  • Student or Early-career Member: $35
  • Non-Member: $75