Dear SSA Community:
Thank you for your patience while SSA leadership has closely monitored the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. After careful deliberation, the SSA Board of Directors has decided to not convene the 2020 Annual Meeting.
The health and safety of our community is our paramount concern. Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a pandemic; numerous travel restrictions and public gathering bans by governments, universities and institutions; the state of emergency declared by New Mexico; and the increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases all provide a clear need to take this action. It is not feasible to hold the Annual Meeting next month in Albuquerque.
The Annual Meeting is a special activity of our Society, and one that is led by our community. We are very grateful to Rick Aster and Brandon Schmandt, the co-chairs who led the creation of the program. We thank our members who have worked behind the scenes to create excellent training workshops, Lightning Talks, special interest group meetings and field trips. We thank the session conveners, the members who submitted abstracts and each of you who had planned to participate in the meeting.
We will miss the opportunity to honor in person this year’s award winners: Reid Medalist Karen Fischer, Press Award recipient Brian Tucker and Richter Early-Career Award recipient Marine Denolle. We will explore how we might remedy that over the coming year.
We will also explore ways to engage the community on activities and issues that we had expected to be a central part of this year’s Annual Meeting experience: advancing and supporting women who pursue seismology as a career, mentoring and supporting student and early-career members and, of course, networking. We welcome your ideas for alternative activities, as well as any suggestions to keep our Society relevant, vibrant and supportive of its members.
We hope that we have provided all attendees ample time to manage air travel and hotel reservations. Please do cancel your hotel reservations at your earliest convenience. If you have already purchased airline tickets, please check with your carrier about possible refunds, as many airlines have instituted special policies in light of the pandemic.
SSA will work to refund all Annual Meeting fees for the meeting registration, field trips and workshops in the manner in which they were paid. This process should be completed within two weeks or by 31 March. Abstract fees will not be refunded, as they directly support the abstract submission process and the creation of the program. Seismological Research Letters, issue 2B, which includes all submitted abstracts for the Annual Meeting, will be published by early April.
Along with the SSA staff and Board of Directors, I thank you for your patience as the Society regroups and works through the many issues raised by our inability to hold the Annual Meeting. The Society owes a debt of gratitude to Executive Director Nan Broadbent and the dedicated staff who have navigated unprecedented waters to resolve this difficult situation in a way that protects our members, the Society and the communities with whom we may interact.
SSA will continue to provide updates to the community over the coming weeks. In a few short months, we will begin the process of planning for the 2021 Annual Meeting, scheduled for next April in Anchorage, Alaska.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With best wishes on behalf of the SSA Board of Directors,