SSA’s Honors Program recognizes the members of our global seismological community who have distinguished themselves through their innovative and often paradigm-shifting research, their early-career contributions to the field of seismology and their exemplary commitment to public service.

There are currently four SSA Awards:

  • The Harry Fielding Reid Medal
  • The Charles F. Richter Early-Career Award
  • The Frank Press Public Service Award
  • The Distinguished Service Award

In addition, SSA has two awards produced jointly with other organizations:

  • The Bruce Bolt Medal, awarded jointly with COSMOS and EERI
  • The Joyner Lectureship, awarded jointly with EERI

We honor these award recipients not only for their outstanding contributions to the SSA community and mission, but also for the professional inspiration that they provide to the next generation of seismologists.

View the complete list of past SSA award recipients.

For more information about the rules regarding each award, read our Honors Program Guide.

Annual Deadlines:

Nomination packages for the Distinguished Service Award, Press Award, Richter Award and Reid Medal are due by 30 September.

Nominations for both the Joyner Lectureship and the Bruce Bolt Medal are due by 30 June.

SSA Policy for New Awards

SSA awards reflect the Society’s mission and our organizational values. Our community and goals continue to evolve and expand, and the Honors program seeks to recognize all aspects of the global seismological community.

The SSA Board considers proposals for new awards that recognize a unique quality, goal or demographic of the SSA membership. Awards may be named after an individual or carry a descriptive title. New awards can only be named to honor a person after their death, and SSA requires a waiting period of three years for consideration of this distinction. Careful consideration is given such that an individual meets all ethics standards of SSA, and there is a clear link between the person and the SSA organization’s values and goals. A named honor cannot overlap or duplicate awards of any other organization or institution.

New Awards Nomination and Selection Process

All SSA honors are required to follow the nomination requirements and selection process outlined below, unless otherwise specified.

  • Nominator must be an SSA member.
  • Co-Nominator/Co-Supporter Policy: In addition to a nominator, a nomination package can only have one co-nominator and three supporters
  • Supporters are not required to be an SSA member.
  • All nominations, nominators, supporters and nominees must follow and uphold the SSA Conflict of Interest Policy (COI) and complete the Ethics Disclosure Form
  • Nomination Package Requirements:
    • Nomination letter
    • 2 letters of support
    • If requesting a named award, CV and biography of the honoree

To submit a proposal for consideration, email this completed form and all required supporting documents to awards@seismosoc.org.

All proposals must be submitted by 1 January for consideration at the Spring meeting of the Board of Directors. All questions should be directed to awards@seismosoc.org.

Norman Abrahamson

The Harry Fielding Reid Medal

Honors outstanding contributions in seismology or earthquake engineering.
More about the Reid Medal
Doyeon Kim

The Charles F. Richter Early-Career Award

Honors outstanding contributions to the goals of the Society by a member early in their career.
More about the Richter Award
Harley Benz

The Frank Press Public Service Award

Honors outstanding contributions to the advancement of public safety or public information related to seismology.
More about the Press Award
Douglas Dreger

The Distinguished Service Award

Honors outstanding contributions to the mission of the Seismological Society of America.
More about the Service Award

COSMOS/EERI/SSA Bruce Bolt Medal

SSA is joining COSMOS and EERI in awarding The Bruce Bolt Medal. The award will 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.
More about the Bruce Bolt Medal
Helen Crowley standing at podium

William B. Joyner Lectures

The Joyner Memorial Lectures were established by the SSA in cooperation with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) to honor Bill Joyner’s distinguished career at the U.S. Geological Survey and his abiding commitment to the exchange of information at the interface of earthquake science and earthquake engineering, so to keep society safer from earthquakes.
More about the Joyner Lectures