Frank Press Public Service Award

photo_press_lrgThe Frank Press Public Service Award honors outstanding contributions to the advancement of public safety or public information relating to seismology. This award may be given to any individual, combination of individuals or organization. No more than one Public Service Award may be given each calendar year. The Public Service Award is presented at the annual meeting following the year of the award.

Learn about the history of the Press Award here.

Call for Nominations

Nomination Procedure

Any member of the SSA may nominate a candidate for the Press Award. A nomination package must be submitted to the Secretary of the Society at the address below no later than 15 February of each year.

Nomination Package Materials

  • A letter of nomination no more than two pages long summarizing the nominee’s significant accomplishments.
  • Two-to-four supporting letters, each of no more than two pages long. At least one supporting letter should be written by an SSA member.
  • Nominator Disclosure Form, to be completed by principle nominator.
  • For individual nominees, a single curriculum vitae with bibliography is advised, but not required.

The principal nominator should integrate all of the above materials and send one nomination package by 15 February.

Questions may be directed to the Chair of the Honors Committee, Meghan S. Miller ( Please list Frank Press Public Service Award – Question as the subject line.

Nominations for all SSA awards are solicited from the members to be sent to the SSA Secretary by 15 February. Electronic submissions should be e-mailed in .TXT, .PDF or .DOC files to

2021 Recipient

Timothy Ahern

Ahern became the program manager for the IRIS Data Management Center shortly after IRIS was formed and later became director of data services for IRIS, serving in that position for nearly three decades. He ushered in a new collaborative, open-data approach to observational seismology worldwide that has improved hazard assessment … Continue Reading »

2020 Recipient

Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade

Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, manager of the U.S. National Weather Service Caribbean Tsunami Program and former director of the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, received the Press Award for her work in developing real-time data acquisition systems, rapid response capabilities and pioneering public outreach and education efforts have had a profound impact … Continue Reading »

2019 Recipient

Brian Tucker

Brian Tucker, founder and former president of the nonprofit organization GeoHazards International, receives the Press Award for his efforts to make the world’s most vulnerable communities safer from earthquakes and other natural hazards. He and his colleagues in GeoHazards International brought together seismologists, geologists, engineers, sociologists and disaster managers to … Continue Reading »

2018 Recipient

Lucy Jones

Lucy Jones, founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, who served over three decades with the U.S. Geological Survey, is recognized for her significant and persistent contributions to earthquake safety and her generous work in sharing seismology research with the public “Lucy Jones has advanced public … Continue Reading »

2017 Recipient

Lori Dengler

“California’s level of preparedness for earthquakes and tsunamis, particularly along the north coast that is part of Cascadia, is very much due to [Dengler’s] efforts to bring the science to the public, the local, regional, tribal, state and federal officials who must make and support preparations, and the emergency managers who have to deal … Continue Reading »

2016 Recipient

Michael E. Wysession

Wysession is a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. In his nomination for the Press award, his colleagues praised the far-reaching impact of his work on Earth and space sciences education from K-12 to university faculty training. One of his most notable … Continue Reading »

2015 Recipient

Walter J. Arabasz

Walter J. Arabasz is a research professor emeritus of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. For more than 30 years, Arabasz led the development of the University of Utah’s regional seismic network and remains a powerful voice in public policy making for earthquake risk reduction. … Continue Reading »

2012 Recipient

Randall White

The Seismological Society of America (SSA) honored seismologist Randall White for his scientific leadership in response to volcanic eruptions, both saving lives and sharing his techniques of eruptions forecasting that are now in use at volcano observatories around the world. SSA awarded White with the Frank Press Public Service Award … Continue Reading »

2011 Recipient

Eric Calais

Throughout Eric Calais’s career studying active deformation at plate boundaries and interiors, Eric Calais always had a focus on key questions for hazard assessment, particularly in northeastern Caribbean, one of his longtime study areas. When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, Calais was among the first scientists to arrive on … Continue Reading »

2010 Recipient

Hugo Yepes

The Frank Press Public Service Award was presented to Ecuadorian seismologist Hugo Yepes at SSA’s 2011 annual meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. Yepes’ work throughout his career advanced hazard assessment and risk mitigation efforts in Ecuador and South America. For more than 20 years, Hugo Yepes has dedicated his life to … Continue Reading »

2009 Recipient

Art Frankel

The Frank Press Public Service Award was presented to Art Frankel at the 2010 annual meeting in Portland, OR. Since being tasked with leading an update to national seismic hazard maps for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 1993, Art Frankel has contributed significantly to improved public policy, building codes and … Continue Reading »

2008 Recipient

David Wald

The Frank Press Public Service Award was presented to David Wald at the 2009 annual meeting in Monterey, CA. Wald serves as a research scientist at the United States Geological Survey in Golden, CO, as well as an adjunct professor at Colorado School of Mines. Throughout his career, Wald has expanded the … Continue Reading »

2005 Recipient

Frank Press

To honor his lifetime of exemplary public service, the SSA Board has awarded the Society’s first Public Service Award to Frank Press, a Director of the Washington Advisory Group in Washington, D.C. Prof. Press began as a seismologist at Columbia (PhD 1949) and joined the faulty of CalTech in 1955. … Continue Reading »