The Harry Fielding Reid Medal

ssamedalc2The Harry Fielding Reid Medal of the Seismological Society of America is awarded for outstanding contributions in seismology or earthquake engineering. It is awarded no more frequently than once in any calendar year. The medal is presented at the annual meeting following the year of the award.

Call for Nominations

Nomination Procedure

At least two but no more than five members of the Society may forward the name of a nominee to the Secretary of the Society (address given below) on or before 15 February of each year.

  • At least two but no more than five members of SSA form a nominating group.
  • Each member writes a letter in support of their nominee. Each nominating member’s letter may be signed by others outside of the nominating group. No one may sign more than one letter.
  • The nominating group creates a single curriculum vitae with bibliography that demonstrates their nominee’s outstanding contributions in seismology or earthquake engineering.
  • Nominator Disclosure Form, to be completed by principle nominator.
  • The nominating group selects a principle nominator who will be responsible for submitting the nomination package and all correspondence with SSA (as a single document).
  • The completed nomination package is submitted before 15 February.

Nomination Package Materials

  • A letter from each nominating member in support of their nominee.
  • A single curriculum vitae with bibliography.
  • Nominator Disclosure Form.

Questions may be directed to the Chair of the Honors Committee, Meghan S. Miller ( Please list Reid Medal – 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

William Ellsworth

Ellsworth is recognized for his critical contributions to earthquake location, earthquake nucleation, earthquake recurrence and induced seismicity research. With Felix Waldhauser, Ellsworth developed the double-difference (DD) earthquake location method, which has had a tremendous influence on the field of seismology since the publication of the seminal study in the Bulletin … Continue Reading »

2020 Recipient

Gail M. Atkinson

Gail M. Atkinson is recognized for her seminal contributions in engineering seismology, especially regarding ground motion characterization. She is one of the pioneers of the stochastic ground motion simulation method, used to predict strong ground motions from earthquakes in regions where seismic data are limited. Her work to develop ground-motion … Continue Reading »

2019 Recipient

Karen Fischer

Brown University Professor Karen M. Fischer receives the Reid Medal for her pioneering research on Earth’s upper mantle structure and dynamics, the structure and evolution of continental lithosphere, and the dynamics of subduction systems. She is “an outstanding seismologist who has conducted many observational and modeling studies of the Earth’s … Continue Reading »

2018 Recipient

David M. Boore

USGS emeritus geophysicist David M. Boore received the Reid Medal for his four decades of work on the prediction of strong ground motion from earthquakes. “His contributions in the theory and practice of strong-ground motion estimation have been emulated by both earthquake scientists and earthquake engineers around the world. His … Continue Reading »

2017 Recipient

George Plafker

USGS emeritus geologist George Plafker and his colleagues did painstaking fieldwork after the magnitude 9.2 Alaskan earthquake in 1964, covering hundreds of kilometers of Alaskan shoreline in small boats, helicopters, and float-equipped aircraft after the 1964 quake helped to launch a new field of megathrust earthquake geology, which used observations … Continue Reading »

2016 Recipient

Lev P. Vinnik

Lev P. Vinnik serves as the head of the Group of Seismological Studies in the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physics of the Earth, based in Moscow. A pioneer in body-wave seismology for more than 50 years, Vinnik is well-known for his careful and meticulous data analyses and for developing … Continue Reading »

2015 Recipient

Christopher H. Scholz

Throughout his 50-year career, Christopher Scholz, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has brought a unique, interdisciplinary approach to seismology that bridges the gap from laboratory studies of rock mechanics to fundamental studies of crustal-scale deformation. … Continue Reading »

2014 Recipient

Thorne Lay

An influential seismologist and community leader whose research has refined our understanding of the Earth’s deep interior, Thorne Lay was honored by SSA at the 2015 annual meeting in Pasadena, Calif. Known for consistently contributing to advances in some of the most difficult problems in seismology, Lay’s broad scientific outlook is reflected … Continue Reading »

2013 Recipient

Kerry Edward Sieh

The Seismological Society of America (SSA) presented its highest honor, the Harry Fielding Reid Medal, to Kerry Edward Sieh, Director of the Earth Observatory of Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, at its  annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska April 30-May 02, 2014. Throughout his career, geologist Kerry Sieh … Continue Reading »

2012 Recipient

James Rice

The Seismological Society of America (SSA) presented its highest honor, the Harry Fielding Reid Medal, to James R. Rice, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Engineering Sciences and Geophysics at Harvard University, at its annual meeting April 17-19 in Salt Lake City. First awarded in 1975, the Harry Fielding Reid Medal is … Continue Reading »

2011 Recipient

Barbara Romanowicz

Through the course of her career, Barbara Romanowicz has studied the Earth from its surface to its center, establishing herself as one of the most influential seismologists of her time. For her outstanding contributions in seismology and earthquake engineering, the Seismological Society of America (SSA) awarded Romanowicz its top honor, … Continue Reading »

2010 Recipient

Tatyana G. Rautian

A heavyweight in the field of seismology who drove research efforts in the former Soviet Union, Tanya Glebovna Rautian, often called “The Charles Richter of the former Soviet Union” and “generator of ideas,” has dedicated her life to the development of seismology and science in central Asia. She is widely … Continue Reading »