Charles F. Richter Early Career Award

cfrichterThe Charles F. Richter Early Career Award honors outstanding contributions to the goals of the Society by a member early in her or his career. No more than one Richter Award may be given each calendar year. The Richter award is presented at the annual meeting following the year of the award.

Call for Nominations

Nominee Criteria

Nominees must satisfy the following criteria: 1) they must be Regular or Honorary Members of the Society in good standing and 2) their most recent academic degree must have been awarded no more than six years prior to April 18 of the year in which they are selected for the award. Family or medical leave, if provided by the candidate’s institution and taken by the nominee during this six-year period, can extend the six-year period.

Nomination Procedure

Any member of the SSA who is not on the Richter Award Subcommittee may nominate a candidate for the Richter 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.

The nominating package should contain:
(1) A letter of nomination no more than two pages long summarizing the nominee’s significant accomplishments;
(2) A curriculum vitae including bibliography;
(3) Two to four supporting letters, each of no more than two pages long.  At least two letters must come from individuals who are not currently employed at the nominee’s current institution or the institution from which the nominee received her or his most recent degree; and
(4) An eligible birth date and date of degree.

Please note that the principal nominator should integrate the nomination letters and send ONE nomination package to ensure that all letters of endorsement reach the decision makers on time. Questions may be directed to Peter Shearer (, chair of the Honors Committee. Please list Richter Award – Question as the subject line.

Nominations for all SSA awards are solicited from the members to be sent to the SSA Secretary, by the due date of 15 February. Electronic submissions should be e-mailed in text, .PDF or .DOC files to <>. While electronic submissions are encouraged, hard copies may be mailed to:

Secretary, Seismological Society of America
c/o Nan Broadbent
400 Evelyn Ave, Suite 201
Albany, CA 94706-1375
Fax: +1-510-525-7204

2017 Recipient

Annemarie Baltay

“Through a combination of source studies and ground motion prediction research, [Baltay] has carved a niche for herself that is unique in seismology for her generation,” said Gregory Beroza, the Wayne Loel Professor of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University and Baltay’s Ph.D. advisor, noting that her work … Continue Reading »

2016 Recipient

Diego Melgar Moctezuma

Early in his career, seismologist Diego Melgar Moctezuma has already made significant research contributions in the areas of earthquake rupture and early warning, tsunami modeling, and community outreach regarding earthquakes and geosciences. Melgar, a 32-year-old assistant researcher at the Seismological Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, “has already distinguished … Continue Reading »

2015 Recipient

Fan-Chi Lin

Fan-Chi Lin has distinguished himself by the wide range of his research contributions, particularly in the area of using ambient noise to construct images of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle. Since his Ph.D. was awarded in 2009, Lin has become one of the originators and leading experts on this … Continue Reading »

2014 Recipient

Victor Tsai

Still early in his career, Victor Tsai has already established himself as a leading seismologist, conducting pioneering research in the emerging fields of ambient noise and glacier and river seismology. Tsai has published 39 peer-reviewed papers that reflect his diverse research interests and novel approaches to tackling challenging questions in seismology, glaciology … Continue Reading »

2013 Recipient

Vedran Lekic

Since his early research on deep earthquakes, Vedran Lekic has repeatedly developed new ways of analyzing and modeling seismic data, leading to improved understanding of Earth’s large-scale inner strucutre. For his work, the Seismological Society of America (SSA) has honored the 31 year-old lekic with its Charles F. Richter Early Career Award, … Continue Reading »

2012 Recipient

Katsuichiro Goda

The Seismological Society of America (SSA) will honor Katsuichiro Goda for his prolific work to reduce earthquake risk around the world, awarding him the Charles Richter Early Career Award on April 17 at its annual meeting in Salt Lake City. His multi-disciplinary background has allowed Goda, a lecturer in civil engineering at … Continue Reading »

2011 Recipient

David Shelly

David Shelly has quickly established himself as world leader in observational seismology, having already made a dramatic impact on the field of seismology through his pioneering work to detect and locate deep tectonic tremor. For his work, the Seismological Society of America will honor Shelly with its Charles. F. Richter Early … Continue Reading »

2010 Recipient

Zhigang Peng

Zhigang Peng has made seismological discovery a regular occurrence early in his career. Peng has written 35 peer-reviewed papers that have contributed much to the understanding physics of earthquakes and faults. An Assistant Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2006, Peng’s … Continue Reading »

2009 Recipient

Karen Felzer

This award was presented to Karen Felzer, USGS Pasadena, at the 2010 annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. In her relatively young career, Felzer has produced transformative and sometimes valuably controversial research by utilizing statistical approaches to tackle tough seismological questions. Her oft-cited work has constructively challenged previously held theories and … Continue Reading »

2008 Recipient

Miaki Ishii

This award was presented to Miaki Ishii, Harvard University, at the 2009 annual meeting in Monterey, CA. In her young career, Ishii, an assistant professor of earth and planetary science at Harvard University, has made two groundbreaking discoveries in geophysics that have fostered intense debate and subsequent research that has changed … Continue Reading »

2006 Recipient

Jeanne Hardebeck

This award was presented to Jeanne Hardebeck, USGS, Menlo Park, at the 2007 annual meeting. The Richter Committee noted that, “Hardebeck’s contributions to seismological research have been aimed at the central issues in earthquake studies including especially the state of stress and the strengths of faults, problems that have been … Continue Reading »

2005 Recipient

Emily Brodsky

Dr. Emily Brodsky of the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been selected to be the first winner of the Charles F. Richter Early Career Award. The Richter committee was impressed by the breadth and innovative aspects of Emily Brodsky’s research, which is broadly focused on elucidating “how earthquakes, volcanoes and … Continue Reading »