SSA Announces 2018 Award Recipients

14 June 2018–SSA is pleased to announce the recipients of several of the Society’s awards for 2018. The Harry Fielding Reid Medal, the Charles F. Richter Early Career Award and the Frank Press Public Service Award are among the highest honors conferred by the Society.

David Boore

The Reid Medal recipient is David M. Boore, emeritus of the U.S. Geological Survey. Boore’s colleagues cited his achievements in bridging the gap between theoretical seismology and practical models for earthquake engineering. His work on the prediction of strong ground motion allows engineers to design or retrofit structures to withstand ground motions generated during future earthquakes.

Boore’s work includes fundamental studies to understand the causes of ground motion, as well as methods to distill these findings into critical tools such the Ground-Motion Prediction Equations (GMPEs) that are the main product of the Next Generation of Ground-Motion Attenuation Models (NGA) project. These GMPEs underlie the National Seismic Hazard maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey, maps that are used in modern building codes.

Amanda Thomas

The Richter Award recipient is Amanda Thomas of the University of Oregon. Thomas was recognized for her important contributions to understanding episodic tremor and slip phenomena, the slow-earthquake rumblings that take place below the locked zones of faults. In particular, she has conducted groundbreaking research on the mechanics of non-volcanic tremor and low-frequency earthquakes along the San Andreas fault zone in California and the Cascadia subduction thrust.

Her work along with her collaborators has provided some of the first comprehensive reports of the source properties of these events from the lower crust, going beyond documenting their occurrence to characterize the fundamental physics of the events and their possible relationship to seismic hazard, the award nominators said.

Lucy Jones

The Press Award recipient is Lucy Jones, the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society who served over three decades with the U.S. Geological Survey. Jones may be best known to the public for her work as USGS Science Advisor for Risk Reduction in developing the first American earthquake drill, the Great ShakeOut, in 2008. ShakeOut events are now conducted globally, with more than 52 million participants in sixty countries in 2017. The preparedness drills have changed how the public and decision makers apply seismological research to reduce earthquake risk in their communities, according to Press Award nominators.

Her ability to deliver messages about earthquakes and disaster resiliency that are “memorable, appropriate and actionable,” the nominators noted, have made Jones a consistent public voice for seismology across many media, through thousands of news interviews, consultations to television and movie projects, and an active Twitter account (@DrLucyJones) with more than 30,000 followers.

Nominations for these SSA awards are solicited from SSA members to be sent to the SSA Secretary by the due date of 15 February of each year. To learn more about the nominating process, please visit the SSA Awards page.