From The Directors: The Only Constant is Change


2022 SCEC Community Honors and Awards

Get to Know the SCEC Community 

Back Together Again: ELCA Activities Foster Connections in 2022

Past Issues

July 2022
October 2021
June 2021
March 2021
December 2020
October 2020
June 2020
March 2020
December 2019

Article Suggestions
If you have suggestions for recent research, education, or outreach activities to highlight in a future newsletter; or recognition, award, or honor of a member of the SCEC community, email Mark Benthien.


Articles from SCEC, our partners, and other sources.

Dear SCEC Community,

As 2022 draws to a close, we would like to update you on SCEC news.  

After two remote meetings that led to a three-year gap, the 2022 SCEC Annual Meeting was convened in person at the usual time – the week after Labor Day – and the usual place – the Palm Springs Hilton.  It was wonderful to see so many of you again, and to re-engage in person the SCEC community.  Gail Atkinson got the meeting off to a fantastic start with her distinguished lecture, “Past and Future Directions in Ground Motion Models and Seismic Hazard Analysis: Themes from the Hotel California.” Gail’s ability to weave the Hotel California theme into a cutting-edge exposition on trends and the cutting-edge in earthquake ground motion prediction was masterful.  The plenary science sessions, and the poster sessions that followed, were up to their usual high standard, and left meeting participants both inspired and energized.  

A Corsi-Rosenthal filter box made for the meeting by Idris Abercrombie.

Since the annual meeting took place during the ongoing pandemic, we took extra precautions to keep the SCEC community as safe as we could.  We required people to mask when inside, we shortened the length of the plenary sessions, and we convinced the Hilton to upgrade their air filtration system.  On Friday before the meeting, we also built 10 Corsi-Rosenthal boxes to provide clean air during the poster and plenary sessions.  This effort led to a safer meeting, and despite the prolonged and intense interactions that occurred, we know of only 2 people out of the >400 participants who came down with COVID from attending the meeting.  We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Ahmed Elbanna who provided both guidance on the most effective protective measures, and quantitative estimates for the required clean air delivery rate.  His efforts serve as a model for how to run a large meeting as safely as possible. 

One of the important thematic elements of the annual meeting was the new science opportunities that are created by a wider geographic scope.  The pending proposal for a new center would extend the boundaries of the SCEC natural laboratory to the natural boundaries of the transform plate boundary system – from Mexico to Mendocino and from the Borderlands to the Walker Lane.  To prepare for this wider focus, we are working with Sarah Minson, the USGS Northern California Regional Coordinator, to hold a session at the January 31–February 2, 2023 Northern California Earthquake Hazards Workshop on the challenges and opportunities involving community models.  This will be an important first step towards realizing the potential of the proposed statewide center. Registration for the Workshop is open through January 17. Further steps, which will include a substantial reorganization, await news from NSF on the new proposal.  NSF Program Manager Luciana Astiz told us that we can expect to hear about that during the first quarter of the 2023 calendar year.  

Tran Huynh received the 2022 USC Dornsife College Outstanding Staff Achievement Award

The articles published in this newsletter include a list of awards received by active SCEC members in 2022. One award we wish to highlight is the Outstanding Staff Achievement Award of the Dornsife college at USC given this year to Tran Huynh, the Associate Director for Science Operations at SCEC headquarters. Tran not only excels in her multi-faceted and challenging work, but positively influences others to surpass themselves in their own roles. Her service to the SCEC community has been both sustained and remarkable. 

In closing we would like to express our continuing gratitude both to the community at large, and to specific individuals who play key roles in the success of the center.  Christine Goulet, who has served SCEC for 6 years with very high distinction, on the Science Planning Committee and as the Executive Director for Applied Science, announced that she is moving on to become the USGS Earthquake Science Center Director.  Christine’s work bridges the strategic intersection of earthquake science and earthquake engineering, and she has made lasting contributions to SCEC’s efforts to ensure that scientific understanding serves the goal of effective risk reduction.  We congratulate Christine on her new position.  We will miss her many contributions, but we also expect that we will continue to be in close touch with her given the importance of USGS participation in the SCEC enterprise.  We’d also like to thank Emily Brodsky, for her important role as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors during several challenging transitions, and Rachel Abercrombie, who has served effectively as Chair of the Board of Directors in the year since John Shaw stepped down.  Rachel will continue her service to SCEC with her election as the new Vice Chair, and we welcome Tim Dawson who was just elected as the new Chair the SCEC Board of Directors.  As always, SCEC staff, deserve our thanks for their continued amazing and effective work to keep the center running so well. 

We wish everyone a great restoring holiday season and we look forward to continuing our community activities in 2023.

Greg Beroza, SCEC Co-Director
Yehuda Ben-Zion, SCEC Director



Science Highlights

Two Decades of High-Performance Computing at SCEC

SCEC began its journey into high performance computing in 2001, when Thomas Jordan, former Director of SCEC, received a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to use advanced computing methods for earthquake science and prediction.  “Instead of continuing on as a science center, I proposed that we make SCEC into an earthquake system science center that uses advanced computation to model earthquake processes,” said Jordan. The NSF grant allowed SCEC and affiliated scientists to collaborate on simulations together as a community. Some seismologists had been using supercomputers at the time, but not in a systematic way. SCEC paved the way for collaborative use of supercomputers that greatly advanced earthquake research.
[Read full article by Shreya Agrawal (USC)]

Shaping of the Rupture and Fault Zone Observatory

Community efforts continued this fall to hone the concept and design of the Rupture and Fault Zone Observatory (RuFZO), also known as the Near-Fault Observatory. RuFZO aims to collect geophysical and geological data within fault rupture zones of significant earthquakes, advance understanding of earthquake physics and characterization of near-fault regions, and refine estimates of seismic hazard. This article summaries results from four virtual breakout sessions in October 2022 which allowed presenters and attendees to discuss key topics regarding details of fault zone behaviors and the necessary observations for pushing forward our understanding of earthquake rupture. 
[Read full article by Kasey Aderhold (IRIS) and key collaborators]

Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP) Annual Workshop

For the first time since the pandemic, CSEP hosted an in-person workshop at the SCEC Annual Meeting. The 2022 CSEP workshop focused on four themes, each developed in a session. The first session featured a primer on CSEP, with an overview of current capabilities. The discussion gathered feedback on current CSEP activities and developed priorities for the future. The second session focused on machine learning techniques for earthquake forecasting. The third session comprised updates on OEF from the US and New Zealand, while the fourth session involved break-out group work that developed CSEP plans around the workshop’s themes.     
[Read full summary by Bill Savran (USC)]


Community Highlights

2022 SCEC Community Honors and Awards

Each year members of the SCEC Community are recognized with major awards and honors. This article is a collection of these recognitions announced or bestowed throughout 2022.

Congratulations to everyone!  If you, or others you know, should be included on the following list, please email

[View compilation]

Get to Know the SCEC Community 

Your involvement with SCEC is important and we would like to highlight the work you do!  As part of his new role as an outreach partner with the SCEC Communication, Education and Outreach team, CSUSB's Bryan Castillo is working with members of the SCEC Community to create short videos for SCEC's new TikTok channel and other social media accounts. Each video features somone from a SCEC institution who answers simple questions about their participation with SCEC. Special thanks to our first 14 volunteers, many which were recorded at the 2022 SCEC Annual Meeting. Now it's your turn – view current videos and read instructions for how to record yours.
[Read full article by Bryan Castillo (CSUSB)]


Community Updates

SRL Editorial
A Grand Challenge International Infrastructure for Earthquake Science
(Ben-Zion, Beroza, Bohnhoff, Gabriel, & Mai)
New oneAPI Center of Excellence Focuses on Earthquake Research
  The Blessings of Disaster
The Lessons That Catastrophes Teach Us and Why Our Future Depends on It

(Michel Bruneau)


Education Highlights

Back Together Again: ELCA Activities Foster Connections in 2022

SCEC’s Experiential Learning and Career Advancement (ELCA) Programs provided junior members of the SCEC community with resources and mentoring as we overcame the challenges left by a pandemic and its lingering impacts. Over the last two years, opportunities for making professional connections and summer research opportunities were limited. To help sustain careers in geoscience and other STEM fields, SCEC provided research opportunities for undergraduates interested in earthquake science, coordinated events for in-person networking, and supported in-person research promotion via Travel Awards and Lightning Talks.  We want to hear from you! If you have not completed the 2022 SCEC Community Survey survey, you will receive an email in the coming days with a request to do so. Please take a few minutes to tell us about your experiences with SCEC.
[Read full article by Gabriela Noriega (USC)]