Dec - Feb: First Priority applications area accepted online.

Mar -  Apr: Applications are reviewed. Mentor/Mentee evaluation and project matching

Jun - Aug: Interns participate in intership progrfam for 8-10 consecutive weeks.

Sep: Interns participate in SCEC Annual Meeting (dates TBD).


Complete the research mentor survey below and we will help match you with a student intern to support your reasearch.


Program Overview

The Southern California Earthquake Center/Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SCEC/SURE) pairs a student, one-on-one, to conduct research with a pre-eminent earthquake scientist or specialist. Many SURE interns also have the opportunity to work alongside graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, and thus gain the special perspective of these early career professionals.

Since 1994, SCEC/SURE has supported students to work in a very wide variety of fields related to earthquake science, including paleoseismic field investigations, remote sensing, risk mitigation, seismic velocity modeling, effects of earthquakes on natural resources such as groundwater, science education, information technology, and earthquake engineering.

Previous Projects

View the list of projects from previous years for examples of research conducted by previous SURE interns. Projects from previous years can be accessed HERE. This will help us to match you with appropriate scientists and projects. Most projects require some knowledge of geology, geophysics, or geotechnical engineering, therefore most SURE interns are juniors or seniors majoring in those fields; however, mentors do sometimes have projects without required coursework or other restrictions.

There are typically numerous applicants interested in every project. A review committee matches finalists with appropriate projects and then each mentor selects among those finalists.

Program Goals


SCEC/SURE was established to:

  1. provide hands-on research experience for undergraduates and expand student participation in the earth sciences and related disciplines
  2. encourage students to consider careers in research and education
  3. interest, train, and retain talented students, including women, members of underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and students outside the earth sciences

Student Compensation


Each SCEC/SURE intern is paid a stipend of $6500 for 8-10 weeks of research. The length of the internship depends on the project and on the internship schedule that each mentor and intern will create in late spring. This stipend must be used to pay for food, housing, and incidental costs.


Dr. Sally McGill
Dr. McGill is an active member of the SCEC community and has been a mentor for the SURE program 15 times out of the 25 years the SURE program has been around. She has been a professor of Geology at the California State University, San Bernardino since 1991 more...
and is currently the Interim Associate Dean of the College of Natural Sciences there. As a mentor she has guided interns in summer projects related to paleoseismology of the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults, as well as using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to monitor tectonic plate motion and elastic strain accumulation across the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults near San Bernardino, California. In some years she has also served as a tour guide for our SCEC interns when they take a field trip to the San Andreas Fault. close


Debbie Weiser '07
Debbie Weiser was an intern in 2007 under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Grant Ludwig, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. She studied Geology at Occidental College as an undergraduate (Class of 2008) and finished her PhD at University of California, Los Angeles in 2016. She more...
worked at the US Geological Survey for 10 years, focusing her efforts on disaster risk reduction, including helping to found the Great ShakeOut earthquake drills. Debbie now works for One Concern, a technology company that uses AI and machine learning to model the impacts of natural disasters on the built environment. close


Topic: Anza Seismic Gap
Margaret Grenier (’18 intern) worked with Dr. Fialko at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the University of California, San Diego. Her research focused on the Anza seismic gap, where she processed GPS data to better constrain the strain rate across the fault. Through this research more...
she learned how to use MATLAB and GAMIT/GLOBK, however the most valuable thing she learned was to be skeptical initial data analysis and results, and to look for errors. “Overall it was a great experience and the view at Scripps University wasn't too bad either." close