News Release

Keith Knudsen honored with SSA Distinguished Service Award

Grant and Award Announcement

Seismological Society of America

Keith Knudsen

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Credit: Keith Knudsen

For his nine years of service as Secretary for the Seismological Society of America, SSA will present Keith Knudsen with its 2017 Distinguished Service Award. Knudsen will receive the award at Seismology of the Americas, a joint meeting of the SSA and the Latin American and Caribbean Seismological Commission (LACSC), to be held 23-26 April 2018 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In their nomination of Knudsen for the award, five past presidents of SSA commended him for his advice on multiple issues related to SSA operations and for his work in a demanding role for the Society, carried out from 2007 to 2016.

In particular, Knudsen was recognized for his work in reviewing and updating the SSA Bylaws and Board Policy manual, his role as chair of the Management Committee in instituting a more formal annual review of the Society's Executive Director and in serving as a member of the 2015 Executive Director Search Committee, and his role in developing a new strategic plan for SSA in 2012.

As Secretary, Knudsen was tasked with reporting the actions of the SSA Executive Committee to the SSA Board and representing the Executive Committee to the Budget and Headquarters Management Committees. He also worked with the Executive Director and legal counsel to ensure compliance with the Society's bylaws and policies.

Knudsen has been the Deputy Director of the Earthquake Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey at Menlo Park since 2011. He graduated with a B.A. in geology from Carleton College in 1983 and received his M.S. in environmental systems/ geology in 1989 from Humboldt State University. He continues to serve as a member of the SSA Government Relations Committee.

When informed of his receipt of this award, Knudsen said, "I'm delighted to be recognized in this way. I very much value the time I spent serving as SSA's Secretary, and hope to maintain the relationships I formed with so many others involved in the leadership of SSA. I learned a great deal from my colleagues in this volunteer role, and I encourage others to consider volunteering for other roles with SSA."

The Distinguished Service to SSA Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the work of the Seismological Society of America. This award is presented at the annual meeting following the year of the award.


The call for nominations for next year's Distinguished Service award, along with a list of past winners, is available at the Seismological Society of America's website,

The Seismological Society of America is a scientific society devoted to the advancement of earthquake science. Founded in 1906 in San Francisco, the Society now has members throughout the world representing a variety of technical interests: seismologists and other geophysicists, geologists, engineers, insurers, and policy-makers in preparedness and safety.

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