Free webinar: Magna, Utah Earthquake Reconnaissance Briefing

Thursday, July 23, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET | REGISTER HERE

This Learning from Earthquakes webinar will provide an overview of the impacts from the M5.7 March 18, 2020 Magna, Utah earthquake. In this multidisciplinary webinar, you will gain insights covering science, engineering, and response aspects of the earthquake. You will also learn how the earthquake affected the natural and built environment, as well as about current mitigation efforts in Utah.



Barry Welliver (moderator) is the owner and principal engineer of BHW Engineers based in Draper, Utah. His involvement with the Utah Seismic Safety Commission dates back to 1996, first as an observer, then delegate for the Structural Engineers Association of Utah, and finally as Chair of the commission from 2002-2006. Barry was a member of the teams producing the first Putting Down Roots In Earthquake Country and Scenario for a Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake on the Wasatch Fault – Salt Lake City Segment publications. He is on the EERI Board of Directors and has held many other leadership roles within EERI and the Structural Engineers Association of Utah.


Jessica Chappell, SE, LEED AP, is an Associate at Reaveley Engineers, with 16 years of experience in structural consulting. She serves on the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, the SE3 Committee of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, the Technical Committee of the Structural Engineers Association of Utah, and the Education Committee of the Utah Society of Healthcare Engineers. Jessica has organized the EERI Utah Chapter Resilience Workshops and has represented Reaveley in a partnership with the University of Utah – College of Architecture and Planning for their Community Resilience programs.


Crystal Hulbert has been the City Engineer for Magna Metro Township since 2018. She began her career in heavy civil construction management, then to structural design for commercial buildings, and finally to civil design for residential homes. She has spent the last four years in municipal engineering. Crystal received her bachelor of science in 2006 in civil engineering.


Emily Kleber is a geoscientist at the Utah Geological Survey specializing in earthquake geology. She investigates how earthquakes and geologic hazards have changed the surface over geologic timescales, with expertise in the application of high-resolution topographic data (lidar) to geologic hazard mapping, paleo seismology, field geology, and geochronology. Emily is passionate about communicating and connecting with the public, earthquake scientists and engineers, emergency managers, and officials about earthquake geology and hazards in Utah. She has a B.S. in geology from University of California, Davis, and a M.S. in geology from Arizona State University.


Keith Koper is professor of geophysics and director of the seismological observatory at the University of Utah. His research interests include array seismology; Earth’s ambient seismic noise field; forensic seismology and exotic sources; rupture imaging of giant earthquakes; seismicity and tectonics of the intermountain West; mining induced earthquakes; structure and dynamics of Earth’s deep interior. Dr. Koper has published 83 peer-reviewed articles and been principal investigator on $11.52M of external research awards from many federal agencies. He serves as a member of the U.S. Air Force Seismic Review Panel, as vice-chair of the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, and as a member of the science advisory board of Eos.


Sean McGowan is the Earthquake Program Manager and Building Science Lead for FEMA Region VIII, collaborating with state and local leaders in the Rocky Mountain Region to mitigate earthquake risk and adopt resilient building codes. Sean works to enhance FEMA’s readiness for major earthquakes and serves as the subject matter expert for FEMA response efforts in the event of a regional earthquake – including along the Wasatch Fault. He is a Professional Engineer licensed in Colorado and has implemented international sustainable development projects in Mexico, Peru, and Ethiopia.


Trent Sorensen is the Chief Building Official for the Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District, serving the metro townships of Magna, Kearns, Copperton, White City, Emigration Canyon, the Town of Brighton, and unincorporated communities of Salt Lake County. Trent believes in the importance of strong and relevant building codes and seeks to strengthen the relationships and responsibilities of key stakeholders in providing safe buildings for our communities. Prior to his work with the District, he spent 10 years working in the building department of Salt Lake County, and 11 years working in building construction in Southern Utah.


Ivan Wong is a Senior Principal Seismologist with Lettis Consultants International in Concord, Calif. with a 45-year career focusing on earthquake hazard reduction and public outreach. Ivan has directed the seismic hazard evaluations of more than 500 critical and important facilities worldwide including some of the largest seismic hazard evaluations performed in the U.S. Since graduating from the University of Utah, he has worked extensively in both consulting and research in Utah often collaborating with the Utah Geological Survey and the University of Utah. Ivan led the development of the first seismic hazard maps of the Salt Lake City urban area, was the chair of the Working Group on Utah Earthquake Probabilities, and is the chair of the Utah Ground Shaking Working Group.

Accepting Submissions: EERI’s Annual Undergraduate Student Paper Competition

EERI’s Student Awards Committee is excited to offer its Annual Undergraduate Student Paper Competition. This competition encourages the active involvement of students in earthquake engineering and the earthquake hazards community and allows emerging experts to share their research. The prize for each winner is a trip to the EERI Annual Meeting, recognition during the Institute’s Awards Ceremony, and the opportunity to meet and network with peers and experts in the field.

Deadline: Thursday, October 1, 2020, at 11:59 pm PT. Click here to access the submission form.


  • The paper must not exceed four (4) pages in length inclusive of all figures, tables, photographs, appendices, and list of references. Please note: final papers from other programs, such as REU’s, will be accepted if shortened to 4 pages.
  • The paper must be authored by the student alone. A faculty member or other advisor can provide feedback before submission of the paper but may not co-author the paper. The advisor’s name should be included in the “acknowledgments” section of the paper.
  • Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university and must be U.S. residents.


  • Free registration to the EERI Annual Meeting
  • Recognition during the Institute’s Awards Ceremony
  • Up to $1,000 to cover airfare, ground transportation, and hotel costs associated with attending the meeting.

Earthquake Spectra Call for Papers on CENA Special Issue

Submission deadline extended to July 15, 2020.


Earthquake Spectra is soliciting papers for a special issue dedicated to seismic hazard in Central and Eastern North America (CENA). We welcome papers related to simulated and empirical data, analyses and modeling ground motion, or any other relevant topic having a direct impact on the estimation of seismic hazard for CENA and other similar stable continental regions.

This special issue will also include papers from the multi-year NGA-East Project that involved a large number of participating researchers from organizations in academia, industry, and government. This community-based project resulted in several products that will be featured in this issue, including the NGA-East ground motion database, and a new ground motion characterization model for the CENA region. Since the completion of the NGA-East project, many other research projects and activities have taken place which we would like to feature as well in this special issue.

Submission Process: Submit your paper in Earthquake Spectra‘s online submission system here. Please log in to your account if you have one or create a new account if you don’t have an existing one. Start a new submission under the “author” tab and then select “CENA Special Issue.”

For any questions regarding the submission process, email

EERI Seeks New Learning from Earthquakes Committee Chair/Co-Chairs

EERI is currently accepting applications for the position of Chair/Co-Chairs of the Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Committee. The LFE Committee Chair or Co-Chairs provide oversight and leadership for EERI’s flagship program. 

Access the application form here.

In 2019, EERI launched the LFE Endowment Campaign in order to provide sustainable funding for this core program that is  foundational to  EERI’s mission and holds special meaning for many EERI members. It is also time to choose a new Chair or Co-chairs to work with the LFE Committee, the EERI Board and staff in designing and leading a sustainable LFE program into the future. This open application process is designed to provide transparency on the management of the program to the EERI membership and LFE Endowment donors.

The application deadline is July 8, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and finalists will be invited to an informal interview with the selection committee. The committee may select two candidates to serve as Co-Chairs of the program, and is even encouraging applicants to apply as a leadership pair. Final selection of a Chair or Co-Chairs is expected in August 2020, with the term to start in September 2020.

The selection committee is particularly interested in applicants who:

  • Have strong reconnaissance experience
  • Have an understanding of how the post-earthquake reconnaissance landscape is evolving
  • Understand and value the multidisciplinary nature of the LFE program
  • Have demonstrated leadership ability
  • Can lead the committee in strategic discussions to determine future directions for the program
  • Have experience collaborating with the broad spectrum of LFE partners including academics, practitioners, and federal agencies
  • Have experience collaborating with international EERI members and other international partner organizations

The position of LFE Committee Chair is a volunteer position. Applicants must be EERI members in good standing. Chairs must have the availability to be in regular communication with EERI staff, lead regular committee meetings, attend EERI annual meetings, and engage actively in determining EERI’s response to earthquakes in the U.S. and around the world.

More information about the position of LFE Chair and the LFE Committee can be found in the LFE Committee Charge and Organization.

To be considered, please submit a written statement and a cv/resume using this form. The written statement should include the following items:

  • Why you are interested in serving as LFE Chair
  • Your experience conducting post-earthquake reconnaissance
  • Other experiences that you believe align with the desired qualities for LFE Chair as described above
  • What you believe are the strengths, challenges, and opportunities for the LFE program in the next 5 years
  • How would you approach determining strategic directions for the LFE program
  • Anything else you would like the selection committee to consider when reviewing your application
  • If you are applying as a leadership pair with another applicant. (Each applicant should submit a separate application).

The application form requires a google account to submit. If you do not have a gmail account, you can submit your materials by sending them in an email attachment to

Applications will be reviewed by an Ad Hoc Selection Committee:

  • Laurie Johnson, EERI President
  • David Cocke, EERI President-elect
  • Judith Mitrani-Reiser, EERI Board Liaison to the LFE Committee
  • Charles Huyck, Outgoing LFE Chair
  • David Friedman, LFE Endowment Campaign Committee
  • Heidi Tremayne, EERI Executive Director
  • Maggie Ortiz-Millan, EERI LFE Program Manager

Questions about the application process should be sent to

Public Policy and Advocacy Committee releases Citizen Advocacy Toolkit

The Public Policy and Advocacy Committee (PPA) is rolling out its latest project, the Citizen Advocate Toolkit, to make seismic risk reduction advocacy more accessible for EERI members around the United States.

This toolkit describes lessons learned and best practices from the successes and failures of seismic safety advocacy by the committee to help all EERI members become effective advocates. It was developed to provide guidance and resources for EERI members to become the most influential constituents regarding earthquake hazard risk reduction at every level of government. The toolkit includes useful resources including how to find your legislators, the best way to engage with elected officials, and state-specific resources to get you started.

This initiative was developed to empower EERI members to take action with policymakers in their communities as seismic safety experts. If you are interested in getting involved with advocacy with EERI or on your own time, please download the Citizen Advocate Toolkit, now available here. If you would like to learn more about the PPA and help to develop the Institute’s official positions, join the PPA and your fellow EERI members in our mission to make communities more resilient to seismic hazards!

A message to our members about recent violence and racism in America

We have been confronted again in America by the unnecessary loss of life. While massive protests and civil unrest continue across the country, these events have challenged us to reflect and wonder: what can EERI do in a meaningful and thoughtful way to be a catalyst for racial equity in our sphere of influence?

While we don’t have all the answers and there’s still so much we have to learn, we want to send a strong message to our African American members: you have our compassion, you have our support, and we value you. Your voices and perspectives are essential to the Institute and our work.

Since its founding, EERI has sought to enhance safety and protect the lives of individuals and communities around the world, by minimizing their risk and growing their resilience. Violent, unprovoked killings of unarmed citizens by people in power clearly jeopardizes community safety and is antithetical to EERI’s values. EERI condemn these acts of violence that harm and disempower citizens, and increase the vulnerability of communities. 

Perhaps more difficult to identify and reconcile are the many subtle societal biases that reinforce racist practices and cause grave harm to communities of color and other marginalized groups, making them more vulnerable to disaster impacts and less likely to flourish in society. For EERI, the outcome of this systemic racism and bias manifests in the limited racial and cultural diversity of professionals and experts in the technical fields and disciplines we hold essential to EERI’s mission of earthquake risk reduction.  

EERI has long derived strength from our diversity — our activities have long valued geographic and disciplinary diversity and inclusivity. In recent years, we have expanded and embraced gender and age diversity in our leadership, as we now regularly have strong female and early career leaders on the Board, in our committees, and within our chapters. This moment has reminded us that we can not be complacent with this progress. It challenges us to look critically at how we, as an organization and membership, can yield similar gains in racial diversity that make Black professionals and other underrepresented groups feel welcome, engaged, and appreciated, and grow their participation in our fields of work. We have taken some small steps recently through our diversity event at the National Earthquake Conference in March, Board nominating committee criteria that value racial diversity, and a new meeting code of ethics focused on ensuring that all EERI members feel safe and welcome at our events; but, there is clearly more that we can and must do.

To this aim, EERI has committed to the Statement on Systemic Racism and Disasters from the North American Alliance of Hazards and Disaster Research Institutes. Among several other commitments, it clearly states that we will not tolerate racism, discrimination, harassment, or bias in our Institute or activities, and promises to act fairly, swiftly, and with moral courage in the face of any such incidents. It also pushes us to identify and diminish existing inequalities in our own practices and policies. 

Additionally, the Board is preparing for a strategic planning activity this summer to develop a new 3-5 year plan for the Institute and reflect on our foundational statements. In this planning process, we will be carefully considering how EERI can enhance our diversity and support for members of color through our policies, programs, and activities.  

We acknowledge that doing this work will be a journey. We’re committed to educating ourselves and we invite your suggestions on how EERI can become a more welcoming, safe, and empowering community and organization. 

Laurie A. Johnson
EERI President 

Heidi Tremayne
EERI Executive Director

Webinar: Preliminary Observations and Findings from the EERI Palu, Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami Resilience Reconnaissance Team

View a recording of the webinar here.

Join us for a webinar to hear preliminary observations and findings from the EERI reconnaissance team that visited Palu, Indonesia earthquake in November 2019. The trip focused on issues related to ongoing population displacement and progress toward reconstruction following the devastating September 2018 earthquake and tsunami.


Kanako Iuchi is an associate professor at the International Research Institute for Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University, Japan. Her research focuses on recovery after disasters, with a special interest in long-term community relocation. As a planner, she worked extensively on post-disaster recovery efforts and resilience rebuilding with international agencies including the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

N. Rahma Hanifa: Rahma works at the Center for Earthquake Science and Technology, Research Center for Disaster Mitigation at the Institut Teknologi Bandung in Bandung, Indonesia. She is also involved with the National Center for Earthquake Studies of the Ministry of Public Work and Housing, the University Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (UF-DRR), and DRR Forum of West Java. She has been an appointed young scientist representative in the Asia Pacific Science, Technology, Academia Advisory Group since October 2019.

Ghazala Naeem: Ghazala is a disaster management practitioner with the Resilience Group, working in the areas of risk mitigation and resilience building. As an architect, she has contributed in the post-disaster rehabilitation process after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, the 2010-2011 floods in Pakistan, and the 2015 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal with various international organizations. Her research interest includes earthquake and tsunami risk reduction through policy measures and community preparedness.

Robert Olshansky, Ph.D., FAICP: Robert is Professor Emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has studied recovery planning and management after major disasters, including the Northridge and Kobe earthquakes, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Wenchuan earthquake, Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, as well as disasters in India, Indonesia, Taiwan, New Zealand, and others. He has been a member of EERI for over 30 years.

Webinar: Reconnaissance Lessons Learned from the 2019 EERI New Zealand Travel Study Program

View a recording of the webinar here.

Join us for a webinar — presented to you by the Younger Members Committee — featuring lessons learned from the Learning from Earthquakes 2019 Travel Study Program in New Zealand, developed in partnership with QuakeCoRE, the New Zealand Centre for Earthquake Resilience. Program participants learned directly from those in the field through lectures, site visits, and group research projects. From Christchurch, to Kaikoura, then Wellington, they talked to local experts to understand the impacts of earthquakes. Learn more about the LFE Travel Study Program here. 

The webinar will include presentations from the following program participants:

  • “Environmental Impacts of 2010-2011 Canterbury & 2016 Kaikoura Earthquakes: Lessons Learned to Inform Resilient Strategies,” presented by Andrew Makdisi (M.EERI,2017), University of Washington
  • “Learning From Earthquakes New Zealand Travel Study Program: Opportunities in Rebuilding the Built Environment,” presented by Anne Hulsey (M.EERI,2002), Stanford University
  • “Challenges in Rebuilding the Built Environment in New Zealand following Earthquakes,” presented by Ezra Jampole (M.EERI,2012), Exponent


Andrew J. Makdisi: Andrew is a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington. His research focuses on soil liquefaction during earthquakes and the ensuing ground failure that often results. The project seeks to develop a predictive framework that separates the lateral spreading problem into components that occur before and after the onset of liquefaction. Andrew serves as vice president of the EERI student chapter at UW and on the Board of Directors for the Washington professional chapter. Andrew received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 2012 and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington in 2016.

Anne Hulsey: Anne is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University and performs earthquake engineering research in order to support communities as they develop resilience strategies. Her research focuses on how damage to individual buildings has the potential to influence the broader neighborhood (and vice versa). Anne’s previous graduate work was at The University of Texas, including earning a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Anne has been involved in EERI since 2012 and has served as president and treasurer for the student chapters at UT and Stanford, respectively. She is on board of directors for the EERI Northern California chapter.

Ezra Jampole: Ezra is a Managing Engineer at Exponent in New York City. He specializes in the performance of structures subjected to extreme loads such as earthquakes, wind, and flood events and risk analyses. He has served as a consultant on projects assessing the origin of damage to structures following natural disasters, adjacent construction incidents, corrosion and deterioration, settlement, and long-term issues. Ezra is a co-chair of EERI’s Younger Members Committee.

Webinar: Functional Recovery – Designing for Community Resilience

Explore the emerging and timely concept of functional recovery as a basis for earthquake-resistant design in the 2020 EERI Distinguished Lecture, featuring David Bonowitz.

WEBINAR: Wednesday, April 29 at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET 
FREE for EERI members and non-members | REGISTER HERE

In this webinar, you’ll gain insights on how design for functional recovery is a necessary tool for assessing and improving community resilience. The lecture will examine four dimensions of functional recovery: definitional, technical, policy, and implementation. While designing buildings and infrastructure for limited downtime — or an acceptably quick functional recovery — is not new, it’s receiving more attention through state and federal legislation and showing new feasibility through research and technology. As this concept becomes more influential in our field, the lecture will also explore the roles you can play in shaping this thinking into design practice.

The Distinguished Lecture Award recognizes EERI members who have made outstanding contributions to earthquake risk reduction. The award encourages communications and dialogue on important and timely topics.

About David Bonowitz

David BonowitzBonowitz is a structural engineer and a consultant on disaster risk reduction policy. His work links what engineers know to what policymakers, decision-makers, and stakeholders need, consulting to city, state, federal, and international agencies. 

He is an appointed member of the new Federal Emergency Management Agency-National Institute of Standards and Technology working group on Functional Recovery of the Built Environment and Critical Infrastructure. He is a co-author of “Functional Recovery: A Conceptual Framework,” an EERI white paper, and lead author of “Resilience-based Design and the NEHRP Provisions,” now in review by the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Provisions Update Committee. 

Bonowitz is also a Fellow Member of Structural Engineers Association of Northern California and Structural Engineers Association of California, and past chair of the National Council of Structural Engineers Association Existing Buildings and Resilience committees. He is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering from UC Berkeley.

EERI Response to M5.7 Magna, Utah Earthquake

On Wednesday, March 18, a M5.7 earthquake struck near Magna, Utah. EERI is currently monitoring the situation from media reports and notes from colleagues in the impacted region as part of its Learning from Earthquakes Program

As EERI’s current policy for COVID-19 health concerns prevents all in-person events, meetings, and activities for the remainder of March and April 2020, EERI will be considering a virtual response for this earthquake. We ask EERI members to avoid group meetings and consider this policy in any response.

EERI’s Virtual Earthquake Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT) has activated to develop a summary report of impacts based on online sources. If you’d like to contribute to the report, please sign up for VERT here

The Utah Geological Survey has established a virtual clearinghouse website for the earthquake here. Visit the USGS website for more information.