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2016 COSMOS Technical Session

Moving Toward Site-Specific Ground-Motion Hazard


The Consortium of Organization for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS) will be holding its Annual Meeting and Technical Session at the Crowne Plaza Hotel San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, California, on Friday, November 18th. The Crowne Plaza SFO is conveniently located at 1177 Airport Boulevard one block east of the 101 Freeway ( The Crowne Plaza has a complimentary shuttle, which runs every 30 minutes from San Francisco Airport. For those coming by BART, the shuttle stop is located in front of the International Terminal upper level adjacent to the SFO BART Station. This year's Technical Session is being sponsored by the California Geological Survey (CGS) and co-sponsored by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Center (PEER) and the Applied Technology Council (ATC). Registration and breakfast for the Technical Session will begin at 7:30 AM with the technical program starting promptly at 8:30 AM. This year we will be having a hot buffet breakfast and lunch. As in previous years, the session will be followed by a cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres and a partially hosted bar (we will be providing drink tickets to registrants).

This year's Technical Session theme is: Moving Toward Site-Specific Ground-Motion Hazard. The morning session will provide presentations on COSMOS/USGS/CGS joint activities, the updated ANSS strategic plan, new available datasets from South America and PEER, important new changes to ASCE 7-16 requiring more site specific ground motions and new limitations on their development, updates on the Project 17 and the PEER PSHA Validation Project. The afternoon presentations will feature presentations on the PEER Directivity Project and recommendations on performing hazard analysis with directivity, use of datasets to constrain path effects, integrating ground motion recordings into Site-Specific Amplification functions, use of 3D simulations in developing design ground motion hazards, and trade-offs between Aleatory and Epistemic Uncertainty. Speakers will include Alan Yong, Hamid Haddadi, Brad Aagard, Ruben Boroschek, Silvia Mazzoni, Charlie Kircher, Ron Hamburger, Christie Hale, Yousef Bozorgnia, Jennifer Donahue, Nico Kuehn, Christine Goulet, Kioumars Afshari, and Nick Gregor. As in years past, the last part of the Technical Session will include a lively panel session that will allow a forum for discussion.

Registration fees are $240 for COSMOS, PEER, and ATC members, and $280 for non-members; this includes breakfast, lunch, and refreshments. There is also a special reduced student rate of $60. This year, attendees will be able to earn 0.6 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) or 6 Profession Development Hours (PDUs) by attending. Program details for the COSMOS Annual Meeting and Technical Session are available at the COSMOS website at

You can either register by mail or via Paypal (see dropdown menu below). If you wish to register by mail, please send a check made out to COSMOS and mail to: COSMOS, c/o PEER, Bldg. 484, Rm. 121, 1301 S. 46th Street, Richmond, CA 94804.

Registration Fee


The 2017 Bruce Bolt Medal: Call for Nominations


The Bruce Bolt Medal is awarded jointly by COSMOS (the Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems), EERI (the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute), and SSA (the Seismological Society of America) to recognize individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety.

This award is issued annually and is presented to the recipient at the annual meeting fo the recipient's choice among the three sponsoring organizations.

View Past Recipients

Members of EERI, SSA, and COSMOS are encouraged to submit nomination packages for this distinguished award. Nominations will be reviewed in confidence by a six-person Joint Nomination Panel formed by two representatives from each of the three sponsoring organizations.. The recommended nominee will be considered in confidence by each organization's Board of Directors for their approval and joint selection of the medalist.

Nominee Criteria

The following criteria are used to evaluate the recipient:

  • Promotion of strong-motion instrumentation or advancing strong-motion data processing or data utilization;
  • Technical contributions in seismic engineering or engineering seismology; and
  • Leadership in the transfer of knowledge into practice or policy that has led to improved seismic safety.

The Joint Nomination Panel is charged with applying these criteria to select a nominee worthy of the high level of professional recognition represented by the sponsorship of the Bruce Bolt Medal by SSA, COSMOS, and EERI. Please note that current members of the Joint Panel are not eligible for nomination; the names of the current panelists are posted on the COSMOS, EERI and SSA websites.

The nomination letter should be no longer than two pages and must address the ways in which the candidate meets all three of the criteria. Along with the signed letter, the nomination package must include a substantial summary of the candidate's professional history, including employment, significant publications, honors, and activities and accomplishments relevant to the Bolt Medal criteria. The current contact information for the candidate must also be supplied. Up to three signed supporting letters (each no longer than two pages) may be included in the nomination package. Such letters should include a personal perspective on the nominee and his/her sustained impact on the field.

PLEASE NOTE: The nomination period for the 2017 Bolt Medal is 1 August—31 October 2016. The final nomination deadline is 31 October 2016. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Joint Nomination Panel.

Nomination packages (preferably as one combined .pdf file) for the Bruce Bolt Medal should be sent to the Bolt Medal Nomination Panel, in care of William (Woody) Savage at woodysavage [at] gmail [dot] com.

Questions regarding the Bolt Medal criteria or the nomination process for candidates may be directed to Woody at the above e-mail address. While electronic submissions are preferred, in .pdf or .doc formats, hard copies may be sent to the postal address below. If a hard copy is sent, the sender should notify Woody by e-mail.

Bolt Medal Nomination Panel
c/o Woody Savage
1930 Village Center Circle #3-292
Las Vegas, NV 89134.


2016 Dues

It's that time of year again. You may pay your dues either by PayPal (see below) or by remitting a check made payable to COSMOS and mailed to the COSMOS office: Rm 121, Bldg, 454, 1301 S. 46th Street, c/o PEER, University of California, Richmond, CA 94804.

To keep our records current, we'd appreciate it if you would fill out the membership information card HERE, and email it back to the COSMOS office: Thank you.

  • Individual Members: $50.00

2016 DUES




COSMOS recently funded efforts to improve the versatility and outputs of the Converter Tool that was originally developed at U.C. Santa Barbara in 2006. The current version of the Java-based application (beta mode) can input strong-motion records in the formats of four major seismic networks and COSMOS, split the record into single-channels if necessary, and then generate output files converted to a user-selected format. For more detailed information on the new took, please visit the VDC page. The tool can be downloaded from the CESMD website HERE




COSMOS has just released drafts of two new guidelines. The first is the "Guideline for Inundation Protection of Strong-Motion Instrumentation" (available HERE). The second is a draft of the "Guideline and General Considerations for Strong-Motion Instrumentation of Tall Buildings" (available HERE).




COSMOS Directors Alan Yong, Jamison Steidl, and Robert Nigbor organized an informal forum held on 24 April 2015 at Caltech. The purpose of the forum was to facilitate the exchange of information about seismic site response and the development of guidelines for characterizing site conditions in Europe, as presented by Pierre-Yves Bard and Cécile Cornou on 23 April at the Seismological Society of America (SSA) Meeting in Pasadena. Over 40 participants, consisting of representatives from industry and governmental and academic institutions in the U.S. and from abroad, attended the 24 April forum. Invited presentations by U.S. and European scientists and engineers about the state-of-knowledge in site response and non-invasive geophysical site characterization techniques led to discussions that ranged from generalities to nuances of the accuracy and precision of the techniques presented, and, in particular, about how these techniques were/are applied by practitioners. Concerns about the quality of the results produced by practitioners became the dominant topic, and the attendees decided that a committee should be established to facilitate the development of guidelines, or best practices, for characterizing site conditions when applying non-invasive techniques. The attendees asked Yong to serve as chair of the steering (facilitation) committee; they also suggested that committee members should include the other co-organizers (Steidl and Nigbor) and the presenters of the forum. More information is available HERE.


COSMOS is a non-profit organization whose goal is to expand and significantly modernize the acquisition and application of strong-motion data in order to increase public safety from earthquakes.

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