International Training


2014: Background Informal Meeting  
2015: In Vietnam In the Americas From CTBTO
  In Iran In Germany In Japan
2016: NSF Funding Venue Opportunities


The IRIS International Development Steering Committee (IDSC) has organized a series of international human capacity building activities, funded in part by the National Science Foundation in various ways, including awards from IIA’s Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI) program and past IRIS Cooperative Agreements. Each activity has successfully broadened understanding of selected methods in modern seismological data analysis, distributed software for such analysis, and shared expertise to use the software for generating new products the benefit broader society. Nevertheless, IRIS’s ambition to build capacity more quickly and effectively will require deeper collaboration with other organizations.

Informal Meeting

To develop opportunities for such collaboration, during the 2014 AGU Annual Fall Meeting the IDSC organized an informal meeting of people who are well-informed about other organizations with interest in international training in seismology. IDSC members and liaisons who participated included Susan Beck, Jay Pulliam, Anne Meltzer, Harley Benz, Rengin Gok, Ray Russo, Meghan Miller, and Mike Pasyanos. IRIS staff who participated included Tim Ahern, Danielle Sumy, and Ray Willemann. Other participants included

  • Lee Liberty, Boise State Univ., speaking about SEG’s Geoscientists Without Borders (GWB)
  • Eli Baker, Air Force Research Laboratory
  • Pierrick Mialle and Mikhail Rozhkov, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization
  • Bil Junek and Jorge Roman-Nieves, Air Force Technical Applications Center
  • Rongsong Jih, Department of State
  • Brian Tucker, GeoHazards International

People invited but unable to attend included

  • Jessica Robin and Chuck Estabrook, NSF, International and Integrative Activities
  • Olga Cabello, Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
  • Gari Mayberry, USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
  • Jean Weaver, USGS, International Office
  • M. Ghesquiere, World Bank, Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Cindy Ebinger, to speak about Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research
  • Abdelkarim Aoudia, International Center for Theoretical Physics

The primary conclusion of the participants was that each interested organization has unique goals and constraints, which are likely to result in different subsets of the organizations collaborating in any given activity. Keeping each other better informed about intended activities, including tentative plans that may not come to fruition, may create opportunities for jointly-organized events that no single organization could justify alone. To facilitate this, IRIS will can post shared plans for international training in seismology, notify interested individuals by e-mail when new information is posted. 

International Training during 2015

During September, In Hanoi, Vietnam

In cooperation with the International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks (FDSN), IRIS Data Services is organizing a workshop focused on the management of metadata and time series data from seismological networks. The goal is to enable open data sharing and exchange of ideas between networks in the focus area as well as with the broader global seismological community. Registration in now open, and a draft agenda and details regarding financial support and logistics have been posted at [url=][/url].

The workshop is followed by a two-day Advanced Studies Institute (ASI) on Earthquake-Related Data Products. The goal for this ASI is to help network analysts start to become familiar with the software used to analyze broadband seismic data. We will focus on measurement of earthquake features beyond the single-event hypocenters and magnitudes that can be computed from short-period arrival time picks and amplitude measurements. Financial support for the ASIis provided by the National Science Foundation. Information about the ASI is posted at [url=][/url].

During August, in Potsdam, Germany

The GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, organises annually International Training Courses on "Seismology and Seismic Hazard Assessment". The training courses provide theoretical fundamentals and practical training in applied seismology, especially for geoscientists and engineers from earthquake prone countries. The program is particularly useful for seismological station and network operators, data interpreters and those concerned with seismic zoning and hazard assessment. These postgraduate courses are part of the educational and training program of the GFZ Potsdam, the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and UNESCO in the field of geosciences and disaster mitigation.

The 4-week training course 2015 will take place in Germany at the GFZ Potsdam, from August 10 to September 4. Young scientists and engineers from developing countries are invited to apply to the course. The course circular, scientific programme and application form for the course 2015 can be downloaded from [url=][/url].

During September at Lake Yamanaka, Japan

The Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo (ERI) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) organize the 3rd international summer school on Earthquake Science in September 4-8, 2015 at Lake Yamanaka, Japan. The theme this time is "monitoring physical properties associated with tectonic processes", and three sessions on "seismic interferometry", "crustal deformation", and "seismicity" will be programmed. There will be about 10 keynote lecturers by leading scientists from various research fields including geophysics, seismology, and geodesy, with shorter presentations (and posters) by participants. We anticipate participation of about 40 graduate students or postdocs from the international community.

Graduate students and postdocs in the field of the international community are encouraged to participate. Detailed information is posted at [url=][/url]

During August, in Hanoi, Vietnam

At the CTBTO's ASEAN NDC Development Workshop and Training during 6–10 July, Michchael Pasyanos and Rengin Gok will offer training on regional amplitude measurements using the toolbox developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Further information is available at [url=][/url].

In the Americas

Harley Benz explained that training activities are intrinsic to efforts to improve data exchange. Such activities are currently envisioned for Nicaragua, Cuba, and Chile; and new opportunities arise regularly. The USGS might coordinate with IRIS in approaching to USAID/OFDA for support to provide specific types of training, such as implementing data quality assurance, accessing USGS products using Bob Herrmann’s package, computing moment tensors and other moderately advanced products, and making maps of VS30 and other site response parameters.

With the CTBTO

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) PrepCom with its Provisional Technical Secretariat offers training for station operators of the International Monitoring System (IMS) and analysts at National Data Centers (NDCs) as well as experts at other designated establishments who are officially authorized users of IMS data and related products of the International Data Centre (IDC). All trainees need to be nominated through official channels. The trainings include waveform analyst training courses in the headquarter in Vienna or at a cooperating host institution. An e-learning course is offered with the title “NDC Capacity Building: Access and Application of IMS Data and IDC Products”. The training courses are announced at the CTBTO public web site with the URL In addition to training events, this web page contains the announcements of technology workshops and the CTBT Science and Technology Conferences. The workshops and conferences are open to the global scientific community.

During May, in Tehran, Iran

The Geological Survey of Iran, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, and the Earthquakes Without Frontiers International Partnership Programme will organize an International Conference and School on Structure, Tectonics and Earthquakes in the Alborz-Zagros-Makran Region, to be held at Tehran, Iran, from 22 to 31 May 2015. The event will be directed by Morteza Talebian (GSI, Iran), James Jackson (Univ. of Cambridge, U.K.) and Abdelkrim Aoudia (ICTP, Italy). The Conference will present the latest development in the field and the School will motivate and train its participants in Continental Tectonics, Monitoring and Observational Foundations of Earthquake Hazards, Associated Earthquake Hazards, and Modelling Continental Deformation and the Earthquake Cycle. Further information is posted at

International Training during 2016

NSF Funding

No program director from NSF/IIW was able to participate in our meeting, but Chuck Estabrook made several suggestions in a separate conversation, including

  • The CNIC program in ISE covers exploratory collaborations, which can include workshops.
  • IIW is about to launch a new version of the PASI program, perhaps going beyond the Americas.
  • For possible USGS/NSF funding of enhanced workshops, consider applying to the Powell Center.

Venue Opportunities

Regional seismological commissions – including the Asia Seismological Commission (ASC) and the Latin America-Caribbean Seismological Commission (LACSC) – meet in alternate years, such as the LACSC 2014 conference in Bogota. IRIS could consider Advanced Studies Institutes in conjunction with the 2016 meetings, which could be run at lower cost if participants pay some of their own travel expenses since they are already attending the conference.

ASC Conference: An ASI in Asia might be possible in collaboration with the State Department if the training includes on topics related to the mission of the Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation.

LACSC Conference: Partial funding for an ASI in the western hemisphere might be possible from the State Department if it is linked to development of the Subduction Zone Observatory or the interests of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.