The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) was founded as a Science & Technology Center on February 1, 1991, with joint funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). SCEC graduated from the STC Program in 2002 and has been funded as a stand-alone center under cooperative agreements with both agencies in three consecutive phases: SCEC2, 1 Feb 2002 to 31 Jan 2007; SCEC3, 1 Feb 2007 to 31 Jan 2012; and SCEC4, 1 Feb 2012 to 31 Jan 2017.
SCEC coordinates fundamental research on earthquake processes using Southern California as its principal natural laboratory. This research program is investigator-driven and supports core research and education in seismology, tectonic geodesy, earthquake geology, and computational science. The SCEC community advances earthquake system science through three basic activities: (a) gathering information from seismic and geodetic sensors, geologic field observations, and laboratory experiments; (b) synthesizing knowledge of earthquake phenomena through physics-based modeling, including system-level hazard modeling; and (c) communicating our understanding of seismic hazards to reduce earthquake risk and promote community resilience.