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SAFRR - Science Application for Risk Reduction

News Archive


  • May 6, 2016Lucy conference
    Lucy Jones Receives 2016 WSSPC Lifetime Achievement Award

    The Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) has announced Dr. Lucy Jones as the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented at the 2016 National Earthquake Conference on May 5th at the Hilton in Long Beach, California. The award recognizes for Lucy’s outstanding research contributions, scientific leadership, and novel approaches to earthquake communication and risk reduction through interdisciplinary partnerships and scenario development.

  • March 7-9, 2016Lucy conference
    Lucy Jones Presents Session for 2016 International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference

    Dr. Lucy Jones participated in the 2016 International Crisis and Risk Communication (ICRC) conference in Orlando, Florida March 7-9, co-presenting a session together with Egill Hauksson (Caltech) titled “Delivering and Interpreting Earthquake Information during Crises and Peacetime.” The session debunked myths and misunderstanding of earthquakes and discussed ways in which more effective communication techniques, and perhaps earthquake early warning technology, may help move toward addressing such misunderstandings.

  • March 3, 2016USGS Circular cover
    Newly Published: USGS Circular “Get Your Science Used - Six Guidelines to Improve Your Products”

    The USGS Circular “Get Your Science Used--Six Guidelines to Improve Your Products” has now been published. Ideas for the circular began with efforts in summer 2014 to address how to broaden the understanding and use of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps, plus gather communication insights to be applied to other scientific products. The circular embodies the collective work by SAFRR’s Cadre of Relevant Experts (CORE), a team of revolving experts and practitioners from across a range of disciplines, through a series of workshops and collaborations led by SAFRR’s Sue Perry. The publication is now available in hopes that it will be a valuable tool to help improve the use and understanding of USGS science.

  • February 18, 2016
    Lucy Jones Meets with Senator Feinstein to Discuss San Francisco & Earthquakes

    Dr. Lucy Jones was invited to meet with Senator Feinstein to discuss tall buildings in big earthquakes and address the risk facing San Francisco. Other invitees included Professor Tom Heaton of Caltech, Ron Hamburger (structural engineer in San Francisco), Patrick Otellini (Chief Resilience Officer of San Francisco), and OCAP's Justin Pressfield will be available to participate in the briefing. The meeting was held at Senator Feinstein's office in San Francisco on February 18th.

  • February 16, 2016Lucy Japan
    Dr. Lucy Jones Visits Tokyo For Invited Talk at ISS Symposium

    Dr. Lucy Jones travelled to Japan to give an invited presentation on earthquake resilience for the 27th ISS Symposium “An Intergenerational Dialogue with Women Pioneers in DRR: Diversity and Risk Governance”. Dr. Jones was asked to speak at the symposium by Dr. Jackie Steele from the University of Tokyo (a convener at the symposium) who also met with Dr. Jones during the trip. The two began collaboration during a visit by Dr. Jones last year and will continue discussing opportunities toward the creation of a partnership between the NPO Women’s Eye and organizations in California to connect women in communities who are working to increase their resilience and preparedness for future earthquakes.

  • February 9, 2016
    Dr. Burkett Presents on Earthquakes for Inland Empire Safety Forum

    On February 9th, Dr. Erin Burkett presented earthquake science, impacts, and available resources for an audience of safety professionals from both public and private agencies who are part of the professional safety organization “The Safety Forum of the Inland Empire”.

  • February 3, 2016
    Dr. Lucy Jones Presents on Science Communication for Art Center

    On February 3rd, Dr. Lucy Jones gave a guest lecture at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA on the topic of science communication. The presentation was for a class that is developing an exhibit on science for the Long Beach aquarium.

  • January 28, 2016
    Dr. Lucy Jones Speaks For Pasadena City Council Community Forum

    Dr. Lucy Jones was invited to speak on earthquakes for the Pasadena City Council District 4 Community Forum on Thursday, January 28th at the Victory Park Community Center. The theme for the event, open to the public, was “Are We Earthquake Ready?”

  • January 26, 2016
    USGS Participates in Cascadia Earthquake Tweet Chat

    On January 26th, the 316th anniversary of the Great Cascadia Earthquake, the USGS, FEMA, NOAA and regional planners took part in an effort to raise awareness in preparation for the Pacific Northwest's next big earthquake. Joan Gomberg and Kris Ludwig participated as subject matter experts for a 10 a.m. Twitter chat (hashtag #CascadiaEQ) involving an hour of Q&A about earthquakes and preparedness.

  • January 22, 2016
    Leading Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones Tapped as Keynote Speaker at 30th Anniversary Land Use Law & Planning Conference Hosted by UCLA Extension

    On January 22nd, Dr. Lucy Jones was the keynote speaker at the UCLA Extension’s 30th Anniversary Land Use Law and Planning Conference. The conference is a leading source of information on California land use legislation, case law, issues that frame land use and development practices.

  • January 8, 2016
    Usability Testing for the National Seismic Hazard Maps

    Social scientists Dr. Christina Zarcadoolas and graduate student Wendy Vaughon of How to Health Literacy (H2HL) submitted a final report to the National Seismic Hazard Model Project (NSHMP), "NSHM Product Usability Testing - Public Map and Web Content". This report presents results and recommendations from a study conducted in fall 2015 with emergency managers and local officials around the nation. Some of the participants had familiarity with earthquake hazard through long careers, while others were new to the hazard because of induced seismicity. This study is the first deliverable in a 4-module contract, funded by SAFRR to improve the understanding and use of certain USGS hazard products (automated aftershock forecasts and the Flood Inundation Maps are upcoming contract modules). For this contract module, in addition to this report, H2HL will provide feedback on an upcoming NSHMP fact sheet and develop on-line tutorial materials for USGS scientists who want to learn how to conduct such usability tests themselves.

  • January 6, 2016
    Lucy Jones: Sharing earthquake information to minimize risk to lives and property

    “Her objective is not just to deliver science, but to explain to decision-makers and policymakers how they can better handle natural disasters and, in particular, earthquakes,” said Rob Graves, a USGS seismologist. “She is not doing science for the sake of science, but actually getting the information into broader use where it will benefit society.” (View WA Post article.)


  • October 23, 2015
    Press Conference Kicks Off Pilot Project To Test ShakeAlert in Classrooms

    The USGS, City of Los Angeles mayor’s office, and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have begun a collaborative pilot project to install and test the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning system in classrooms at the Eagle Rock High School. The project will provide both a science and technology educational opportunity for the school as well as a means to inform ShakeAlert system improvement based on feedback regarding functioning, understanding, and potential uses of the system in an educational setting. A press conference was held on October 23rd at 12:30 pm at Eagle Rock High School, where speakers included the LA Mayor, district officials, school officials, and Dr. Lucy Jones. See article: "Mayor Garcetti Announces First In The Nation Early Warning System Pilot At LAUSD School"; excerpt- ""We are looking forward to working with LAUSD to provide students the opportunity to learn about earthquakes, the hazards they create, and what they can do to reduce the risk," said Dr. Lucy Jones, USGS seismologist. "This pilot program will allow us to obtain feedback on the function and use of ShakeAlert within their classrooms in order help advance us towards the goal of issuing earthquake warnings throughout the west coast." (View LA Times article.)

  • October 23, 2015
    First public test of earthquake alert system rolls out at L.A. school

    In a major sign that California's earthquake early warning system is moving forward, officials announced Friday that Eagle Rock High School will provide the first classrooms to test the program developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and a team of scientists. (View LA Times article.)

  • October 22, 2015
    Lucy Jones Receives William Rogers Award from Brown University

    SAFRR’s Dr. Lucy Jones was the 2015 recipient of the William Rogers Award bestowed by Brown University. The award honors Brown graduates who have exemplified the University’s mission to prepare alumni for lives of “usefulness and reputation” and have exhibited exceptional service and contribution to society.

  • October 9, 2015
    Los Angeles will have the nation's toughest earthquake safety rules

    In a stark recognition of Los Angeles' vulnerability to a major earthquake, the city on Friday enacted the nation's most sweeping seismic regulations, requiring an estimated 15,000 buildings be retrofitted so they will better withstand violent shaking." "Garcetti began an expansive campaign to address earthquake safety and appointed U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones as his earthquake science advisor. Jones, who has been a reassuring voice on Southern California radio and television stations after earthquakes, began canvassing the city, bluntly warning residents and owners of how dangerous it would be to do nothing. (View LA Times article.)

  • October 7, 2015
    Mayor Garcetti Congratulates Science Advisor Dr. Lucy Jones On Winning "Oscar" Of Government Service

    Dr. Jones' groundbreaking work to bridge the gap between seismic science and public action will make a life-saving difference for countless Angelenos and Californians when disaster strikes," said Mayor Garcetti. "I couldn't be prouder of the work we did together to better prepare our city for the inevitable with our "Resilience by Design" report, and can't think of a more worthy recipient for one of our nation's highest honors. (View LA Mayor site.)

  • October 7, 2015
    Lucy Jones, Southern California's 'earthquake lady,' wins 'Oscar' for government service

    Jones, who joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1983, is recognized across Southern California for her research and ability to explain earthquakes to the general public. Among her colleagues, she is known for turning complicated science into public action. She has built partnerships with local government, emergency managers, building officials, academic institutions and business interest groups."I believe it is our obligation as scientists working for the American people to make information from our science understandable by non-scientists so that it can be used to support others in making our country safer from inevitable natural disasters," Jones said. (View LA Times article.)

  • October 7, 2015
    USGS Seismologist Lucy Jones to Receive Prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal

    To honor groundbreaking earthquake research by U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Dr. Lucile “Lucy” Jones, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will present Jones with the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) at an awards ceremony this evening at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. “Dr. Jones is a role model, not only for her scientific accomplishments at the U.S. Geological Survey, but also for her public service to humanity,” Secretary Jewell said today. “Besides conducting leading research on earthquakes, she turns complex scientific concepts into plain English, educating the public so they can take action to save lives and property.” (DOI Press Release)

  • September 18, 2015
    Are American Cities Prepared For Massive Tsunamis?

    "In Chile, they actually teach in school: If the shaking is strong enough to throw you to the ground, the minute you can get up, run for high ground," Lucy Jones, a USGS seismologist, told NBC Nightly News. (View on NBC News site.)

  • September 17, 2015
    California Prepares for Someday's Bigger Tsunami

    "The larger the magnitude, the more water displacement, and therefore the larger the tsunami, said Lucy Jones, a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist who serves as Science Advisor for Risk Reduction. (View on NBC4 News site.)

  • August 28, 2015
    An earthquake is going to hit L.A. Then what?

    "The earthquake is inevitable, but the disaster is not," Jones said in an interview at her Pasadena office. "The disaster is what the earthquake does to human structures. We change those human structures, we can eliminate the disaster." (View on CNN site.)

  • August 20, 2015
    Disaster Scenario: SoCal Tsunami Could Hit Quickly

    Stephanie Ross, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey offices in Menlo Park, said she has worked with both Ryan and Eric L. Geist, a USGS scientist who helped author the study. Ross said their paper should be taken seriously. “This is worth thinking about,” Ross said. “It shows inundation bigger than what the State of California has in its inundation maps.” State officials, she said, “are going to have to look at that and see if they need to change their maps.” One thing that particularly struck her about the study was the projected wave height. “Twenty feet is a big tsunami,” Ross said. “In harbors it would do a lot of damage. It’s likely there will be high-velocity currents that can pull boats off of moorings, create debris and close down harbors for days.” (View article in The Press Enterprise)

  • June 27, 2015DisasterHealthcare_Erin
    SAFRR Presents for Disaster Healthcare Training Event

    SAFRR's Erin Burkett presented as the keynote speaker at the Los Angeles County Disaster Healthcare Volunteer Surge Unit training event on Saturday, June 27th in Monterey Park, CA. Erin shared an overview of earthquake science, technology, and impacts, including resources and information from the ShakeOut Scenario and on Earthquake Early Warning. The audience included about 400 physicians, nurses, and other licensed or certified healthcare professionals currently working in healthcare settings within the Los Angeles area. More about the Disaster Healthcare Volunteers.

  • June 23, 2015
    SAFRR Presents for SoCal Gas Safety & Health Congress

    On June 23rd, Erin Burkett presented at the Burbank Marriott for Southern California Gas Company employees as part of their annual Safety and Health Congress. Erin presented on the science, technology, and risks associated with earthquakes, including vulnerabilities specific to utilities and Southern California, as well as the Earthquake Early Warning system currently under development for the West Coast.

  • June 23-24, 2015
    SAFRR Holds User Meetings for National Seismic Hazard Model and Engineering Risk Assessment Projects

    Civil Engineer Sean McGowan of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Modeling (NSHM) and Engineering Risk Assessment (ERA) Projects visited Los Angeles and San Diego on June 23-24 to participate in meetings organized by disaster scientist Sue Perry of Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR). Sean demonstrated a USGS web application under development that combines earthquake shaking information from the NSHM Project and user-provided building fragility information to forecast the risk of earthquake-induced damage. He and Sue then solicited feedback from prospective users, including private-sector emergency managers and contingency planners, plus members of the steering committee for the new Building Resilience - Los Angeles Initiative.

  • June 12, 2015
    SAFRR Presents at Southwest Technology and Computer Conference

    SAFRR's Erin Burkett presented on earthquakes and related technologies for the Southwest Technology and Computer Conference on Friday, June 12th at Cal-Poly Pomona. Erin gave an overview of the origins and science behind earthquakes and outline the monitoring technologies and efforts underway in developing earthquake early warning for the United States.

  • June 9, 2015
    SAFRR Presents on Earthquakes for Pub Science

    On June 9th, SAFRR's Erin Burkett gave an overview of the science of earthquakes for a Pub Science night at the Golden Road Brewery in Los Angeles. Science-in-a-bar events have gained popularity in Europe and other American cities, and this was a first for LA with more to come with regularly scheduled future Pub Science Nights coordinated by the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

  • June 5, 2015
    SAFRR at El Rincon Elementary School's Career Day

    SAFRR's Debbie Weiser presented at El Rincon Elementary School's Career Day on June 5th. She excited students about the realms of possibility when engaging in scientific research. Budding scientists saw examples of her research and field work and participated in an experiment about seismic waves.

  • June 4, 2015
    SAFRR Presents For Ventura County Supervisor's Quarterly Series

    On June 4th, SAFRR's Lucy Jones presented at Ventura County Supervisor Linda Park's quarterly series to share results of the seismic vulnerabilities and resiliency efforts that came out of the partnership between USGS and the City of Los Angeles ("Resilience by Design" report). More information on the event.

  • June 3, 2015HayWiredESCseminar
    ESC Seminar: HayWired Scenario Progress Discussion

    SAFRR and HayWired project partners presented a progress update on the HayWired Scenario for the Earthquake Science Center (ESC) seminar in Menlo Park on June 3rd (available to view online). The HayWired Scenario aims to identify impacts associated with a M7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault in the San Francisco Bay area, and HayWired team efforts include investigations into vulnerabilities of buildings and communities and highlighting impacts of aftershock sequences in addition to the main earthquake. At the ESC seminar, SAFRR's Lucy Jones provided an intro and overview of HayWired, Keith Porter (U. of Colorado) highlighted hazards to buildings and code objectives, and Anne Wein (Western Geographic Science Center) presented aftershock sequences and communities at risk. Discussion focused on opportunities for ESC involvement in and use of the scenario toward the ongoing goals of improving USGS research and communication products.

  • June 3, 2015LucySEAOSC
    Lucy Jones Awarded Honorary Membership in SEAOSC

    On June 3rd, SAFRR?s Lucy Jones was awarded honorary membership in the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) in recognition of her work with the City of LA for the Resilience by Design project. More information about the SEAOSC event.

  • Lucy Jones Receives Harvard Club Award

    On Sunday, May 30th, SAFRR's Lucy Jones attended the Harvard Club Annual Dinner and Awards event at the Madera Kitchen in Los Angeles, CA where she was presented with the 2015 John Harvard Award for Distinguished Service to the Community. More information on the Harvard Club and the event.

  • May 25, 2015
    SAFRR Presents at Night School

    On May 25th, geologist Debbie Weiser presented at Night School (Los Angeles) to explain how early earthquake warning systems work, as well as the science of earthquakes and how we can live with them. Night School is a free, public series of lectures and discussions covering a range of cross-disciplinary topics whose mission is to create a community focused on life-long learning and driven by a desire to learn about and share interesting ideas.

  • May 19-20, 2015
    SAFRR Participates in Coastal Resiliency Forum

    SAFRR's Lucy Jones was invited by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies to participate in a 2-day Coastal Resiliency Forum May 19-20 at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C.. With support from the NAS Resilient America Roundtable, Ocean Studies Board, Water Science and Technology Board, and the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, the forum pulled together subject matter experts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration leadership to address coastal resiliency. Discussion focused specifically on potential resilience metrics that might aid agencies, operators, and planners in determining best courses of action amongst possible management strategies to address future coastal hazards.

  • May 11-15, 2015
    ShakeOut Scenario Used For 2015 Capstone National Level Exercise

    The 2015 National Level Exercise (NLE) that occurred the second week of May 2015 was based on the ShakeOut Scenario. An investigation of the impacts from a M7.8 earthquake on the Southern San Andreas Fault, the ShakeOut Scenario was led by USGS/SAFRR(MHDP) and released in 2008 to improve earthquake planning, and has successfully continued to be utilized in new earthquake resilience efforts. The 2015 NLE is an operational exercise to foster emergency coordination among the U.S. military, federal agencies and the State of California emergency responders. SAFRR and the USGS Earthquake Science Center worked with exercise planners leading up to the event and during the exercise to provide "injects", or scientifically plausible situations, for emergency managers who would need to response. Ken Hudnut (USGS Earthquake Science Center) acted as USGS subject matter expert at the Master Control Cell, coordinating with the California Geological Survey, USGS, and the California Earthquake Clearinghouse, and provided exercise managers the critical USGS geospatial data from the USGS Hazards Data Distribution System (HDDS). Hudnut, SAFRR Project Manager Dale Cox, and SAFRR's Sue Perry briefed numerous planners leading up to the event, and Kate Scharer (ESC-SCEHAP) conducted an aerial reconnaissance. Cox was situated at the State Operations Center in Sacramento throughout the event. For more information see: 2015 National Level and California Capstone Exercise.

  • May 14, 2015
    Lucy Jones Discusses Resilience by Design at Seismic Safety Retrofit Meeting

    On Thursday, May 14th, Dr. Lucy Jones discussed the City of Los Angeles Resilience By Design plan at the Seismic Retrofit Safety Meeting hosted by the Valley Economic Alliance in Burbank, CA. Members of the audience included apartment complex owners, brokers, architects, contractors, CPA's, attorneys, and others interested in understanding details of the retrofit plans for LA. For more information, visit

  • May 6-7, 2015DesignThinkingWorkshop_CORE
    SAFRR Holds "Six Guidelines Design Storm"

    On May 6th and 7th, 2015, SAFRR's Sue Perry convened a workshop that united experts from risk communication, USGS science, and the USGS Menlo Park publications team to participate in a "Six Guidelines Design Storm" in Menlo Park, CA. SAFRR's Erin Burkett and Dale Cox also participated and assisted Sue with coordination. This workshop continues efforts by SAFRR's Cadre of Relevant Experts (CORE) to improve the use and understanding of USGS science. Previous workshops identified "Six Guidelines for Successful Science Products", which will be published as a USGS circular in September, 2015. This workshop applied the Six Guidelines in a trial run to brainstorm and prototype an infographic about the Six Guidelines and discuss future possibilities for use by USGS scientists. The longer term goal is to incorporate the Six Guidelines around the USGS without taxing limited resources.

  • April 30, 2015
    SAFRR Presents Earthquake Forecast Model (UCERF3) for ECA Meeting

    On Thursday, April 30th, SAFRR's Erin Burkett presented an overview of and updates on the latest release of the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3) model at the 2015 Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) Regional Associates Meeting held in Santa Fe Springs, CA. Erin provided background on the UCERF model and summarized the updates made to the version released in March (USGS press release. UCERF3 Fact Sheet.

  • April 27-28, 2015
    SAFRR Participates in Subduction Zone Workshop

    SAFRR's Stephanie Ross attended the "Advancing Integrated Subduction Zone Science in the USGS" Workshop in SeaTac, WA, April 27-28. Stephanie participated in a panel to discuss coordination with subduction zone science outside of the USGS (including NOAA-NTHMP, NSF, state agencies, universities).

  • April 15-23, 2015
    SAFRR Presents at SSA

    Members of the SAFRR team attended and presented at the Seismological Society of America (SSA) 2015 Annual Meeting in Pasadena CA on April 21st to 23rd. On Wednesday April 22nd, Lucy Jones spoke during the Public Policy Luncheon "Resilience by Design: Advancing Seismic Safety in the City of Los Angeles," sharing stories and lessons from her experiences in past earthquakes and latest collaboration with the City of Los Angeles to improve resilience to earthquakes. Wednesday afternoon, Sue Perry presented "New Audiences, New Products, for the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps" to share the ongoing efforts to incorporate lessons from social science and design thinking into scientific products such as the Hazard Maps to better reach potential audiences. Stephanie Ross presented a poster on "The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario: from Publication to Implementation", as well as coordinated an informal discussion bringing together Earthquake Program managers and scientists and members of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Project (NTHMP). Debbie Weiser presented her research in a poster on "Relative Contributions of Tectonic Strain and Pumping to Seismicity at California Geothermal Fields". See the SSA meeting program.

  • April 13, 2015
    SAFRR Presents for Chinese Delegation

    A Chinese delegation from the People's Republic of China visited Reston, VA on the morning of April 13th to learn more about USGS efforts related to disaster management and resiliency. SAFRR's Kris Ludwig organized and facilitated the meeting as well as presenting on the DOI Strategic Sciences Group, and Erin Burkett gave a presentation to share SAFRR projects, scenarios, and resources. Other USGS presenters included Mike Blanpied, Timothy Cohn, Jonathan Godt on Earthquake, Flood, and Landslide Hazard Response, Products, and Public Education. The attentive audience asked a number of questions that evidenced their interest and appreciation for the provision of USGS and SAFRR resources.

  • April 11, 2015
    SAFRR participates in STEM Career Day for Girls

    The American Association of University Women in Pasadena has been partnering with Pasadena City College, Pasadena Unified School District and various community organizations for over a decade on a Science Day for Middle School Girls. This year's workshops (April 11, 2015) were led by women working in different STEM-related professions who spoke informally with girls about their career paths in a roundtable format. SAFRR's Debbie Weiser presented background including how she became interested in earth science, how geology and natural hazards impact society, and how scientific research and advances can be found all around us. She engaged participants in a chat about the ways in which they see science in our society and some of the ways scientific advances have positively impacted their world.

  • March 20, 2015Erin on Talking Points
    SAFRR Joins CSULB Talking Points Interview on Earthquake Science and Technology

    On Friday, March 20th, SAFRR's Erin Burkett joined Cal State Long Beach TV host Dave Kelly for a Talking Points interview covering earthquake science, risk, and technology. Dr. Burkett answered questions ranging between the bigger picture context of where earthquakes come from, lessons from past earthquakes, monitoring and alert technologies such as Earthquake Early Warning, and other information or resources helpful for improving earthquake awareness and understanding.

  • March 6-13, 2015
    SAFRR Presents at Tohoku University Disaster Resilience Symposium

    SAFRR's Dr. Lucy Jones was invited by the Leading Schools Program at Tohoku university to be part of a symposium on disaster resilience held as part of the commemoration of the 4th anniversary of the great east Japan earthquake during the week of March 9th-13th. Dr. Jones joined other lecturers from around the world, meeting with both the Disaster Science Program at Tohoku and others visiting Sendai for the UN Disaster Conference for a series of lectures and discussions on how to improve resilience. Dr. Jones was also invited to give a lecture on Friday, March 6th at the University of Tokyo Institute of Social Science to speak about the City of Los Angeles resilience project. She will be working with staff at the Institute of Social Science who are developing a research proposal for comparing disaster resilience in three communities: Sendai, Vancouver, and Los Angeles.

  • February 19, 2015
    SAFRR Participates in Panel at NIST Disaster Resilience Workshop

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) hosted its 4th Disaster Resilience workshop in Del Mar, California, February 18th-19th. Dr. Lucy Jones participated in a panel addressing such topics as which major threats/hazards are of concern to the city and community, community commitments to resilience and drivers behind them, processes involved in resilience planning, and the known or potential benefits and awareness of them by local government, residents, and businesses.

  • February 5, 2015Lucy Jones Keynote
    Lucy Jones Presents Keynote for the Water Policy Forum

    SAFRR's Dr. Lucy Jones was a guest speaker for the Water Policy Forum and Dinner held on Thursday, February 5th at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa, CA. The event, hosted by the Municipal Water District of Orange County, brought together hundreds of water leaders from throughout Southern California to network and learn about results of Dr. Jones' work with the City of Los Angeles to help identify vulnerabilities of the city to earthquake damage. See a video of Lucy's presentation. More on the results and partnership between Lucy and the City of LA, a link to the L.A. City Report.

  • February 2, 2015
    Debbie Weiser Presents to California Retired Teachers Association

    SAFRR's Debbie Weiser spoke to more than 50 members of the California Retired Teachers Association Glendale-Foothill Division. Debbie presented SAFRR's mission and products, local fault lines, how to prepare for natural disasters, and also discussed various natural hazards-related resources. She also discussed earthquake early warning and her research on induced (man-made), earthquakes. The group participated in a lively question and answer session.

  • January 22, 2015brainstorming in workshop
    Publishing With the Six Guidelines for Successful Science Products

    In summer 2014, SAFRR convened a Cadre of Relevant Experts (CORE) workshop that brought together USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps staff with outside risk communication experts in the social sciences, marketing, and design, on the topic "New Audiences, New Products for the National Seismic Hazard Maps." An important outcome of the workshop was an annotated list of six guidelines to develop products that successfully communicate science. Workshop participants, led by SAFRR disaster scientist Sue Perry, have drafted a report about the workshop and its guidelines. On January 22, 2015, another CORE workshop convened in Menlo Park, uniting the Menlo Park Publishing Service Center with experts on participatory processes and evaluation, to discuss how we might apply the six guidelines in order to produce publications about the workshop and its six guidelines.


  • December 11, 2014
    HayWired Presents to the California Seismic Safety Commission

    The US Geological Survey (USGS) is working on its fourth disaster scenario and the second earthquake scenario since the ShakeOut in 2008. The HayWired scenario examines the potential impacts of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault in the San Francisco Bay Area. Working in parallel with the California Office of Emergency Services and FEMA update to the Bay Area Earthquake Plan, the HayWired project builds upon previous scenario development procedures and examines how the cascading effects of lifeline interdependencies can exacerbate damages, including the impacts to the Internet, the Internet economy, and Silicon Valley. HayWired also focuses on the implications of modern building codes, and how earthquake scenarios can be used to improve business continuity planning. Dale A. Cox, Project Manager of SAFRR, presented the on-going progress of the HayWired scenario to the California Seismic Safety Commission on December 11, 2014 at the California State Capital in Sacramento, CA.

  • December 4, 2014
    SAFRR Presents for CSTA Event at Aquarium of the Pacific

    The Board of Directors for the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) hosted an event at the Long Beach Aquarium of Pacific (LBAOP) on the evening of Thursday, December 4th, where SAFRR's Erin Burkett presented on earthquake risk in Southern California. Dr. Burkett was one of 5 or 6 speakers presenting short talks for an audience of CA science teachers to share latest understandings and technologies within science, engineering, and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) related topics.

  • December 4, 2014
    ARkStorm Used as Basis for LA COOP Working Group Exercise/Workshop

    The LA COOP Working Group used the ARkStorm Scenario as the basis for their table top exercise and workshop activities and discussions on December 4th. USGS's Erin Burkett presented the science and resources of ARkStorm to set the stage for the workshop breakout groups and sessions that followed. The Los Angeles Area Federal annual Continuity of Operations Preparedness Event, Resilient Angel 2014, was hosted by the Greater Los Angeles Federal Executive board (LA FEB) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX, and the LA-FEB Continuity of Operations (COOP) Working Group. The workshop aimed to leverage resources and increase the individual and collective COOP capabilities within the Greater Los Angeles community by providing tools and activities for use toward meeting requirements and expectations for continuity planning and readiness.

  • November 16, 2014
    SAFRR Presents for UCLA's Exploring Your Universe

    SAFRR's Erin Burkett presented "If You Knew the Earthquake was Coming..." at UCLA's 6th annual Exploring Your Universe (EYU) public outreach event held on Sunday, November 16th. Dr. Burkett highlight our earthquake risk in California and how the science and technology can empower our understanding and preparedness. More information on the EYU event

  • November 6, 2014
    SAFRR Presents Hazard Science and Scenarios for Orange County Emergency Management

    SAFRR's Erin Burkett presented at a meeting for the Orange County Emergency Management Division on Thursday, November 6th in the City of Brea, CA at the City Council Chambers. Erin was invited to share earthquake science, risk, and available tools, as well as information about ARkStorm and storm/flood scenarios.

  • haywiredOctober 29, 2014
    Workshop: Fires and the HayWired Scenario

    On October 29th, a workshop was held to discuss "Fires and the Hayward Earthquake." This workshop brought together Haywired Scenario experts and California Fire Departments and Agencies to examine fire and water issues arising from a M7 Earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area. More information on the Haywired Scenario.

  • October 20, 2014
    Pasadena USGS Welcomes New Public Affairs Specialist Donyelle Davis

    The Pasadena USGS Field Office welcomes Donyelle Davis as the new public affairs specialist for SAFRR and the Earthquake Science Center. Donyelle will be working with USGS Office of Communications staff and the Pasadena office scientists to improve media relations and continue efforts to more effectively communicate earthquake and hazard science.

  • October 17, 2014
    Lucy Jones Gives Keynote at SACNAS

    Lucy Jones was invited to give a keynote lecture for the Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference at the Los Angeles convention center on October 17th. SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists- from college students to professionals- to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. More information can be found at SACNAS.

  • BurkettTEDOctober 16, 2014
    Erin Burkett Presenting Earthquake Technology and Early Warning at TEDxRiverside

    SAFRR scientist Erin Burkett presented at the TEDxRiverside Conference "Ovation for Innovation" at the Historic Fox Performing Arts Center in Downtown Riverside. In recognition of the conference being held on October 16th, the day of the Great California ShakeOut, and having been asked to share the latest in earthquake technology and innovation, Dr. Burkett provided an overview of Earthquake Early Warning and the role that earthquake technology and latest research play in the safety and resilience of our society. Her presentation, titled "To Be Warned or Not Be Warned," will be available online in mid-November. More information, and the following articles cover the event:The Press Enterprise and speaker quotes.

  • Young Scientist ForumOctober 15, 2014
    Kris Ludwig Participates in US-China Young Scientist Forum

    Staff scientist Kris Ludwig was invited to participate in a US-China Young Scientist Forum (YSF) focused on disaster management, resilience, and mitigation on October, 15th at the U.S. Department of State. The YSF brings together scientific researchers and policymakers from the U.S. and China for informal discussions, with this year's program hosting 10 Chinese scientists and policy makers as part of the U.S. China People-to-People Exchange. Participants discussed multiple topics in the disaster arena including risk communication, partnerships with companies, nonprofits, community organizations, local and state governments, and products, services, and strategies for resilience. Meeting objectives included attaining a better understanding of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship and science diplomacy efforts and a better understanding of the scientific challenges and opportunities in China.

  • October 14, 2014
    Kris Ludwig Speaks at Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience

    On October 14, 2014, staff scientist Kris Ludwig spoke on disaster scenarios and the use of strategic science during crisis at a workshop on resilience research at Virginia Tech University's campus in Arlington, VA. The workshop is part of the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience (GFURR) New Perspectives on Regional Resilience Conference and focuses on ecosystems and the built environment.

  • October 10, 2014
    Dale Cox Presents ARkStorm and HayWired Scenarios

    SAFRR Project Manager Dale Cox presented to the Water Education Foundation's Russian River Tour in Santa Rosa, CA on October 10, 2014. The topics covered included the SAFRR ARkStorm and HayWired scenarios with an emphasis on water resource vulnerabilities identified in the creation of the scenarios.

  • 9/30/2014
    Lucy Jones serves on Panel for CityLab 2014

    On September 30th, Dr. Lucy Jones served on a panel for CityLab 2014 "UrbanSolutions to Global Challenges"

    , hosted by The Atlantic in partnership with The Aspen Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies. The event brought together global city leaders including mayors, government officials, urban theorists, scholars, city planners, architects and artists to discuss urban ideas and innovations and explore the big ideas that are shaping the world's cities and metro centers. See the overview of Dr. Jones' comments from the CityLab summit.

  • September 24, 2014
    SAFRR Presentation for Disney Global Crisis Management

    On Wednesday, September 24th, Dr. Lucy Jones gave a presentation as part of a series of National Preparedness Month webinars coordinated by the Walt Disney Company Global Crisis Management Team in Burbank, CA and to be broadcast to their employees across North America. Dr. Jones provided an overview of natural hazard risks in Southern California, including not only earthquake risk as outlined with the ShakeOut Scenario, but also the need to assess other risks that may be under-appreciated, such as from landslides, wildfire, and flooding (as exemplified with the ARkStorm Scenario, California's other but lesser-known possible 'Big One'). She also highlighted the added layers of interdependencies and vulnerabilities unique to modern technology and society that should not be ignored.

  • September 18, 2014
    California Apartment Association Invites Lucy Jones as Keynote Speaker

    Dr. Lucy Jones presented as a keynote speaker for the California Apartment Association's 2014 Trade Show at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. To help address questions of what the association can do to make their apartments safer, Dr. Jones emphasized their contribution to keeping Los Angeles viable after an earthquake by pointing out that if people lose their apartments, they will likely move away.

  • September 17, 2014
    Lucy Jones Presents to Southern California Grantmakers on Whole Community Resilience

    Dr. Lucy Jones gave opening remarks to kick off an event "Whole Community Resiliency: Can We Work Together to Create a Resilient Southern California," attended by grantmakers, government officials, business leaders, non-profits, and community leaders and held in downtown Los Angeles on September 17th. Discussions covered disaster preparedness and explored opportunities to demonstrate leadership and make investments to facilitate the region's ability to bounce back after a disaster. More information

  • September 17, 2014
    SAFRR CORE Briefing for the USGS Geologic Hazards Technical Committee

    By invitation, SAFRR disaster scientist Sue Perry gave a talk to the USGS Geologic Hazards Community of Use Technical Commitee, which assists National Map coordinators in the National Geospatial Program. Perry briefed the committee about the SAFRR Cadre of Relevant Experts (CORE) project efforts to broaden the understanding and use of the National Seismic Hazard Maps.

  • September 15-18, 2014
    SAFRR/USGS Presentations on Earthquake Science and Risk

    SAFRR scientist Erin Burkett gave three Preparedness Week presentations to share earthquake science, monitoring, and risk with Southern Californian audiences. On Monday, September 15th, Dr. Burkett presented for an audience of teachers at the Mt San Antonio College in Walnut, CA to kick off the beginning of their Emergency Preparedness Week. On Tuesday, September 16th, she was invited to present on earthquake science and risk with an emphasis on technology involved to TUGNET, a senior computer/technology organization in the San Fernando Valley. On Thursday, September 18th Dr. Burkett provided background on earthquake science and risk in Southern California and pointed to available USGS resources for the Southern California Earthquake 2014 Business Preparedness Summit in Riverside, CA.

  • EEW_factsheetAugust 29, 2014
    New USGS Fact Sheet Available Online: ShakeAlert-An Earthquake Early Warning System for the United States West Coast

    The USGS Fact Sheet "ShakeAlert- An Earthquake Early Warning System for the United States West Coast" is now available online. SAFRR scientist Erin Burkett worked closely with Earthquake Early Warning Coordinator Doug Given and the SAFRR team to create the fact sheet intended for the general public and stakeholders interested in information on Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) and ShakeAlert, the prototype EEW system in development for the western Unites States. The fact sheet provides fundamentals of the science behind how EEW works and describes the current status and future plans and potential uses of ShakeAlert for the west coast. More information on Earthquake Early Warning

  • August 27, 2014
    Presenting SAFRR Scenarios to the Los Angeles Area COOP Working Group

    SAFRR's Erin Burkett presented to the Los Angeles Area COOP (Continuity of Operations Planning) Working Group on August 27th, 2014 in response to their request for more information on SAFRR Scenarios and USGS resources available to help agencies make plans for natural disasters. Dr. Burkett provided a summary of available USGS natural hazards resources, with a focus on overviews of and materials available for the ShakeOut earthquake scenario, the ARkStorm winter storm scenario, the Tsunami Scenario which was rolled out late last year, and the Haywired earthquake scenario currently under development. The LA COOP Working Group plans to use the ARkStorm Scenario in particular as the basis for their Table Top exercise, and they have invited Dale Cox, SAFRR's Project Manager, for an ARkStorm presentation on December 4th, 2014.

  • August 26, 2014
    Pre Storm Season Reconnaissance within the Colby Fire Burn Perimeter

    At the request of Jerry Burke, Assistant Director of Public Works for the City of Glendora, CA, Robert Leeper conducted debris flow reconnaissance within the Colby Fire burn perimeter. No new hazards were observed during the reconnaissance. However, the slopes that burned during the Colby Fire are still denuded of vegetation, and thus susceptible to debris and mud flows if rainfall intensities are high enough this coming storm season.

  • August 20, 2014
    SAFRR Initiates First Meetings for the Pan-Pacific Tsunami Scenario

    Stephanie Ross (Pacific Coastal Marine Science Center), Nate Wood (Western Geographic Science Center), Kwok Fai Cheung (University of Hawaii), and Joel Palmer (FEMA IX) have initiated meetings to discuss the creation of a new tsunami scenario with a focus on Hawaii, surrounding islands in the Pacific, and the US mainland. Discussions will continue as plans move forward to develop this next tsunami scenario.

  • ARKSTORMnovel coverAugust 18, 2014
    ARkStorm Scenario Inspires Novel

    Ark Storm, a novel by Linda Davies, released on August 18th, is based in part on the SAFRR ARkStorm scenario. The book is described as an eco-thriller that "brings together the worlds of finance, scientific innovation, and terrorism in a fast-paced thrill ride that will leave readers gasping," according to the Amazon book review.

  • August 17, 2014
    Weather Channel Tsunami Show features SAFRR scientist

    SAFRR Disaster Scientist Sue Perry was one of the featured experts on the tsunami episode of the Weather Channel series, "So You Think You'd Survive?" Sue talked about tsunamis and tsunami safety for one episode of the 8 hour series on hazards. The hazards span geologic and weather events and include earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches, and hurricanes. Interview topics included tsunami causes and classifications, how to recognize natural warnings, what to do when a tsunami approaches, and common misperceptions about tsunamis. Perry also provided USGS tsunami products as candidate visuals.

  • Debris Flow Reconn photoAugust 14, 2014
    Debris Flow Reconnaissance

    SAFRR's Robert Leeper and Kate Scharer (USGS) conducted debris flow reconnaissance near the mountain community of Mt. Baldy, CA (San Gabriel Mtns). An intense summer storm (a nearly 500-yr event) formed over the area on Sunday, August 3, 2014, and resulted in debris and mud flows inundating businesses and residences. There was a statement posted at the Mt. Baldy fire station (where according to the NWS in Los Angeles is the only loc with a rain gauge), which said 4.7 inches in ~2.5 hours. One resident told Robert he actually watched two cells converge over a ridge to the north of where he was and then all hell broke loose. Multiple homes were "red tagged" and residents are still removing debris and mud from their homes. Unfortunately, a hiker leaving the area during the storm died after being swept off the road in his vehicle. Multiple debris and mud flow deposits were observed and photographed during the reconnaissance.

  • August 11-21, 2014
    HayWired Working to Identify Interdependencies of Lifelines Including the Internet

    The HayWired Earthquake Scenario team is working to identify physical damages associated with a M7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault in the San Francisco Bay area. This includes in-depth ongoing meetings with Caltrans, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), in an effort to identify seismic vulnerabilities to lifeline interdependencies. In addition, Haywired team will be working with Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley to better understand impacts to the internet, the internet economy, and Silicon Valley. On Thurs, August 21st, Haywired team members Dale Cox, Anne Wein, Keith Porter, Lucy Jones, Keith Knutson, and Shane Detweiler met with the data center architect Bill Weihl, presently working with Facebook but formerly with Google and Akamai, to better understand and identify vulnerabilities associated with earthquakes and computer data centers.

  • August 11,2014
    ShakeOut to Be Used For Ardent Sentry Exercise

    On Monday, August 11th, SAFRR's Dale Cox and Sue Perry, Sherry Durst (USGS), and Hope Seligson (MMI Engineering) met with U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) to discuss the use of the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario as the basis of their 2015 emergency response exercise. The exercise, called Ardent Sentry, is a major military exercise focused on defense support of civil authorities.

  • July 29, 2014
    Disaster Talk at Sony

    At a national meeting of emergency managers and contingency planners from all divisions of Sony (including Pictures, Electronics, and Music), SAFRR Disaster Scientist Sue Perry gave a talk about the geologic disasters they might face, ways that such events could impact their business and employees, and on-line available information from USGS and some of its partner agencies. A long and lively Q & A session followed.

  • insightJuly 2, 2014
    Dr. Burkett Presents and Leads Seismology Tour for InSight Educators

    On July 2nd, Erin Burkett presented as part of a training program for InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport), a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Discovery Program mission engaging science educators in the "Vital Signs of the Planet" Professional Development Program Erin led a tour of the Caltech Seismological Lab's Earthquake Exhibit, using demo seismometers and a displayed sample cross-section of the San Andreas fault to explain how seismometers work and how information gathered through geologic field work is pulled together to understand earthquakes. Erin also provided background on seismological networks, earthquake early warning developments, and resources available through the USGS and Caltech partners.

  • nshmworkshopJune 26-27, 2014
    New Audiences, New Products for the National Seismic Hazard Maps

    SAFRR disaster scientist Sue Perry organized a workshop that united USGS scientists with leading researchers in risk perception and communication to discuss ways to expand the use and understanding of the National Seismic Hazard Maps ("the Maps"), a flagship product that helps to save lives and protect property through use in international building codes, insurance modeling, and policy decisions. Currently, primary users of the Maps are building code engineers, but the Maps and their underlying information have potential value for many other groups, such as city leaders, re-insurers, and state geologists. The workshop, held June 26-27 in Denver, Colorado, launched a multi-year collaboration to develop new Maps products that will serve new Maps audiences. Workshop participants shared knowledge from some twenty fields of expertise - widely ranging from geophysics to socio-linguistics to design to urban planning - prioritizing new audiences, brainstorming products, and identifying strategies to work with new users and support development of new products. During the two days of the workshop, participants showed great appreciation for the topics and sharing of knowledge and have since expressed enthusiasm about continuing on the project. We received numerous comments akin to "this was one of the most interesting and productive workshops of which I've been a part" and "I think that everyone involved - from speakers to originators of the meeting - found something to inspire and aid them.- This workshop was the first to employ a new SAFRR strategy, the SAFRR Cadre of Relevant Experts (SAFRR CORE) - a revolving group of researchers and practitioners from inside and outside the USGS, brought together to tackle shared, thorny problems.

  • June 25, 2014
    SAFRR Student Speaks for Bel Air/Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council

    On June 25th, Debbie Weiser was a guest speaker at the Bel Air/Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council quarterly meeting. She discussed topics ranging between California earthquake hazards, the Great California ShakeOut, and Earthquake Early Warning (EEW). Questions mostly focused around the development of the EEW system, its future availability, and best practices for earthquake safety in various settings.

  • June 24, 2014
    Scenario Panel at the Annual Natural Hazards Research & Applications Workshop

    Kris Ludwig convened a panel on hazard scenarios at the Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop held June 23-25, 2014 in Broomfield, CO. Shaped by discussions with SAFRR team members, the panel explored different approaches to creating scenarios and disseminating and implementing scenario results. Panelists included University of Colorado Research Professor Keith Porter, FEMA Response Director Justin Dombrowski, and FedEx Express Senior Manager for Global Operations Control Dave Lusk. The Hazards Workshop, in its 39th year, brought together researchers and practitioners from many disciplines for face-to-face discussions on how society deals with hazards and disasters.

  • June 17, 2014
    Discussing Risk Communication and Disaster Preparedness at 2014 AGU Science Policy Conference

    Staff Scientist Kris Ludwig and former SAFRR Strategy and Communications Officer John Bwarie discussed risk communication and disaster preparedness during a panel discussion at the 2014 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Science Policy Conference on June 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Held every year, the AGU Science Policy conference convenes scientists, policy makers, and community leaders to discuss solutions to urgent challenges based on experience and relevant data from multiple perspectives. This year's conference included discussions of the science, policy, and communication of three tracks: natural hazards, climate change, and natural resource challenges.

  • June 13, 2014
    Tsunami Workshop at Long Beach Propeller Club

    SAFRR Tsunami Scenario team members Anne Wein (USGS), Rick Wilson (California Geological Survey) and Kevin Miller (California Governor's Office of Emergency Services) presented a workshop for the Long Beach Propeller Club on tsunami hazard mitigation on June 13, 2014. The workshop included results from the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario, with speakers coordinated by SAFRR's Stephanie Ross. The Long Beach Propeller Club, whose members are largely maritime industry professionals, is considered a highly influential group for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

  • the bridgeJune 10, 2014
    New Hazard Scenarios Post on AGU's "The Bridge" Blog

    AGU's science policy blog "The Bridge" featured guest posts by speakers at the June 17th-18th AGU Science Policy Conference in Washington, DC. SAFRR staff scientist Kris Ludwig authored a post entitled, "Hypothetically Speaking: Using Scenarios to Anticipate the Unanticipated", which addresses different types of scenarios and how they are developed and used by multiple stakeholders. The Bridge is an AGU blog that connects science and policy, providing a platform for scientists, policy makers, and experts to communicate ideas about the science policy interface.

  • May 25-31, 2014
    Distinguished Lectureship at Tohoku University

    Lucy Jones was invited to give a week-long series of lectures at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan as part of a new lecture series, "Understanding and mitigating natural disasters: Lectures on the Science of Global Geohazards", supported by the national Leading School Program. All of the lecturers were non-Japanese and the lectures given in English. The audience consisted of graduate students in applied geoscience, engineering, and the social sciences who will likely choose career directions in government and the private sector in hazard mitigation rather than in science research.

  • XPRIZE photoMay 15-17
    Dr. Lucy Jones Leads Visioneering session for the XPRIZE

    On May 16-17, Dr. Lucy Jones led the Disaster/Prediction/Relief/Resilience session of this year's "Visioneering" for the XPRIZE, held at the Terranea Resort near Los Angeles, CA. The event is a yearly gathering of over 100 corporate leaders, philanthropists, innovators, and XPRIZE Trustees for a multi-day Visioneering to discover and debate the "Grand Challenges" facing humanity and to consider how XPRIZE competitions could solve them. Attendees tackle some of the world's toughest problems to inspire potential XPRIZE competitions, and winning concepts are taken into a design phase. As the session leader, Dr. Jones gave a 20-25 minute talk on the biggest challenges and opportunities in disaster, prediction, relief, and resilience, and then guided, in partnership with an XPRIZE facilitator, a breakout session with other attendees to discuss this field's "prizeable" areas. More information about XPRIZE

    View the video of the 2014 Visioneering Finalist "Demedicating Water" with Lucy Jones and teammate Patricia Arquette.

  • May 8, 2014
    Paleowildfire Reconstruction

    SAFRR Masters student Robert Leeper is in the beginning stages of trying to identify the occurence of paleowildfires during the past 5000 years in the San Gabriel mountains. Within the next few weeks Robert will be meeting with Kate Scharer, a USGS research geologist, and Dr. Matthew Kirby, a paleoclimatologist at Cal State Fullerton, to move forward with the initial research at lakes and sag ponds along the San Andreas fault. The plan will be to take vibracores at a few lakes in the San Gabriel mountains and slab cores at the sag ponds. All cores will be analyzed for grain size and charcoal flux for indications of paleowildfires and changes in sediment deposition that commonly occur after wildfires.

  • May 8, 2014
    Paleoseismology Along the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone

    SAFRR M.S. student Robert Leeper is continuing work that may lead to a better understanding of late Holocene seismicity along the Newport-Inglewood fault zone. Multiple sediment cores taken from the Seal Beach wetlands have shown organic-rich sediment at greater than 2 meters depth. Robert's hypothesis is that the organic-rich sediment represents the relic marsh surface that abruptly subsided during a major earthquake approximately 1800 years ago. Next steps include identification of exotic pollen and determination of the depth at which Cs-137 spikes, which will help establish an age model for the marsh sediment. Microfossil analyses near 200-cm depth will also help determine if an abrupt change in the depositional environment occurred in the past.

  • eewfs May 5, 2014
    Coming Soon: USGS Fact Sheet on Earthquake Early Warning

    SAFRR staff scientist Erin Burkett has worked closely with USGS Earthquake Early Warning Coordinator Doug Given and the SAFRR team to create a draft USGS Fact Sheet on Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) and ShakeAlert (, the prototype EEW system in development for the western United States. The fact sheet provides fundamentals of the science behind how EEW works and describes the current status and future plans and potential uses of ShakeAlert for the west coast. To illustrate the science and components involved in an EEW system, Erin collaborated with a graphics design staff member of the Orange County Register to merge scientifically accurate elements of EEW with visually engaging graphic design for the figure below. The draft document, titled "ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the United States West Coast," has been submitted for publication as a USGS Fact Sheet.

  • SSALogo.fwApril 30, 2014
    SAFRR at the Seismological Society of America Meeting

    SAFRR Tsunami Project Coordinater Stephanie Ross co-chaired a special session at the Seismological Society of America annual meeting (4/30/14-5/2/2014), on "Fifty Years of Tsunami Science: from the 1964 Earthquake and Tsunami to the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario - Advances in Tsunami Source Characterization, Numerical Analysis and Hazard Mitigation". Co-chairs were Elena Suleimani and Dmitry Nicolsky (both at U. Alaska Fairbanks) and Hong Kie Theo (URS Corps.). She also presented "The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario: Improving Resilience for California from a Plausible M9.1 Earthquake near the Alaska Peninsula". SAFRR student geologist Debbie Weiser also presented a poster about her research on induced seismicity in California's Geothermal fields.

  • April 24, 2014
    Dr. Lucy Jones Presents for 10th Anniversary of CREATE

    Dr. Lucy Jones presented as a keynote speaker for the 10th anniversary of CREATE (Center for Research in the Economic Affects of Terrorism Events) at the University of Southern California on April 24th. The day-long event commemorated the inception of CREATE and highlighted contributions, advancements, latest risks, and future directions in homeland security. More information can be found at CREATE 10 Year Anniversary Event

  • LucyToastmastersAwardApril 22, 2014
    Parsons Toastmasters Presents Dr. Lucy Jones with their Communications Achievement Award

    On Tuesday, April 22, the Parsons Toastmasters club in Pasadena, CA awarded Dr. Lucy Jones with their Communications Achievement Award in recognition of her achievements in having made a difference within the community through effective communication and leadership skills. As part of the club's 40th anniversary celebration and to recognize valued leadership in the community, Dr. Jones was selected by the club's members as an influencer and distinguished leader in Pasadena through her communication aptitude, knowledge, and passion for her work improving earthquake awareness, understanding, and preparedness.

  • April 14, 2014
    HayWired meeting with Google in San Francisco

    USGS SAFRR Project Manager, Dale Cox, Anne Wein, USGS Western Geographic Science Center, and Keith Porter, University of Colorado visited Google in San Francisco to discuss the SAFRR HayWired Project. The HayWired project will examine infrastructural impacts in the San Francisco Bay Area from a M7.0 on the HayWard Fault. The HayWired project will focus in detail on the impacts to the Internet economy and Silicon Valley. Contact: Dale A. Cox,, (916) 997-4209.

  • April 3, 2014
    Dr. Lucy Jones Participates in 21st Century Infrastructure and Innovation for a Resilent Economy Forum

    Dr. Lucy Jones joined a forum hosted by the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange and attended by President Clinton and Mayor Garcetti on Thursday, April 3rd at the Los Angeles City Hall. The 21st Centuray Infrastructure and Innovation for a Resilient Economy forum brings together mayors, governors, private investors, pension fund managers, and experts to advance strategies for financing economic development and to promote job growth, climate mitigation, and resiliency. The interactive plenary session and working session are intended to identify key opportunities within such topics as facilitating pension investment in public infrastructure, incentivizing climate-smart and green infrastructure, and scalable investment vehicles.

  • March 27, 2014
    Dr. Lucy Jones Speaks on SAFRR Tsunami Scenario at LA County Operational Area Tsunami Seminar

    On Thursday, March 27th at 9:00 am, Dr. Lucy Jones presented as lead speaker on the SAFRR tsunami scenario with several State officials on the California tsunami program at the Los Angeles County Operational Area Tsunami Seminar, held in Marina del Rey.

  • March 25, 2014
    Dr. Lucy Jones to Speak at an Informational Hearing at CA State Senate, Committee on Insurance

    On Wednesday, March 26th, Dr. Lucy Jones spoke at an informational hearing at the California State Senate, Committee on Insurance. Dr. Jones was asked to speak about business recovery after earthquakes and the role of insurance.

  • CA-Tsunami-Risk_Report-CoverMarch 24, 2014
    California Tsunami Policy Work Group: Completion of Report

    The California Tsunami Policy Work Group finished its report on tsunami policy. The group formed to both create a chapter identifying policy issues for the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario and to separately develop a set of policy recommendations to be issued by the committee. The report and its press release are available on the web site for the Western States Seismic Policy Council at

  • March 24, 2014
    Dr Lucy Jones Speaks at Aquarium of Pacific on Tsunami Awareness

    As part of Tsunami Preparedness Week, Dr. Lucy Jones presented as the keynote speaker for a public event about tsunamis, held in the evening on March 24th at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

  • March 23-29, 2014
    PacifEX 2014 tsunami exercises

    PacifEX is an annual tsunami warning exercise coordinated by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP)'s Warning Coordination Subcommittee. PacifEX 2014 is based on the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario. NOAA Tsunami Warning System Exercises Exercise PACIFEX 14 Participant Handbook

    States, counties and communities can choose to participate in PacifEX. In 2014, PacifEX-related exercises are being run during Tsunami Preparedness Week (March 23-29) in the states of California and Washington. In Washington, there will be a table top exercise, with the Governor's Executive Staff and Cabinet Officials, featuring the scenario. This will be the first time Washington has had such high level participation for their annual exercise.

    In California, Pacifex-based exercises are being run in Marin County, San Mateo County, San Francisco and possibly also Pacifica. San Francisco is doing a table top exercise on March 5 and then three days of functional exercises March 26-28; they're spending a day each on 1. Alert and warning, 2. Response and policy, and 3. Recovery.

  • March 21, 2014
    SAFRR Participates in Meeting for Ongoing Haywired Scenario Development with Partners

    SAFRR members Dale Cox and Erin Burkett attended a meeting in Menlo Park, CA on March 21st for the Haywired Project, a scenario in development to help prepare the San Francisco Bay Area for a possible earthquake on the Hayward fault The meeting brought together USGS scientists, engineer Keith Porter who was part of previous scenarios, and representatives from utilities, communication, and transportation including EBMUD, CISCO, and BART. Outcomes included a better understanding of modeling capabilities and limitations in moving forward to build the Haywired scenario on sufficient understanding of infrastructure interdependencies.

  • March 20, 2014
    Dr. Lucy Jones addresses the City of Los Angeles on ability to fulfill full build-out potential

    On Thursday, March 20th, 2014, Dr. Lucy Jones met with 50 representatives of the Urban Land Institute to discuss the LA project. More info at:

  • BarstowPresentationToAmericorpMarch 18, 2014
    Dr. Burkett Presents on Earthquake Science and Monitoring to Americorp Volunteers

    SAFRR scientist Dr. Erin Burkett presented on "Earthquakes: Science, Monitoring, and Impacts" at the Barstow BLM Field office on March 18th, 2014. The audience included local BLM employees and a group of ~15 NCCC (National Civilian Communications Corps) volunteers, a subset of Americorps. The volunteers were signed up to help build a fence as part of upgrades and installments for seismic station improvements toward Earthquake Early Warning system development plans. The group had requested a presentation to inform the volunteers, who are not of geoscience backgrounds, of the context of their work. In her presentation, Dr. Burkett covered an introduction to seismology, the science and potential impacts of earthquakes, and also highlighted student job opportunities within the USGS. The presentation was followed by a field trip to a nearby active seismic station guided by USGS technician Dave Sutton.

  • ARkStormTahoeMarch 14, 2014
    ARkStorm@Tahoe Exercise in Reno, NV

    ARkStorm@Tahoe Emergency Response Exercise: Over the last two years, the Tahoe Science Consortium, together with USGS SAFRR, have convened a series of workshops with over 300 stakeholders and interested communities such as federal, state, and local agencies, tribal representatives, natural resource managers, non-governmental organizations, business leaders, and scientists to discuss the impacts of the ARkStorm scenario on the Tahoe Basin, Reno, Sparks, and Carson City, Nevada. The effort, called ARkStorm@Tahoe, will incorporate ARkStorm these threats into an emergency response exercise and planning in the region and to identify social and environmental vulnerabilities. The ARkStorm@Tahoe emergency response exercise will take place on March 14, 2014: 8:30-3:00 a the Washoe County Regional Emergency Operations Center, 5195 Spectrum Blvd, Reno, NV.

  • March 6, 2014
    Lucy Jones Invited To Speak to Inland Empire

    Dr. Lucy Jones was invited to be the keynote speaker at the League of California Cities Inland Empire Division meeting on Thursday, March 6, 2014 in San Bernardino, California. The League of California Cities is the state association that represents California cities, and the Inland Empire Division serves as the local chapter for 15 cities in San Bernardino County. The event is typically attended by mayors, council members, state and county legislators and representatives, city managers, and public safety other municipal staff with attendance ranging from 70-100 attendees.

  • walk2014February-March, 2014
    Tsunami Walk: Event Planning, Partnerships, and Tsunami Week

    SAFRR scientist Sue Perry developed a "Tsunami Walk Template" to help groups and organizations that want to stage a public safety drill in 2014, particularly during Tsunami Preparedness Week (March 23-29). Many will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Alaskan "Good Friday" earthquake and tsunami. SAFRR also worked with a graphic designer to create a logo and poster for Tsunami Walks in 2014, based on a campaign prototype developed by students at Art Center College of Design ( The template, logo, and poster, are in use by partners and posted on the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program website. NOAA-National Weather Service in Oxnard, California, will add the branding to tote bags being printed for their event. NOAA-Tsunami Education Program, Alaska Region, will adapt the graphics to fit the look of Alaskan beaches.

  • SueNami February 28, 2014
    The First Sue Nami

    SAFRR has been working with students at the Designmatters program at Art Center College of Design to develop a trio of videos, each a 1-minute public service announcement to increase tsunami awareness among 18-34 year olds. Studies show that this age group is difficult to reach by conventional preparedness messaging - but worth the effort, because they are more likely than most other age groups to take action, once reached. SAFRR brought in experts from natural and behavioral sciences, emergency management, education, and public health to brief the students about tsunami issues, and work with the class to ensure accurate scientific content. A rough cut of this class-developed movie was shown to partners and colleagues in summer, 2013. Based on received comments, the end of the PSA was re-done, and the final version is now completed and available on YouTube.

  • February 19, 2014
    Dr. Lucy Jones to Advise the City of Los Angeles on Earthquake Vulnerabilities

    SAFRR has just entered a technical assistance agreement with the City of Los Angeles to create recommendations for approaches that could reduce future losses from earthquakes in the City of Los Angeles in four areas. These areas were identified in the ShakeOut Scenario (Jones et al., 2008) as areas of particular vulnerability with high social consequences for Los Angeles and are: 1) pre-1975 non-ductile reinforced concrete buildings; 2) pre-1997 soft-first-story buildings; 3) the water system infrastructure including its impact on firefighting capability; and 4) communications infrastructure.

    In each area, the project will define the scope of the problem, engage stakeholders of Los Angeles to consider approaches to reducing the problem and develop policies, engage experts as necessary to address technical constraints to the possible approaches, and finally create recommendations for the Mayor of Los Angeles on what can be done to reduce the impacts of these vulnerabilities. To accomplish these goals, Dr. Lucy Jones will be spending three-quarters of her time in the next year on this project.

  • February 14, 2014
    SAFRR Partnership Efforts Continue for Earthquake Early Warning (EEW)

    We continue to work in partnership with the Earthquake Program and Earthquake Science Center to support the development of Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) for the western United States. Lucy Jones together with Doug Given, Earthquake Early Warning coordinator, have served on a California working group to advise the state legislature which has completed its work. Next steps include a series of working groups to complete planning for the California system. The result of this working group so far is a charter to create a process for developing the implementation plan for an EEW system. SAFRR has also funded University of Kentucky's school of risk communication to provide focus group testing of possible early warning messages.

  • February 13, 2014
    Dr. Lucy Jones Presents Seminar for Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

    On Thursday, February 13th, Dr. Lucy Jones presented a seminar "Where Does the Fault Lie?" to members of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Jones was invited to address questions arising regarding earthquakes and seismic safety surrounding concerns of risks for the Hollywood area.

  • ColbyFebruary 7, 2014
    Protecting Glendora From Debris Flows

    SAFRR scientist Sue Perry represented the USGS among some two dozen officials from local and federal agencies including city of Glendora, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, US Forest Service, and National Weather Service. The group discussed public safety plans for the city of Glendora, where the recent Colby fire has increased debris flow hazard for the next 3-5 years. Using USGS debris flow hazard assessments as a foundation for planning, the city of Glendora spearheaded a plan that includes a four-color alert system, uniform messaging, public meetings, and extensive citizen outreach before during and after debris flow alerts.

  • January 29, 2014
    Dr. Lucy Jones Joins Resilience Round Table

    Dr. Lucy Jones has agreed to serve as the USGS representative to the Resilience Roundtable of the National Research Council whose goal is to address challenges in working toward a more resilient America. Dr. Jones joined a first meeting with the roundtable on January 29th. An outcome was the formation of five working groups, amongst which Lucy is part of the Communications group.

  • January 27-30, 2014
    SAFRR Joins Headquarters for NHMA Retreat

    SAFRR team members Sue Perry, Lucy Jones, Erin Burkett, Dale Cox, Kristin Ludwig, and Sandra Dedeaux joined a NHMA retreat together with the headquarters USGS Natural Hazards group in Reston, VA on January 27th to 30th. The retreat was especially beneficial for the SAFRR group to strenghten communication with headquarters, for newer members to be introduced and have a chance to meet fellow colleagues in person, to share updates on various efforts, and take part in working group goals aimed and improving plans, processes, and communications.

  • January 16-17, 2014
    SAFRR Coordinates and Participates in Northridge Earthquake 20th Anniversary Events

    The SAFRR team helped coordinate plans for the 20th Anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, January 17th, 2014. Discussions and proposed ideas from earlier coordination meetings developed into planned events and new resources, including a website providing Northridge Earthquake resources such as a calendar of events, lessons-learned, facts, modeled Northridge-sized earthquakes on other faults, and interviews of experts and people who experienced ground-shaking in the Northridge quake. On January 15th at 7 pm, Dr. Lucy Jones gave a public lecture in Northridge in reminder of our need to increase resiliency given vulnerabilities of our modern infrastructures that are untested by large earthquakes. SAFRR team members and others from the USGS joined in a two-day symposium (Jan. 16-17) coordinated by Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) members. The symposium brought together policy makers, government officials, building officials, engineers, earth scientists, emergency managers, building owners, neighborhood and community leaders, and financial services industry professionals to share impacts of, accomplishments since, and steps forward from the 1994 Northridge earthquake.


  • December, 2013
    2013 AGU Fall Meeting Presentations by SAFRR Staff

    * Lucy Jones - Public lecture "Imagine an America without Los Angeles: Natural Hazards and the Complexity of Urban America" - Sunday 12/8 12:00-1:00pm in Moscone South- Room 102.
    * Anne M. Wein et al. - NH41B-1718. "SAFRR Tsunami Scenario: Economic Impacts and Resilience"
    * Erin R. Burkett - NH43B-1746. "Cascading Disaster Assessment for the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario"
    * Stephanie Ross et al. - NH54A-07. "The SAFRR Tsunami Scenario: Improving Resilience for California from a Plausible M9 Earthquake near the Alaska Peninsula"
    * Geoffrey S. Plumlee et al. - NH54A-08. "Environmental and Environmental-Health Implications of the USGS SAFRR California Tsunami Scenario"

    On Sunday, December 8th, from 12:00-1:00 pm, Dr. Lucy Jones gave the public lecture at the American Geophysical Union's 2013 Annual Fall Meeting, "Imagine an America without Los Angeles: Natural Hazards and the Complexity of Urban America." In her presentation she shared vulnerabilities of our modern society to natural disasters, with an emphasis on the importance of recognizing the intertwined nature of system components. Various interdependencies themselves increase vulnerability through the potential for failures to cascade into further triggered consequences. For instance, dependence of many systems on the availability of working internet is just one example in which failure can lead to disruption in many other services such as transportation, power and communications. For more information on the public lecture go to: AGU 2013 Fall Public Lecture.

  • December 3, 2013
    SAFRR Team Retreat

    SAFRR team members, including Lucy Jones, Sue Perry, Erin Burkett, Kristin Ludwig, Dale Cox, and Sandra Dedeaux, met on December 3rd and 4th for a group retreat to welcome Dale and Kristin to the team and organize plans and goals. Outcomes included better understandings of our roles and tasks and increased awareness of each others projects, expertise available, and preferred directions.

  • November 18, 2013
    Tsunami Walkouts Planned

    March, 2014 brings the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Alaskan "Good Friday" earthquake and tsunami, which caused destruction in many parts of the Pacific basin. To commemorate this disaster and increase tsunami awareness, on Nov 18, 2013, SAFRR assembled tsunami awareness professionals from the USGS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California Office of Emergency Services, California Geological Survey, and the counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, and Ventura to discuss the staging of public events around southern California during the week surrounding March 27, 2014. This preliminary discussion launches months of planning and collaboration with grassroots and other organizations, including steps to encourage proposed public WalkOut events in which participants would walk a route that begins in a tsunami danger zone and leads to a tsunami safe zone.

  • TsunamiScenarioSeptember 4, 2013
    USGS Releases the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario Report

    SAFRR releases the Tsunami Scenario report describing two years of work to study the potential implications of a tsunami caused by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake offshore of the Alaskan Peninsula. A multi-disciplinary team including the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), California Geological Survey (CGS), and California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) looked at what such an event could mean to the coastal residents, visitors, infrastructure, economy, and environment in California. The report is published jointly as a report of the USGS and CGS, available through USGS publications on September 4th.

    Upon the release, the California Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program is convening a series of workshops with the USGS to explain the results of the study to stakeholders in the coastal communities of California. The workshops are hosted by the Cabrillo Aquarium (Sept. 4), Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management (Sept. 5), San Diego County Office of Emergency Management (Sept. 6), Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Management (Sept. 9), and the Port of San Francisco (Sept. 10).

    The intended users of the Tsunami Scenario are those who need to make mitigation decisions before tsunamis and will need to make rapid decisions during and after tsunamis. The intent is that new information provided by the Tsunami Scenario will help these important players understand the context and consequences of their decisions.

  • August 23, 2013
    SAFRR Contributes to Understanding of Evacuation Behaviors

    SAFRR has partnered with social and behavioral scientists at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Earth Institute, Columbia University (url: to create a virtual simulation system that will improve public understanding of debris flows and enable researchers to better understand how people make decisions about evacuation when a debris flow or wildfire threatens. As part of this project, CRED mails surveys to southern Californians with recent evacuation experience. To determine where to send the surveys, CRED relies on USGS volunteer James Carter, who carefully monitors local radio, web, and television for weather, fire, and evacuation updates. Carter provides the local eyes and ears needed to target participants accurately and updates his reports daily during active fires. SAFRR disaster scientist Sue Perry says "a number of SAFRR partners in emergency management, in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange Counties, have indicated great interest in this study and Jim Carter's careful, dedicated effort has been a great asset as we proceed." Contact: Sue Perry,

    For more information contact Sue Perry.

  • ARkStormAugust 14, 2013
    Lucy Jones presents on Earthquakes and ARkStorm at LAX for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)

    Lucy Jones spoke at LAX on August 14th, 2013, presenting on earthquake and flooding risks in California. The presentation was part of a "Prepare" series organized for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) staff to help toward LAX preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Dr. Jones covered topics including vulnerabilities to the probable next large San Andreas earthquake, as demonstrated by the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario, along with risks associated with even less frequent but potentially more disastrous winter storm flooding events as outlined with the ARkStorm Scenario ( Pamphlets were provided for the ShakeOut Scenario and earthquake preparedness ("Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country") to encourage awareness of available resources.

    For more information contact

  • DesignStormJuly 8-9, 2013
    SAFRR, Art Center, and others collaborate in an Earthquake Risk Communication Design Storm

    On July 8-9th, 2013, the USGS met at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design for an Earthquake Risk Communication Design Storm, in a project coordinated by the SAFRR team that brought together seismologists, emergency managers, risk communication researchers, and design professionals to develop a framework for earthquake probability messages for emergency managers and the general public. The seismologists provided guidelines for earthquake information that can be produced, the emergency managers explained what they need to do their jobs and help inform people what they need to be safe, the risk communication researchers helped advise on theories of how people perceive risk and what approaches lead to action or are known to not work, and the Art Center designers helped develop possible interfaces to present effective messages incorporating guidance from all of the above. The outcome included several sets of promising possible earthquake early warning messages and approaches, including potential sounds, phone and television application interfaces, and creative awareness training ideas in the form of mascots or PSAs. Following the Design Storm, the candidate messages will be tested with focus groups by the researchers at the Division of Risk Communication at the University of Kentucky.

  • SueNamiMay 2013
    Sue Nami public service announcement now available online

    Sue Nami, a tsunami awareness PSA resulting from collaboration between the USGS SAFRR team and the Pasadena Art Center College of Design, is now available online. For more information, see the Sue Nami Project. Vimeo | Behind the Scenes

  • EEW_ShakeAlertApril 19, 2013
    $5 Million in UASI Funding for EEW Secured by USGS Partnerships

    USGS scientists Lucy Jones and Doug Given participated in a press conference at the LA City Emergency Operations Center with Mayor Antonio Villaragosa to announce $5 million in funding from the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) to ANSS partner institution Caltech for Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system development, for which USGS efforts were integral in securing (see LA Times article).

  • May 6-7, 2013
    Lucy Jones speaks at IAPH 28th World Ports Conference about Tsunami Risk and Mitigation Tools

    Dr. Lucy Jones speaks at the International Association of Ports and Harbors 28th World Ports Conference, May 6th and 7th at the JW Marriott at LA live in Los Angeles, for an audience of over 500 registrants from around the globe. The presentation includes an emphasis on awareness of port vulnerabilities to tsunamis, examples of scientific tools useful for preparedness and mitigation efforts such as tsunami simulation results from research work with collaborator Dr. Patrick Lynett, potential benefits to reaching out to scientists for information useful for hazard mitigation, and provision of USGS contact information for facilitating access to related resources and means of communication with scientists.

  • July 23, 2013
    Dr. Erin Burkett presents "Summer of Safety" Seminar for Capital Group

    On July 23rd, SAFRR staff scientist Dr. Erin Burkett gave an invited presentation "Understanding Your Earthquake Risk in Southern California" as part of a "Summer of Safety" brown bag lunch series for employees and safety team members of Capital Group, a company in downtown LA serving investors and financial institutions. For an audience of about 100 attendees in a lecture hall on the 55th floor of the downtown Los Angeles Bank of America high-rise, Dr. Burkett gave an overview of earthquake science along with risk specific to Southern California, shared current updates on projects underway including development efforts for Earthquake Early Warning, provided links to SAFRR and USGS resources for scientific and preparedness information, and addressed a variety of questions following the talk. For questions or more information contact: Erin Burkett,

  • July 1, 2013
    SAFRR and LA Children's Hospital Convene a Meeting on Children and Earthquakes

    SAFRR team members Lucy Jones, John Bwarie, and Erin Burkett co-convened a meeting with LA Children's Hospital representatives at the LA City Emergency Operations Center July 1, 2013 to bring together participants representing various libraries, museums, and children's centers around Los Angeles to discuss "Earthquakes, Children, and the Future of LA". The meeting consisted of short presentations, including "Earthquake Risk in Los Angeles" by Lucy Jones and "Special Considerations for Children in Earthquakes" by Jeffrey Upperman from CHLA, followed by break-out group discussions on current strategies and safety measures as well as gaps and opportunities to be addressed in future meetings and efforts. A major focus of the talks and discussions was on addressing vulnerabilities specific to children, and in particular, how to help ensure that museums, libraries, children's centers or daycares can develop and have emergency plans in place to effectively provide water, food, shelter, safety, instructive guidance, and care for children that might become separated and stranded from their families in the event of an earthquake that severs LA transportation and supply lifelines.

  • June 14, 2013
    SAFRR Partners with Hawaiian Civil Defense to Assist Tsunami Messaging Efforts

    Over the next several months, the State of Hawaii will decide changes to its tsunami messaging and - to ensure that the new messages strengthen existing education - Hawaiian Civil Defense has sought advice outside traditional tsunami messaging circles by requesting assistance from SAFRR to connect with researchers in risk communication and risk perception. Thus Sue Perry assembled a group of partners to serve as advisors to State of Hawaii. The group's expertise comprises socio-linguistics, psychology, anthropology, marketing, design, public health, and health policy, and includes Columbia's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Art Center College of Design, School of Public Health at Hunter College, UC Los Angeles Center for Public Health and Disasters, and the Rand Corporation. The group has participated in phone and email discussions to draft an informal set of best practices and recommendations which Hawaiian Civil Defense has requested that SAFRR co-author as a white paper. The results will also help to inform future outreach within SAFRR. This is a pilot effort in SAFRR to explore new ways to share expertise with partners inside and outside the USGS. For more information contact: Sue Perry,

  • June 6, 2013
    Erin Burkett Presents on Earthquakes and Seismic Instrumentation at CSTE Annual Meeting

    USGS staff scientist Erin Burkett spoke at the annual meeting of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) in Pasadena, California on June 9th. Her presentation was part of the "Disaster Epidemiology: From Fukishima to Super Storm Sandy" workshop and covered an overview of earthquake science and instrumentation, including a demonstration of seismic equipment. The invited purpose was to further educate epidemiologists on earthquakes and related hazards for exposure assessment. The audience consisted of a variety of cancer, infectious, chronic, disease, and environmental epidemiologists who enthusiastically received the presentation and came away with a new awareness of available USGS resources. For more information contact: Erin Burkett,

  • NextBigOneMarch 1, 2013
    "Living in Earthquake Country: Los Angeles and the Big One" - Dr. Lucy Jones presentation at LA Natural History Museum

    Dr. Lucy Jones presented a public lecture at the LA Natural History Museum and hosted questions from attending public members. A podcast of the talk is available. Also see information about her presentation and the LA Natural History Museum First-Fridays program.

  • ErinBurkettFebruary 25, 2013
    Welcoming Dr. Erin Burkett to USGS and the SAFRR Project

    Erin completed a bachelor's degree in Physics at the University of Delaware (2004) and a doctorate in Geology/Geophysics at the University of California, Davis (2010). Erin most recently worked as a Geophysics post-doctoral researcher with Caltech (2010-2012), where her experiences with leading tours of the Caltech Seismological Laboratory and the USGS Media Center exposed her to the work and collaborations with USGS Natural Hazards projects, leading to her interest in and opportunity to join the SAFRR team. Erin was hired in February as a Geophysicist working with the SAFRR team to add a combination of scientific expertise with writing, artistic design, and communication skills to ongoing efforts to engage users and increase the use of USGS science. Erin Burkett's Professional Page

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