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Commemorating Loma Prieta: The Future of Bay Area Earthquakes

October 17, 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. A panel of experts will reflect on what happened in 1989, the likely impact of future Bay Area earthquakes, progress in earthquake science and engineering, how the Bay Area can become more earthquake resilient, and earthquake preparedness.

Mark Zoback (moderator) is the Benjamin M. Page Professor in the Department of Geophysics, School of Earth Sciences at Stanford. His principal research interests are in the fields of crustal stress and geomechanics, and he works on these problems at a variety of scales and in different geologic settings. He was one of the Principal Investigators of the SAFOD project, in which scientific drilling into the San Andreas Fault at Parkfield was successfully carried out, and is the author of Reservoir Geomechanics, published by Cambridge University Press, which integrates the fields of structural geology, rock mechanics, and petroleum engineering. Professor Zoback is the recipient of the Walter H. Bucher Medal from the American Geophysical Union, the Emil Wiechert Medal from the German Geophysical Society, and the New Zealand Geophysics Prize.

Gregory Beroza is the Wayne Loel Professor in the Department of Geophysics, School of Earth Sciences at Stanford. He develops and applies techniques for analyzing seismograms-recordings of seismic waves-in order to understand how earthquakes work and the hazard they pose to engineered structures. His research group is working to address both concerns by developing a better understanding of energy partitioning during earthquakes, and have pioneered new techniques to discern the physical mechanism behind the recently discovered phenomenon of deep, non-volcanic tremor. Professor Beroza was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2008, and has been the deputy director of the Southern California Earthquake Center since 2007.

Chris Poland is the chairman and CEO of Degenkolb Engineers. A licensed structural engineer for over 30 years, his project portfolio features new design work, seismic structural analysis and strengthening of existing buildings, structural failure analysis, and historic preservation. An internationally recognized authority on earthquake engineering, he routinely participates in policy-changing research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He is a recipient of the Alfred E. Alquist Award from the California Earthquake Safety Foundation, and was elected to become a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2009.

Harold Schapelhouman is a 25-year veteran firefighter and chief of the Menlo Park (California) Fire Protection District. He is the leader of California Task Force 3, one of eight California Urban Search and Rescue Teams, and one of the 28 Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS/FEMA) Teams. He is a veteran of incidents including the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake; 1992 Hurricane Iniki (Hawaii); 1994 Northridge Earthquake (Los Angeles); 1995 Oklahoma City terrorist bombing; 1997 and 1998 California floods; 1999 Chi Chi Earthquake (Taiwan); 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attack; 2002 Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City) preparedness efforts; recovery of the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts in 2003; 2004 Republican National Convention security detail; and Hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Ivan, and, most recently, Hurricane Katrina.

Mary Lou Zoback is Vice President of Earthquake Risk Applications at Risk Management Solutions. Dr. Zoback joined RMS in 2006 after a 28-year career at the U.S. Geological Survey, where she served as chief scientist of the Earthquake Hazard team and regional coordinator for the USGS Northern California Earthquake Hazard Program. Dr. Zoback is known for her work on the relationship between earthquakes and the state of stress in the Earth’s crust. From 1986 to 1992 she created and led the World Stress Map project, an effort that actively involved 40 scientists from 30 countries, with the objective of utilizing a wide variety of geologic and geophysical data to interpret the present-day tectonic stress field. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, former president of the Geological Society of America, and the recipient of GSA’s 2007 Public Service Award and the Arthur L. Day Medal recognizing outstanding distinction in contributing to geologic knowledge through the application of physics and chemistry to the solution of geologic problems.

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October 15, 2009, 7:00 p.m.


Memorial Auditorium, 551 Serra Mall, Stanford University, 94305


Free event


Cynthia Gori

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