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Fort Mason Center, Building C, Rm 210


2011 M 9.0 Tohoku, Japan Earthquake

Meeting Agenda

The powerful magnitude 9.0 Tohuku earthquake is the largest to have struck Japan since seismic recording began 140 years ago and one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded worldwide. The U.S. west coast has two subduction zones that are capable of magnitude 9 earthquakes offshore. Alaska, which last ruptured in 1964, and the Pacific Northwest (known as Cascadia) last ruptured in 1700. What are the implications for the state of California and the San Francisco Bay Area?

Opening Remarks

Dr. David P. Schwartz, USGS & Bay Area Earthquake Alliance Co-Chair

What light does the Tohoku super-quake shed on California seismic hazards?

Ross Stein, USGS Geophysicist

A Summary of San Francisco’s Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS)

John Paxton, Principal, Real Estate Advisory Services

Planning for Post-Earthquake Recovery: San Francisco’s Resilient City Efforts

Laurie Johnson, Principal, Laurie Johnson Consulting


Speaker Biographies

Ross Stein
photo of Ross Stein

Ross Stein is a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. He received an Sc.B. Magna cum Laude and with Honors from Brown University in 1975, a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1980, and was Observatory Post-Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University during 1981. Dr. Stein is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Geological Society of America, was Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research during 1986-1989, and chaired AGU’s Board of Journal Editors of the in 2004-2006. He was a visiting professor at Institut de Physique du Globe (Paris and Strasbourg) and Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1989, 1993, 1999, and 2008. Stein co-founded and chairs the Scientific Board of the Global Earthquake Model (the GEM Foundation), a public-private partnership building a worldwide seismic risk model in 5 years.

During 1993-2003, the Science Citation Index reported that Stein was the second most cited author in earthquake science. Dr. Stein received the Eugene M. Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award of the USGS in 2000, the Excellence in Outreach Award of the Southern California Earthquake Center in 1999, and the Outstanding Contributions and Cooperation in Geoscience Award from NOAA in 1991. He presented the Francis Birch Lecture of the AGU in 1996, the Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture of the AGU in 2001, C. Thomas Crough Memorial Lecture of Purdue University, Andrew C. Lawson Lecture of U.C. Berkeley, and the Condon Public Lecture of Oregon State University in 2004, and gave the Validus Re Distinguished Lecture in 2007. In 2005, he was keynote speaker at the Smithsonian Institution for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Stein led non-proprietary seismic hazards investigations for Swiss Re, on Istanbul (2000) and Tokyo (2006).

Stein appeared the Emmy-nominated documentary, ‘Killer Quake’ (NOVA, 1995); the four-part ‘Great Quakes’ series (Discovery Channel, 1997-2001); ‘Earthquake Storms’ (BBC, 2003); and the IMAX film, ‘Forces of Nature’ (National Geographic Society, 2004), which he helped to write and animate. ‘Forces’ was awarded Best feature film of the 2004 Large Format Cinema Association Film Festival; Best film and Best educational film of the 2005 Giant Screen Theater Association, and Grand Prize of the 2005 La Géode International Large Format Film Festival.

Laurie Johnson
photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson is Principal of Laurie Johnson Consulting and Research and a senior science advisor to Lexington and Chartis Insurance companies. She has over 20 years of experience in urban planning, catastrophe risk management, and disaster recovery management, and has researched or helped manage recovery following many major urban disasters, including the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, 1994 Northridge earthquake, 1995 Kobe Japan earthquake, and 1997 Grand Forks, ND flood. In 2006, she was a lead author of the recovery plan for the City of New Orleans and coauthored the book, Clear as Mud: Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans. She is currently a technical advisor to the City and County of San Francisco on its Recovery and Resilient SF initiative, and a member of the SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association) Resilient City initiative. Laurie completed her Doctorate degree at Kyoto University, Japan in March 2009. Her dissertation focused on developing a management framework for local disaster recovery. She also holds a Master of Urban Planning and a Bachelor degree in Geophysics, both from Texas A&M University. She is on the Board of Directors of SPUR and the Public Entity Risk Institute, on the steering committee for GEER-Geotechnical Extreme Event Reconnaissance organization, and a past Board member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). She has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 1990, and a long-standing member of the American Planning Association and EERI.

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