Engaging teachers, interpreters and emergency management educators in disaster preparedness and EarthScope science through joint professional development workshops (Invited) Abstract


  • The same geological forces that form the spectacular beaches and headlands of the Pacific Northwest also threaten lives and infrastructure with earthquakes and tsunamis. A new project called the Cascadia EarthScope, Earthquake, and Tsunami Education Program (CEETEP), is helping to mitigate the effects of these potential disasters through collaboration building and professional development for K-12 teachers, park and museum interpreters, and emergency management outreach educators in communities along the Oregon and Washington coast. Tens of thousands of Oregon and Washington residents live within severe earthquake-shaking and tsunami-inundation zones, and millions of tourists visit state and federal parks in these same areas each year. Teachers in the K-12 school systems convey some basics about geological hazards to their students, and park rangers and museum educators likewise engage visitors at their sites. Emergency management educators make regular presentations to local residents about disaster preparedness. CEETEP is strengthening these efforts by providing community-based workshops that bring together all of these professionals to review the basic science of earthquakes and tsunamis, learn about EarthScope and other research efforts that monitor the dynamic Earth in the region, and develop ways to collectively engage students and the general public on the mitigation of coastal geologic hazards. As part of a nationwide effort, the NSF EarthScope Program has been deploying hundreds of seismic, GPS, and other geophysical instruments to measure movement of the Earth's crust and detect earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. These instruments provide detail for ongoing research showing that coastal regions are storing energy that will be released in the next great Cascadia earthquake, with the resulting tsunami arriving onshore in 30 minutes or less. CEETEP is helping to convey these cutting-edge findings to coastal educators and fulfill EarthScope's intended broader impact of contributing 'to the mitigation of risks from geological hazards … and the public's understanding of the dynamic Earth.' Preliminary results from CEETEP's 2013 August and October workshops will be presented.


publication date

  • 2013

presented at event