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Dr Lucy Jones

Dr. Lucy Jones

COOS BAY   Southwestern’s geology lecture series continues when Dr. Lucy Jones as the guest lecturer with her presentation "The Big Ones: Preparing for Increasing Risk from Natural Disaster" for the 14th annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture that will start at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts. Jones is founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, with a mission to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the creation of more resilient communities.

She is the author of "The Big Ones" a riveting history of natural disasters and their impact on culture, which also offers new ways of thinking about the ones to come (available for purchase and signing at the lecture). Working with both the public and private sectors, Dr. Jones seeks to increase communities’ ability to adapt and be resilient to the dynamic changes of the world around them. The aim is to understand and communicate where the greatest vulnerabilities lie and what actions can be taken to reduce the risk that are the most cost-effective.

As one of the world’s most recognizable seismologists, Dr. Jones has a unique talent for making even the most complicated of scientific concepts accessible to all audiences. In her 33 years as a seismologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, she was often deployed after earthquakes to comfort, counsel, and inform a rattled public. Through her decades of research and public advocacy for risk reduction, she has dramatically changed the way Californians prepare for and react to disasters.

Much of her work stems from this question: “What good is scientific knowledge if people don’t use it?” When she joined the California Seismic Safety Commission in 2002, she realized that crucial infrastructure decision-makers were ignoring the realities of potential earthquake damages. She also found herself explaining scientific facts over and over again to the same officials. From then on, she made it her mission to translate complex disaster science into clear scenarios and actionable steps for both the public and officials. To that end, she published the ShakeOut report, a 308-page study on the ramifications a massive earthquake on the San Andreas Fault would have for Southern California, from months without water to pipeline explosions. The report convinced policymakers to invest in earthquake-resilient infrastructure across the state. She also created the first American major earthquake drill, the Great ShakeOut, which by 2016 had expanded to over 53 million participants across the world.

As one of the most prominent public voices for earthquake resilience, Dr. Jones has appeared on most major news programs, as well as NPR, PBS, and numerous television specials about earthquakes and disasters. Dr. Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT. Dr. Jones’s scientific achievements have been recognized with the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, the Ambassador Award from the American Geophysical Union, the William Rodgers Distinguished Alumni Award from Brown University, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western States Seismic Policy Council, and the 2017 Distinguished Lecture Award of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute

Geology Lecture Series talks are free and are held in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. For those not able to attend in person, this lecture will be Live-streamed but not archived, with access from the College's web site at https://livestream.com/SWOCC/geology2018-19Additional talks in the series for this academic year include:  Dr. Shannon Kob (Idaho State) on undersea volcanoes and the search for extraterrestrial life on March 2, 2019; Dr. Julia Reece (Texas A & M) an Ocean Drilling Program distinguished lecturer on April 13, 2019; and Dr. Stephen Palumbi (Stanford) on extreme life in the sea on May 17, 2019. Lecture series sponsors include DB Western, The Mill Casino, the Southwestern Foundation and the College. 

For additional information, contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.

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