Risk Lessons from the Indian Ocean Tsunami To Be Discussed. Monday, March 27, 2006

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — In their talk "Natural Disasters and Global Risk Analysis: Lessons from the Indian Ocean Tsunami," seismologist Arthur Lerner-Lam of Columbia University and Vassar geologist Brian McAdoo will discuss one of nature's most destructive recent events. Their presentation, on Monday, March 27, at 5:30 p.m., in the Sanders Classroom building, will be free and open to the public.

Lerner-Lam is a Doherty Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director for Seismology, Geology, and Tectonophysics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He is the founding Director of the Center for Hazards and Risk Research, part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. The center brings together experts from the physical sciences, social sciences, and policymaking to develop approaches for reducing the vulnerability of society to natural and man-made disasters.

In recent years Lerner-Lam has lectured and written widely on natural hazards and society, and his field research has ranged across the Middle East, Europe, Central and South Asia, the Southwest Pacific, and the United States. A graduate of Princeton University, with a doctorate in geophysical sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, Lerner-Lam has been at Columbia since 1985.

McAdoo is about to begin working with researchers from the U.S. and Norway on a $2.4 million National Science Foundation grant aimed at reducing coastal risk from offshore hazards. His research on offshore landslides and tsunamis took a dramatic turn after the Indian Ocean tsunami struck. In January 2005, as a member of the International Tsunami Survey Team, he traveled first to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, then to Indonesia, to survey and photograph the tsunami's impact on shorelines. Soon after Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf Coast, he traveled with colleagues to Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to assess the geological toll.

Brian McAdoo joined the Vassar faculty in 1998 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His Bachelor's degree in geology is from Duke University, and he also earned a Diploma in Science from the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Sponsors for this program include the Vassar program in environmental studies, and the department of geology and geography. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should call the Office of Campus Activities, at (845) 437-5370.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, March 16, 2006