Archives for 2014

2015 EERI Annual Meeting – Registration Now Open!

Register now for the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting! It will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, March 31 through April 3. Visit the meeting webpage to view the program, check out the great tours and workshops available, and reserve a room at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

January 24th EERI Earthquake Reconnaissance Data Collection Training Workshop at UCLA

View Agenda for the 2015 Reconnaissance Training

Register for free at:

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Earthquake Reconnaissance Data Collection Training workshop will explain the role EERI plays in post-earthquake reconnaissance. It will provide a basis for involvement by workshop attendees in future reconnaissance activities after an earthquake in their area. EERI will present past reconnaissance efforts and the variety of ways membershave been involved in the past, including methods of data collection and management.

This also includes discipline-specific methods of evaluation of the safety and utility of buildings and critical infrastructure following a damaging event. The day’s events will include a speaker in each of the following fields: structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, and lifelines (bridges). The experts will provide methods for conducting field damage assessments.

Using the morning presentations, an afternoon field exercise will provide participants with the opportunity to test their reconnaissance skills and use of EERI field data collection tools around the UCLA campus. The training workshop at UCLA will serve as a model for future EERI training workshop, further standardizing data collection and reconnaissance efforts.

Contact Maggie Ortiz with any questions.


Northeastern Nagano

November 22, 2014, M 6.2 Earthquake


Available Information



Friedman Family Visiting Professionals

Application now open for EERI Chapters to request visits from Friedman Family Visiting Professionals

EERI is pleased to announce the launch of the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program for the 2014-2015 academic year.  With generous support of an endowment from the Friedman Family, the program provides travel funding so expert professionals can visit your university and deliver a lecture that showcases their experiences in a professional career associated with earthquake engineering and earthquake risk reduction.

Student Chapters can choose from a list of 16 expert EERI professionals that span disciplines including seismology, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, insurance, emergency management, and public policy.  For a list of all professionals, visit:

EERI Student Chapters are encouraged to complete the application form to request a visit from a Friedman Family Visiting Professional at:  Note that the form requires you to rank your top three professionals and briefly describe reason for your choices in 300 words or less.

Review of Student Chapter requests will begin on December 11, 2014 and occur on a rolling basis until all travel funds are awarded.  All chapters are encouraged to apply before this date for the best chance of being selected for the program.  Depending on funding availability, approximately 6 – 10 trips will be funded for visits between January – June 2015.

For more information about the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals program, visit:

Developing Future Leaders | EERI Interns


EERI Special Earthquake Report on the South Napa Earthquake is now available

The EERI Special Earthquake Report on the M 6.0 South Napa Earthquake of August 24, 2014 is now available for download at the South Napa Clearinghouse website:

The 28-page multi-disciplinary report report describes the findings of members of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and their colleagues who conducted reconnaissance through the California Earthquake Clearinghouse. The main chapters of the report include Clearinghouse Operations, Geosciences, Geotechnical Engineering, Lifelines, Performance of Structures, Emergency Response and Economic Impact.

The California Earthquake Clearinghouse is managed by the California Geological Survey (CGS), EERI, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and the California Seismic Safety Commission (CSSC). Many other organizations participated in reconnaissance activities including, Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association; Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER); California Department of Transportation (Caltrans); the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE); and the Structural Engineers Association of California’s Post-Disaster Performance Observation Committee.

The EERI Reconnaissance Leader, Marko Schotanus, coordinated reconnaissance efforts and led the development of this summary report as well as the EERI briefing (hosted jointly with PEER). The following members served as Disciplinary Leads to coordinate the compilation of observations in their topic area for both the briefing and this report: Ibrahim Almufti, Andre Barbosa, Jonathan Bray, Timothy Dawson, Joshua Marrow, Mike Mieler, Charles Scawthorn, and Mark Yashinsky. Each of the leads worked together with numerous other reconnaissance volunteers to incorporate a broad spectrum of observations.

2014 EERI Distinguished Lecture: Estimating Real-Time Earthquake Shaking & Impact

On Thursday October 30th, NYC will have the honor of hosting the 2014 EERI Distinguished Lecture on the topic of “Estimating Real-Time Earthquake Shaking & Impact.” The distinguished speaker is Dr. David Wald of USGS who has developed and manages “ShakeMap“, “Did You Feel it?“, and is developing other systems for post-earthquake response and pre-earthquake mitigation, including ShakeCast and PAGER.

The event is organized by the NYNE Chapter of EERI and hosted by The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen at 20 West 44th St. from 5:30-7:30 pm (lecture 6-7 pm), 1PDH, RSVP to . Details in attached flyer.

2015 EERI Board Elections: Meet the Candidates

The following candidates were nominated for the 2015 EERI Board. EERI members will vote for their candidates from November 1, 2014 to January 1, 2015. EERI members will be notified via email with voting instructions, including a unique link to an online ballot.

Director A:
David Cocke, President, Structural Focus, California (M. EERI, 1992)
Edward Kavazanjian, Jr., Professor, Arizona State University (M. EERI, 1989)

Director B:
Lucy Arendt, Professor, University of Wisconsin (M. EERI, 2008)
Lori Dengler, Professor, Humboldt State University, California (M. EERI, 1998)

Below is a full list of the candidates’ biographies and vision statements (a PDF of the list is also available for downloading and printing).


David Cocke: Biography

david_cocke_capDavid Cocke, S.E. has been practicing Structural Engineering since he moved to California from Virginia in 1981. He received his Bachelors from Virginia Tech and his Masters from San Jose State University. David founded Structural Focus in 2001 after 20 years at Degenkolb Engineers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.    He is a registered structural engineer in California and several other states, with expertise in seismic evaluation, historic preservation, retrofits and new design.

David joined EERI in 1992 and is a Charter Member of the Southern California Chapter. He is an active member of the EERI Initiatives Development Committee and has participated in the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program. David has served on the Board of Directors of numerous other organizations including the California Preservation Foundation, Pasadena Heritage, USC Architectural Guild, SEAONC, SEAOSC, and SEAOC, and is currently on the Board of Governors of the Structural Engineers Institute of ASCE. Also, David has served as the SEAOC appointed Alternate Structural Engineer Member on the California Historical Building Safety Board since 2007. He has recently served on the Los Angeles Earthquake Technical Task Force with Dr. Lucy Jones as advisors to Mayor Garcetti.

Some of David’s more notable projects are the Wallis Annenberg Performing Arts Center, Wilshire Boulevard Temple restoration, Red Bull North American Headquarters, Google Los Angeles, YouTube Space Los Angeles, Dreamworks Animation, Warner Bros. Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hotel del Coronado renovations and many more. David has recently been leading the effort to bring Building Occupancy Resumption Programs to southern California. In 2013, his team worked with Dreamworks to establish southern California’s first BORP in the City of Glendale. Now his team is partnering with a multitude of clients and cities in throughout southern California to establish their programs.

David Cocke: Vision Statement

I am extremely honored and flattered to be a candidate for the EERI Board of Directors. I have always held EERI apart from other engineering organizations because of its diverse participants. EERI has always impressed on me that structural engineers should not be working in a vacuum. We as practicing Structural Engineers have a critical role in the reduction of seismic risk, but to be successful it is vital that we also have to learn to work with other earthquake professionals to move forward with our mutual goals stated in the EERI Mission statement. EERI provides us with that platform to be successful by engaging a mixed group of professionals from all fields that have a shared goal of seismic risk reduction.

It is my desire to serve on the Board as a voice representing practicing Structural Engineers. I believe that it is vitally important to include on the Board some practicing Structural Engineers that are actively involved in the evaluation and design of our communities’ buildings. Our practicing Engineers can be considered “on the front line” – they need to be able to communicate the importance of good engineering and construction to reduce their clients’ and other stakeholders’ risks, and reduce the risks to the buildings’ occupants, even for decades into the future. Learning from the other professionals involved in EERI can only help to prepare Engineers to do a better job at communicating that message so that we can truly reduce our society’s earthquake risks.

As a member of the Initiatives Development Committee, I have seen that there is clearly enthusiasm and motivation to do more work to further EERI’s Mission, we just need to gather those ideas, harness that enthusiasm, give them a little help where possible, and point them in the right direction. I hope to continue those efforts if elected.

My experience as a Visiting Professional has also been very meaningful to me. The students generally have told me during my discussions with them that they are not necessarily interested only in the math equations that we use in our analysis and design efforts, but they are looking for inspiration from stories about our projects. They want to improve the world and they have chosen Structural Engineering as their path to do so. It will be very important for EERI to stay connected with our younger professionals as their career develops and to get them more involved in the organization.

Thank you again for considering me for election to the Board of Directors. Obviously, it would be a great honor for me to serve on your behalf.

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Edward Kavazanjian, Jr.: Biography

edward_kavazanjian_capEd Kavazanjian is the Ira A. Fulton Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). Prior to joining the faculty at ASU in 2004, he worked as a consulting engineer for 20 years. He received Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees from MIT in 1973 and 1975 respectively and received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978. Upon graduating from UC Berkeley in 1978, Dr. Kavazanjian taught at Stanford University for seven years before going into engineering practice.   He has been active in EERI activities since 1980 (though his membership inadvertently lapsed for a year in 1987). He has also been active in the ASCE Geo-Institute (G-I), Transportation Research Board (TRB), and US University Consortium for Geotechnical Education and Research (USUCGER) activities. He served on the G-I Board of Governors for seven years, including a term as President from 2010-2011. He is a member of the TRB committees on Foundations for Bridges and Other Structures and on Seismic Design and Performance of Bridges and chairs the joint subcommittee (of these two committees) on Geoseismic Concerns. He also currently serves as on the Board of Directors of USUCGER. He is a past chair of the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering and currently serves as chair of the NRC Committee on Assessment of the State of the Art and Practice for Earthquake Induced Soil Liquefaction.   He is co-author of the FHWA guidance document on LRFD Seismic Design for Structural Foundations and Transportation Geotechnical Features and the US EPA Guidance document on RCRA Subtitle D (258) Seismic Design Guidance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Facilities.   He is a registered professional engineer in California, Arizona, and Washington. As a consulting engineer, he worked on seismic design of major projects ranging from feasibility studies for the Rion-Antirion Bridge across the Gulf of Corinth and the proposed Euroroute tunnel crossing of the English Channel to closure design for the Operating Industries Landfill Superfund Site. He is recipient of the Terzaghi, Peck, and Middlebrooks awards from ASCE.   Dr. Kavazanjian was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012 for his contributions to seismic design of transportation facilities and landfills.

Edward Kavazanjian, Jr.: Vision Statement

I believe the true value of EERI lies in its interdisciplinary nature. While our efforts in individual specialty areas are indeed valuable, those constituencies can be served by professional organizations devoted to those specialty areas. It is in the integration of the various disciplines involved in earthquake hazard mitigation, including not only the “hard,” geosciences- and engineering mechanics-oriented disciplines (e.g. engineering seismology, structural and geotechnical engineering) but also the “softer,” economics and social science disciplines, where EERI provides value that is not provided by any other organization. It is this inter-disciplinary and at times trans-disciplinary focus that makes EERI unique and invaluable and that I believe the Institute should focus on. Among the challenges we face as an interdisciplinary endeavor is the challenge of engaging our younger members in these interdisciplinary efforts. Particularly in academia, but even in engineering practice, young professionals are often forced to take a narrow, specialty discipline-oriented career path. Young academic professionals trying to find a niche for themselves are discouraged from participating in broad, interdisciplinary studies where recognition / credit for the work is diffuse. Young practicing engineers are constantly reminded of the need to remain billable, discouraging them from any participation on professional societies let alone one not focused primarily upon their discipline. For the Institute to flourish, we must find ways to strengthen our interdisciplinary focus and to engage the next generation of earthquake engineering professionals in our interdisciplinary activities. Steps we can take to facilitate this include: enhancing activities that strengthen cross-disciplinary ties, e.g. Sessions on communication among engineering disciplines, risk professionals, and social scientists; continued emphasis on the broad spectrum of risk mitigation policy issues, increased collaboration with other professional societies that represent individual specialty areas involved in earthquake engineering, increased engagement of young professionals (e.g. Under the age of 35) in post-event reconnaissance, committee activities, and the annual meeting, measures to recognize young professionals engaged in our activities, and increased support for young professionals to participate in Institute activities.

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Lucy Arendt: Biography

lucy_arendt_capLucy Arendt, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean and Director of the Cofrin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She is also an Associate Professor of Management. She earned her Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has been a fulltime faculty member since 2006. She was the recipient of the 2008 Founders Association Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2010 Student Nominated Teaching Award. Currently, she is a member of EERI’s Initiatives Development Committee and serves as the lead trainer for EERI’s Housner Fellows Leadership Development Program. The program targets young to mid-career professionals interested in developing their leadership and advocacy skills around seismic safety. Lucy was a member of the Organizing Committee for the 9th US National and 10th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering. She has participated as a speaker at the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012 EERI Annual Meetings.

Lucy has loved being an EERI member since she joined in 2008. She conducts research on individual and organizational decision making vis-à-vis disasters and on community resilience and recovery. She participated in reconnaissance research in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the September 2010 Canterbury, New Zealand earthquake, the former funded by MCEER and the latter as part of EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes program. Her current scholarly work, published in October 2014, examines what communities need to do to recover from extreme natural hazard events. Co-authored with Daniel J. Alesch, Long-term community recovery from natural disasters (Taylor & Francis), targets both scholars and practitioners. In addition, Lucy and her co-authors, Dr. Daniel Alesch and Dr. William Petak, extensively researched SB 1953, California’s controversial hospital seismic safety law. Their findings are described in the 2012 book, Natural hazard mitigation policy: Implementation, organizational choice, and contextual dynamics (Springer). Lucy has been a collaborator on several NSF, NEES, and NIST grants.

Lucy Arendt: Vision Statement

I’m sincerely excited about the opportunity to join the EERI Board of Directors, and hope that you’ll cast your vote in my favor. EERI is a dynamic organization that attracts the very best people dedicated to reducing earthquake risk. What that means to me is that we in EERI care deeply about our fellow human beings and their physical, social, cultural, and political structures.

EERI’s mission is to “reduce earthquake risk by (1) advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering, (2) improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes on the physical, social, economic, political, and cultural environment, and (3) advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes.” It’s the latter two components of the mission that I think I can best help EERI achieve. My research in decision making and the culture of business gives me insight into why individuals and organizations do what they do.

I understand the decision making criteria that people use, the biases that dominate, and the perceptions that need changing in order to reduce the consequences associated with earthquake risk. In other words, I know what makes business people tick, and I know how to communicate with them. With an understanding of why people might choose to put themselves in harm’s way, we can better devise the means to protect them, their property, and their communities. As a member of EERI’s Board of Directors, I will work actively to persuade business owners, legislators, and others to implement the policies and practices that our best science tells us will save lives and maintain building and infrastructure functionality.

EERI is a great organization, thanks to its proactive membership – you! – and its leadership. I believe that EERI can take several steps to ensure its sustainable future. First, EERI must continue to embrace and enhance global opportunities for research and education. Second, EERI must actively recruit members who will contribute to its multidisciplinary mission, since we all gain insight when we discuss issues of seismic safety with people outside our own fields. Next, EERI must actively engage professionals at all stages in their careers. Creating opportunities for newer and more seasoned professionals to interact is absolutely key to our collective success. Finally, EERI must continue to work well with government, both to secure funding for its efforts and to communicate the necessity of seismic risk reduction.

My participation in EERI has been incredibly fulfilling so far, and I hope to have even more opportunity to serve EERI’s membership through election to its Board. It would be a true honor to have your vote.

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Lori Dengler: Biography

lori_dengler_capLori Dengler, Ph.D., is professor of geology at Humboldt State University in northern California. She has a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of California Berkeley and has been a faculty member at Humboldt State University since 1978. Lori’s expertise is earthquake and tsunami hazard assessment, mitigation, and outreach. She has been a member of EERI since 1997 and has participated in a number of EERI projects including the Mitigation Center Committee and the World Bank/EERI Japan tsunami group, annual meeting committee member, and has organized sessions at other meetings. She has participated in nine EERI post-earthquake/tsunami reconnaissance teams and contributed to numerous LFE reports and publications.

Lori’s research and professional efforts include tsunami currents, hazard assessment, earthquake intensity studies, outreach and mitigation. She has published papers on a range of topics including tsunami hazards and vulnerability. Her earthquake intensity work became the framework of the USGS “Did You Feel it” community internet intensity scale.  Lori was a member of the group that developed the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program in 1996, authored the NTHMP Strategic Implementation Plan for Mitigation Projects, and was a California representative to the program from 1996 – 2003.   She is currently the chair of the Advisory Committee for the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN), a U.S. delegate to UNESCO’s International Oceanographic Committee’s tsunami committee and was the co-editor of UNESCO’s International Tsunami Survey Team post event reconnaissance guide.

Lori has been involved with community outreach efforts for more than two decades as the director of the Humboldt Earthquake Education Center (since 1984), as a founding member of the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group (since 1996), as a founding member and North Coast Representative to the California Earthquake Country Alliance (since 2008), and is currently involved with Earthquake Early Warning education and outreach planning.   She received NOAA’s 2001 Richard Hagemeyer Tsunami Mitigation Award (2001), Humboldt State University’s Scholar of the Year (2008), and the Alquist Medal for promoting earthquake safety in the State of California (2009).

Lori Dengler: Vision Statement

EERI values and encourages interaction among disciplines that is unique among earth science professional organizations. I think I bring expertise and skills to the board that will complement the current membership. There are three areas in particular I wish to emphasize.

  • Tsunamis: Since 1992 I have been straddling the tsunami and earthquake worlds. The increased visibility and funding after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has created an exciting time for tsunami science – improved detection and forecasting capabilities, better models, and the beginnings of tsunami-resilient design considerations for coastal construction. I want to see EERI and EERI members contribute to the maturing of the tsunami discipline. In the next decade, it is likely that tsunami current measurements will become widely available – providing to the tsunami engineering community what strong motion data provides to the earthquake engineering community. My connections with NOAA and the international tsunami community have the potential to bring a constituency into EERI that has not been widely represented in the past.
  • Interdisciplinary/all hazards mitigation: Through post event reconnaissance efforts and other organizations, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with a broad range of earthquake professionals including engineers, seismologists, geophysicists, oceanographers, numerical modelers, ecologists, planners, and social scientists. I have worked at the community, regional and state level with emergency managers, politicians, and a broad range of response and preparedness organizations.  This interdisciplinary strength will be very important as Earthquake Early Warning will be refined and implemented in the United States over the next decade. EERI with its history of collaborative efforts can play an important role in EEW.
  • Outreach and communication: Our disciplines can no longer work in the isolation of our academic, government, and other institutions. Funding, implementation of policy, and human behavioral aspects of risk reduction, all require communicating effectively with the broad and diverse users of our efforts.   In my nearly 40 years in the profession, I have acquired an understanding and deep respect for complex and multi-faceted user group. I have been successful in bringing diverse groups together and developing sustained mitigation efforts.

One of the strengths of EERI is the unique perspective and skills every board member brings to the table. I thank you for considering me as a member of this group.

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Employment Opportunity: Membership & Communications Manager

South Napa Earthquake Documentation Continues via Virtual Clearinghouse

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute has been maintaining a virtual clearinghouse website, on behalf of the California Earthquake Clearinghouse (an initiative lead by CGS, EERI, USGS, CalOES, and the California Seismic Safety Commission), to document the M6.0 South Napa Earthquake on August 24, 2014.

Buidling in downtown Napa. Photo: Pooya Sarabandi (M. EERI, 2004), RMS

The virtual clearinghouse website external link icon and its online multidisciplinary data map external link icon serve as a repository for scientific and engineering observations from the earthquake and will remain a long-term data repository to archive information from this earthquake. 

Recent updates to the virtual clearinghouse website include:

  • Do you know of other reports or data that is missing? EERI encourages all colleagues to upload photos, data, or reports to the virtual clearinghouse website external link icon.  If you have data, reports, or observations to add, please contact Alex Julius at (or Heidi Tremayne at

The virtual clearinghouse and data collection tools have been popular so far, as shown by the following statistics:

  • Virtual Clearinghouse Website: 1,730 unique views in the first week (2,551 total unique views)
  • Clearinghouse Fieldnotes Mobile Data Collection App: 122 Observations submitted (photos and captions)
  • EERI Photo Upload Map: 1,065 Observations (photos, captions, and now PDFs)
  • ArcGIS Online Map: 3,772 views (includes 30+ data sets)

What’s next for this data set? EERI is currently working to migrate the data visualization map for the Clearinghouse to the FEMA GeoPlatform for long-term archiving. Additionally, all collected data layers are being cleaned and uniform symbology is being adopted to make the map easier to interpret.

Still want more? EERI’s Special Earthquake Report summarizing the multidisciplinary observations and findings from the earthquake is being produced and will be released in late October.