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Outreach and Educational Activities
The BSL is involved in a variety of outreach activities,
ranging from lectures and lab tours to educational displays and
the development of classroom materials for K-12 teachers.
We maintain an earthquake information tape (510-642-2160)
and an extensive set of Web pages, providing basic earthquake
and seismic hazard information for northern and
The BSL is collaborating with a number of UC Berkeley departments
and organized research units to coordinate education and outreach
activities through the Interactive University Project (IUP). The
goal of the IUP is to foster the use of the Internet and other
examples of "information infrastructure" to provide community
As part of the IUP, the BSL, the Museum of Paleontology, the
Space Sciences Laboratory, and the Center
for Particle Astrophysics formed a science cluster called
"Integrating Science, Teaching, and Technology" (ISTAT) with a focus
on education in grades 6-12. We received a small 18 month grant
in 1996 to initiate this project. Based on our success, we
submitted a second proposal in 1998 and received funding for
a 3 year project with Gloria Davis Middle School, Horace Mann
Academic Middle School, Galileo High School, Mission High School,
and Thurgood Marshall Academic High School in the San Francisco
Unified School District (http://www.UCMP.Berkeley.EDU/IU/).
During this project, we have worked with lead teachers to
review the new San Francisco science and math standards and to
identify "gaps" between existing resources and materials and
the required content. San Francisco has recently adopted new
textbooks with the goal of teaching Earth and Space Sciences in
the 9th grade. We are working with the teachers to develop a
working outline for the curriculum and to supplement the text
with activities and resources. In November
2000, Dr. Gee worked with approximately 20 9th grade science teachers in
a workshop sponsored by the San Francisco Unified School District.
As well as introducing the teachers to the draft curriculum, the
workshop provided teachers with the opportunity to learn more about
earthquakes, to test out classroom activities, and to experiment with
using technology in the classroom. IRIS provided supporting materials
for the workshop, including posters, maps, and copies of Tremor Troops
and Seismic Sleuths.
The draft Earth science curriculum now includes a scope and sequence,
course outlines for 6, 9, and 12 week modules, and preliminary assessment
materials and is available on the Web at
During the workshop in November, one of participating teachers suggested
adding modules for Meteorology. This teacher joined the ISTAT team in
January 2001 and has worked with them to produce a Meteorology scope
and sequence. This effort is still underway, but will be wrapping up
over the next few months.
As part of the BSL's outreach activities, we have made REDI earthquake
data available to a number of universities, colleges, and museums as
educational displays. As noted above, this year marked the expansion of
this program to the K-12 environment. Participating organizations receive
a REDI pager and the Qpager software to display the earthquake information.
The Qpager program maps the previous seven days of seismicity, with
earthquake shown as a dot. The size of the dot indicates the magnitude of
the event, while the color of the dot indicates its age. These
educational displays have been installed at UC Berkeley (McCone Hall,
Earthquake Engineering Research Center, LHS),
California Academy of Sciences,
College of the Redwoods,
Fresno City College,
Humboldt State University,
San Diego State University,
Sonoma State University,
Stanford University (Blume Engineering Center, Department of Geophysics),
UC Santa Cruz,
UC San Diego,
In a pilot project initiated two years ago, the San Francisco Unified School District has
been given two pager systems for use in middle school classrooms.
In addition to the seismicity displays, the BSL provides local waveform
feeds for helicorders at several visitor centers associated with BDSN
stations (ARC, CMB, and MHC). Organizations such as LHS, KRON,
and KPIX receive feeds from BKS via dedicated phone lines for display,
while the USGS Menlo Park uses data from CMB for display in the lobby
of the seismology building. The BSL has also loaned a seismometer and
helicorder display to the San Leandro Unified School District for
their use in science classes.
As community outreach, BSL donated, installed and interfaced a
retired short-period seismometer to Lake Tahoe Community College.
The helicorder display with acknowledgment of the BSL is prominent
in the student lounge area.
Over the last year, we have continued to expand our presence on the
WWW. Our primary goal has been to provide a source of earthquake
information for the public, although we also provide information about
the networks, such as station profiles, which benefits the research
community as well. We provide such information as seminar schedules,
course advertisements, descriptions of operations and research,
updates on recent earthquake activity, details on Bay Area
seismicity and hazards, and links to other earthquake and earth science
servers. We also use the WWW server for our own information
distribution, with such details as the computing and
operational resources, rosters, and schedules for various purposes.
Our newest feature is a virtual tour of UC Berkeley, emphasizing the
geology of the campus. The tour is based on materials put together
for Geology 20 and 50. Undergraduate Lisa Krain has photographed
campus buildings and designed the layout of the Web pages. A revised
and updated version of the Hayward Fault Web pages is currently
BSL staff have also spent considerable time with public relations
activities during the past year. Several tours are given each month,
with audiences ranging from middle-school students to scientists and
engineers from China and Japan. This year, we saw a sizeable increase
in visits from "home-school" students.
The BSL hosted several special groups during 2000-2001. A number
of TV/educational groups visited, including the BBC and
CNN. The meeting with CNN was focused on filming segments for
"AskCNN" and video clips of Dr. Gee were used on TV and the Web.
In November, a tour of the BSL facilities was part of a FEMA-sponsored
summit with Japan on earthquake hazard mitigation.
In addition to the tours, Drs. Romanowicz, Dreger, Uhrhammer, and
Gee presented talks on earthquakes and related phenomena to public
groups. The staff routinely answers questions about earthquakes
and seismic activity in response to inquiries from the public.
In response to our WWW server and the phenomenal growth of the
Internet, we have experienced an enormous volume of questions
via e-mail in the last year.
The BSL was unable to participate in Cal Day this year, due to
a scheduling conflict with the annual meeting of the Seismological Society
of America. The BSL did hold an open house several days later during
"Take Your Child to Work Day" and hosted many UC Berkeley parents and
their children. The visitors learned about UC Berkeley's role in
earthquake monitoring, found out how many earthquakes occurred on
their birthday, played with an "earthquake machine", made P and S-waves,
learned about earthquake preparedness, and were given sample seismograms.
In January, the BSL hosted a UC multi-campus workshop on
earthquake science. This one-day meeting featured participants
from 7 of the 10 UC campuses and all 3 of the affiliated
laboratories. The focus of the meeting was to identify areas of
earthquake related research where UC effort could be leveraged in
integrated activities. The outcome of the meeting was the
SAFERCal proposal to the UC Regents' Research Initiative program,
submitted collaboratively by eight UC campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine,
Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz)
and the three labs (Berkeley, Livermore, and Los Alamos). SAFERCal
was selected at all 8 campuses and
labs to move forward to the Regents for review and final
selection. The unusual situation in the budget of the State of California
this year restricted the number of initiatives to be funded under the
UC Regents' program to only one, and priority was given to energy related
The UC Berkeley Earthquake Research Affiliates (ERA) Program is an
outreach project of the BSL, the Department of Geology and
Geophysics, and the Earthquake Engineering Research Center. The
purpose is to promote the support of earthquake research while
involving corporations and governmental agencies in academic
investigation and education activities such as conferences and
field trips. The ERA program provides an interface between
the academic investigation and practical application of earthquake
Under Barbara Romanowicz's general supervision, and with Lind Gee as
head guru, Bob Uhrhammer, Rick McKenzie, and many other
faculty, staff, and students at the BSL contribute to the
outreach activities. Lisa Krain has helped with the upkeep and
development of new web pages. Lind Gee contributed to the
preparation of this chapter.
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