Education and Public Outreach

"Earth Science needs recruitment since many students have never studied it at school and don’t know that it’s a university topic. I didn’t know that it was before I started applying to universities. I’d be happy if just one more student tried Earth Science because of me."

- Dan Frost

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Education
WSE Mini-University 2022

By facilitating access to high-quality earthquake information and research tools, the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory supports the work of graduate and undergraduate students. BSL faculty teach courses on earthquakes, seismological and geophysical methods, wave propagation, and tectonics. Additionallly, each semester a limited number of undergraduates have the oupportunity to work with BSL faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and staff on ongoing research projects.

Public Outreach

The BSL is open for tours by appointment and hosts an annual open house in the spring during Cal Day. BSL students, postdocs, and staff visit local schools and neighborhood groups to share their knowledge about earthquakes and research activities.

Bay Area Science Festival 2022
The BSL also makes available many resources oriented towards the general public. This includes emergency preparedness information and answers to general questions by calling 510-642-3977 and emailing info@seismo.berkeley.edu. The BSL website offers such resources as earthquake catalog searches, answers to frequently asked questions, Bay Area fault information, seismicity maps, virtual tours of the Hayward Fault and local geology, information about recent earthquakes, and displays that incorporate research highlights.

Recent Outreach Activities

Cal Day 2022
Outreach activities resumed in 2022 after a long hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year we hosted local high school students through the UC Berkeley Society of Women Engineers, and participated in Cal Day for newly admitted students and their families. We also provided hands-on activities related to earthquakes at the Piedmont High School Maker Faire and Bay Area Science Festival at Cal State East Bay.

The UC Berkeley Society of Women Engineers hosted Mini University on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, a one-day event that provides under-served high-school students the opportunity to be exposed to the college environment and STEM careers. As part of the program, The BSL provided highlights about current seismology research to give the students a better idea of the fascinating and cutting-edge research that takes place at the Berkeley Seismology Lab. Staff members Christina Valen and Sierra Boyd gave an overview of the Berkeley Seismology Laboratory. Staff member Jenn Strauss introduced Earthquake Early Warning and the MyShake app developed at UC Berkeley. Graduate student Claire Doody gave a presentation about opportunities for Students in Earth Science. Post doctoral researcher Amy Williamson presented hightlights of tsunami research. Post doctoral researcher Federico Munch gave a presentation about seismology and post doctoral researcher Yifang Cheng gave a presentation about her experience as a Scientist in Seismology.

Cal Day 2022 was a little different this year. Instead of coming into McCone Hall, newly admitted students and their families received information about the the Department of Earth & Planetary Science and the Berkeley Seismology Lab from students, postdocs, and staff tabling outside at Smilodon Plaza and Evans Glade.