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USGS Scientists Address International Visitors from Asia and Australia

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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists, including two tsunami experts, presented information about USGS hazards research to 20 international visitors at the USGS center in Menlo Park, CA, on June 21. The visitors, from Australia and numerous countries in Asia, were hosted by the International Diplomacy Council—a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that runs professional programs for emerging foreign leaders visiting the United States under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. The visitors saw presentations on:

  • USGS earthquake research, including international work in Turkey and Japan and cooperative research between the United States and various Asian nations;
  • USGS volcano-hazard research, including monitoring of active volcanoes, operation of volcano observatories, and participation in the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP)—a mobile rapid-response program organized by the USGS and the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to reduce fatalities and economic losses in countries experiencing a volcano emergency;
  • USGS landslide-hazard research, including landslide monitoring and emergency response; and
  • USGS tsunami research (described below).

The tsunami-research presentations were given by two tsunami experts in the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program. Geophysicist Eric Geist explained the basics of tsunami generation and propagation, pointed out similarities and differences between the December 2004 and March 2005 tsunamis generated off Sumatra, and explained how tsunami effects can be mitigated by ocean-bottom sensors, tsunami-hazard mapping, and community planning. Oceanographer Guy Gelfenbaum described USGS participation in international scientific teams that surveyed the effects of the December 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Indonesia. The visitors were fascinated by his photographs of tsunami-stricken areas and expressed particular interest in his descriptions of earthquake-induced coastal subsidence in Sumatra and the permanent changes it caused to the coast, a topic that did not receive much media coverage.

The international visitors included representatives of national and local governments and service organizations, disaster-response coordinators, and crisis-management officials. They had come from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Japan, the Maldives, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the People's Republic of China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand to participate in the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). This program gives foreign visitors the opportunity to obtain firsthand knowledge about the United States—its people, policies, and culture—and to establish lasting professional relationships and learn about the intellectual and economic status of other countries. More than 200 current and former heads of state, 1,500 cabinet-level ministers, and many other distinguished world leaders in government and the private sector have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program, including President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain. To learn more, visit Web pages posted by the International Diplomacy Council (URL http://www.diplomacy.org/programs.html) and the U.S. State Department (URL http://exchanges.state.gov/education/ivp/).

Related Web Sites
International Visitor Leadership Program
International Diplomacy Council
International Visitor Leadership Program
U.S. State Department
U.S. Volcano Disaster Assistance Program
U.S. Geological Survey
Landslide Hazards
U.S. Geological Survey
Tsunamis and Earthquakes
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards
U.S. Geological Survey

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in this issue: Fieldwork
Cover Story:
Locating Surf Scooter Nests in the Northern Boreal Forest

Further Investigation of Deep Coral Reef

Sea Otters 2005 Survey Numbers Dip

Outreach Ground Water Institute for Teachers

ISIS Group Visits USGS Woods Hole

USGS Scientists Address International Visitors

Meetings Suwannee River Basin and Estuary Integrated Science Workshop

USGS-NOAA Symposium

Publications New Fact Sheet About Landslides and Cliff Retreat

August Publications List

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