List of Experts who could discuss 8.9 Japan Earthquake, Tsunami

March 11, 2011 (Coal Geology) Following are experts who can discuss various aspects of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan and consequent tsunami preparation, expectations and impact for Hawaii, the U.S. West Coast and 19 other countries. We will be updating this list on our social networking site, ProfNet Connect:

**1. George Bradt, managing director of PrimeGenesis, the leading executive onboarding and transition acceleration consulting firm, can discuss how to prepare a disaster response plan, the steps to effectively react to a crisis, and how to improve capabilities to respond to future crises. His analysis can be broken down into three steps: 1) Prepare in advance: There is a finite set of the most likely, most devastating types of crises and disasters that are worth preparing for. Think them through. Run the drills. Capture the general lessons so people can apply them flexibly to the specific situations they encounter. 2) React to events: The reason you prepared is so that you all can react quickly and flexibly to the situation you face. Don’t over-think this. Do what you prepared to do. 3) Bridge the gaps: In a crisis, there is inevitably a gap between the desired and current state of affairs. Rectify that by bridging those gaps in the: a) situation — implementing a response to the current crisis; b) response — improving capabilities to respond to future crises; and c) prevention — reducing the risk of future crises happening in the first place. News Contact: Ryan Bartholomew, Phone: +1-908-276-4344, ext. 221

**2. Brady Cox, assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Arkansas, can discuss damage to buildings and infrastructure due to the earthquake in Japan. A geotechnical engineer, Cox specializes in issues related to earthquake loading, soil dynamics and material characterization, and response to stress waves. Cox documented construction failures and collected additional data on the devastating effects of the Haiti earthquake in 2010. He traveled to that country as a member of Geo-Engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER), a national organization that partners with the National Science Foundation to conduct reconnaissance efforts of extreme events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and landslides. Cox is familiar with earthquake activity and impact in Japan, as he participated in a GEER deployment immediately following the 2008 earthquake in Iwate-Miyagi. Cox’s research has focused on the development of a new test method for directly measuring the dynamic-pressure response and behavior of liquefiable soil deposits. He currently operates a Vibroseis shaker truck as part of his earthquake and dynamic material characterization research. He is a member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Arkansas Governor’s Earthquake Advisory Council. News Contact: Matt McGowan, Phone: +1-479-575-4246 or +1-479-422-3681

**3. Christoph Gorder, VP of emergency response, AmeriCares, can discuss disaster response and disaster preparedness (international and U.S.); health needs among displaced populations; best practices for medical gift-in-kind donations; pharmaceutical supply chain management in the humanitarian sector; public/private partnership in relief efforts; and security issues facing aid workers in conflict areas. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC’s “Today” show, “NBC Nightly News” and BBC World News. He has been interviewed on CNN Radio, NPR, Voice of America and WCBS Radio, and has been quoted by several major news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reuters and Christian Science Monitor. News Contact: Donna Porstner,

**4. Richard Gordon, director of Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre, is a civil defence and disaster management expert. He has worked with the BBC outlining a disaster management strategy following the Haiti crisis. He is currently hosting the annual international disaster management annual course at Bournemouth University, aimed at people with existing or anticipated responsibilities for disaster management, and has worked specifically with counties around the Pacific Rim. Following the earthquake in Japan and the risk of tsunamis in other countries on the Pacific Rim, Gordon can provide informed comment and insight on the following: advice on what steps can be taken; setting priorities; how people will cope; and preparedness. News Contact: Sally Gates, Phone: +44-(0)1202-961041 or +44-(0)1202-963963 Twitter: @bournemouthuni

**5. John Lyons, a Ph.D. student in geophysics at Michigan Technological University whose research focuses on earthquakes, can offer scientific context for earthquake/tsunami stories: “The strong tsunami and damaging shaking are due to the shallow depth of the earthquake and the earthquake’s mechanism, which is classified as a thrust-type earthquake due to the Pacific plate subducting beneath the Eurasian plate. Japan is one of the world leaders in earthquake science and engineering and one of the most earthquake-resistant countries in the world, due to strong scientific and governmental efforts. However, despite these efforts, it is still impossible to predict where and when powerful earthquakes will strike, which is why education and earthquake disaster prevention research is so important. The earthquake location reported by the USGS places the depth at 15 miles (24 km) below the surface, which is very shallow and caused a large, damaging tsunami. The tsunami swept miles inland and reached 33 feet (10 m) high in some of the most affected areas. A tsunami warning has been issued for the entire Pacific basin by the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, including the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. The waves recently passed through the Hawaiian Islands, with the largest waves reported along the coast of Maui over five feet. Waves over six feet (2 m) have been predicted for areas of Oregon and Washington and evacuations in low-lying coastal areas are under way.” News Contact: Jennifer B. Donovan, Phone: +1-906-487-4521 Website:

**6. Curtis R. Welling is president and chief executive officer, AmeriCares. Under his leadership, AmeriCares has become a leading humanitarian aid organization for delivering donated medicines and supplies. Committed to helping more people live longer, healthier lives, Welling has guided AmeriCares in the distribution of $5 billion in aid to health care institutions serving people around the world and in the United States. News Contact: Donna Porstner,

**7. Carol Asiala, assistant research scientist/engineer at Michigan Technological University, can provide and discuss a graphic generated by earthquake sensors in Michigan Tech’s geological and mining engineering and sciences department that picked up the Japan earthquake about 12.5 minutes after it happened. The large vibrations reveal the magnitude and length of the quake; the smaller jumps in the bars show the aftershocks. News Contact: Jennifer B. Donovan, Phone: +1-906-487-4521 Website:

**8. David Bohannon, J.D., a law and policy analyst with the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security, can address disaster preparedness for families, businesses and government agencies. Bohannon’s background is in disaster preparedness and public awareness. He is in Baltimore and can do television in that market. News Contact: Jeff Raymond, Phone: +1-410-706-3803 Twitter: @umbjeff Website:

**9. Michel Boufadel, chair of civil and environmental engineering, Temple University, can discuss tsunamis and their impact on the coast line, flooding, saltwater incursion and drinking water. News Contact: Preston M. Moretz, Phone: +1-215-204-4380 Website: Twitter: @TempleU_SciTech

**10. Ellen Cornelius, J.D., senior law and policy analyst at the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security, is available to discuss disaster preparedness and reaction. She can discuss identifying potential threats (in the mid-Atlantic region, it tends to be hurricanes/flooding); evacuation/shelter decisions; and how families, businesses and government agencies can prepare/respond to disasters. Cornelius lives and works in Washington, D.C., and can do television in that market. News Contact: Jeff Raymond, Phone: +1-410-706-3803 Twitter: @umbjeff Website:

**11. Ken Davey, senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific market for FM Global, one of the world’s largest global commercial property insurers with significant presence in Asia, is available for stories focused on business continuity, impact on supply chain and natural disaster preparedness. He and other FM Global experts can also offer insights on the financial implications of such a large disaster for the global insurance industry. Eight of the world’s 10 largest cities are prone to earthquakes and the chance one will occur and cause significant damage somewhere along any global company’s supply chain is considerably high. For 175 years, many of the world’s largest organizations have turned to FM Global for insurance and engineering solutions derived from FM Global’s scientific research on protecting business operations from fire, natural disasters and other types of property risk. Today, this includes recreating earthquakes and other natural disasters in its state-of-the-art, 72,000-square-foot natural disaster laboratory. The research leads to engineering solutions that help reduce damage from natural disasters and, in many cases, stop damage from happening in the first place. News Contact: Christina Divigard, Phone: +1-212-880-5237 Website:

**12. Dr. John Ferguson, professor of geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, can discuss seismology and tectonics. News Contact: Katherine Morales, Phone: +1-972-883-4321

**13. Vince Gawronski, associate professor of political science at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Ala., is available to discuss the earthquake in Japan. Gawronski’s area of expertise is on disaster response. His latest research, published in the Journal of International Studies Perspectives, offers a framework on how leaders should approach disaster response. The paper suggests this can be done by using the 5C+A dimensions: capability, competence, compassion, correctness, credibility and anticipation. News Contact: Scott Willyerd, Phone: +1-330-601-0857 Twitter: @djcnewsroom

**14. Bob Glasser, managing director and head of the Business Interruption and Insurance Claims practice at BDO Consulting, can discuss what local businesses, as well as multinational organizations with operations in Japan, can do in the upcoming weeks to recover from the disaster. Glasser has worked with small and large companies to help them quantify financial losses from catastrophic events. He can speak to issues businesses can expect to experience with the claims process, and has extensive experience advising the hospitality and retail industries on preparing, negotiating and settling claims. Specifically, he can discuss: how to avoid and overcome common roadblocks in the claims process, as well as understand potential unique issues coastal businesses may experience; rational expectations as to the amount claimed and timing of the settlement process, including whether indirect claims will be reimbursed; future losses versus actual current losses (Can you file an interim claim that allows you to file subsequent claims as additional future losses may occur?); and best practices for future disaster prep, including establishing a disaster recovery plan, reviewing insurance policies for appropriate values and coverage, and assessing whether accounting systems and employees can adequately capture relevant losses. News Contact: Emily Simmons, Phone: +1-212-584-5482

**15. Jim Grace, president and CEO of, a leading online travel insurance comparison website: “An 8.9 earthquake hit Sendai, Japan, in the middle of the night, sending off tsunami warnings to more than 20 countries, including the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii. A tsunami warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii has been widened beyond East Asia to include Hawaii; Australia; New Zealand; Mexico; North, Central and South America; and the rest of the Pacific Ocean. Travelers with travel insurance coverage who are currently in Japan should contact the emergency assistance line for their individual insurance providers. Those who have plans to travel to Japan imminently should make every effort to contact their insurance provider with questions about their policies.” News Contact: Vikki Corliss, Phone: +1-401-773-9210

**16. Jafar Hadizadeh, professor of geography and geosciences at the University of Louisville, studies earthquakes and is available until 3 p.m. EST today. News Contact: Denise Fitzpatrick,

**17. Medical and security experts from International SOS, the world’s leading international medical assistance and security services (evacuations) company, are available to discuss the earthquake in Japan. International SOS’s crisis team is already on the ground in Japan and has crisis command and control teams in place. Experts can offer comments around: on-the-ground reaction; preparedness tips for tsunami, aftershocks, medical rescue, etc.; travel advice (business travelers, families, etc.); and more. News Contact: Dave Whiting, Phone: +1-202-828-9758

**18. Steve Jaume, geologist with the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Hazards Center: “This was a shallow earthquake where part of the Pacific Ocean floor slides beneath the islands of Japan along what is called a subduction zone. Earthquakes of this type produce the largest tsunamis – the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was created by the same type of earthquake. The seismic waves of this massive earthquake have also been recorded worldwide, including here in South Carolina.” News Contact: Mike Robertson, Phone: +1-843-953-5667

**19. Thomas Jordan, Ph.D., is the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center and the W. M. Keck Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California. His expertise includes earthquakes; plate tectonics; seismology; geodynamics; earthquake forecasting; tsunamis; seismological study of earth structure; geodetic observations of plate motions and interplate deformation; continental formation and tectonic evolution; mantle dynamics; and statistical descriptions of seafloor morphology. News Contact: Carl Guido Marziali,

**20. Jim Kirby, professor of civil and environmental engineering, University of Delaware, studies the way the ocean moves, with particular emphasis on ocean waves and currents. Kirby can authoritatively discuss tsunamis, and was featured in various media outlets after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Bio: News Contact: Andrea Boyle, Phone: +1-302-831-1421

**21. Tom Larsen, product architect at catastrophe risk modeling firm EQECAT, Inc., can discuss the extent of the damage/economic losses and the impact on the insurance industry as this unfolds. EQECAT will be issuing an insured loss estimate based on the damage from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan. News Contact: Jennifer Wasilisin, Phone: +1-215-793-4666, ext. 109 Website:

**22. Hussam Mahmoud, a Ph.D. researcher at the University of Illinois Mid-America Earthquake Center, studied the major China earthquake of two years ago and is monitoring today’s developments. Mahmoud:

**23. Christopher Meehan, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, University of Delaware, studies earthquake engineering, and is a specialist in geotechnical engineering (solving problems involving soils and rock). His current outreach/research project mobilizes students after natural disasters to perform rapid engineering reconnaissance in affected areas. Bio: News Contact: Andrea Boyle, Phone: +1-302-831-1421

**24. Gilberto Mosqueda, Ph.D., associate professor of civil and structural engineering at the University at Buffalo-SUNY, is an expert on earthquake engineering. Mosqueda is a member of research teams that travel to countries devastated by earthquakes. He can discuss damage done to buildings and infrastructure due to earthquakes and other natural disasters. News Contact: Ellen Goldbaum,

**25. Jonathan Nyquist, professor of earth and environmental science, Temple University, can talk about earthquakes and catastrophic geology, and is responsible for Temple’s seismometer, which recorded the Japan quake. News Contact: Preston M. Moretz, Phone: +1-215-204-4380 Website: Twitter: @TempleU_SciTech

**26. Rob Olshansky, urban and regional planning, University of Illinois, has written about earthquake recovery, building codes, etc., and has visited and written about Japan, Los Angeles, New Orleans, etc. Olshansky:

**27. Joe Ruiz, humanitarian relief program manager, The UPS Foundation, can provide insights and commentary on: tips for keeping the relief supply chain clear so supplies get to those who need them most; humanitarian disaster relief considerations and best practices; and insights from past relief efforts. UPS is unique among large U.S. corporations as it has assisted with relief efforts for numerous disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and the tsunami in Southeast Asia, among others. News Contact: I’sys Caffey, Phone: +1-404-460-1482 Website:

**28. Annie Searle, principal, ASA Risk Consultants, is an expert on earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and pandemic flu. Searle spent 10 years at Washington Mutual bank, seven of which were running the companywide business continuity program. She was loaned to projects involving public-private preparedness at the international and national level. She is currently an operational risk consultant running her own practice, and co-chair of a new Coalition for Organizational Resilience. News Contact: Annie Searle, Phone: +1-206-453-4386 Website:

**29. Dr. Robert Stern, professor of geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, is an expert on formation of continental crust and complex geological systems in the Pacific Ocean. News Contact: News Contact: Katherine Morales, Phone: +1-972-883-4321

**30. Paul Thenhaus, senior seismologist at catastrophe risk modeling firm EQECAT, Inc., can discuss the extent of the damage/economic losses and the impact on the insurance industry as this unfolds. EQECAT will be issuing an insured loss estimate based on the damage from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan. News Contact: Jennifer Wasilisin, Phone: +1-215-793-4666, ext. 109 Cell: +1-609-682-4153 Website:

**31. Tricia Wachtendorf, assistant director, University of Delaware Disaster Research Center, studies the coordination between organizations in disasters. She has conducted reconnaissance field research at the Red River Flood (1997), Sept. 11 New York City terrorist attacks, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, Wenchuan China earthquake and Haiti earthquake. Her research examines how people react in disasters and social vulnerability to disasters. Bio: News Contact: Andrea Boyle, Phone: +1-302-831-1421

**32. Bill Zhang, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, Temple University, is an expert in earthquake engineering and seismic design, and can talk about how structures in Japan held up against the quake and possible future problems. News Contact: Preston M. Moretz, Phone: +1-215-204-4380 Website: Twitter: @TempleU_SciTech

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About Editor 5164 Articles
Ankan Basu is a Certified Professional Geologist (CPG) with 10+ years of experience in the field of geology, hydrogeology and geochemistry.

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