Professor Selected as GeoPRISMS Distinguished Lecturer

Abhijit Ghosh, an assistant professor of earth sciences.

Abhijit Ghosh, an assistant professor of earth sciences, has been selected as a 2018-19 Distinguished Lecturer for the National Science Foundation-funded GeoPRISMS (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) program.

GeoPRISMS brings together researchers investigating the architecture, mechanisms, and plumbing of continental margins at subduction zones and continental rifts, including what controls geohazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes.

As part of its mission to provide education and community outreach, the GeoPRISMS Distinguished Lectureship Program connects outstanding geoscientists with other scientists and the public through lectures and talks at universities, museums, and city halls.

Ghosh, whose research focus includes slow earthquakes, array seismology, and earthquake interactions, is among three scientists chosen this year. The schedule and locations of the public talks will be announced on the GeoPRISMS website. Institutions wishing to host Ghosh to deliver his lecture can apply on the website.

Sarah Nightingale

Researchers Help Legislators Visualize Earthquake Risks

While we can’t predict when a big earthquake will occur in California, we can be prepared.

Armed with 3D-printed maps of California’s faults, UCR’s Christos Kyriakopoulos, a researcher in earth sciences, and David Oglesby, professor and chair of the Department of Earth Sciences, recently attended a congressional hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in Huntington Beach.

David Oglesby, professor and chair of the earth sciences department, speaks with Congressman Jerry McNerney about UCR’s earthquake research program.

“We used our 3D printed faults model to elucidate the complexity of the fault system in California,” said Kyriakopoulos. “The geometry of the faults is based on a model by the U.S. Geological Survey known as UCERF3. The aim was to show that, contrary to common misconceptions, there is a dense network of faults surrounding major structures like the San Andreas Fault.”

Christos Kyriakopoulos, a researcher in earth sciences, explaining the complexity of California faults to Congressman Mark Takano.

The meeting was part of an effort by lawmakers to reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, which leads the federal government’s efforts to reduce the fatalities, injuries, and property losses caused by earthquakes.

“This initiative is hugely important, not just in terms of support for our own earthquake research program here at UCR, but for earthquake safety nationwide,” Oglesby said.

The scientists were invited by Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who represents California’s 41st Congressional District, which includes Riverside. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) were also at the hearing. The committee members were each given smaller, take-home versions of the 3D-printed faults mounted to foam backing.

“The representatives in attendance had never seen this type of physical representation of faults before, so it really made a strong impression,” Oglesby said

UCR’s participation in the congressional hearing was organized by Kaitlin Chell, director of federal relations in UCR’s Office of Governmental and Community Relations.

Sarah Nightingale

Top of Page