Professor Toomey invited to testify on earthquake early warning; Morse Center to host event on the Hill

University of Oregon Professor of Geophysics Doug Toomey has been invited to testify before the US House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources in support of earthquake early warning. Toomey’s testimony will be part of a June 10 hearing titled, “Whole Lotta Shakin’: An Examination of America’s Earthquake Early Warning System Development and Implementation.”

The University of Oregon, in coalition with other west coast research institutions (including University of California at Berkley, the University of Washington, and the California Institute of Technology), is seeking $16.1 million to build out, operate and maintain a public earthquake early warning system on the west coast with real-time sensors and communications technologies. The University of Oregon also seeks report language along with the appropriation that will encourage planning for the Cascadia subduction zone to ensure the maximum effectiveness of earthquake early warning.

The Cascadia fault line is the type of fault most likely to spur category 9 earthquakes and associated tsunamis because of its ocean proximity. The University of Oregon and the University of Washington currently provide seismic monitoring through the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. The University of Oregon, through faculty and associated technicians, is responsible for maintaining and monitoring stations located in Oregon.

The combination of funds for the planned earthquake early warning system and report language to encourage future planning for the Cascadia subduction zone are important steps to prepare for earthquake events and the tsunami that would likely follow.

Professor Toomey will also take the opportunity while in Washington, DC to meet with members of the Oregon delegation and the Governor’s DC representative.

More about the hearing is available on the subcommittee’s website.

The Wayne Morse Center will also be in Washington, DC in June to host an event titled, “Congress, War Powers and Counterterrorism.” The June 11 event will feature an introduction by US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and a panel with Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and other experts in the field of congressional war powers. It is a part of the Morse Center’s ongoing series to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the role former US Senator Wayne Morse played as one of only two dissenting votes to the resolution.

More about the event is on the Wayne Morse Center’s website.