WVC Speaks Lecture Series

WVC Speaks lecture series: Dr. Ralph Dawes presents "Earthquakes: Is the coast really toast?"

Media Contacts: Randy Mitchell, education and career planning director, 509.682.6858, or Libby Siebens, executive director community relations, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.)

November 19, 2015

Dr. Ralph DawesAt the second Wenatchee Valley College Speaks lecture series, earth sciences faculty Dr. Ralph Dawes will present "Earthquakes: Is the coast really toast? What about Wenatchee?" The lecture is Thursday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. in McArthur Lecture Hall, Wenatchi Hall room 2105 and via interactive television on the WVC at Omak campus in Heritage Building room 901. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The recent article in The New Yorker magazine on the "really big" earthquake that geologists expect to hit the coast of the Pacific Northwest has raised people's curiosity and concern about earthquakes and tsunamis in this area. Since the 1990s, new techniques and research have revolutionized scientists' understanding of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest. Today, groundbreaking earthquake research that is happening on both sides of the state includes digging trenches to look inside active faults located a few miles north of Wenatchee.

"The recent advances in Pacific Northwest earthquake research, the article in The New Yorker and other reports in the news media are awakening people to the fact that earthquakes are an important part of the dynamic that underlies the beautiful landscapes of the Pacific Northwest," Dawes said. "With such great beauty comes, on occasion, great risks."

He will explore how geologists narrow down how often earthquakes of a certain magnitude are likely to hit a specific region, how they map active faults, run computer models to determine possible earthquake and tsunami effects, and calculate the odds of future earthquakes.

Dawes has a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Washington in Seattle. He has taught physical geology and environmental geology for the past 23 years, the last 16 at Wenatchee Valley College. He is passionate about sharing how the geologic history of the Pacific Northwest gives us insight into the landslides, floods, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes of today.

WVC Speaks, inspired by TED Talks, creates a forum for faculty and staff to share their expertise and passion for their subject matter with their colleagues and invited guests across campus and disciplines. The series will present a wide range of academic and topical presentations, and celebrates the breadth of knowledge and experience in the WVC community.

Daily parking passes on the Wenatchee campus cost $2. Parking permit machines are available in the Wells Hall/Music and Art Gallery, Smith Gym, Brown Library and Sexton Hall lots. Students must have valid WVC parking permits.

WVC Speaks is sponsored by the WVC Professional Development Committee.