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Berkeleyan Special Feature

Cal Neighbors

Cal Neighbors: A Word from Chacellor Berdahl

About Cal Neighbors

Developing a Strategic Facilities Master Plan for UC

Working to Build a Safer Campus and Community

UC/Vista Partnership Expands Educational Opportunities

Examining Earthquake Costs to Area

Campus Research at Work

Working Together to Encourage and Support Berkeley Youth

Activist Sylvia McLaughlin Cares for Berkeley

Haas Program Helps Local Entrepreneurs Get on Track

State Bond Measure to Benefit Local Schools

Free (or Almost Free) Things To Do on Campus

UC/City Plan Southside Renewal

Campus Improvements for Pedestrians, Bicyclists




Examining Earthquake Costs to Area

What is the value of a large research university?
-- to its local community?
-- to the economic well-being of the state?
-- to the future of the nation?

These are some of the questions being asked in light of the seismic risks facing the UC Berkeley campus. With the support of a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, UC professors Mary Comerio, Vitelmo Bertero, and John Quigley are examining the potential economic losses to the campus, community, state, and to substantial federal research investments if a major earthquake strikes the Hayward Fault.

Using a range of possible scenarios from a moderate to extremely severe seismic event, the researchers will develop a model that other universities can use to estimate economic impact, identify priorities, and broaden FEMA's existing model for estimating loss.

Obviously, more is at risk than disruption of campus operations. A major earthquake could threaten the economic future of the city, region and state.

For example, the campus is the largest employer in Alameda County and the City of Berkeley. The campus purchases more goods and services from area vendors than most other institutions. In addition, students, faculty, staff and campus visitors spend in local restaurants, book stores, shops and other places of business, generating not only profits but also tax revenues for the city.

Growing industries, such as biotechnology and computer software, locate in the Bay Area in large part because of the research and graduates of UC and Stanford. If a major 'quake shut down the campus, programs and research might be curtailed or relocated. And it might be decades before the campus and region recovered.

In October, Chancellor Berdahl and campus administrators will meet with university presidents from around the country and FEMA director James Lee Witt in a campus-hosted seminar. All of the universities represented face risks of natural disasters, whether from hurricanes, earthquakes, floods or fire. This meeting, and the research now underway at UC, is intended to be a first step as universities work together with FEMA to plan for, and minimize, the hazards facing these campuses. .



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