UC Berkeley News


Joint commemoration of 1906 earthquake being planned by Berkeley and Stanford
Lectures, exhibits will mark the anniversary - and alert participants to current risks

| 29 September 2005

Hurricane Katrina has been called the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since the 1906 Great San Francisco Earthquake - a powerful temblor that, combined with the devastating fires that ensued, is estimated to have killed more than 3,000 people and left 225,000 homeless along California's San Andreas Fault.

To commemorate the centennial of that historic disaster, UC Berkeley and Stanford University will present a series of lectures on the history of the April 18, 1906, earthquake and on coping with major seismic events in the future.

The series, free and open to the public, is one of several events planned by the 1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance - a Bay Area-wide consortium that includes Stanford, Berkeley, and more than 100 other institutions, agencies, and businesses. Its objective is to use the 100th anniversary of the quake to raise public awareness about current earthquake risks.

The first lecture is a presentation by Kevin Starr, California state librarian emeritus and professor of history at the University of Southern California. Starr's lecture, "The Great Earthquake and Fire of April 1906 - Lessons Learned," will take place at Stanford's Kresge Auditorium on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. and will be repeated on this campus in 155 Dwinelle on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Seven other lectures will be held between October 2005 and March 2006. All of the presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m.:

Historical and Social Perspectives of the 1906 Earthquake

Malcolm Barker (author of Three Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 Earthquake & Fire): "Through the Eyes of the Survivors," Oct. 25 (Stanford, Kresge Auditorium) and Oct. 26 (Berkeley, Sibley Auditorium)

Stephen Tobriner (Berkeley professor of architecture and author of the forthcoming book Saving San Francisco): "Bracing for Disaster: Engineers, Architects, and the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906," Nov. 15 (Stanford, Kresge Auditorium) and Nov. 16 (Berkeley, 155 Dwinelle)

Earth Science, Earthquake Engineering, Preparedness, and Disaster Response

Chris Poland (president, Degenkolb Engineers): "Restrain, Respect, and Rehabilitate: A Tale of Three Seismic Projects at Stanford," a special lecture on the unique structural repairs and retrofits on the Stanford campus, Jan. 17, 2006 (Stanford, Kresge Auditorium)

Mary Lou Zoback (senior research scientist, U.S. Geological Survey): "The 1906 Earthquake: Lessons Learned, Lessons Forgotten, and Future Directions," Jan. 31, 2006 (Stanford, Kresge Auditorium) and Feb. 1, 2006 (Berkeley, Sibley Auditorium)

Eric Elsesser (founding principal, Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc.): "Improving Seismic Safety and Performance of Buildings Through Innovative Structural Engineering," Feb. 15, 2006 (Berkeley, Sibley Auditorium) and Feb. 16, 2006 (Stanford, Kresge Auditorium)

Kathleen Tierney (professor of sociology, University of Colorado, and co-author of Facing the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United States): "Social Dimensions of Catastrophic Disasters: From the 1906 Earthquake to Hurricane Katrina," Feb. 28, 2006 (Stanford, Kresge Auditorium) and March 1, 2006 (Berkeley, Sibley Auditorium)

Mary Comerio (Berkeley professor of architecture and author of Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery): "Designing for Disaster: UC Berkeley Thinks Ahead," March 15, 2006 (Berkeley, Sibley Auditorium)

Tours of the Berkeley campus and the nearby Hayward Fault also are planned, in addition to an art exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum and a historical exhibit in the main library. Campus sponsors of the lecture series are the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the Bancroft Library.

At Stanford, a walking tour of the campus is planned for next spring, as is an exhibition of historical photographs of the campus taken in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake.

For complete information on Berkeley and Stanford events surrounding the centenary of the 1906 quake, and for historical information, visit these websites:

. Stanford Quake '06 Centennial (quake06.stanford.edu)
. UC Berkeley Centennial of 1906 (seismo.berkeley.edu/seismo/1906)
. 1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance (06centennial.org)
. USGS 1906 San Francisco Quake (quake.wr.usgs.gov/info/1906).