All posts by lelando

Florence, OR – Be Ready Disaster Preparedness Expo

5 November, 2016

Amidst ongoing efforts to build a more resilient presence along Oregon’s stunning Pacific coastline, the City of Florence offered a free informational and training exposition to the public.  Held at the Florence Events Center, the expo provided interactive booths, informational talks (including one about PNSN seismic monitoring and ShakeAlert), and hands-on training experience.  Kudos to Florence’s Community Emergency Response Team and Siuslaw News for putting on the event! (link to news article here)


UO receives next phase of ShakeAlert funding

16 August, 2016

The USGS-led ShakeAlert system is moving full steam ahead to providing a critical piece of seismic hazard mitigation.  The Earthquake Early Warning system will provide seconds to minutes of warning to the public once up and running.  The current phase of growth in the Pacific Northwest is focused on building out the sensor array, improve the data processing algorithms, and integrate GPS-based observations into the mix (GFAST) led by Brendan Crowell at the University of Washington.

The new phase of funding for UO will allow for expansion of seismic staff (see today’s article in  the Register Guard).  With more funding and more personnel available to expand the seismic network, we will be pushing hard to meet the 2018 goal of providing a public EEW system.  Stay tuned for more!

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici visits Cannon Beach Fire Department

2 August, 2016

Cannon Beach FD hosts one of PNSN’s recently installed strong-motion accelerometer that was deployed last summer as part of the first phase of Earthquake Early Warning network expansion.  The City of Cannon Beach worked closely with CNFD staff to organize the location.

This station was purchased in part by the advocation that federal representatives put forth within congress, and Congresswoman Bonamici does her part to follow up with said efforts.  As one of only a few currently functional sensors in Clatsop County, the Cannon Beach station is particularly important for catching earthquake activity along Oregon’s north coast.  Over the coming years, this region will be a focal point for adding a greater density of sensors.

The visit between PNSN (Leland O’Driscoll), City of Cannon Beach (Dan Grassick, Mayor Sam Steidel, Garry Smith, Jim Paino), CBFD (Chief Matt Benedict), Clatsop County Emergency Manager Tiffany Brown, and Congressional staff (Rep. Bonamici, Ali Mayeda, Sarah Baessler) was reported in The Daily Astorian (link here).

UO community talk at Warrenton Country Club

16 June, 2016

Warrenton Country Club hosted another UO tag team talk!  Leland O’Driscoll and Krista Dillon presented material about earthquake hazards in the Pacific Northwest, including “The Big One”, and information on how to prepare for such events.

Situated to the west of Astoria, the Warrenton community is acutely aware of the earthquake and tsunami hazard they are faced with.  The crowd consisted of a variety of UO alumni, all of which were impressively engaging in conversation.  Now, they have another point of awareness having been exposed to Earthquake Early Warning.

Yachats Academy of Arts and Sciences hosts talk

Friday, 20 May 2016

The University of Oregon and Yachats Academy of Arts and Sciences (YAAS) co-sponsored a talk by UO employees Leland O’Driscoll and Krista Dillon entitled: “Are you ready for the Big One?”  The talk can be viewed on YAAS’s youtube page.


Leland spoke about earthquake sources in the Pacific Northwest and the progress toward installation of the West Coast Earthquake Early Warning system.  Krista, the Director of UO’s Emergency Management and Continuity Department, spoke about earthquake (and other disasters) preparedness.

The 132-person crowd were engaged and knowledgeable about the topic at hand.  We were quite impressed at the level of training and outreach performed within Yachats.  Mayor Bream, YAAS director Don Niskanen, and the Yachats Commons provided a well-coordinated setting for the talk.

Mary’s Peak

30 May, 2016 – A few weeks of warm weather are happily received.  This allows us to reach locations that have been otherwise inaccessible.

We needed to repair some of the telemetry equipment, but couldn’t help take in the spectacular view from the well-known Coast Range locale.  The Cascade volcanoes were in full view, from Diamond Peak in the south to Mt. St. Helens in the north.


As was the Pacific Ocean.  What a great place to work!


Outreach at Ewing Young Elementary School, Newberg OR

The strong-motion accelerometer at Ewing Young Elementary School in Newberg was down, so PNSN field engineer Marc Biundo and I visited to fix the problem.

We had to be patient and work within breaks during class periods, during conversation with principal Kevin Milner, we heard background on how this school recently re-branded itself as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics focus (STEM).  Kevin described how this unique focus has caught the attention of parents around the NE Willamette Valley.  What an excellent partnership – STEM school and seismic network!

Recently, the 4th grade class has been learning about the wonderful topic of Plate Tectonics. This provided an excellent opportunity to offer a guest lecture to the class.  I ended up speaking to the class about earthquakes, plate tectonics, seismic monitoring, and earthquake hazard in western Oregon.  The class was impressively attentive and eager to demonstrate what they had been learning. An excellent experience for us.  The state of awareness the students have is a testament to the great work being done by Principal Milner, 4th grade teacher Dawn Reed, and her colleague and 5th grade teacher Terry Evers!

The introductory remarks to the class:


The students were fascinated by the catalog of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.  We spend an hour looking at events and data on, and showed them how to search for data themselves.  Budding seismologists in the making!


UO Seismic Lab overview

The UO seismic lab is a primary member of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). Growing momentum for a west coast Earthquake Early Warning system is underway – as well as the seismic sensor array and data processing network.  In the upcoming year, the coastal states in the U.S. will have a live earthquake warning system, known as ShakeAlert. Stay tuned…