Hazards Caucus briefing conveys the importance of geologic mapping and monitoring

April 6, 2017

The Hazards Caucus Alliance, a network that supports the Congressional Hazards Caucus, hosted a briefing on April 6 about how geologic and hazards mapping and monitoring are used to prepare and protect communities from natural hazards. The Hazards Caucus provides congressional staff with information and educational materials concerning preparation, mitigation, and response for natural disasters. The caucus is led by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1).

The briefing, “Watching the World: Saving Lives Through Hazards Mapping and Monitoring,” emphasized the importance of federally funded programs that support geologic and topographic mapping projects and seismic monitoring efforts. The speakers discussed the functions of several federal programs, including the USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP), and the NSF-funded EarthScope program.

Kevin Gallagher, Associate Director for the USGS Core Science Systems, explained how mapping can help save lives and protect infrastructure by underpinning hazards research and response. Mike West, State Seismologist for the Alaska Earthquake Center, focused on the critical value of seismic monitoring stations in Alaska and throughout the United States. Dr. West talked about the need for a reliable seismic network throughout the nation and expressed his support for reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. Richard Ortt, Director and State Geologist for the Maryland Geological Survey, highlighted the importance of NCGMP-funded geologic maps for use at the state level.

For links to each speakers presentations, please visit www.hazardscaucus.org.

Sources: Hazards Caucus Alliance