UW Today

March 17, 2011

Blogging from Japan: UW geologist tells of experiences in earthquake zone

News and Information

Jody Bourgeois, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences, was conducting research in Japan on March 11, the day of the magnitude 9 earthquake. She has been writing about her experiences following the quake in a blog she titled “Paleotsunami Travels.”

Bourgeois is expected to return to Seattle at the end of March.

Jody Bourgeois, UW professor of Earth and space sciences, is conducting research in Japan.

Jody Bourgeois, UW professor of Earth and space sciences, is conducting research in Japan.

“I felt the earthquake big time,” she wrote in e-mail to the UW the morning after the great quake. “The shaking lasted almost three minutes and I got motion sickness. There were several large aftershocks.”

Her blog posts focus on recovery efforts, preparations for dealing with food shortages and nuclear radiation and science in the wake of the massive quake.

Bourgeois focuses on sedimentary geology and has done extensive work examining what sediment deposits reveal about historic tsunamis in Japan, the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka Peninsula along Asias Pacific coast, and in the Puget Sound area.