Public Lectures

Surviving Disaster: Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities

Natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and hurricanes threaten lives and livelihoods across the globe. This series will explore the latest developments in social and natural science helping us prepare for, respond to and survive environmental disasters, wherever they strike.

All lectures take place at 7:30 p.m. at Kane Hall.

Tues. Oct. 13, 2015

Disasters fast and slow: From catastrophic landslides to how we treat our soil

David R. Montgomery, professor, College of the Environment

David R. Montgomery


Not all disasters strike as fast and catastrophically as the tragic, enormous Oso, Washington landslide of 2014. Slower-paced disasters like soil loss and fertility degradation can also be devastating, putting entire societies at risk while presenting daunting day-to-day social challenges.

Tues. Oct. 20, 2015

Ten years after Katrina: Lessons learned and unlearned

Jed Horne, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author

Jed Horne

Katrina sounded what many thought was the death knell for a troubled and fading city. But New Orleans not only survived, it flourished in ways that seemed unimaginable before disaster struck.

Tues. Oct. 27, 2015

Social media use during disaster events: The evolving role of the connected crowd in response and resilience

Kate Starbird, assistant professor, College of Engineering

Kate Starbird

Around the world, crises are being talked about in new ways thanks to advances in technology. Thousands and even millions of people turn to social media to seek and share information. This has spawned a new form of volunteerism—digital volunteerism—bringing people together in online spaces to offer help, both to those affected and to emergency responders.

Tues. Nov. 3, 2015

How to lead and succeed when it matters most: Deploying America’s veterans in response to natural disasters and global crises

Jake Wood, co-founder and CEO, Team Rubicon

Jake Wood

At some point, most of us will be confronted with a situation where the stakes are high, the risks considerable and the options less than ideal. Jake Wood provides a framework to thrive in high-stakes situations—key business decisions, a mistake we made in the past or an upset customer wanting quick answers to tough questions. Wood is a decorated Marine Corps veteran, advocate, author and the CEO of Team Rubicon, a nationwide nonprofit organization whose primary mission is bridging the disaster relief gap between the moment a disaster happens and the point at which conventional aid organizations respond.

Tues. Nov. 10, 2015

A tale of three Seattle temblors: One big, one deep and one direct hit

John Vidale, professor, College of the Environment

John Vidale

Sudden mayhem. Tremendous impact. Unpredictable disruption. Is it any wonder earthquakes reserve a dark corner in our nightmares? The Puget Sound is vulnerable to several shades of shakes: giant coastal quakes, isolated, miles-deep pops, and rips that could tear Seattle’s downtown apart.

UWAA and UWRA members receive advance registration for the series! Not a member? Join today!

For more information, contact the UW Alumni Association at 206-543-0540 or