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Rethinking tsunami preparedness - What is the role of vegetation?

Event Type: 
Date and Time: 
Friday, February 6, 2015 - 16:00
CTR Conference Room 103
Event Sponsor: 
Parviz Moin, Director of Center for Turbulence Research
Professor Jenny Suckale, Geophysics Department, Stanford University

The role of coastal forests in the mitigation of tsunami disasters has become a hotly debated topic in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 and Japan in 2011. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the interactions between tsunamis and vegetation is limited and the associated danger of ineffective or even potentially harmful policies is concerning. Through this project, we hope to contribute to bridging the gap between science and policy and provide new insights on whether and how coastal trees or forests may be promising for protective purposes. Since our research on this topic is only just starting up, we focus on outlining some of the outstanding questions in the field and the proposed research directions to address these.

Dr. Jenny Suckale is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Stanford’s Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. She received her PhD in geophysics from MIT and also holds a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. The goal of her research is to advance our basic understanding and predictive capabilities of complex multi-phase flow problems in Earth science. She pursues this goal by developing original computational methods customized for the geophysical system at hand. Prior to joining graduate school, Dr. Suckale worked as a scientific consultant for different international organizations aiming to reduce the impact of natural and environmental disasters in vulnerable communities. She has published on induced seismicity and seismic hazard.