Please join us for A Prof and A Pint, a monthly series of informal discussions, served over dinner and drinks, at Forager Tasting Room and Eatery. Brought to you by UC Santa Cruz Alumni, and helping to celebrate 2018 as the Year of Alumni, each talk will engage a UCSC faculty member or grad student in discussion with you, the local community of Silicon Valley. Talks are held on the 2nd Monday of each month. Topics include everything from organic Artichokes to endangered Zebras. Self-driving cars to Shakespeare. Audience participation is encouraged. You have to eat some time. Enjoy a great meal and learn something while you're eating!

What We Can and Cannot Predict about Earthquakes
Monday, April 9, 2018
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Forager Tasting Room & Eatery

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Earthquakes cannot currently be predicted and earthquake prediction holds an unusual place in the natural sciences. It is such a tantalizing and, perhaps, insoluble problem that it has been deemed an inappropriate target for decades. However, progress is being made. Statistical predictions of aftershocks are being done commonly. In special cases, such as earthquakes that are triggered by human activity in geothermal or gas fields, prediction seems potentially attainable. Even some of the Earth’s most deadly earthquakes such as the 2011 Tohoku, Japan earthquake seem to have some unusual activity prior that has only recently become detectable with a new generation of instrumentation. Despite these glimmers of hope, a deep pessimism about societally meaningful earthquake prediction still remains in the scientific community. The interplay between short-term triggers and long-term cycles in determining earthquake timing is still poorly understood. The observational challenges are confounded by deep knowledge gaps about the fundamental mechanics on earthquake faults. A combination of first principle approaches and observational empiricism seems to promises a route forward to determine whether earthquake prediction will forever remain impossible.

Emily Brodsky is a professor and earthquake physicist at UC Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on connecting empirical observations of earthquakes with fundamental physical processes. Prof. Brodsky earned her A.B. from Harvard in 1995 and Ph.D. from Caltech in 2001. She is the recipient of the inaugural 2005 Charles Richter Early Career award from the Seismological Society of America, and the 2008 James Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and she is an AGU Fellow. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) and Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology (IRIS).  She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and presented over 150 invited lectures talks in 30 states and 13 countries. Her work was been featured in major press outlets such as the BBC, NPR, Time Magazine, NY Times, Nature, Reuters, LA Times and The Wall Street Journal.

 

Entry is free! But please consider ordering some food and a drink to support *Forager, our host.