EarthScope Transportable Array Siting Outreach Activities in Alaska and Western Canada

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Lea Gardine1, Perle M Dorr2, Carl Tape1, Patrick McQuillan2, John Taber2, Michael Edwin West1 and Robert W Busby2, (1)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States, (2)IRIS, Washington, DC, United States
The EarthScopeTransportable Array is working to locate over 260 stations in Alaska and western Canada. In this region, new tactics and partnerships are needed to increase outreach exposure. IRIS and EarthScope are partnering with the Alaska Earthquake Center, part of University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, to spread awareness of Alaska earthquakes and the benefits of the Transportable Array for Alaskans.

Nearly all parts of Alaska are tectonically active. The tectonic and seismic variability of Alaska requires focused attention at the regional level, and the remoteness and inaccessibility of most Alaska villages and towns often makes frequent visits difficult. For this reason, Alaska outreach most often occurs at community events. When a community is accessible, every opportunity to engage the residents is made. Booths at state fairs and large cultural gatherings, such as the annual convention of the Alaska Federation of Natives, are excellent venues to distribute earthquake information and to demonstrate a wide variety of educational products and web-based applications related to seismology and the Transportable Array that residents can use in their own communities. Region-specific publications have been developed to tie in a sense of place for residents of Alaska. The Alaska content for IRIS’s Active Earth Monitor will emphasize the widespread tectonic and seismic features and offer not just Alaska residents, but anyone interested in Alaska, a glimpse into what is going on beneath their feet. The concerted efforts of the outreach team will have lasting effects on Alaskan understanding of the seismic hazard and tectonics of the region.

Efforts to publicize the presence of the Transportable Array in Alaska, western Canada, and the Lower 48 also continue. There have been recent articles published in university, local and regional newspapers; stories appearing in national and international print and broadcast media; and documentaries produced by some of the world’s most respected scientific and educational production companies that have included a segment about EarthScope and the Transportable Array.