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Malamud in Turkey for EGU Conference

Posted on 21/03/2014

Bruce Malamud is currently in Turkey where he is at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) sponsored 9th Alexander von Humboldt Conference. This year the conference is on "High Impact Natural Hazards Related to the Euro-Mediterranean Region", and is being held in Istanbul from 24-28 March 2014, including talks/discussions/posters, and a one-day field trip to the Hagia Sophia Museum and to the Istanbul Disaster Coordination Centre. Abstract topics include earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, mass wasting, strong winds and storms, and risk models. The local organizing team is chaired by Ali Özgün Konca, a geophysicist, and the conference is being hosted by his home institute, the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, a multidisciplinary earthquake research organization providing graduate education in Earthquake Engineering, Geophysics and Geodesy. It is located in the hills of the Asian side of Istanbul, where Bruce currently has a wonderful view of the Bosphorus (the straits that form part of the boundary between Europe and Asia), from high up, in the Institute guest house where he is being lodged. Özgün and Bruce as lead organizers, along with other scientists, have worked together over the last year to organize this event, which has over 50 scientists attending from a dozen countries, including prominent scientists from Turkey. Bruce will present talks on landslides and wildfires, and will also present two posters with PhD students that are working with him, one with Joel Gill leading, on multi-hazards, and a second with Faith Taylor leading, on the impact of landslides on road networks.

During the last two days of the general Alexander von Humboldt conference, there will be in parallel an EGU GIFT (Geosciences Information for Teachers) workshop, where over 30 Turkish secondary school teachers will attend. By running in parallel the GIFT workshop with the conference series, we will be able to offer to invited teachers detailed and in-depth talks from selected scientists working in the Earth Sciences. Bruce is pleased to be giving a one-hour GIFT workshop on mass wasting (landslides) to the teachers, similar to one he did in April 2013. The main objective of the EGU GIFT workshops is to spread first hand scientific information to science teachers of both primary and secondary schools, thus significantly shortening the time between discovery and textbook, and to provide the teachers with material that can be directly transported to the classroom. It is hoped that by immersing science teachers in a truly scientific context, and the direct contact with international geoscientists, will help stimulate curiosity towards scientific research that the teachers then transmit to their pupils.

On Saturday, after the conference is over, Bruce will join a dozen of the participants in a five-hour private boat trip on the Bosphorus for which a geologist from Istanbul Technical University has kindly agreed to come along and give information on the geology of Istanbul.


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