Event Detail

February Lunch Program

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

The Resilience by Design program adopted by Los Angeles to address earthquake vulnerabilities brought together the earth science, earthquake engineering and public policy professions and worked with hundreds of community organizations to get approval for sweeping seismic resilience legislation. The process elucidated the disconnect between what well-informed members of the community and local governments understand about the earthquake risk and the goals and objectives of mitigation measures like building codes, and what has been implemented in most communities. Since their inception, building codes have been based on a principle that safety is the only valid concern of government. If an owner chooses to build a building that is a total financial loss, that is his prerogative but he cannot kill someone in the process. A key factor is that building codes consider buildings in isolation with impacts only on their owners and tenants. But the reality of a major earthquake is that the failure of a building impacts the whole community through economic disruption, population decreases, and cascading failures of engineered and social systems. This talk will explore a conceptual framework for creating a building code that reflects the realities of earthquake losses and the social dynamics of shared economic decisions.


Dr. Lucy Jones, Retired USGS

Dr. Lucy Jones is the founder and chief scientist of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, with a mission to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the creation of more resilient communities, and a Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech. With a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT, Dr. Jones has been active in earthquake research for decades, furthering earthquake risk reduction through seismological research and integrated disaster scenarios, including 33 years of federal service with the US Geological Survey. Her work at the USGS included leading the creation of a national science strategy for natural hazards research, creating the first American major earthquake drill, the Great ShakeOut, that has expanded to now encompass 43 million participants around the world in 2015 and writing over 100 published papers on statistical seismology and integrated disaster scenarios. Her pioneering science was recognized with the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (one of just eight awarded to federal employees in 2015), the Ambassador Award from the American Geophysical Union, the William Rodgers Distinguished Alumni Award from Brown University, and most recently, the 2017 Distinguished Lecture Award of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.




The Handlery Hotel San Diego 

950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108



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