Paper No. 197-14
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM
LEVERAGING RESEARCH ON EARTHQUAKES AND TSUNAMI TO INCREASE PREPAREDNESS EDUCATION IN COASTAL CASCADIA COMMUNITIES
The ultimate aim of geohazard research is to increase society’s ability to mitigate risks. An essential part of this endeavor is finding effective ways to communicate results of research to the public so that they can be used in community preparedness plans. The “Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program” (CEETEP) is bridging the gap between scientific researchers and the public by providing professional development workshops for educators from coastal communities in Oregon, Washington, and northern California. The project translates cutting edge EarthScope and other geoscience research into educational resources appropriate for K-12 teachers, park and museum interpreters, and emergency management outreach educators and their learners. An essential component of broader impact projects such as CEETEP is collaboration with experts in science, pedagogy, and emergency preparedness. CEETEP is providing two 4-day workshops and one follow-up Share-a-thon each year for three years (2013-2015). Approximately 150 educators have or will participate in the program. Results from CEETEP Year 1 and 2 are very encouraging. Participant content knowledge improved from 46% to 83% over the course of the workshop. Similarly, confidence in teaching about workshop topics increased from an average of 2.9 to 5.4 on a 6-point scale. Participant optimism about the efficacy and tractability of community-level planning also increased from 5.9 to 7.6 on a 9-point scale. Their personal preparedness actions increased from an average of 3.5 to 4.1 on a 5-point scale. Nearly 90% of participants continued to be active with the program through their March Share-a-thon and presented on a wide range of activities that they and their learners undertook related to earthquake and tsunami science and preparedness. Participants were also quite favorable about the innovative design of combining formal and informal educators into a single workshop. On a 6-point scale, they rated this professional exchange 5.5 for effectiveness. In all, the format and accomplishments of CEETEP can serve as a model for coastal hazards researchers interested in collaborating on outreach efforts.