Capital Branch Speaker Lunch

April 24, 2018
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
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Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J. Street
Sacramento, CA

TOPIC: California’s Earthquake Early Warning System – Where Is It?

SPEAKER: John Parrish, Ph. D, PG, State Geologist, California Geological Survey

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Proposals for an Earthquake Early Warning System (EEW) for California have been made since the 1870’s, following the Great Hayward Earthquake of 1868 in the San Francisco Bay area.  Most recently (about the last 10 years), the U. S. Geological Survey has been developing an EEW system for California and the entire U. S. Pacific Coast.  Joining in the project are the seismological laboratories at the California Institute of Technology and U. C. Berkeley.  The California Geological Survey (CGS) is involved as a member of the California Integrated Seismic Network and because of its existing large seismic network throughout the State.  By Legislative Statute, the EEW program in California is being overseen by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

After Alaska, California is the most seismically active state in the nation – and, unlike Alaska, California has 40 million inhabitants and operates the World’s sixth largest economy.  All of this has been developed on the most earthquake prone parts of the State – thus the need for an EEW system.  Funding for the development of the EEW system has been sketchy at best, and no funding for the continued operations of the system once installed has been approved.  It is the intention of the system developers to have an operating system for portions of southern California (greater Los Angeles area) in place by the end of 2018.

About the Speaker:

John G. Parrish was appointed on April 1, 2005 to serve as the California State Geologist and Chief of the California Geological Survey.  The State Geologist is the primary contact and spokesperson for the California Geological Survey with the Resources Agency, the Governor’s Office, the State Legislature, and the State Mining and Geology Board.  Prior to his current position, he was the Executive Officer for the State Mining and Geology Board for eleven years. Before coming to state service, Dr. Parrish spent 21 years in various capacities of geological exploration for a large international petroleum company. 

A native of California, he was raised in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from the University of Redlands in Southern California; a Master of Science Degree in Geology from the University of Houston, Houston, Texas; a Master of Business Administration from the California State University; and, a Ph. D. in Marine Geology from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales, U. K.

Parrish is a California licensed Professional Geologist, a Certified Professional Geologist by the American Institute of Professional Geologists, a Certified Petroleum Geologist by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and a Founding Member of the Energy Minerals Division, and a Member of the Society of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. 

He is the Past-President of the Association of American State Geologists; Chair of the California Earthquake Prediction and Evaluation Council (CEPEC) which reports directly to the Director of the California Office of Emergency Services; Board Member on the Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems, and Chair of the California Integrated Seismic Network.  He is also a former Board Member of the USGS’s Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee, past Board Chairman of the Western States Seismic Policy Council and served as the Representative-at-Large for the American Geosciences Institute.