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ICDR Speaker Series


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No Event in December. Check back soon for our January event! 



See photos from past events

Guest Speaker: 

Dr. Scott Burns

“Is Portland Ready for the Big One: Portland’s Past and Future Earthquakes”

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 @ 12:30pm-2:00pm

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Presentation Slides

Dr. Scott Burns will discuss the hazards of and the preparedness for ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides and tsunamis along the subduction zone. What are the differences of recurrence intervals for large earthquakes on the northern and southern margins? How does the chance of crustal, plate and subduction quakes affect building codes, emergency preparedness, siting of critical facilities, building of bridges, and transportation corridors in the region? What can the region expect after a large quake?

Dr. Burns is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Past-Chair of the Department of Geology at Portland State University. He specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, and Quaternary geology. 



Panel Presentations:

The Role of NPOs and Intermediary Organizations After the Disaster

 Guests from Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Wednesday, August 31st, 2017 @12:00pm-1:30pm

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The guests will share their experiences on how their organizations are contributing to the rebuilding efforts in their communities after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters.

  • Mr. Hideyuki Sasaki, Miyagi University 

“Role and challenges of intermediary support organizations”

  • Mr. Kazushige Monou, NPO Granny Rideto 

“Actions taken by the Sendai City Support Center for Civil Activities” 

  •  Mr. Hideki Iwai, Cumulus Institute 

“Community-oriented recovery through dialogue” 

  • Mr. Tadayoshi Iwamoto, Renovation Promotion Council 

“Renovation-driven community development and a new trend in intermediary support”



Guest Speakers: 
Sayaka Fujimura & Ken Sato:

 The Role of Local Businesses and NPO in Kesennuma City post-3.11

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 @ 4:00pm-6:00pm

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Sayaka Fujimura (INDIGO Kesennuma) and Ken Sato (Peace Jam) are both owners/founders of organizations in Kesennuma City, Japan. These organizations were created after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Sayaka and Ken have dedicated their lives to bringing back hope and and community back to the disaster-stricken city. Come listen to the stories of Sayaka Fujimura and Ken Sato as they describe their experiences following the disaster and the creation of their organizations.



Organization Backgrounds:

Sayaka Fujimura is the Owner/Founder of INDIGO Kesennuma, an indigo studio and workshop that produces high quality products that seek to make Aizome-Japanese Traditional Dye approachable for young fashion-conscious consumers in more urban settings like Tokyo or overseas. Entrepreneurial leader established the organization to provide employment for women who are at the stage of raising young children. The employees each bring together their little time to create high profit, and since starting 2 years ago, have built up fame in the diversity employment department in Japan.

Ken Sato is the Owner/Founder for Peace Jam, a cooperative that makes jam and muslin goods for babies. His innovative concept resulted in receipt of international award in 2012. Prime Minister Abe visited the workshop in March, 2017. Entrepreneurial leader provides employment for mothers with young children and provides on-site day care so moms can bring their children to work.


Guest Speakers:
'17 Spring International Field Experiernce Course Cohort

Saturday, July 15th, 2017 @ 3:00pm-5:00pm

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For one week, students and practitioners from the Portland area had the opportunity to embark on a journey to local communities in Tohoku, Japan. There, they were able to learn from survivors, businessmen and intellectuals of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Come listen our students talk about their experiences and stories from their trip to the disaster stricken areas of Iwaki, Sendai, Rikuzentakata, and Ishinomaki.

View on Youtube.




Guest Speakers:

Stephen Percy, CUPA Dean
& Dr. Teri Martin, Law & Policy Associates

Friday, May 26, 2017

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Two members of the City Club Earthquake Resilience Research Team - Dr. Teri Martin of Law & Policy Associates and Dean Stephen Percy of the PSU College of Urban and Public Affairs - will share findings of the City Club's recent report, "Big Steps Before the Big One: How the Portland Area Can Bounce Back After a Major Earthquake". This report focuses directly on the greater Portland are and explores how residents, businesses, governments and others can prepare for a resilient response to a major Cascadia earthquake off the Oregon Coast. Findings and recommendations include attention to energy, transportation, the built environment, and advancing social resilience.

Stephen Percy is the Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Portland State University, having arrived at PSU in 2014. While at PSU he has chaired the Strategic Planning Development Team as part of campus strategic planning efforts and the Implementation Advisory Committee for Campus Public Safety.

In all leadership positions he has actively pursued initiatives to promote university-community engagement. His work in community engagement in Milwaukee is outlined in two co-authored books: A Time for Boldness: A Story of Institutional Change and Creating a New Kind of University: Institutionalizing Community-University Engagement. His research interests include public policy and policy implementation, urban politics, disability rights policy, and university-community engagement.



Guest Speaker:
Steven Eberlein

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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Steve is the foundations director, seismic hazards preparedness expert and Prepare Out Loud presenter for the American Red Cross Cascades Region.  

The Cascadia earthquake, and preparedness for disasters are topics of special interest to Steve.  He was a witness to the destruction of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in Sri Lanka and he experienced the unexpected Klamath Falls earthquakes in 1993.  

Prior to coming to the Red Cross, Steve lived in Asia for four years where he worked as a disaster relief aid worker and geography teacher. 

Steve’s presentation will practically prepare us for disasters of all kinds (including a Cascadia earthquake), by being vocal about your preparedness and encouraging others to start preparing. Steven will discuss in detail the science and history of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, human behavior during disasters, resources preparation and much more.



Guest Speakers:
Dr. Hidehiko Kanegae and Dr. Yusuke Toyoda

February 22, 2017

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Dr. Hideaki Kanegae, Professor, and Dr. Yusuke Toyoda, Assistant Professor, are faculty members at the Graduate School of Policy Science as well as Research Members of the Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage (R-DMUCH) at Ritsumeikan University, Japan. 

Community Planning for Disaster Mitigation in the Higher Risk Century

Come learn about how recent natural disasters triggered not only a public planning process focused on economic development and environmental management, but also a shift in planning’s emphasis from “sustainability” [SymbioCity Kyoto]
to robustness and “resiliency” [ResilienCity Kyoto], including social and cultural continuity.

This speech introduces examples of community planning for disaster mitigation and preparedness in Kyoto, in Japan and other countries where facing highly frequency of natural disasters in XXI century.







Guest Speaker:
Dan Bihn

January 20, 2017

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ICDR Guest Speaker: Dan BihnDan Bihn is an engineer-storyteller who translates and communicates complex energy issues to nontechnical audiences through lectures, classes, and interactive eBooks. In 2013, he was an invited speaker at Tohoku University’s symposium for post-Fukushima disaster resilient energy systems. This was followed in early 2014 by a lecture series he gave in Jamaica on “Smart Energy Islands” funded by the Japan Foundation of New York. Dan has spent more than 7 years working and studying as an engineer in Japan. Today, he lives in Portland and frequently travels to Japan in search of important energy stories. He holds a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from UC Davis.



Guest Speaker:
Amya Miller

October 13-14, 2016

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ICDR Guest Speaker: Amya MillerAmya Miller was born and raised in Japan to American parents.  She attended both Japanese and international boarding schools as a child.  At age 18 she returned to the US for university and upon graduation worked for a variety of public, and private sector organizations focusing on US-Japan relations.  She returned to Japan to volunteer after the disaster that struck the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 and has focused her time in the City of Rikuzentakata where she has served as the director of global public relations, special adviser, and this year principle consultant to the city.  She lives in Tokyo with her husband.

Ms. Miller will discuss the efforts made by the city of Rikuzentakata and the people in the community to "recreate" a new Rikuzentakata. She will share some of the lessons learned from the tragedy in terms of building a resilient community as the city faces new and old challenges.   





Guest Speaker:
Jay Wilson

September 16, 2016

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 ICDR Guest Speaker: Jay WilsonMr. Wilson is the Resilience Coordinator at Clackamas County Department of Emergency Management, Chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC), as well as a Disaster Resilience Fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He has participated as local emergency management practitioner on EERI Government and Societal impacts reconnaissance team for Tohoku, Japan Tsunami disaster. He has provided invited testimony to the U.S. House Science Committee on the development of the 2006 Tsunami Warning and Education Act. He authored an OEM After-Action Report for June 14, 2005 tsunami warning along US West Coast.

Mr. Wilson will share his experience of visiting the Tohoku region Japan where the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami happened in March 2011. This talk will also provide his insight on the importance of establishing a hub for education, research, and international exchange programs that address the important topics of natural disasters. 

Have comments or suggestions for future Speaker Series presentations?
Please contact:

Josh Metzler ( - Program Coordinator, Center for Public Service