UA College of Science to Hold Public Forum on Japan Disaster
This ScienceNow event will present five expert perspectives on the science behind the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crises that have engulfed Japan.

College of Science
March 22, 2011

The University of Arizona College of Science is sponsoring a free public forum to provide insights into the science shaping the events unfolding in Japan as a result of the earthquake on March 11.

The forum will be held Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall on the UA campus.

"This ScienceNow event is aimed at informing our community about the causes and consequences of the disheartening situation in Japan," said Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the UA College of Science.

"The magnitude of the natural disaster, followed by the added dimension of a failing nuclear reactor complex, will have long term consequences that we hope to address in with our panelists."

The five speakers scheduled to appear will explore the science that has driven these natural and manmade catastrophes. The expert panel will be moderated by UA Provost Meredith Hay.

Panelists include:

Beck will provide an overview of the earthquakes and tsunamis that are at the core of Japan's catastrophe. Her research involves using broadband seismology to understand mountain belts, earthquakes and faulting. Current studies include earthquakes and Earth structure associated with subduction zones and strike-slip plate boundaries.

Betterton will describe the transport of radioactive particles in the atmosphere and the possible consequences for the western U.S. Betterton's research focuses on atmospheric and environmental chemistry, including aerosols, cloud condensation nuclei, frozen solution chemistry, microphysical and chemical properties of winter precipitation, urban air quality, and groundwater remediation.

Bonavia will examine the unfolding consequences of this disaster on energy policies worldwide. Prior to joining UniSource Energy in 2009, Bonavia served as Presidents of the Utilities Group and Commercial Enterprises at Xcel Energy. Bonavia serves on the Dean's Board of Advisors of the UA College of Science.

Stea will provide an understanding of the effects of radiation on human health. Stea is board-certified in radiation oncology and treats patients with lung cancers, melanoma, brain tumors and pediatric cancers.

Williams will provide an insider's perspective on the challenges presented by the nuclear reactor technology. As director of the UA Reactor Lab, Williams coordinated the recent decommissioning of the University of Arizona's 52-year old TRIGA nuclear reactor.

In addition to the public forum, representatives from the Southern Arizona Red Cross will be present to provide information on charitable giving.

The Arizona Daily Star and The Martin and Hildegard Gluck Foundation provided funding for this ScienceNow event.

Extra info


Public Forum on the Disaster in Japan


Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.


Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m.

The forum is free and open to the public. Parking is available on a pay-per-use basis in the Tyndall Avenue Garage, 880 E. Fourth St.


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