The 1st Waterloo conference on characteristics, risk and management (ChaRisMa) of natural hazardsExport this event to calendar

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 — 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM EST
Thursday, December 2, 2010 — 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM EST
Friday, December 3, 2010 — 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM EST

Please join us in the cross-disciplinary gathering of experts in related
topics to the characteristics (physics, mathematics, simulation, etc.).
The methods of risk assessment, management and engineering solutions
for natural hazards environmental, geophysical, geological, health-related,
climate-change-related and more. It is a great opportunity to meet
experts of this field in the university and the neighbourhood, new
collaboration possibilities and exchange ideas. We aim to bring about a
new synergy to the working environment of all researchers in this topic.

Registration is free of charge, but required by Monday Nov. 29, noon.

Refreshment will be served. 

All departments are welcome.

Bring your poster to present (OPTIONAL) and to win prizes.

Charisma's website

Thanks to Graduate Studies Endowment Fund (GSEF), Faculty of Science, Earth Sciences and Chemistry (ESC), Applied Mathematics (AMATH) of University of Waterloo, and Geography and Environmental Studies of Wilfred Laurier Universtiy.

Keynote speakers

Prof. Kenneth Hewitt (Cold Regions Research Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University)

Abstract:

Risky landscapes: adaptation in catastrophically generated habitats, Karakoram Himalaya.

The paper looks at geohazards, especially the role of massive rock slope failures, in environmental and cultural context. Geohazards usually arise within the broader earth surface environment to which societies and their livelihoods are adapted. The intertwined benefits and dangers of flood plains, volcanic soils, or coastal zones offer obvious examples. Since great rockslides will destroy any living thing or built structure in their path, scientific studies have focused on the hazards they pose – which certainly are considerable in many mountain regions. However, in the transHimalayan valleys of the upper Indus basin, most of the habitable land also derives from hundreds of massive, more or less ancient rock avalanches, and landforms controlled by their blocking of valleys. Hundreds of villages and some small towns sit amid the rubble of rock avalanches, also modern infrastructure and ancient cultural sites. Most of cultivated land lies on river terraces, old lakebeds and alluvial fans resulting from landslide dams on the rivers. The more frequent, locally damaging debris flows, floods, and avalanches are mainly secondary hazards relating to ‘cycles of risks’ that follow from the large landslides. The cycle can be decades to millennia in length, and involves geomorphic adjustments to, and exposure of settlements in, landslide-fragmented valleys. The talk will outline the science behind the recent discovery of the landslides, but focus on how traditional land uses and modern developments are adapted, or not, to these catastrophically generated landscapes. Local stories and actions show the inhabitants had recognized the landslides long ago, and developed a ‘risk averse’ cultural geography with respect to the more frequent hazards. However, modernization is also undermining traditional approaches and creating new dangers for some, if benefits for others. The risks of living in such a habitat were dramatically revealed by the January 4th, 2010 Atabad, Hunza landslide. Other evidence suggests the great landslides are not just things of the past, nor so rare as not to threaten present-day schemes. The value of addressing geohazards in their landscape and development context is underlined.

Dr. Gordon Woo (Risk Management Solutions)

Dec. 2, 10:30-12:00

Abstract:

Characteristics of natural hazards.

The study of natural hazards has tended to be fragmented into the scientific disciplines of meteorology, hydrology, seismology, volcanology, geomorphology etc. Apart from academic focus on the theory and phenomenology of specific hazards, there is much to be gained from a broad synoptic view of the characteristics of natural hazards.  What have earthquakes and solar flares in common?  How can earthquakes cause flooding, or an outbreak of plague?

In this lecture, the common geoscientific elements shared by natural hazards will be highlighted, and the causal links and triggering mechanisms between different types of hazard event will be presented.  Implications for the management, mitigation and public communication of natural hazards will be discussed.

Prof. Richard Wilson (Physics, Harvard University)

Dec. 3, 9:00-10:30

Abstract:

Risk of natural hazards:

Historically mankind has considered natural disasters as distinct from human disasters and this has changed only slowly. Over 2000 years ago a bad storm occurred in the eastern Mediterranean.   Who was responsible? and the issue arose: who was responsible for it?  Jonah 1:7 record the procedure:

“Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah”.

In 1930 lawyers still distinguished Acts of God (for which no one was to blame) from Acts of men where blame could be assigned and compensation sought. 1970 onwards we have many improvements in scientific analyses. We begin to foresee natural disasters.   We can look for precursors.  We can take precautions.  We can be ready for emergency action.  There is no need to blame God for human carelessness.  The distinction between a natural event and one cause by human carelessness is small.  They are best considered together. Drawing lots is no longer considered appropriate but a proper probabilistic calculation is.    We now recognize that rare events do happen. 

Schedule

Time

Dec. 1

Dec.2

Dec. 3

8:30-9:00 AM

Registration

 

Registration

9:00-9:30 AM

Introduction

 

Prof. Richard Wilson

9:30-10:00 AM

Prof. Kenneth Hewitt

 

Risk-Benefit Analysis (Book)

10:00-10:30 AM

Question & Answer (QA)

Registration/Coffee

Q&A

10:30-10:45 AM

Coffee Break

Dr. Gordon Woo

Coffee Break

10:45-11:15 AM

Lecture1

Mathematics of Natural Catastrophes (Book)

Lecture10

11:15-11:45 AM

Lecture2

Characteristics of Natural Hazards

Lecture11

11:45-12:00AM

Discussion

Q&A/Discussion

Discussion

12:00-13:00 PM

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

13:00-13:30 PM

Lecture3

Lecture6

Pannel Discussion

13:30-14:00 PM

Lecture4

Lecture7

Pannel Discussion

14:00-14:30 PM

Lecture5

Lecture8

Pannel Discussion

14:30-14:45 PM

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Pannel Discussion

14:45-15:15 PM

Lecture12

Lecture9

Closing Remarks

15:15-15:45 PM

Lecture13

Lecture14

Photo time

15:45-16:30 PM

Poster session

Poster session

Refreshment

 

Dr. Gordon Woo (Keynote)

Harvard Society of Fellows

Risk Management Solutions expertise

 

Prof. Richard Wilson (Keynote)

Emeritus, Harvard University

Physics, Risk-Benefit Analysis

 

Prof. Kenneth Hewitt (Special Lecture)

Emititus, Wilfrid Laurier University

Geography and Environmental Studies

Introduction

Prof. Barry Warner

Earth and Environmental Sciences

University of Waterloo

 

Prof. Micheal English

Geography & Environmental Studies

Wilfrid Laurier University

Lectures

List of Speakers

Department

Topic

1

Prof. S. G. Evans

Earth and Environmental Sciences

TBA

2

Prof. John Shorteed

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The basics of Risk Management of Natural and other Catastrophic events

3

Patricia Martel

Emergency Management Ontario 
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional
Services.

Identification and Risk assessment in Ontario

4

Prof. Francis Poulin

Applied Mathematics

TBA

5

Prof. Alexander Brenning

Geography and Environemental Management

Landslide hazard susceptibility modeling

6

Prof. Qing-Bin Lu

Physics and Astronomy

What is the Major Culprit for Global Warming: Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) or CO2?

7

Prof. Mahesh Pandey

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Risk analysis

8

Prof. David Etkin

Disaster and  Emergency Management, York Univ.

TBA

9

Prof. Ali Asgary

Disaster and  Emergency Management, York Univ.

TBA

10

Prof. Andre Unger

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Optimal strategies for the financially sustainable management of drinking water and wastewater networks

11

Prof. Stephen McColl

Health Studies and Grentology

Emerging Tropical Pathogens as Natural Risks for Infectious Disease Outbreaks in Canada: The Vancouver Island Outbreak of Cryptococcus gattii Infection as a Case Example

 

Student Lectures

Department

Topic

12

Amber Silver  (M.Sc.)

Geography and Environmental Management

Community Resilience to Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Nova Scotia, Canada

13

Danielle Huot

Geography and Environmental Management

Analysis of Historically Significant Natural Hazards in the Okanagan Valley, BC

14

Keith Delaney (B.Sc.)

Earth and Environmental Sciences

TBA

 

List of Topics

Professors

 

Pannel Discussion

TBA

TBA

 

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567
Fax: (519) 746-7484

Making the future logo.

Location 
HH - J.G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities
room 161
200 University Ave West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
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