San Francisco's Big Seismic Gamble

Earthquakes in Your Backyard:
EPS C20 and L&S C70Y

Earthquakes in Your Backyard: Syllabus

Below is an outline of the class content showing the topics for each lecture, some of the case studies included and the field trips. Once you are enrolled in the class, you can access detailed information on the lectures, assignments, due dates etc. through the class bCourses site. To learn when the class is being offered, search for EPS C20 in the Berkeley Class Schedule.

Part I: Why earthquakes matter
Earthquake denial: Get ready for EPS20
The coming quake: HayWired Scenario
Resilient cities? Earthquake, fire and flood
Earthquake preparedness: My plan, my pack, my building

Part II: The science of earthquakes
Discovering plate tectonics: Linking earthquakes
Plate tectonics today: Earthquakes all the time
Faults: The cause of earthquakes
The earthquake cycle: Building up to an earthquake
Quakes across the United States
Seismic waves: The shake, rattle and roll
Earth structure: What is down there?
The earthquake source: When the rock breaks
Man-made quakes: Fracking for resources
Intensity and magnitude: You need to know the difference
Tsunamis: No one should be surprised
Forensic seismology: Nukes and things that go bang

Part III: Living with earthquakes
Why worry? Hazard vs. risk
Earthquake prediction: No we cannot!
Early warning: Earthquakes and tsunamis are coming
Forecasting earthquakes: You can bet on them
Building for quakes: the good and the bad
Insurance: Why does no one have it?
Good and bad buildings: A campus tour
Good public policy: Engaging people and politicians
Where to from here? Our challenge

Case studies are included within many of the lectures. They draw on past events to highlight earthquake process and lessons we should learn from them. Case studies include the M9.1 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami of 2011, the M7 HayWired scenario earthquake impacting Berkeley, a review of buildings on and around the Berkeley campus, and the development and implementation of earthquake early warning in the US.

Field trips highlight the interplay between society and earthquakes across campus. There are two field trips, one along the Hayward Fault and the other to look and building across campus and identify which are at risk in the next quake.