Geophysicist Elected to Committee on Natural Hazards
Yevgeniy Kontar, Geophysics Section, Illinois State Geological Survey, was elected as an executive committee member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) natural hazards focus group during the AGU Joint Assembly in Toronto, Canada, May 23-27, 2009. The group fosters a focus on studies of geophysical hazards, including earthquakes, landslides, floods, droughts, heat waves, space weather, storms, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, impact by near-Earth objects, and related events. The group promotes fundamental research into the links between extreme natural hazards and dynamic processes on Earth and in space; real-time and long-term monitoring of active processes in the Earth and in space; quantitative natural hazard modeling that combines geophysical, ecological, societal, and economic aspects of disaster scenarios; studying predictability of natural extreme events, their operational forecasting, and reducing predictive uncertainties; comprehensive interdisciplinary research aimed at reducing vulnerability to both current and future natural hazards; and implementation of effective strategies and designs for hazard mitigation and disaster management worldwide, with particular focus on the most risk-prone areas. The effects of human activities in enhancing geophysical disasters are also of interest to the group. The group concentrates its efforts on scientific problems of natural hazards and geological risk analysis and on the development of solid links between geophysical sciences and mathematical, engineering, and social science communities and users of knowledge concerning natural hazards. The group works in cooperation with and provides a bridge to similar efforts by the global programs of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, International Council for Science, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and other national, regional, and international bodies.