Southern California ShakeAlert Education Symposium

Symposium Overview:

The ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System can detect an earthquake very quickly and send an alert of imminent ground motion before strong shaking arrives. During the symposium we  explored and discussed how educational institutions in California, Oregon, and Washington can use ShakeAlert to protect our children and their teachers.

Participants learned about and contributed ideas how ShakeAlert can be used as a part of standards-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) learning opportunities in schools and in museums.

Over 60 emergency managers and science educators  attended this symposium.

Symposium Agenda


Mr. Doug Given (USGS Emeritus) – ShakeAlert National Coordinator

Presentation: ShakeAlert Background

Ms. Margaret Vinci (Caltech) ShakeAlert Regional Coordinator for Technical Partnerships – Southern California

Presentation: Becoming a ShakeAlert Partner

Dr. Jill Barnes (Los Angeles Unified School District – LAUSD) – Executive Emergency Strategist in the Office of Emergency Services, District Operations, and co-manager of the LAUSD ShakeAlert Pilot Project.

Presentation: ShakeAlert and Disaster Readiness in LAUSD

Ms. Cynthia Pridmore (California Geological Survey) – Co-chair ShakeAlert Educational Resources Working Group

Activity 1:  A Stake In The Shake: Earthquake Early Warning

Activity 2: STEM Connections to the ShakeAlert EEW System Activity

Dr. Robert de Groot (USGS) – ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach

Presentation: Introduction to ShakeAlert Communication, Education, & Outreach

Ms. Emily Holland (Formerly with Cal OES) – Breakout group facilitator

Ms. Jenny Novak (Formerly with Cal OES) –  Breakout group facilitator

Dr. Danielle Sumy (IRIS) – Breakout group facilitator

Handout: Facilitation Questions

Who Participated:

      • Emergency managers from pre-K-12 schools, colleges, universities, museums, child care centers, and other educational institutions.
      • Science educators, science department chairs, and/or those who serve as leaders in science education programs.
      • Administrators from educational environments who will have a role in the implementation of the ShakeAlert® System.


      • To encourage the successful implementation of the ShakeAlert® System in schools, museums, and other learning environments.
      • To foster innovative approaches and solutions for integrating ShakeAlert® products into educational environments.
      • Identify and overcome roadblocks, explore potential funding sources, encourage participation from additional potential users within the education sector and build partnerships that will support the success of a fully public ShakeAlert® System.
      • To promote ShakeAlert® as a critical tool that complements existing risk reduction efforts.
      • To explore ShakeAlert® connections to standards-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) learning.

This event was hosted by the ShakeAlert Joint Committee for Communication, Education and Outreach.

Organizing Committee:  Margaret Vinci (Caltech), Doug Given (USGS Emeritus), Cynthia Pridmore (California Geological Survey), Robert de Groot (USGS), Emily Holland (formerly with California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services), and Jennifer Strauss (UC Berkeley, formerly with ShakeAlert), with generous support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Caltech.