Under the Earthquake Hazard Reduction Act of 1977, the federal government is significantly increasing its effort "to reduce the risk of life and property from future earthquakes in the United States through the establishment and maintenance of an effective earthquake hazards reduction program". This prgoram is sponsored primarily by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation and includes research by geologists, geophysicists, seismologists, engineers, sociologists, educators, and public policy experts.
In the USGS program, there is a strong emphsis on effective communication of the results of research to a wide community of decision makers and users. This action is the key to implementation at all levels in federal, state, and local government, in the private sector, and on an individual basis.
The U.S. Geological Survey convened a workshop involving approximately 65 people on May 22-24, 1978 in Denver, Colorado, to examine the communication problem. The purpose of the workshop was to evaluate critically the information-flow process for a number of past experiences, including:
(1) land use planning in Portola Valley, California,
(2) the seismic safety element, Santa Clara County, California
(3) earthquake preparedness, Puget Sound, Washington area,
(4) mitigation of geological hazards in Colorado,
(5) earthquake planning in the Mississippi-Arkansas-Tennessee area,
(6) water resource and land use planning in the northeast United States,
(7) acquiring and disseminating scientific and engineering information following an earthquake,
(8) development, use, and review of geologic and seismological data fro sitting of nuclear power plants,
(9) development and use of building codes that incorporate earthquake provisions,
(10) use of research products produced in the HUD/USGS San Francisco Bay region study, and
(11) achieving landslide hazard reduction.
The objective was to identify the most significant lessons learned during the course of each experience and to develop recommendations for improving communication that might be incorporated in the search program of the USGS.