06 Centennial Icon

1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance

Speakers Bureau

Available Speakers

Available Speakers

The 1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance is soliciting scientists, authors, photographers, engineers, historians, disaster preparedness specialists, and other experts willing to give talks, presentations, and demonstrations at various venues including schools, community centers, libraries, museums, and science centers as part of the activities commemorating the 1906 Earthquake.

The list of speakers and scheduled talks will be used to coordinate and publicize activities and events in 2006. We are especially interested in speakers who can address diverse audiences in communities that are often underrepresented for science, emergency preparedness, and history presentations.

Brian Lowe, Preparedness Expert

Description of Talk

Securing the contents of your home or office

Our expert can show groups how to install easy to use fasteners, adhesives or straps to secure the contents of their home. These products are featured as Step 1 of 10 in the Putting Down Roots publication and can be easily found by visiting any major home center in California.

Expertise

Non Structural Mitigation

Biography

Has performed over 100 seminars on earthquake non-structural mitigation. Over 7 years in earthquake safety.

Suggested Audience

Media, general public, all.

Suggested Venue

quake safety demo for NSM

Schedule

all

Contact Info

marketing@trevco.net, 800-959-4053

David Bonowitz, Structural Engineer

Description of Talk

What makes a building safe for earthquakes? Lessons from past earthquakes

Will explain, with helpful graphics, analogies, and examples, the past and expected earthquake performance of certain building types (residential, steel frame, etc.), with emphasis on lessons learned from past earthquakes and the current status of legislation, regulation, building codes, and research. Will tailor the technical subject matter to the particular non-technical interest of the group, e.g. the value of proposed legislation, the implications of retrofit or insurance, the benefits and limitations of building code provisions, the historical context of engineering achievements, etc.

Expertise

Earthquake performance of structures, building code development

Biography

- Licensed California Structural Engineer with particular interest in intersection of engineering and public policy
- Structural Engineer, Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts (responsible for policies and standards related to structural performance for the Cal. Judicial Branch)
- Chair, SEAONC Existing Buildings Committee (and member of other local, state and national committees responsible for development and interpretation of building code provisions related to seismic safety of buildings)
- Technical Editor, SEAOC Blue Book, an online journal of earthquake engineering, 2003-2005
- Published expert in Northridge Eq performance of both steel moment frames and wood-frame single-family homes
- Invited presenter to city councils, commissions, and building department forums in San Leandro, Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, etc. on behalf of SEAOC, SEAONC, EERI-NC, ABAG, etc.

Suggested Audience

General public, civic groups, local government officials or staff, councils and commissions, NERTs, media

Suggested Venue

Council or committee meeting, NERT or community training or preparedness sessions

Contact Info

dbonowitz@mindspring.com, 415-865-8034

David Burkhart, Author

Description of Talk

1906 + 100 X 3-D The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake & Fire in 3-D

Earthquake Days author and San Francisco historian David Burkhart tells the story of the 1906 earthquake and fire through the stunning realism of rare, original 3-D photographs. Includes a short slide show, featuring images from Mr. Burkhart's book, as well as a brief history of this incredible medium and a hands-on 3-D demonstration with 100-year-old stereo views and stereoscopes.

Expertise

3-D Images of the 1906 earthquake and fire

Biography

California-born historian David Burkhart is an honors graduate of Yale. A resident of the Bay Area since 1980, he and his wife live on the San Francisco Peninsula, half a mile from the aptly named San Andreas Lake. Mr. Burkhart is a member of the small staff at San Francisco's renowned Anchor Steam® Brewery. A professional trumpeter, he teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory and performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera. He is also a member of the National Stereoscopic Association.

Suggested Audience

General public

Suggested Venue

bookstores, museums, historical societies

Schedule

TBA

Contact Info

dburkhart@faultlinebooks.com, 650-589-5228

James Dalessandro, Author/Film maker/Historian

Description of Talk

1906 -- The Whole Story. What Will Happen When It Happens Again.

For 100 years, the nation's largest disaster has been either overlooked or buried under a mountain of falsehoods and misrepresentations. For 100 years, the official death count stood at 478, until James Dalessandro and San Francisco Historian Emeritus Gladys Hansen wrote a resolution, passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors, rescinding the figure. In his lectures, he shows a 20 minute documentary clip, in which four-time Oscar winning film maker Ben Burtt has animated still photographs of the disaster.

Expertise

1906 Earthquake and Disaster Preparedness

Biography

James Dalessandro is the author of four books, including Bohemian Heart, Citizen Jane, and the novel 1906, the latter which spent a year as a Bay Area best seller. Author of "Earthquake," May 2005 issue of San Francisco Magazine, an in depth comparison of 1906, 1989 Loma Prieta, and the next Big One. He is also screenwriter of the upcoming $150 million Warner Brothers Film based on his novel, and co-director, with Ben Burtt, of the documentary film "The Damndest, Finest Ruins." He is Chairman of the Board of Gladys Hansen's Museum of the City of San Francisco, which is entrusted to provide a more accurate death count to be announced at the April 18, 2006 Centennial. He has given scores of lectures and documentary screenings on the 1906 Earthquake.

Suggested Audience

San Francisco convention groups, universities, book clubs, book stores, film making organizations, museum and library fund raisers, software and engineering firms.

Suggested Venue

A wide range.

Schedule

Black Oak Books, Berkeley, August 18, 7:00 p.m.
San Francisco Learning Annex, September 14, 6:30 .
Lafayette Public Library, September 15, 7:00 p.m.
Commonwealth club, Santa Clara, September 22.
San Rafael Public Library, September 23, 6:00 p.m.
Skyline College, October 4, 1:00 p.m.
San Ramon Public Library, November 2, 7:00 p.m.
Palos Verdes Women's Club, November 9, 10:30 a.m.
Contra Costa Performing Arts Center, April 18, 2006, 8:00 p.m.
Alameda Historical Society, April 27, 6:30 p.m.

Contact Info

Rimbaud40@aol.com, 415 491-1906

Jeff Lusk, Regional Earthquake Specialist

Description of Talk

Federal Government Response to Disasters The National Response Plan

Discussion of the Roles that the US Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other federal agencies play in coordinating and delivering disaster relief.
A description of the National Response Plan will be given. This plan, and the National Incident Management System that accompanies it, are the primary mechanism that the government uses to bring materials, equipment and specialized teams into an area.
Examples of actual experience in the field on disasters will be given, and a question and answer session will be held.

Expertise

Emergency Management and Disaster Response

Biography

Jeff Lusk has been with FEMA Region IX since 1995. From 1995 until August of 2002, Jeff worked with the National Flood Insurance Program, and was responsible for conducting much of the National Flood Insurance Program training for State and local stakeholders. He was the first member of the NFIP planning staff to receive accreditation as a Certified Floodplain Manager, and worked closely with Napa County on it’s groundbreaking comprehensive floodplain management project. Since August 2002, Jeff has served as the Regional Earthquake Specialist for Region IX, and is responsible for implementing the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and overseeing the continuing promotion of the Hazards U.S. GIS platform (HAZUS). Mr. Lusk’s other duties at FEMA’s Oakland office include acting as the Deputy Operations Section Chief on the Regional Support Team for disaster response. Jeff has responded to disasters from the hurricanes in Florida and Alabama to SuperTyphoons in Guam, as well as activities on the Northridge, Napa, and San Simeon earthquakes. Jeff was deployed to Coastal Mississippi before Hurricane Katrina, and was in place and assisting local officials for several months after that storm. Mr. Lusk works closely with state emergency managers and other local, state, and federal partners in NEHRP, and serves as the liaison to consortia including the Western States Seismic Policy Council, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Southern California Earthquake Center, and the State seismic safety commissions of California, Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada.

Suggested Audience

general public, profesional organizations, elected officials

Suggested Venue

standard power point projector presentation

Contact Info

jeffrey.lusk@dhs.gov, 510-627-7116

Malcolm E. Barker, Author

Description of Talk

Survivors' stories of the 1906 earthquake & fire Three fearful days in April 1906 April 1906 through the eyes of survivors

I base my presentations on first-hand accounts written by men and women during -- and shortly after -- those three fearful days in April 1906. Some describe how they were buried beneath collapsed buildings. Others tell of watching their homes -- and their city -- being devoured by relentless firestorms. Each account adds a very personal touch to one of the nation's greatest tragedies of the 20th century.
For further impact, I include color slides made from contemporary photographs.

Relevance:
In 1908 Henry Morse Stephens, professor of history at the University of California, referred to the (now mysteriously missing) vast collection of documents gathered by the Earthquake History Committe, stating "While the events of April and May, 1906, are of surpassing interest from the way in which the community as a whole met its problems, the part of the individual in seeing and feeling what was going on around him was not to be neglected. . . . Particularly interesting were the personal experiences of the actual shock of earthquake, which, as collated, show not only the various ways in which the shock affected different buildings and different parts of the city, but also its psychological effect upon individuals of varying age and temperament."

Expertise

1906 earthquake & fire, + early San Franciso history

Biography

I was born in London and worked as a newspaper reporter before immigrating to California in 1961. It wasn't long before I became fascinated with the colorful history of San Francisco and, in 1984, I founded Londonborn Publications to publish "Bummer & Lazarus: San Francisco's Famous Dogs" -- the true story of two stray dogs who roamed the city's streets in the early 1860s.

Since then I have written and published the "San Francisco Memoirs" trilogy -- three volumes comprising first-hand accounts by people who lived in, or visited, San Francisco during the period 1835-1906. The final volume of this paperback trilogy is "Three Fearful Days: San Francisco Memoirs of the 1906 earthquake & fire," published in 1998. To mark the centenary I am publishing a hardcover edition of this title that should be available in stores early October.

As each of these books was published I gave talks and slide presentations to a variety of history associations, libraries, and bookstores, and was also interviewed on a number of radio and television programs. In 2000 I was interviewed by Nestor Productions (a French company) for their televion documentary about the 1906 earthquake and fire.

I became an American citizen in 1983.

Suggested Audience

General public

Suggested Venue

Historical slide show

Contact Info

1cwu772@comcast.net, (415) 485-5433

Mary Lou Zoback, Senior Research Scientist

Description of Talk

The 1906 Earthquake--lessons learned, lessons forgotten, and future directions

The 1906 magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the N. San Andreas Fault marked the birth of modern earthquake science. For the first time, the effects and impacts of a major seismic event were systematically investigated and documented including the entire 200-mile-long surface break. The full extent of the San Andreas fault throughout California was also mapped for the first time. Comprehensive study of 1906 shaking intensity showed the strongest shaking occurred in areas of "made land" (fill) and soft sediment, including China Basin and present day Marina district--two San Francisco neighborhoods heavily damaged again in 1989. Damage to structures showed destruction was closely related to building design and construction--a painful lesson oft repeated around the world. Interpretation of repeated surveying data and surface fault offsets led Henry Reid to propose the elastic rebound hypothesis--that earthquakes represent sudden release of elastic energy along a fault resulting from a cycle of slow strain accumulation produced by relative displacements of neighboring portions of the crust--this earthquake cycle is still accepted today with minor modifications, even though the basis for large-scale horizontal displacements wasn't established until the plate tectonic revolution five decades later.

We now know that a repeat of the 1906 earthquake is only one of a wide number of future major damaging earthquakes likely to impact the Bay Area. Although we can not predict earthquakes, we can predict their likely effects and the most hazardous regions. Looking to the future, a dense array of continuous GPS recorders in N. California, part of a new initiative by the National Science Foundation called EarthScope, can search for fault interactions and determine if an acceleration of strain rate precedes the next big earthquake, as it may have prior to 1906.

Expertise

Bay Area Earthquake Hazards, San Andreas fault, 1906 earthquake

Biography

Mary Lou Zoback is currently a Senior Research Scientist with the USGS Western Earthquake Hazards Team, Menlo Park, CA and serves as the Regional Coordinator for the USGS Northern California Earthquake Hazard Program. She is also chair of the Steering Committee for the "1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance."

Zoback joined the USGS in 1978 after receiving her Ph.D. in geophysics from Stanford University. From 1999-2002 she was Chief Scientist of the USGS Western Earthquake Hazards team. Her primary research interest is the relationship between earthquakes and stress in the earth's crust. Dr. Zoback has served on numerous national committees and panels on topics ranging from continental dynamics, storage of high-level radioactive waste, and science education. She is active in several professional societies and is past-President of the Geological Society of America and currently serves on the Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Zoback was awarded the American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Award in 1987 for "significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by a young scientist of outstanding ability" and in 1995 was elected into the National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Audience

Two versions of the talk are available: 1) for a general lay audience covering both 1906 earthquake and Bay Area earthquake hazards 2) for earth science audiences (college and professional society level)

Suggested Venue

Powerpoint slide show - can vary between 30 and 60 minutes in length

Schedule

open

Contact Info

zoback@usgs.gov, 650-329-4760

Michael Oakes, Artistic Director

Description of Talk

1) Jack London: Eyewitness to the Great Quake 2) Up from the Ashes: The Complete Condensed History of the Bay Area.

Two award-winning touring Living-History Shows.

1)Jack London: Eyewitness to the Great Quake - A dynamic historical portrait of California circa 1906 through the eyes the renowned author, adventurer and social crusader. In his 40 short years, London roamed the globe from the Klondike to the South Seas, from Europe to Asia. We follow London from his days as an Oyster Pirate on S.F. Bay, to his travels around the state and the world. London and his wife Charmian journeyed throughout the region documenting the devestation of the Quake. Their's are among the most articulate eyewitness accounts of the Great Quake. London wrote 52 books and over 1000 articles and essays including such enduring classics as The Call of the Wild, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, and To Build a Fire. His social writings provide passionate insights into the great labor, suffrage, and temperance movements of his day.

2) Up From the Ashes: The Complete Condensed History of the Bay Area
This is a special '06 version of our whirlwind tour de force of local history. We combine fact with fun to create an edu-taining overview of California’s colorful past. Drawing from letters, diaries, songs, and eyewitness accounts, we piece together a memorable mosaic of 75 historical characters in 65 minutes! Beginning with the Native Californians, we meet early explorers, mountain men, the Mission Era, the Gold Rush, the Donner Party, Asian immigrants, the Barbary Coast, the Great Quake, Beats, Hippies, Yuppies, and Dot.com-ers. Whew! Highlights of the show include a one-minute hysterical historical synopsis, a 25’ long Golden Gate Bridge, the audience donning hats and wigs for “Whose Time-Line is it Anyway,” and dancing in the aisles to "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." The unifying theme is that California’s resiliency is a product of our diversity.

Expertise

Living History Theater

Biography

Since 1994 Live Oakes has been dedicated to combining acting expertise with rigorous research to bring history to life. Our mission is to provide ‘Enlightening Entertainment’, inspiring our audiences with stories from the past that can make a difference for the future. We have performed our award-winning shows at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the California and San Francisco Historical Societies, Jack London State Historic Park, the Oakland Museum of California History, theatres, museums, conferences, universities, libraries, and schools throughout California. We have earned a reputation as the premier living-history theater company in the region.

Artistic Director, Michael Oakes has been acting and directing for over forty years. Trained at A.C.T., and with master teachers from around the world, Mr. Oakes is a member of Actor’s Equity Association, and performs with professional theatres throughout the Bay Area. He holds a B.S. and M.S. and has a strong background in research and writing. Managing Producer Renee Oakes is a professional classical soprano, Musical Director, and a leading North Bay actress. She enhances our performances with women’s history and period music. We have a repertoire of ten living-history shows:

•Ancient Greece & Rome
Philosophers, poets, playwrights, humorous myths, a Greek game show, and a Roman rap!

•Coyote Tales
Mythical tales of ‘the trickster’ from many tribal traditions.

•From Colonies to Country
A colonial quilt of diaries, documents, letters, and songs.

•I Have a Dream: Dr. King & The Civil Rights Movement
A rousing musical history of the man and the movement.

•In the Wake of Gold
A maritime voyage through CA, U.S., & World history before and after the Gold Rush.

•The Complete Condensed History of California
A diverse mosaic of voices from Natives to Hippies to dot.com-ers.

Interactive Chautauqua

•Leonardo Da Vinci: Renaissance Man
The Renaissance through the eyes of its greatest genius.

•Muir of the Mountains
The inspiring adventures of the ‘Father of our National Parks.’

•Shakespeare: Live!
An entertaining and edifying portrait of the ‘Prince of Players.’

•The Call of the Wild; the Life of Jack London
A dynamic portrayal of the writer, rancher, revolutionary.

Custom Shows:
We can research, write, and perform a quality production on any period, person, event or theme.

Suggested Audience

General public, students, groups, families.

Suggested Venue

Capable of touring to any indoor or outdoor venue. Non-profits- $625, For Profits- $1,500

Schedule

Available year round.

Contact Info

liveoakes@hotmail.com, (707) 643-7819

Robert Trentham, Artistic Director

Description of Talk

The Stricken City

Fifteen minute costumed music/theatre segment to augment upcoming centennial presentations, speeches, ceremonies or performances. The segment is an excerpt from Mr. Trentham's program America 1900 and includes a monologue from Jack London’s account of the events of the earthquake coupled with a soaring and emotionally charged musical composition by Richard Pearson Thomas to the text of The Stricken City by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. This poem was written expressly for the Hearst San Francisco Relief Fund and published in the Boston Sunday American on May 20, 1906.

Expertise

American History & American Music

Biography

ROBERT TRENTHAM (tenor/producer) has sung with regional theater and opera companies throughout the country including the Santa Fe Opera, Lake George Opera, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Light Opera Works of Chicago and the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. He has sung as soloist at the finest American concert halls including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and the Philadelphia Academy of Music. He has recently toured over one hundred and forty cities with his productions America 1900 and In Thinking of America. Many songs from his Compact Disc recording EPITAPH - A Collection of Civil War Songs are heard on The Civil War Experience™, a reference CD-ROM developed by SouthPeak Interactive™ in conjunction with The History Channel® and the Civil War Preservation Trust®. In Thinking of America debuted at the Gettysburg Civil War Heritage Days Festival. Robert Trentham attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where he received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors.

RICHARD PEARSON THOMAS (composer and pianist) has had works performed by the Boston Pops, Covent Garden Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Banff Centre, Skylight Opera Theatre, and Riverside Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. His songs have been sung in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, and before the U.S. Congress. His musical Parallel Lives was produced Off-Off Broadway by the Riverside Opera Ensemble, and his musical Golden Gate is winner of the Michael Stewart Foundation Award. As composer-in-residence for Young Audiences’ Gold Opera Project, Mr. Thomas has composed more than 80 operas with students in New York City public schools. His work with children was featured on CBS’ The Early Show and singled out for praise by President Clinton when Young Audiences/New York was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Thomas has concertized with singers worldwide and served as coach/music director for the Aspen Music Festival and the Yale School of Music. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, and is a native of Montana.

Suggested Audience

General public, student outreach, families & seniors.

Suggested Venue

A grand piano is required for the performance. Travel, accommodations and artist fees are negotiable.

Schedule

Available throughout the year as concert schedule allows.

Contact Info

rdtrentham@sbcglobal.net, (805) 649-9681

Roger Dorfman, Archivist

Description of Talk

Sounds of the Earthquake and Fire, 1906.

Hear the recreation of the sounds of the Earthquake and Fire and the sounds of what was happening 100 years ago. From Caruso's song he sang the night before the Earthquake, April 17, 1906 at S.F.'s Grand Opera House, to the top songs of the day (those we still know today.) Also family recollections of 3 prominent San Francisco families; the Lilienthals, Solomons and Gerstles.

Expertise

Audio archives of historical and popular material

Biography

Roger Dorfman is a 5th Generation San Franciscan who created the AMERICAN ARCHIVES RADIO LIBRARY that provides audio to radio stations, program producers, networks and Sirius Satellite Radio.

He has produced "At The Turn Of The Century" with long-time friend and associate, John Rothmann for his program on KGO-AM and plans to appear on KGO with this subject matter.

Suggested Audience

General audience, as part of other speakers' programs.

Suggested Venue

Can do it anywhere, just need CD player.

Schedule

On air, Sunday morning, April 16, 2006, KGO NewsTalk Radcio 810 AM on the dial.

Contact Info

rogerdorfman@sbcglobal.net, (818) 707-2038