Menlo Park, Calif. -- Southern California scientists, emergency planners, businesses, and organizations who worked on communication efforts for the 2008 earthquake drill ShakeOut received a prestigious federal award Wednesday at the U.S. Geological Survey’s facilities here.
The USGS Eugene M. Shoemaker Awards for Communications Excellence are given annually to recognize extraordinary effectiveness in communicating complex scientific concepts and discoveries into words and pictures that capture the interest and imagination of the American public.
The 2009 award in the multiple-product category was awarded to The Great Southern California ShakeOut Campaign. Working with an initial committee of 12 people, the group superbly planned and executed a multimedia communication approach resulting in the drill being the largest of its kind in U.S. history, with more than 5 million people participating.
The scenario, written by USGS earthquake experts, called for a magnitude 7.8 earthquake to hit Southern California along the San Andreas fault. While USGS provided the scenario, the Earthquake Country Alliance brought together many local organizations to create the idea, the promotion, and the execution of the ShakeOut drill on November 13, 2008.
The drill was so successful it has become an annual event, with 6.9 million people participating in 2009. The next iteration will take place Oct. 21, 2010.
Those recognized for communication excellence in the first ShakeOut are:
Earthquake Country Alliance community partners:
U.S. Geological Survey employees:
Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project
Earthquake Science Center
Menlo Park Publishing Service Center
Office of Communications
The Shoemaker Communications Awards were established in honor of Gene Shoemaker, a USGS astrogeologist who is considered the founder of the science of lunar and planetary geology. He was noted as an effective and prolific communicator as well as an innovative scientist researcher. One of his greatest assets was his ability to communicate scientific concepts to non-scientists in a way that could be easily understood and appreciated.
USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.
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