Researchers to Describe Katrina's Damage

Release Date: October 25, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In a live and online Webcast seminar, structural engineers and social scientists who were dispatched to New Orleans and Mississippi in the days after Katrina hit will describe the vast devastation they saw and discuss strategies for improving U.S. resilience and response to natural disasters, terrorist attack and other extreme events.

To be held Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Screening Room on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus, the seminar also can be viewed online, live and archived, at

The researchers were part of two reconnaissance teams assembled by UB's Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation. This seminar will provide a first-hand summary of their investigations. Photos and preliminary findings are available at

Team members -- including engineers, urban planners, and environmental and public-health specialists -- used remote sensing technologies, in-field investigations and on-site interviews to rapidly collect data and visual images of damage over large geographical areas. Initial teams focused on damage to large engineered structures, primarily bridges and commercial buildings. Subsequent teams deepened immediate investigations and added studies on evacuation, organizational decisions, health and environmental issues.

MCEER's intent is to leverage its years of earthquake hazards and engineering expertise to advance "homeland resilience" strategies for multiple hazards and extreme events that include threats of nature, technology, and terrorism.

For on-site and Webcast press arrangements, including instruction on how to submit questions during the Webcast, contact John DellaContrada at 716-645-5000 ext. 1409 or Ellen Goldbaum at 716-645-5000 ext. 1415 in the UB Office of News Services.

Media Contact Information

Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager
Tel: 716-645-4605
Twitter: @UBmednews