Seattle When the Nisqually earthquake
rattled the foundation of the Northwest last February, Burke Museum
staff had already been hard at work on a new earthquake exhibit
to be installed in the temporary gallery. In an instant, the scope
of that project changed shape and began to grow.
On February, 28, 2002, the one-year anniversary of the Nisqually
quake, the Burke will launch an innovative, six-point project geared
towards educating Northwest communities about earthquakes in our
region. The Big One: Earthquakes in the Pacific
Northwest (coordinated by Ruth Pelz, curated by Dr. Liz.
Nesbitt, and produced in collaboration with local, state, and national
preparedness organizations) addresses key questions that every Northwesterner
should know: Why are earthquakes inevitable
here? What hazards do they present? What can we do to prepare?
Big One project components include: an
interactive exhibit at the Burke Museum, an informative traveling
exhibit, a Visiting Scientist program, traveling study kits, a comprehensive
website, and a variety of educational programs. All facets are designed
to encourage the public to learn more about the regions unique
and fascinating geology, to think seriously about the risks of a
major earthquake in the Northwest, and to take basic steps to reduce
the potential damage to our homes and communities.
Burke Exhibit, Feb. 28Sept 2, 2002
Visitors to the Burke exhibit will encounter Northwest earthquakes
from many perspectives. A dramatic display from the 2001 event offers
opportunities to peek inside a van crushed by falling bricks in
Pioneer Square, view TV news coverage of the event, and listen to
tapes of 911 calls and the SeaTac air traffic control. Visitors
can also walk through a retrofitted "house," where they
can get an up-close look at important home safety measures, such
as proper strapping of the water heater. And theyll find lots
of information on earthquake science, from basic facts of plate
tectonics to intriguing examples of cutting-edge research. Find
out what scientists are learning about the recently discovered fault
beneath Puget Sound and follow the incredible detective story that
first convinced scientists that major earthquakes"Big
Ones" do happen here.
Hands-on models, computer resources, and reading materials offer
ways to learn more. For example, theres a 3-D model of Northwest
geology that pulls apart and lights up to show the location of historic
(and possible future) earthquakes and a "shaking table"
that demonstrates the effects of earthquakes on buildings. Whats
a lava lamp got to do with Northwest earthquakes? Visitors to the
exhibit will learn that, too.
Traveling Exhibit, Feb. 2002Feb. 2004
A compact version of The Big One: Earthquakes
in the Pacific Northwest is being offered for display in
communities around the Northwest. The core of the traveling exhibit
is a freestanding panel display, which presents the geological processes
that cause Northwest earthquakes, the ways earthquakes are detected
and measured, the variety of hazards they can incite, and what we
can do to prepare. The traveling exhibit also includes take-away
information on earthquake preparedness, three interactive displays,
a CD containing historic photos of past Washington earthquakes,
and classroom materials. The traveling version of The Big One opens
with a special preview showing at the Washington State Capitol in
Olympia on February 7, 2002, and then begins a two-year regional
* Initial bookings include: February 27March
27, Discovery Center, The Dalles, Oregon; April 3May 1, Everett
Public Library. Contact the Burke PR office for a complete list.
The Burke Museums Senior Regional Geologist Dr. Catherine
Townsend is the projects "Visiting Scientist." She
will spend 23 days in each community that hosts the traveling
exhibit, presenting public science lectures in schools, libraries
and community centers a program made possible through support
from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Townsend is an award-winning
teacher and researcher with special interest in how the mountain
systems of North America were formed. Her engaging presentation,
"Earthquakes, Mountains, and the Geologic History of Washington,"
will augment the traveling exhibit by placing recent earthquakes
into the context of the fascinating geological history of the Northwest.
School Study Kits
Two study kits containing specimens, scientific instruments,
books, videos, and lesson plans will accompany the traveling
exhibit and be available for use by local schools and community
groups. These kits are designed to help students and teachers get
more from the exhibit and meet Washington State learning requirements
in earth science. At the conclusion of the traveling exhibit, these
study kits will become part of the Burke Museums permanent
educational collection, where they will provide an ongoing resource
to educators. The Burke has been traveling creating study kits for
over 70 years and has the largest such resource in the Pacific Northwest.
Washington Geology Website
In conjunction with The Big One: Earthquakes
in the Pacific Northwest, the Burke Museum is launching a
new website on the geological history of Washington, the first comprehensive
guide for the general public on the impressive geological processes
that have shaped our state. The Big One website will incorporate
downloadable curriculum for use in classrooms, the full content
of the traveling exhibit, and links to other earthquake-related
resources. Like the kits, it will live beyond the exhibit as a long-term
addition to the Burkes respected online educational resources.
A variety of public programs and events will be offered at the
Burke Museum as part of the project, The Big One: Earthquakes in
the Pacific Northwest. From lectures by leading scientists, to home
retrofitting workshops and special family events, the Burke has
planned a wide range of public programming, aimed at inspiring visitors
to think about what they can do to prepare for a major earthquake
in the Pacific Northwest. For a complete schedule of Big One programs,
please visit the Events Page.
The Big One: Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest
has been created and produced in collaboration with dozens of leading
researchers from the University of Washington and the US Geological
Service and a wide variety of public organizations and private sponsors.
Supporters and project partners include State Farm Insurance Companies,
National Science Foundation, Washington Sea Grant, The Boeing Company,
University of Washington (Office of Research, Depts. of Earth &
Space Sciences and Civil Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences),
Seattle Public Utilities, Washington State Emergency Management
Division, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, Puget
Sound Energy, Seattle Times, KING5, US Geological Survey, Seattle
Project Impact, Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network, Federal Emergency
Management Agency, Cascadia Region Earthquake Work Group, Washington
State Department of Natural Resources, Museum of History and Industry.
Public Relations Manager