27 January 2017

(Geo)science matters: Landslide research in California

Posted by Jessica Ball

Note: Dr. Cerovski-Darriau wanted to clarify that the research discussed in the interview is NOT a monitoring program; while the sensors in question are used to detect when a landslide is more likely, the Landslides Hazard Program is not carrying out a full-scale monitoring program using them. I’ll update the post with more information about the research when I hear back about the details!

Right now it’s incredibly important for scientists to hammer home why science is essential, important and needs to be practiced rigorously, transparently and without censorship. It’s clear that we can no longer limit ourselves to broader impact statements in our next grant applications. I thought I’d do my part by starting a new blog series and highlighting United States geoscientists and their work in action, applying what we train so long and work so hard to learn to making people’s lives safer, better and more prosperous.

My first feature is going to be this recent news report in which one of my fellow postdocs, Corina Cerovski-Darriau of the USGS Landslide Hazards Program in Menlo Park, gets to show off one of the sensors her research group uses to detect when a landslide might be about to happen:

Dr. Corina Cerovski-Darriau points out current USGS landslide monitoring research sites in the Bay Area (click on the image to watch the video of the news report)

Given the recent severe storms that have struck the Bay Area, and the numerous instances of landslides (some of which have destroyed roads and cut off access to remote areas), having these kinds of monitoring programs in place this kind of research going on is essential for protecting Bay Area people and their property.