Public Service Activities 1995/96
Institute for Crustal Studies Outreach Activities

Seismology Curriculum Using CUBE for Santa Barbara County Schools (Ralph J. Archuleta, ICS; Robert Pizzi, Bishop Diego Garcia High School; Alan Hoffman, San Marcos High School; Malcolm Campbell, Dos Pueblos High School)

The objective of the project has been to incorporate seismology into the curricula of the Santa Barbara City high schools utilizing the CUBE (Caltech-USGS Broadcast of Earthquakes) system. This system displays a map of southern California earthquake epicenters on a computer screen in real time. A 10-day seismology curriculum was developed that can be taught at different levels in a high-school environment. There is a menu of activities from which the instructor can choose depending on the level of the class, to reinforce the concepts in seismology.

The pilot program started in the summer of 1994. The first CUBE display was placed at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in the main corridor where it can be viewed by the largest number of people. A remote keypad allows the inquiring person to interact with the CUBE monitor. The first draft of the curriculum was developed and used in both senior and freshman level classes.

Phase II of the project, completed during the summer and fall of 1995, extended the project to San Marcos and Dos Pueblos high schools. CUBE systems were installed and personnel were trained in the operation, usage and maintenance of the systems. The curriculum was refined and introduced at each school.

CUBE on campus (Bruce Luyendyk, Aaron Martin, and Geoff Ely)

Funds were obtained from the UCSB Development Office to install CUBE computer systems at three locations on campus; ICS offices in Girvetz Hall, the main entrance of the UCSB Library, and outside the main office of Geological Sciences Department. The displays are accompanied by an earthquake epicenter map and an explanatory text.

Earthquake Outreach Activities (Ed Keller, Larry Gurrola, David Valentine)

Local contacts

The 1995-96 year has been a successful year in disseminating our research on the earthquake hazards of Santa Barbara to local officials and citizens. The audiences have ranged from city geologists and County planning staff to the general public. The objective is to disseminate research results to the scientific and consulting community as well as educate the general public on the focus of the research and state of knowledge on earthquakes in general and locally. ICS earthquake hazard exhibits have been well-received in all forums, especially at the Spring 1996 Santa Barbara Earth Day and at the Fall, 1995 Coast Geological Society meeting. Keller, Gurrola and Valentine led several well-attended field trips on the "Earthquake Hazards of the Santa Barbara Fold Belt". They are currently revising their field trip guidebook to include additional field stops and expect to lead a 2-day field trip in the Santa Barbara area during Spring, 1997.

ICS World Wide Web page

ICS maintains a World Wide Web home page ( that contains general information of public interest. It includes three items concerning California earthquakes. One of these, entitled Up-to-the-minute southern California Earthquake Map (; Grant Lindley), displays the last approximately 500 earthquakes to be recorded by seismographs in southern California. The map is automatically updated based on e-mail received from the Seismological Laboratory at Caltech. These updates usually arrive within a few minutes of the earthquake. A second site is called Understanding Earthquakes (; Grant Lindley). This site contains an earthquake quiz, a rotating globe that shows earthquake locations, famous accounts of earthquakes, and similar features intended to be of interest to the general public. Finally, we have a Web site about the earthquake history of Santa Barbara County. This site includes historical accounts and photographs. The URL is (Grant Lindley).

Public schools presentations

ICS researchers and students made numerous presentations at public schools on earthquake issues. These included UCSB, SBCC, Roosevelt Elementary School, Monte Vista Elementary , San Marcos High, Isla Vista Elementary , Bishop Garcia Diego High, and La Colina Jr. High.

Government presentations

We made public presentations on earthquake issues to the Santa Barbara City Council, the City of Los Angeles, and to Ventura and Santa Barbara County officials.

Public displays and presentations

We also visited with senior citizens at Francisco Torres retirement home and spoke to them about earthquakes. We had a display and booth at the local Santa Barbara Earth Day event.

NEWTON (Grant Lindley)

Grant Lindley continues to volunteer for the computer bulletin board system, NEWTON, that is run by the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Using the computer bulletin board, students and teachers from kindergarten through high school can post questions about science. Responses are posted by scientists working in the fields that the questions pertain to. Typical questions include, When will the next big earthquake happen in California? What type of volcano is Mauna Kea in Hawaii? How did the Richter scale originate? The students who leave questions are enthusiastic and curious, and it is not unusual for them to ask follow-up questions.