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Sources Available to Talk about Earthquake in Haiti

Sources Available to Talk about Earthquake in Haiti

Expertise from the University of California, Riverside is available for the media

(January 14, 2010)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- The earthquake in Haiti has left devastation in its wake. The next few days are critical in how well the population will recover. Experts at the University of California, Riverside are available to reporters.

Culture and Arts

Celia Weiss Bambara is a dance artist with a Ph.D in Dance History and Theory/Critical Dance Studies from UC Riverside. Between the late 90s and 2003 Celia worked with artists in Port-au-Prince on projects that combined Haitian, modern/contemporary, and other African diasporic dance forms. She is currently artistic director of the CCBdance Project, an African based contemporary dance company formed in 2006 with Christian Bambara. Celia is also a board member for the education and social justice non-profit, Haiti Soleil. The organization is helping to gather relief for people impacted by the earthquake. She is willing to offer insight into the rebuilding of the country after this event as well as from the perspective of a professional artist:

Phone: Reach Celia Weiss Bambara through media relations office, (951) 827-2495

Ann Mazzocca is a Ph.D. candidate in dance who has studied Haitian dance and culture for several years. She has visited Haiti twice in the past two years, and has friends and family there.

Phone: Reach Ann Mazzocca through the media relations office, (951) 827-2495.


Jorge Aguero, an assistant professor of economics at UC Riverside, has agreed to talk about development economics in the wake of the Haiti earthquake. His main areas of research are development and labor economics, and he is particularly interested in two key areas leading to poverty persistence: discrimination and the lack of accumulation of human capital. His recent papers address racial discrimination in the labor market, the intergenerational transmission of education and the role of fertility on mother and child outcomes. He has worked on projects addressing poverty in several developing countries, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Peru, and Brazil. He can be reached at:

Office: (951) 827-4108
Personal Homepage:

Water Quality
Mark Matsumoto is a Professor of Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean, Bourns College of Engineering. Prof. Matsumoto studies water and wastewater treatment, especially land-based treatment systems, and hazardous waste site remediation "One of the most important emergency measures that needs to be done is to supply clean drinking water (bottled and/or portable treatment units), which is essential for maintaining health and sanitation. After most natural disasters there is a disruption of the “normal” water supply. The impact on water quality and the outbreak of waterborne diseases depends on how soon a clean water supply can be restored.

The unavailability of clean drinking water can lead to a proliferation of waterborne diseases. This happens as people will look for alternative sources of water, which may be contaminated. This possibility becomes worse as the normal sanitation facilities become disrupted and any “good” sources of water are more likely to be contaminated from wastes. Also, as people get weaker from stress, sleep, lack of nourishment, etc. they become more susceptible to waterborne diseases. Typical diseases are cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis.

There are mobile treatment systems that can make clean drinking water. Here is just one supplier ( Also, because most of the affected areas in Haiti are near the ocean, mobile desalination units can be sent (e.g., ).

Office telephone: (951) 827-3197
or reach Don Davidson, public information office for engineering: (951)827-1287

Earthquake Science

David Oglesby is an earth sciences professor who studies the power of earthquakes. He develops computer models of the forces acting on faults that develop into fault ruptures and fault slippage, and the transmission of seismic waves from slipping faults. His modeling predicts the wave propagation and ground motion caused by different faults. He can answer how and why faults slip, causing earthquakes. His recent projects included developing ground motion forecasts for the Rose Canyon Fault in San Diego and computer models of earthquakes on segments of thrust faults.

In the video, Oglesby discusses how earthquakes take place, and walks us through a simulation of an earthquake in the Los Angeles – Inland Southern California region.


Phone: Reach Prof. Oglesby through Iqbal Pittalwala, 951.827.6050

Geologist Elizabeth Cochran can comment on the structure of fault zones and how seismic waves are used to study faults. She studies the properties and evolution of faults and can speak about their implications for seismic hazards and for estimating when an earthquake may take place. She also can speak on aftershocks, for example, the probability of an aftershock of a certain magnitude; and on where the major faults like in California and the rest of the country. Cochran uses satellite data in her research to investigate small changes in ground surfaces that may have occurred after an earthquake.

Phone: Reach Prof. Cochran through Iqbal Pittalwala, 951.827.6050

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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