By Laura Szymanski, GSA Science Policy Fellow
On 07 June 2019 the Hazards Caucus Alliance (HCA) held a Congressional briefing, Landslide science: nationwide risk reduction applications to inform Congress about landslide risk and mitigation efforts.
This briefing was hosted by the Congressional Hazards Caucus Co-Chairs Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01) and sponsored by GSA among five other societies.
The briefing provided an overview of landslides, which occur in all 50 states, and discussed how federal investments in research related to landslide preparedness save lives and money.
The briefing included talks by three speakers: Dr. Brian Collins a Research Civil Engineer with the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS’s) Landslide Hazards Program, Mark Jackson the Meteorologist in Charge with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, and Dr. Matthew Crawford, a Geologist with the Kentucky Geological Survey. Laura Szymanski, the Science Policy Fellow for GSA, moderated this briefing.
Dr. Brian Collins’ presentation, Reducing landslide risk in the United States, provided an overview of landslide types, effects, and responses, as well as ways the USGS reduces landslide risks, highlighting the importance of mapping and monitoring landslides. Dr. Collins’ USGS research at Yosemite is further described in this recently released video.
Mark Jackson’s presentation, A forecast-based post-fire debris-flow early warning system, discussed the nuances of post-fire debris-flows and the associated early warning systems that can be implemented for these particular types of landslides.
Dr. Matthew Crawford’s presentation, Addressing landslides in Kentucky: a state perspective, provided an overview of the impact, including costs and direct effects of landslides within Kentucky and discussed state-level research and collaboration efforts of landslide mitigation.
The briefing was attended by representatives from congressional committees and personal offices, and professional, scientific, and private organizations.