Skip to main content

Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Catastrophe! Natural Disasters, Sustainability, and the Future of Civilization

April 16, 2013

We've heard a lot about protection of the environment, but what about protection from the environment? Over the past several years, natural disasters—hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and tornadoes—seem to wreak havoc on our globe, and some are a threat in our own backyards. From the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to Superstorm Sandy, natural disasters are claiming hundreds of thousands of lives and consuming billions in economic resources. Although natural disasters are not often considered as elements of sustainability policy, they represent the ultimate test of a civilization's sustainability. In the program, Michael Hamburger, professor of Geological Sciences at Indiana University, examined the causes and impacts of mega-disasters, discussed humans' role in creating the disasters or exacerbating their impacts, and explored how we can mitigate the effects of natural disasters that will undoubtedly affect our future.

Extracurriculars Home | Pictures from Recent Programs

Michael Hamburger is a professor of Geological Sciences at Indiana University. His research, teaching, and service interests include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, tsunamis, and their causes, consequences, and predictability.

Hamburger is also heavily involved in science outreach programs, including serving as a leader in the Princeton Earth Physics Program, a nationwide project to bring seismology research to the public school curriculum.

Hamburger serves on the Earthquake Advisory Board of the Indiana State Emergency Management Agency.

At IU, Hamburger led a campus-wide sustainability initiative and serves as co-chair of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board. He also received the 2012-13 IU Bloomington Distinguished Service Award.

Extracurriculars Home | Pictures from Recent Programs