Los Angeles Celebrates Dr. Lucy Jones Day
Posted by Councilmember Englander on April 01, 2016 at 2:40 PM
This Wednesday, I was honored to celebrate the career of USGS Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, “the earthquake lady” by declaring Dr. Lucy Jones Day in Los Angeles. In her 33 years with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Dr. Jones has made outstanding research contributions and provided significant scientific leadership.
Dr. Jones is a fourth generation Southern Californian, born in Santa Monica in 1955 and raised in west Los Angeles. After one year at Westchester High School, she graduated as salutatorian from Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan in 1971. She attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, pursuing a double concentration in Physics and Chinese Language and Literature. She received a Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude in Chinese in 1976. She then completed her education with a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. While at MIT, she received a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship and was a Fulbright Fellow.
In 1983, Jones took a position as a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey, stationed at the Seismological Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology. She served as the Scientist-in-charge of the Pasadena office of the USGS. She helped create the California Integrated Seismic Network, and began the Urban Earth Initiative to bring together multidisciplinary teams of scientists in Southern California.
In 2007, Jones proposed and was asked to lead the “Multi Hazards Demonstration Project,” to demonstrate how hazards science can improve the Southern California community’s resiliency to natural hazards. Dr. Jones built strong partnerships with engineers, social scientists, geographers, biologists, public health doctors, emergency managers, and public officials. Through these partnerships she developed a comprehensive portable depiction of several natural disasters: a southern San Andreas Fault earthquake (ShakeOut), a California statewide winter storm (ARkStorm), and an Alaskan tsunami (the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario). Started in California in 2008, the ShakeOut drill has grown to over 21.2 million participants in 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia.
In 2014, Dr. Jones served as the Science Advisor for Seismic Safety to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles. She assembled a task force to develop solutions informed by the best available science and engineering. She also convened stakeholders in the State’s utilities to address vulnerabilities here in Los Angeles. The result of this was the award winning “Resilience by Design” report, a blueprint for preparing our infrastructure for the inevitable. The plan includes a comprehensive program to strengthen the water infrastructure and mandatory soft-story retrofitting for the over 13,000 soft-first story buildings in the City of Los Angeles. In October 2015, the City of Los Angeles became the first city in the country to mandate the retrofit of non-ductile reinforced concrete buildings.
Thank you to Dr. Jones for a lifetime of dedication and service to Southern California and we wish you much happiness in your retirement.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
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