USC sits atop earthquake country—one stop on the Ring of Fire encircling the Pacific. No wonder USC is the headquarters of enquiry across dozens of disciplines into the whys, wherefores, and—most important of all—the predictability of a whole lot of shakin’ going on.
Thomas Jordan is University Professor, W.M. Keck Foundation Chair in Geological Sciences and the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center. He is responsible for all aspects of SCEC’s program, which currently involves over 600 scientists at more than 60 universities and research institutions. He is a member of the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council and the Governing Council of the National Academy of Sciences. The SCED supports interdisciplinary projects that provide models and risk assessment tools that help engineers and architects build safer structures.