The Coastal Disaster and Development Action Coordination Team (ACT) was established by the OSU Marine Council in recognition that there are a number of OSU faculty involved in coastal disaster and development research, and that OSU has tremendous science capabilities that could be applied locally and worldwide. The initial goal of the ACT is to form a network of OSU faculty that have activities, interests and capabilities that can be applied to the Chilean earthquake and tsunami as OSU has numerous and diverse collaborations with Chilean colleagues.
Dr. Ted Strub
The February 2010 Chilean earthquake, centered in South-Central Chile, and the resultant tsunami severely damaged buildings, other infrastructure, and resources vital to the work of the marine science research community in Chile. Buildings at the University of Concepcion in Santiago and the University of Santo Tomas in Tualco (where the OSU Veterinary Medicine School is helping to establish a Masters program) suffered varying degrees of damage. The tsunami caused devastation to the marine laboratory in Dichato, leaving only some of the walls standing; and destroyed a newly finished research vessel in Talcuano that was waiting at the dock to be christened. Even when infrastructure damage was minimal, loss of power and shattering of glassware resulted in the loss of data samples.
Through an exchange of emails, marine scientists from U.S. and international universities and research institutes offered to assist Chileans through three suggested types of activities: (1) Provide resources and facilities to allow Chilean faculty members, post-docs and students to visit and finish their analyses, write their theses and manuscripts, (2) Collaborate on joint research proposals, and (3) Assist in rebuilding facilities.
Resources and facilities were provided to Chilean researchers through existing partnerships between individuals and small groups. The second item, collaborating on joint research proposals, is currently underway between Chilean researchers and colleagues at other universities including OSU. Some progress has also been made with regard to the third type of activity, rebuilding facilities. Examples include equipment replacement at the University of Concepcion through funds from the Moore Foundation, and plans have been made to rebuild the Dicato lab on land at a higher elevation that was sold to the University by a local lumber company for a nominal price.
Opportunities and OSU Linkages
A quick survey found that a diverse group of campus units and individuals at OSU are engaged in research and educational collaborations with colleagues in Chile. Research and educational projects involve faculty in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS), Engineering, Fisheries and Wildlife, Veterinary Medicine and Zoology, and others. OSU’s primary Chilean partners are located (from south to north) in Concepcion, Talcuano, Dichato, Talca, Los Cruces, Santiago, Valparaiso, Coquimbo and Iquique.
The Coastal Disaster and Development ACT believes that OSU is most suited to support Chile through collaborating on joint research proposals. Several joint projects are already underway between Chile and COAS, some of which will end in the next year or two and provide opportunities for new proposals.
Moving forward, this ACT will promote joint OSU-Chilean proposals for research and education. It has been suggested that a workshop or symposium be held to bring together Chilean and local marine scientists to formulate these proposals.
Ted Strub, Team Lead, Director, Cooperative Institute for Oceanographic Satellite Studies (CIOSS) and Professor, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS), firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Ashford, College of Engineering, email@example.com
Patrick Corcoran, Sea Grant, Fisheries Resources, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Menge, Department of Zoology, MengeB@oregonstate.edu