A Podcast to Help You Understand What’s Going on
Every week, Dr. Jones sits down to share her insights and perspective on the chaotic world around us on her podcast, Getting Through It, co-hosted with community resilience expert John Bwarie. The duo were co-creators of The Great Shake-Out and worked to create sweeping policy changes in seismic safety in the City of Los Angeles and dozens of other communities across California. For Caltech in 2019, Dr. Jones and John developed and co-led the Center’s Science Activation workshop and training program. Getting Through It premiered in June 2020.
Now, in this weekly broadcast, Dr. Jones shares how the world works, why you might feel the way you do about a particular disaster, and how you can manage the chaos around you that is real life. The topics range from earthquakes to other disasters that affect people, as well as the history of science and big disasters, and how through understanding why, we are more able to manage it and be more successful at “getting through it.”
Clips are shared publicly each week, and full episodes and other experiences are offered to supporters of the Center who sign up through the Jones Center Patreon Page. Support this effort to get early access, past episodes, behind the scenes, live Q&A, and more.
(All episodes and the knowledge vault can be accessed for all supporters here.)
Episode 23 – Where Can Earthquakes Happen?
November 13, 2020
In this episode, we look at where earthquakes can happen… and the answer might surprise you. Certain places, like California, are known for having earthquakes but almost anywhere can have one, especially when human activity causes them (yes, you read that correctly!). And when they happen in places less common for them, they can often be surprising. The US East Coast used to be a plate boundary at the Appalachian Mountains, which were once almost as high as the Himalayas! How will you react when the next earthquake happens — Dr. Jones gives you a big clue on what to expect whether the rate of earthquakes is high or low where you are.
Episode 22 -Dealing with Uncertainty
November 5, 2020
Whether talking about disasters, college acceptance, or election results, humans aren’t wired to manage the stress of not knowing what’s happening next. In this episode, we look at uncertainty and why seeking answers — even if they’re bad — is more comforting than not knowing. Dr. Jones offers her approach to dealing with uncertainty, and shares one of the letters she’s received over the last 30 years that demonstrates the way humans seek some sort of explanation in the face of no certain answer.
Episode 21 – Real Science vs. Alternative Facts
October 30, 2020
Science is a process, and it’s OK to change your understanding based on fact. And figuring out what is actually true is worth the discomfort of the process to get there. In this episode, we delve into the idea of thinking vs. knowing and how that plays into our understanding of scientific information. With an impending disaster of misinformation, Dr. Jones shares her six steps to determining if a scientific “study” is credible when found online or being shared through social media. This includes the role of traditional media and how not to be misled by the “trappings of science.” She also shares what to do when you encounter someone with a different set of facts than you.
Episode 20 – Debris Flows and Landslides
October 23, 2020
Looking at the way intense rainfall can cause massive flows of mud, rocks, boulders, and anything in its path, this episode helps you understand how to manage the risk o debris flows that often follows fires on steep hillsides and mountains. Dr. Jones talks about the hydrophobic chemicals that make this type of terrain so susceptible to this deadly hazard. Consider how society manages this risk: building more interventions to stop mud, water, and debris from inundating neighborhoods leading to death and destruction. How would you manage this risk, as you manage risks every day? Dr Jones says, “don’t underestimate the risk.”
Episode 19 – Earthquake Swarms
October 16, 2020
Dr. Jones is often telling people that “when you have a lot of earthquakes, you have a lot of earthquakes.” This rings truest when an area is experiencing an earthquake swarm — many earthquakes around the same size without their being one largest earthquake as the main shock. In this episode, we explore the concepts of earthquake swarms, what they mean, and what you can do if you’re feeling one or hear about one happening.
Episode 18 – Why ShakeOut?
October 9, 2020
Go back in time with Dr. Jones and John to hear the history of the Great ShakeOut: how it was formed back in 2007 and the social science research that was the basis for its initial success. This episode explores how this one day event has now reached tens of millions of people each year, and why it’s important for everyone to participate — including Dr. Jones!
Episode 17 -The Air You Can See
October 2, 2020
Just in time for Clean Air Day, we spend this episode talking about the air you can see, which is not good air. In fact, air pollution affects millions of people around the globe and is a disaster in its own right. Compounding this is the fact that air you can’t see can be polluted and also contributes to climate change. Take a journey with Dr. Jones back to her childhood in Southern California where smog days kept her home from school, and find out what you can do now to help clean up the air as an individual and a member of your community.
Episode 16 – Why You Feel What You Feel in an Earthquake
September 25, 2020
Have you ever felt an earthquake and tried to guess how big it is? You’re not alone! In this episode, Dr. Jones explains how magnitude is assigned to a quake, why Charles Richter developed his scale, and why we should really be more concerned with intensity. As we wait for the big one, join us as we help you understand how you can put meaning to what you feel and get through the next earthquake.
Episode 15 – Time and the Inevitability of Disasters
September 18, 2020
Time is constant, and we often make decisions on a scale that fails to recognize our own limits in understanding time. With a planet that’s about 5 billion years old, and a written history no more than 5000 years old, we have to really work to realize that the natural processes operate on a different scale. This episode delves into the ideas of geologic time, the likelihood of disasters, and how we can manage our moment in time.
Episode 14 – Science in a Crisis: Better, not Perfect
September 11, 2020
This episode reveals why that latest scientific study may not be your answer in making you feel better during a crisis. As you seek to take control during a disaster, Dr. Jones shares how science is not always about the big picture; it’s about going into the weeds and really: isolating a single weed. We share the process of how science can help inform policy-makers in their efforts to address urgent issues in the natural environment, and that no scientific information keeps you perfectly safe, it just makes society safer than without it. Science makes life better, not perfect.
Episode 13 – Five Rare but Possible Disasters That Science Tells Us Can Happen
September 4, 2020
An Earthquake in New York City? Hurricanes in LA? More than a month of straight rain across California? This episode explores 5 rare but possible natural hazards that are not well-known that could lead to catastrophic consequences. Dr. Jones explains the science behind each event and reveals when they last happened and how often they occur.
Episode 12 – Our Biggest Killer: Extreme Heat
August 28, 2020
Few people are afraid of hot weather, but in the US, on average it kills more people per year than most other geologic or atmospheric events. And, more extreme heat days are coming. In this episode, we look at extreme heat and what it means for us now and in the near future as we try to keep calm and cool.
Episode 11 – Raging Wildfires
August 21, 2020
As humans move deeper and deeper into the wildlands as part of sprawling cities, and with a rapidly warming earth, wild fires are more intense and more destructive than ever before. In this episode, we explore wildfires, their causes, the way we view them, and what can be done to protect ourselves from their impacts. You’ll also learn about “dragon twists” and how devastating a single palm tree can be.
Episode 10 – Pandemic Frustration: How Cognitive Dissonance, Tribalism, Individualism and Social Norms Norms Change the Way We Hear Public Safety Messages
August 14, 2020
In this episode, we explore the frustration felt when other people take actions during the pandemic that put other people at risk. We look at the research as to why this happens and how others can work to communicate most effectively with them. As a community, we must work together to address this long disaster for the months ahead because, as Dr. Jones says, “We’re all in this together.”
Episode 9 – Debunking the Biggest Earthquake Myths
August 7, 2020
In this episode, we’re diving deep into the pool of misconceptions, myths, and legends that seek to explain what makes earthquakes so scary to humans. From the earliest records kept, humans have sought to explain “why” in order to help us feel better about the fact that we don’t know when earthquakes will strike. We take a look at time of day, weather, animals, and more to help you get through it when the earth starts to move…
Episode 8 – The Disaster “Blame Game”
July 31, 2020
In a disaster, systems fail where they are already weak or strained (think of brittle pipes, weak buildings, or overwhelmed levies). Like our physical systems, our social systems function in the same way. In this episode, Dr. Jones explores how society finds scapegoats during a disaster, why, and what we can do about it. And it comes down to trust.
Episode 7 – The Likelihood (and Impact!) of a Natural Disaster in a Pandemic
July 24, 2020
It’s time to avoid “magical thinking” and referring to things as “on brand” for 2020. In this episode, we delve into the likelihood of an earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster of occurring during the COVID19 Pandemic. Spoiler alert — it’s more likely than you probably want to admit!
Episode 6 – What Does It Mean When You Have a Lot Earthquakes
July 17, 2020
From the “increased risk” on the San Andreas Fault to many felt aftershocks in Puerto Rico to Yellowstone’s super-volcano and the mythological Ring of Fire — this episode reveals what you need to know about earthquakes they read or hear about and how they might explain what’s next.
Episode 5 – Science: From Ivory Tower to the Public Square
July 10, 2020
In this episode, Dr. Jones discusses the fundamentals of bringing science from the ivory tower to the public square — to everyone — so you can take control of our chaotic world. She talks about science as facts vs. science as a process, the role of tobacco in our science-trust crisis, and why reality really matters to all of us trying to manage the current crisis and the crises we’ll face in the future.
Episode 4 – Why a Pandemic Spikes (and What You Can Do About It)
July 3, 2020
In this episode, Lucy and John explore the recent spike in COVID19 across the US, what the science tells, and how we, as humans need to find a sense of belonging to survive in the long, slow disaster.
Episode 3 – Why You Feel/Fear What You Do about Disasters
June 29, 2020
In this episode, Dr. Jones explains why you feel what you feel about disasters, looking at the innate human reaction that leads to fear-based on dread and uncertainty.
Episode 2 – The Earthquake Name Game
June 22, 2020
In this episode, Dr. Jones explains how earthquakes get their names, why an aftershock is called an aftershock, and how those names can change…. any why it’s important for you to know these things!
Episode 1 – Surviving the Pandemic with Science
June 14, 2020
Dr. Jones explains how we are doing what we’re doing to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.