Media Seismic Certificate Course

Media Seismic Certificate Course: An Earthquake Training for Journalists

This certificate program prepares you to effectively report on active earthquakes, deliver useful and newsworthy information throughout the post-quake period, and become a reliable source of public information in preparation for future quakes as well as throughout earthquake recovery phases.

The three sessions provide you with specific skills and the knowledge needed to do your job. After each session, you receive assignments and a final project to provide you with real-time practice customized for your role, outlet, and audience.

1. The Science

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Provide vital, newsworthy facts about California’s dynamic geography as it relates to faults and tectonics (shifting landmass)

  • Confidently interpret seismic jargon in audience-friendly terms, including epicenters, hypocenters, magnitude, faults, P waves, attenuation, ground motions, and sedimentary basins

  • Knowledgeably discuss why earthquakes are impossible to predict

  • Refute myths and false predictions about earthquakes to provide reliable information to your audience

2. The Impacts

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Accurately report the correct location and magnitude almost immediately after a quake hits, along with facts about the communities impacted

  • Estimate the most likely, significant damage, using the magnitude and location of earthquake along with related data

  • Anticipate the additional seismic events and compounding disasters most likely to occur as a result of the earthquake based on its metrics

  • Speak authoritatively about aftershocks, fault ruptures/displacement, and secondary impacts including landslides, liquefaction, wildfires, and flooding

3. The Response

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Advise your audience about aftershocks, including how to stay safe during the often dangerous hours and days after a quake

  • Estimate where and when aftershocks will occur, as well as fault offsets and how to find and explain them.

  • Gain the insights and practice necessary to ask intelligent questions from seismologists and other earthquake response professionals, as well as other officials as you seek to get the information most useful to your audience

  • Deliver valuable, often life-saving information on resources your audience needs to survive or use to gain information that helps them act responsibly within their communities during and after a quake

Each interactive, virtual session, takes place over two hours and includes a presentation, facilitated discussion, and activities including reporting, role-play with experts, and story building. Taking place over a three week period, the course includes one live session each week along with assignments that are completed by participants between sessions. To receive the certificate, participants complete a final project in the form of a feature, planning guide, or another relevant activity that may be proposed by each attendee to suit their needs, and approved by the course instructors. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, participants receive an official course certificate from the Dr. Lucy Jones Center. For more information and to sign up, please contact us.