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U. of I. forum to consider 'megacatastrophes,' such as hurricane Katrina

Craig Chamberlain, News Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — How can we predict and plan for the next Katrina-size natural disaster – be it hurricane, tsunami, flood, earthquake or even meteorite? What do these events reveal about social and economic disparities? How can we cope with and recover from such catastrophes?

A panel of experts will address those questions and others at 7 p.m. Monday (Sept. 26) at a forum titled “Katrina and Other Megacatastrophes: Science, Policy and Human Behavior” at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The forum, sponsored by the university’s Center for Advanced Study, will be in the auditorium at the National Soybean Research Center, 1101 W. Peabody Drive, Urbana.

The event is free and open to the public.

Scheduled to participate on the panel are Illinois professors Susan Kieffer, geology, serving as moderator; Sundiata Cha-Jua, African American Studies and Research Program; Amr Elnashai, Mid-America Earthquake Center; Amy Gajda, journalism and law; Dianne Harris, landscape architecture; Greg McFarquhar, atmospheric sciences; Rob Olshansky, urban and regional planning; Feniosky Peña-Mora, civil and environmental engineering; and Don Wuebbles, atmospheric sciences. Also on the panel will be John Dwyer, from the Champaign County Public Health Department, and Ed Kieser, WILL radio and television meteorologist.

For more information about this and other CAS events, check the center’s Web site at