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Curator to Accept National Earthquake Conference Awards

4/11/2012 - Curator to Accept National Earthquake Conference Awards


News Release                   Date:    April 6, 2012

Contact:            Jennifer Reynolds, Media Specialist • (909) 307-2669 ext. 278 •

                        Kathleen Springer, Senior Curator • (909) 307-2669 ext. 242 •

For release: Immediately

Event date: April 11, 2012


County Museum Curator to Accept Awards

Kathleen Springer, senior curator at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands, will be honored with regional colleagues for their efforts in earthquake education and outreach at the National Earthquake Conference in Memphis, Tennessee on April 11. Ms. Springer joins a delegation from California’s Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) to accept two national awards from the Western States Science Council. Ms. Springer is known as a leading voice in encouraging earthquake preparedness and safety throughout southern California and the Inland Empire.

The ECA received the prestigious “Excellence in Outreach” award, as well as being designated “Overall Winner” of the 2012 National Award in Excellence. These awards recognize that the ECA “has served as a national model for increasing partnerships in the public and private sectors, and has created an international model of earthquake preparedness with the development of the [Great California] ShakeOut.” This recognition by the Western States Science Council emphasizes the importance of education and outreach in spurring preparedness. “We live in earthquake country,” says Ms. Springer, “and need to learn to expect the unexpected.”

A professional geologist, Ms. Springer promotes the importance of geology in preparing for earthquakes. “It’s essential that we all understand the earth under our feet,” says Springer, “especially when that ground is prone to sudden movements. The more everyone understands the titanic geologic forces at work in our inland region, the better they can prepare for the major earthquakes that we know are in our future.”

The San Bernardino County Museum is the hub of southern California’s ECA Earthquake Education and Public Information Centers (“EPIcenter”) network. In this capacity, the museum annually leads the local community in the ECA’s cornerstone activity, the “Great California ShakeOut”, a statewide earthquake drill initiated in 2008 involving millions of participants each year all across California. The Western States Science Council considers the Shakeout to be “a ground breaking tool for educating the public and involving new people in earthquake activities (preparedness, mitigation, and general awareness)”.

The County Museum is uniquely suited to host the ShakeOut, given its focus on education and its status as the largest natural history museum in inland southern California. With more than half a million specimens in its regional geology and paleontology collections, the museum offers connections between local communities and their natural heritage. “Our museum strives to provide the context to correctly understand and interpret the objects we hold,” says Ms. Springer. “And those objects in turn inform our responses to geologic events. When we discuss earthquake safety – when lives and livelihoods will be on the line – that context proves essential.”

In addition to leading the annual ShakeOut at the museum, Ms. Springer also speaks to local organizations and schools throughout the year, discussing earthquakes and their underlying geologic causes. As part of this outreach, she distributes the ECA publication “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country”, which offers guidelines in English and Spanish for how to prepare for and survive during a major earthquake.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.




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