Colloquium Series

Resilience to Earthquakes and Droughts:
Some Insights from the Israeli Experience

Dr. Eran Feitelson
Head, Advanced School for Environmental Studies
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Friday, September 20, 2019
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

California and Israel are prone to both droughts and earthquakes. Yet the two types of disasters have very different attributes. While earthquakes are sudden, deadly and threaten mainly urban centers, droughts are slowly evolving, often multi-year, affect mainly farming and natural ecosystems with very little effects on the urban fabric. In this talk, I discuss the extent to which Israel is resilient to these two diametrically opposed types of disasters.

Through the implementation of a wide set of policy tools, most recently large-scale seawater desalination, Israel has largely decoupled itself from the effects of droughts (with the exception of the Jordan River basin). Israel has also invested much effort in immediate responses to earthquakes. However, little has been done in Israel with regard to the retrofitting of older buildings – the buildings most likely to be affected by earthquakes. Thus, the most effective measure to reduce casualties has lagged behind, as well as the preparation for the day after. Thus, the overall picture is that the highest risks are not addressed, while lesser risks are better addressed.

I explain these results from two perspectives – the first is the frequency of events and the second is the institutional structures in place. These explanations are hypothesized to be pertinent also in other settings.

Eran Feitelson is a professor at the Department of Geography of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the founder and first head of the Advanced School for Environmental Studies, a previous head of the Federmann School of Public Policy and Government and previous chair of the Department of Geography. He has published extensively in the fields of water policy, trans-boundary water, transport policy, land use planning, environmental policies and more recently earthquake preparedness. In addition to his academic work Eran Feitelson has participated in several national planning teams and has been a member of various national committees. He also serves for the second time as chair of the Israeli National Parks and Nature Reserves Commission.

Tracking Infectious Diseases Using Big Data:
A Primer Using Search Data and Social Media

Dr. Eyal Oren
Associate Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Graduate School of Public Health
San Diego State University

Friday, September 27, 2019
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

dr. eyal orenThis presentation focuses on the utility of big data sources to provide unique real time information on common and not-so-common infectious diseases. We will examine how the age of ‘digital epidemiology’ allows us to track disease spread and provides information pertinent to assessing clinical parameters such as the severity of infections using search and social media. We will also assess how both information and ‘misinformation’ feeds into public perceptions and resulting actions in the face of an infectious disease outbreak.

Eyal Oren is Associate Professor of Epidemiology at San Diego State University, with training as an infectious disease, spatial and social epidemiologist. He has extensive experience in epidemiological and clinical research, working on the effective adoption of interventions in the community as well as in developing evidence-based strategies and practices from secondary data analyses and novel data sources. He is particularly interested in using crowd-sourced and participatory data to enhance population health research. He holds a PhD and MS in epidemiology from the University of Washington.

Transit and Service Routing:
Are We Really Finding Optimal Solutions,
Does it Matter?

Dr. Richard Church
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, October 11, 2019
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

richard churchThe Arthur Getis Distinguished Lecture

This presentation discusses the three formulations, regarding transit and service routing, by Current et al. (1984; 1985) and Curtin and Biba (2011) and analyzes these three models when applied to a simple network. We demonstrate that these formulations may prevent optimal solutions or even feasible solutions from being found, even when they appear to be general and completely encompassing. Part of this can be explained as the result of a patently false premise under which these models were formulated and another part can be explained as the result of embedded errors in their formulations. New formulations will be developed which overcome these deficiencies and computational results will be presented.

Further Reading:
Current, J., C. ReVelle, and J. Cohon (1984) “The shortest covering path problem: an application of locational constraints to network design,” Journal of Regional Science 24: 161-183.
Current, J. R., C.S. ReVelle, and J.L. Cohon (1985) “The maximum covering/shortest path problem: a multiobjective network design and routing formulation,” European Journal of Operational Research 21: 189-199.
Curtin, K.M., and S. Biba (2011) “The transit route arc-node service maximization problem,” European Journal of Operational Research 208: 46-56.

Richard Church is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his PhD in Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He is an expert in Operations Research and Management Science. Before coming to UCSB he was an associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Tennessee. He has formally taught courses in Geography, Industrial Engineering, Management Science, and Civil Engineering. He has published two books on Location Science and more than 250 papers in Regional Science, Geography, Transportation, Operations Research, Environmental Modeling, and Engineering.

50 Years of Geography,
at SDSU and Around the World

Dr. Philip Pryde
Professor Emeritus of Geography
San Diego State University

Friday, October 25, 2019
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

dr. philip prydeDr. Pryde will talk informally about how both the Department at SDSU, and the discipline of Geography in general, have changed since he arrived on Campus in 1969. He will also look at attractive future scenarios for the discipline. Dr. Pryde always saves time for a robust question and answer period.

Dr. Philip Pryde is a Professor Emeritus at SDSU, where he taught courses in environmental policy for 32 years. His specialties were water resources, energy resources, land use planning, and environmental impact analysis.


Dr. Kristine Taniguchi-Quan
Southern California Coastal Water Research Project

Friday, November 1, 2019
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316

dr. kristine taniguchi-quan


Dr. Somayeh Dodge
Assistant Professor of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday, November 15, 2019
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Storm Hall 316