Views and Visions: Posts from our People
Wow – what a week!
Having returned from our annual conference it is good to look back at what transpired. We started the week already knowing that the Research Forum was sold out – over 390 people crammed into the auditorium for the first two keynotes that set the scene for the rest of the day. Prof Rory Nathan talked about his experiences as an engineer discussing return intervals in the Brisbane floods and misconceptions around the 1:100 year flood event. Prof Kathleen Tierney discussed her experience of spontaneous volunteering and the need for incident teams being flexible during natural hazard events.
The conference split into four parallel sessions which saw each nearly full all day with researchers and practitioners sitting side-by-side.
Prof David Johnston of Massey University, the closing keynote, talked about the evidence for the stop, drop and cover advice in earthquakes, and why you should not necessarily head for a doorway (usually occupied by a “large wooden flappy thing”). He also informed the audience of what lay beneath their feet with the active fault line under Wellington. Many people reported not sleeping well that night!
The following two days of the conference saw over 1000 people cram into the TSB Arena and Shed 6 for what was probably one of the best AFAC and Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC conferences yet. There was a wide range of speakers and panels. A particular highlight for me was the keynote address from Tom Harbour of the US Forest Service outlining the need to learn from adversity – “learn more – hurt less”.
It was great to catch up with many old friends and colleagues, and make new ones. The social functions were amazing, particularly the Night in Te Papa - a great format.
Now to catch-up on all those emails…
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