Japan tragedy panel today

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cracks in the earth created by the Sendai earthquake

Cracks in the earth created by the Sendai earthquake.

Geography professors and others will provide insight today into the recent tragedies in Japan.

A 3:30 p.m. March 16 panel discussion in the Atwood Memorial Center Theater includes these experts on Japan, earthquakes and tsunamis:

Mikhail Blinnkov, professor
Expertise: physical geography and biogeography

Scott Grother, Central Minnesota Red Cross Association
Expertise: volunteer coordinator

Gareth John, associate professor
Expertise: cultural geography and human geography

David Wall, professor
Expertise: economic geography

Alvin HungChih Yu, assistant professor
Expertise: East Asian geography, travel and tourism

In addition, international students from Japan will join the discussion.

"Being part of global society, we feel obligated to help our community understand this devastating natural disaster and understand what we can do for Japanese people," said John, chair of the Geography Department.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Why Japan?
  • The Pacific Rim of Fire
  • Japanese students’ reactions to the earthquake and tsunami
  • Implications for Minnesota, the United States and the world
  • Aid to Japan

Cooperating sponsors are the Gamma Theta Upsilon and the Travel and Tourism Club.

Refreshments will be provided.

Northeast Japan was devastated March 11 by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake. The resulting tsunami caused further destruction as waves as high as 33 feet rolled ashore. Damaged nuclear-powered electrical generation facilities are posing yet another threat to the area.

For more information, contact Yu at

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