Recent earthquakes in the United States and around the world have repeatedly shown that earthquake resilience is essential to building and sustaining urban communities. Earthquake resilience will play an increasingly important role in the professions associated with earthquake hazard mitigation, thus there is a need to educate the next generation of these professionals. To address this need, the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) coordinates a summer internship program for undergraduate students that focuses on the theme of earthquake-resilient communities. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), eleven interns from a variety of backgrounds and universities participated in the 2011 program.
Achieving earthquake-resilient communities is a challenge that requires the interaction of many disciplines from engineering to public policy. To show the importance of multidisciplinary cooperation and collaboration, PEER assigns participating undergraduate interns with a project in one of the following disciplines: structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, urban planning, or public policy. The interns are then assigned faculty and graduate student mentors who help them complete a unique research project at one of the three partnering research sites: University of California Davis, University of Washington, and University of California Berkeley. During the summer of 2011, the interns at University of California Berkeley completed projects in collaboration with both the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) and University of California, San Diego.
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