Tsunami, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Volcanic Eruptions and other Natural and Man-Made Hazards and Disasters - by Dr. George Pararas Carayannis

Tsunami, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Volcanic Eruptions, Climate Change and other Natural and Man-Made Hazards and Disasters - Disaster Archaeology, Other Miscellaneous Writings

Tsunami, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Volcanic Eruptions and other Natural and Man-Made Hazards and Disasters

George Pararas-Carayannis

Brief Professional/Biographical Summary


1954, Lycee Leonin, Athens, Greece (top of class - awarded scholarship, University of Montpellier, France)
1959, B.S. Chemistry-Mathematics, Roosevelt University, Chicago, U.S.A.
1963, M.S.Chemistry, Roosevelt University, Chicago.
1967, M.S. Oceanography, University of Hawaii.
1975, Ph.D. Marine Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.(Received Ph.D with 4.0 grade point average - First Ph.D. awarded by the Un. of Delaware in Marine Sciences.

Other specialized training on Environmental Engineering. Coastal Engineering, Geology, Seismology, Volcanology and Geophysics, at:

* Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT);
* University of Michigan, Ann Arbor;
* Loyola University, Chicago;
* Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, Hawaii;
* Coastal Engineering Research Center, Washington D.C.


* Director, International Tsunami Information Center, of UNESCO-IOC (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization- Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission), (1974 to 1992).
* Tsunami Advisor, State of Hawaii, Civil Defense Agency (1974-1992).(Volunteer Community Service)
* Oceanographer, U.S. Army, Coastal Engineering Research Center (CERC), Washington, D.C.(1972-1974).
* Oceanographer for the New York District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1970-1972).
* Technical Director and Geologist, Mermex S.A. Mining Corporation, Mexico (1970).
* Director, World Data Center A-Tsunami; Oceanographer, International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC), National Ocean Survey (1967-1970).
* Geophysicist, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, University of Hawaii (1963-1967).
* Research Chemist, Joanna Western Mills Company, Chicago, Illinois (1959-1963).


* Chief Scientist and Consultant to UNDP (United Nations Development Program) on Southwest Pacific Mission to Develop a Regional Five Year Plan for Disaster Mitigation.
* Consultant to: Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission / Marine Sciences Section of UNESCO
* Consultant to UNDRO (United Nations Disaster Relief Organization), Geneva; Special training programs in developing countries in South America.
* Member: Special UNESCO Committee which developed the program of implementation for the Secretary General of the United Nations on the International Decade for Natural Disaster Mitigation (IDNDR).
* Consultant: Nuclear Regulatory Commission and predecessor agency, the Atomic Energy Commission, on nuclear plant siting, Hurricane and hurricane surge effects, review of Environmental impact statements, and other varied assignments.
* Co-author of American Nuclear Society National and International Environmental Standards for Nuclear Power Plants, safety, and siting. Participant: President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (1973).


* Extensive experience on mathematical modeling of hurricanes, hurricane surges, and tsunamis.
* Coastal and Ocean Engineering.
* Extensive experience in environmental work (Effects of ocean dumping; coastal processes).
* Applied tsunami research, including: Focal mechanisms of earthquakes and tsunamis (with N. S F. support);
* Development of methodology for studying tsunami propagation and terminal effects;
* Historical documentation of tsunamis in Hawaii, Alaska, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans;
* Quantitative surveys of the most important tsunamis to strike Hawaii for the last fifty years;
* Development of tsunami inundation limits for coastal evacuation and zoning;
* Development of mathematical modeling for tsunami travel times and paths;
* Development of methodology for fast earthquake epicenter determinations; real time assessment of the tsunami hazard for warning purposes.
* Earthquake, Tsunami, and Hurricane Surveys
* Environmental Impact Statements.
* Risk analysis.
* Development of a multi phase approach to environmental hazard vulnerability reduction and preparedness.
* Planning and preparedness for environmental hazard risk reduction. * Standard Operating Plans for Civil Defense Agencies.


Organized and chaired or co-chaired several international conferences, symposia, and workshops, on disasters and mitigation of disasters in United States, Canada, Chile, Peru, Mexico, China, Phillipines, Ecuador, former Soviet Union,and elsewhere. The following are a few examples:

* Co-Chairman: International Tsunami Workshop, August 1989, Novosibirsk, Siberia, USSR
* Co-Chairman / Keynote Speaker: Fourth International Conference on Natural Disaster Mitigation, August 1991, Perugia, Italy.
* Chairman: Third International Conference on Disaster Mitigation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California La Jolla, California, and at CICESE, Ensenada, Mexico,1988.
* Chairman: XI Session of the International Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific, UNESCO-IOC,September 1987, Beizing, China.

International Cooperation / Leadership in Disaster Mitigation. Since 1965, when the International Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific was established at a meeting in Honolulu, instrumental in increasing the membership from the original 6 nations to 25. (presently 28). As Director of ITIC under the auspices of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), handled and processed all Tsunami investigations around the world; monitored tsunami warning system automation; prepared detailed data bases for historical tsunamis; arranged for membership of several nations into the Tsunami Warning System; published and distributed educational newsletters to 75 countries around the world; prepared, participated and distributed master plans for the development of tsunami warning systems in the Pacific; assisted developing countries with disaster preparedness; developed and published numerous educational materials; conducted liaison activities and international cooperation with agencies in more than 50 different countries; managed and conducted a very successful international visiting scientists training program in Hawaii; monitored and performed important tsunami research; participated, chaired and gave keynote addresses at several international conferences in Europe, China and the Americas; published a glossary with definitions of more than 3,000 technical terms; edited and published voluminous proceedings of conferences; published numerous papers, books and reports; performed noteworthy community services; responded to hundreds of inquiries for assistance from numerous countries around the world.

International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR): Active in the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), by having contributed to the United Nations master planning for implementation, particularly for developing countries.

International Scientific Societies: Co-founder and officer of the Tsunami Society (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary) and the International Society for Natural Hazards Mitigation (Vice-President, incorporating it as a non-profit international organization in Hawaii). Served as Chairman or co-organizer of Conferences for these societies in Hawaii, Canada, China, former Soviet Union, Mexico, and in Perugia, Italy.

Awards: Numerous awards and commendations. Among them:

In 1988, nominated and was one of the two finalists for the prestigious United Nations (UNDRO-Sasakawa) award for international contributions to disaster mitigation (award given to the Prime Minister of Fiji).

In September, 1993, at an International Conference in Tokyo, Japan, a gold plaque was awarded for numerous contributions to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, over an 18-year period as Director of the International Tsunami Information Center.

Award (2002) of the International Tsunami Society for original and outstanding contributions to the Science of Tsunami Hazards

Hobbies and other Activities: Sailing, Writing, Poetry, the Arts; Also served as Vice-President and Parliamentarian, National Society of Arts and Letters, NSAL, Hawaii Chapter); Insignia Chairman - National Society).

Publications (Partial Listing )

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