Twelve Days of Earth Day
Speakers and Instructors
Gaylord Nelson Award Ceremony Speaker


Eric Wagner is a writer in Seattle, where he lives with his wife and daughter. His writing has appeared in Audubon, High Country News, Orion, Smithsonian, and elsewhere, and he has a PhD in biology from the University of Washington, where he studied penguins. He is working on his first book. 


The Next Tsunami: Living on a Restless Coast is the gripping story of the geological discoveries and the scientists who uncovered them - that signal the imminence of a catastrophic tsunami on the Northwest Coast.

Henderson will talk about the fateful tsunami that occurred on a March evening in 1964. She will share the stories from locals like a ten-year-old Tom Horning who awoke near midnight to find his yard transformed. A tsunami triggered by Alaska's momentous Good Friday earthquake had wreaked havoc in his Seaside, Oregon neighborhood. It was, as far as anyone knew, the Pacific Northwest coast's first-ever tsunami.

More than twenty years passed before geologists discovered that it was neither Seaside's first nor worst tsunami. In fact, massive tsunamis strike the Pacific Coast every few hundred years, triggered not by distant temblors but by huge quakes less than one hundred miles off the Northwest Coast. Not until the late 1990s would scientists use evidence like tree rings and centuries-old warehouse records from Japan to fix the date, hour, and magnitude of the Pacific Northwest coast's last megathrust earthquake: 9 p.m., January 26, 1700, magnitude 9.0 - one of the largest quakes the world has known. When the next one strikes - this year or hundreds of years from now - the tsunami it generates is likely to be the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the United States.

Bonnie Henderson will share the stories of scientists like meteorologist Alfred Wegener, who formulated his theory of continental drift while gazing at ice floes calving from Greenland glaciers, and geologist Brian Atwater, who paddled his dented aluminum canoe up coastal streams looking for layers of peat sandwiched among sand and silt.

Henderson's compelling story of how scientists came to understand the Cascadia Subduction Zone - a fault line capable of producing earthquakes even larger than the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan - and how ordinary people cope with that knowledge is essential reading for anyone interested in the charged intersection of science, human nature, and public policy.

Join us for a compelling discussion on what will be and how to be prepared. This presentation is FREE and open to the public.


Marc W. Ward, President and Co Founder of Sea Turtles Forever (STF), has directed conservation and research projects in Costa Rica and Oregon for the past ten years. Under his direction in Costa Rica illegal poaching of critically endangered marine turtles has been reduced from 99% to 10%. STF collaborates with the National Parks system in Costa Rica and is doing research on marine turtles with Parque National las Baulas.

Working in conservation and research of marine turtles Marc became aware that ingestion of marine plastic debris was a significant threat to the sustainability of marine turtle populations. After concluding that marine turtles were highly prone to consumption of marine plastic fragments, research collaboration was formed with Dr Hidishige Takada of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology to investigate the chemical make-up and distribution of marine plastics in the marine environment. This research collaboration with Dr Takada led to new knowledge regarding the Organic Micro Pollutants that are absorbed at sea by these plastics and revealed the high toxicity connected to marine micro plastics and the threat to not only our marine turtles but also numerous other marine species.

 Marc has organized landfall density surveys and marine debris removal response teams for 13 years in an effort to find solutions for environmental damage created by the increasing levels of macro, micro and microscopic plastics found in marine and coastal environments. Marc has developed a filtration system that removes macro, micro and microscopic marine plastics from the beach.

Marc has been co-author for several published reports including: Global Distribution of Organic Micro Pollutants in Marine Plastic. Hidishige Takada, et al. Laboratory of Organic Chemistry (LOG) Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology; Organic micro pollutants in marine plastics from the open ocean and remote and urban beaches. Hidishige Takada, et al, Laboratory of Organic Chemistry (LOG) Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.

 Publications that have highlighted Marc’s work include: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Scientific American, The Weather Channel, Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Oregonian, The Daily Astorian, and The Seaside Signal. 
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