Fulbright Scholar to study California earthquakes

21 January 2016

A unique coding scheme which examines what people really do in an earthquake is taking a UC scholar all the way to California.

Fulbright Scholar to study California earthquakes

Fulbright scholar Emily Lambie

A unique coding scheme which examines what people really do in an earthquake is taking a University of Canterbury (UC) scholar all the way to California.

UC Master’s graduate Emily Lambie has analysed hours of CCTV footage from the Canterbury earthquakes using her innovative research system which helped her win a Fulbright scholarship to study in the United States.

The system does not rely on post-disaster interviews, instead observing how actually people react when the ground starts moving. Lambie developed the coding scheme for her Master's degree in Hazard and Disaster Management. 

“The next step is to go beyond a New Zealand context and use earthquake footage from other areas,” says Lambie.

She will be conducting further research for the next ten months at California State University in Long Beach, which she leaves for next week.  

“I'll have input from the American Red Cross and academic leaders from other universities. Ultimately, I want to return to New Zealand with a refined process that has been validated by its application outside of a New Zealand setting.”

She credits theconstant mentorship and support” at UC for helping her achieve her prestigious Fulbright scholarship to study in California.

“UC not only grew me into a person ready to take on the challenges of the USA, but presented the opportunity and had faith that I was the right candidate for it.”

Lambie expects the next ten months of international research to be transformative.

“When I return to New Zealand I plan to continue the research but I'm keeping an open mind as to how my research questions will change and develop, as well as other interests I may want to pursue when I'm home.” 

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew
Senior External Relations Advisor
Communications and Engagement
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 2775
Mobile: 027 5030 168
margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz

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