Why I Give

Donors choose to give to the Learning from Earthquakes Endowment Fund for a number of compelling reasons. Here are just a few:

I can honestly say that LFE changed my life, having served on EERI reconnaissance missions, including the Umbria-Marche (1997) and L’Aquila (2009) earthquakes in Italy, and the Canterbury, New Zealand earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. I saw firsthand how academics and practitioners in the earthquake professions develop a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges going forward. I’m very excited about LFE’s engagement with younger members through VERT and the Travel Study Program in recent years. With this endowment, we are making the future that much brighter for EERI overall, by getting young professionals involved and securing LFE’s future.
Mary Comerio (M.EERI,1988)
As an engineer who has always had a keen interest in building evaluation and retrofit, LFE has been invaluable throughout my career. LFE allows the profession to go out and see right away how buildings perform — maybe they perform much better than we thought they would, not just in cases where we found out there are problems. When I first engaged in code writing work, if we were to introduce any issues or propose changes to a standard, we’d have to provide evidence from real earthquakes. We were always looking for that kind of information, and we’d always turn to EERI and LFE.
Terry Lundeen (M.EERI,1983)
I'm proud to support the Learning from Earthquakes Endowment Fund and EERI for the incredible service they provide to our community and profession. Because of lessons and findings from EERI programs, we get to share and exchange information, write better and more effective codes, and even save lives. Decades into my involvement, I'm still thrilled to find a home in EERI, where I can give back and support our next generation of leaders.
Ashraf Habibullah (M.EERI,1999)
I’ve grown so much through EERI over the years. I was on the LFE team that went to Italy and had also supported many LFE teams through VERT. The learning part, of the Learning from Earthquakes committee driven by multidisciplinary teams, is what EERI is so good at. Sometimes teams go into the field and then publish a paper, but what did we really learn from the earthquake? When EERI sends teams into the field, we’re actually learning from different people on our team because we’re approaching the same problem from a different perspective. I’ve really found a home in LFE, and would love for other EERI members, especially young and mid-career, to benefit from the LFE committee and program as much as I have.
Erica Fischer (M.EERI,2010)
LFE opened my eyes and helped me understand that earthquakes impact communities of people and not just individual buildings. I’m thrilled with the commitment of the program to expand perspective-broadening opportunities for younger EERI members, launching innovative programs such as the LFE Travel Study and VERT. I’ve made my pledge to the Learning from Earthquakes Endowment Fund to ensure that we make investing in the next generation of leaders a priority.
David Friedman (M.EERI,1988)
As an urban planner, participating in the 1999 Turkey earthquake reconnaissance trip had a profound impact on my career. The exchanges of information at the nightly clearinghouses and the multidisciplinary collaboration and knowledge building that resulted really galvanized for me the unique value and opportunity of LFE. I’ve made my pledge to the Learning from Earthquakes Endowment fund to ensure that EERI members continue to have access to multi-disciplinary learning experiences involving both practitioners and researchers, which have so positively impacted my and many others’ careers and devotion to earthquake risk reduction.
Laurie Johnson (M.EERI,1990)
EERI's Learning From Earthquakes had an enormous impact on my career. I first became involved in EERI's investigations of the 1971 San Fernando earthquake as a junior officer in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned Officers Corps. I was also part of the LFE team that investigated the 1972 Managua, Nicaragua earthquake, and later the EERI Board asked me to chair (at the age of 29) the 1973 EERI conference on that earthquake. Taken together, these initial involvements with LFE — along with memberships on subsequent LFE teams in Vrancea, Romania in 1977 and San Juan, Argentina in 1977 — provided me with broad knowledge of the impacts of earthquakes and set the stage for the remainder of my career. I suspect that my LFE involvement contributed to my being hired as the Applied Technology Council's third Executive Director in 1981 — a position I held for 34 years.
Christopher Rojahn (M.EERI,1973)
I am honored to support LFE. The global nature of LFE is what makes it extraordinary. Not only does LFE provide us with the ability to learn from earthquakes in the U.S., it continues to do so worldwide. Earthquakes do not recognize borders and political divisions, nor does LFE. LFE enables young professionals and academics to gain first-hand experience on how to evaluate earthquake damage, how to interact with affected communities, and an immense opportunity to learn from more seasoned earthquake experts. For those more experienced, LFE provides the unique opportunity to put what they've learned from past earthquakes in perspective in the light of what they witness in new events.
Farzad Naeim (M.EERI,1983)
As a Japanese researcher engaged on the topic of earthquake engineering for nearly four decades, I deeply understand how Japan suffers from earthquakes. I believe that earthquake reconnaissance is key in ensuring progress in the field. I’ve always appreciated EERI's very systematic and persistent effort to maximize learning from actual earthquakes and their associated damages. I pledged to the LFE endowment fund to ensure the continuation of EERI's important work.
Masayoshi Nakashima (M.EERI,1998)
I believe the LFE program has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives and eliminate millions of dollars in losses. The founders of EERI were passionate about discovering the secrets of reducing earthquake losses and used earthquake reconnaissance as their laboratory to learn about how and why damage occurs. The hundreds of LFE reconnaissance reports, as well as follow-on research projects and policy recommendations have contributed to significant advances in engineering, the earth sciences, public policy and the social sciences. I want to see the LFE program continue to be an exceptional program that helps EERI meet its goal of reducing earthquake risk and losses. 
Thalia Anagnos (M.EERI,1982)
With the support of Degenkolb Engineers, I started chasing earthquakes in 1975 and in the past 45 years have visited dozens and studied all of them. Reconnaissance is a life-changing and profession-changing experience. Henry Degenkolb knew that you had to see the damage to understand the vulnerabilities, the weak links, and make sure your calculations were telling the right story. Over the years, LFE’s reach and contribution has expanded to include all aspects of earthquake engineering from ground failure through damage to buildings and lifeline infrastructure, to community resilience. Our collective ability to advance the practice of earthquake engineering depends on us closely looking at what happens and weaving that reality into the theories, standards, codes, and public policies we are developing, and that's why we support LFE.
Chris Poland (M.EERI,1978)
LFE is at the heart of why I have been an EERI member for over 30 years. We care about earthquakes because they are unique hazards that instantly disrupt lives and economies. As an urban planner, I know that an earthquake can disrupt countless elements and processes of urban systems for months and years. To understand these effects, EERI sends multidisciplinary LFE teams to look at earthquakes holistically and then communicate their insights to EERI members and to the world at large. Over the years, LFE teams have been able to identify the most significant problems and lessons learned from various events, helping to drive the development of policy and priorities for disciplinary research. There is nothing else in the world like EERI, and LFE is at the heart of what makes that so.
Robert Olshansky (M.EERI,1987)
The first time I was out in the field after an event, it became very clear to me that innovations in disaster risk reduction can have enormous impact. Living, working, and communicating with in-country experts and citizens that have recently been affected by a disaster is both a humbling and inspiring experience. There have been many times researchers, engineers, geographers, and even taxi drivers have gone far beyond the call of duty to help collect ground truth data to support the interpretation of satellite-based damage detection, a technology that is now routinely used to support disaster response. Melisa and I are proud to offer our support to LFE so that it can continue to conduct cutting edge research, disseminate the results effectively, and provide young professionals with this unique opportunity.
Charlie Huyck (M.EERI,2002)
The LFE Travel Study Program goes beyond observing damages and collecting data. It also examines the social and economic impacts of the region with the recognition that earthquakes have real effects on people. More recently, I worked with a team to archive data from recent earthquakes in Alaska, providing resources to anyone who’s interested to dive deeper. When we think about resiliency and issues of that nature, we need to think beyond the boundaries of our specialty. EERI’s strength is its multidisciplinary nature, and I don’t think you would get this anywhere else. 
Barry Welliver (M.EERI,2002)
The LFE program has provided me and many others with rewarding opportunities for learning, establishing personal relations, and building individual careers. Every earthquake is an opportunity to learn, and as the LFE team leader for the 2010 Chile Earthquake Reconnaissance Team, I was reminded that there are still new lessons to be learned that can improve the safety of our building. In Chile, we saw that the damage to concrete shear wall buildings had implications for U.S. building code updates. My donation to the LFE Endowment is in recognition of the benefits I have accrued through the LFE program and is in the interest of continuing this opportunity for others.
Jack Moehle (M.EERI,1981)
I’ve always felt that LFE was the heart of EERI. From EERI's earliest days to now, LFE has enabled young professionals, researchers, practicing engineers, and others to learn from real-time events, share insights, and trigger new avenues of research to answer questions raised by actual performance in an event. When the National Science Foundation ended its support of this critical program, they challenged the earthquake community to continue to support the program, if they felt it was valuable. How could I and others not step up to this challenge, to ensure that the LFE program continues to stimulate cutting edge research and reduce earthquake impacts throughout the world?
Susan Tubbesing (M.EERI,1988)