Campus: Northridge -- January 17, 2006
CSUN Geology Professor Named Fulbright Scholar, to Study Earthquake
Hazards in Central America
Cal State Northridge geological sciences professor Gerald Simila has been awarded a
prestigious Fulbright scholar grant to lecture and conduct research on earthquakes in Costa
Simila and his wife, Tina, are expected to leave March 1 for Costa Rica's National University
in Heredia, where he will be investigating the seismicity and earthquake hazards of the
Central American country's central valley.
"I am very honored and excited to be returning to Costa Rica with a Fulbright Research
Fellowship," said Simila, who went to Costa Rica in 1995 as a Fulbright scholar to do
research on earthquakes.
Simila is one of approximately 850 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to
some 150 countries in the 2005-2006 academic year through the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of
Arkansas, the program's purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the
United States and other countries.
Simila will spend three months this spring at the Vocanological and Seismological
Observatory (OVSICORI) at the National University in Heredia. Much of his work involves
the installation of state-of-the-art earthquake equipment and advanced seismic software for
earthquake detection and analysis. It is a collaborative effort with the lab personnel at
OVSICORI to analyze the seismicity patterns to delineate subsurface faults of the upper
crust of the earth and associated earthquake hazards in the San Jose/Central Valley region
of the Central American country.
"I hope to accomplish several research objectives, including improved earthquake magnitude
measurements, correlation of recent earthquakes with historical events, and enhanced
earthquake awareness for the general public," Simila said.
The Fulbright Program, America's flagship international educational exchange activity, is
sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. During
the program's 59 years, thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have studied, taught
or done research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have
engaged in similar activities in the United States. They are among more than 265,000
American and foreign university students, K-12 teachers and university faculty and
professionals who have participated in one of the several Fulbright exchange programs.
Recipients of the Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or
professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential
in their fields. Among thousands of prominent U.S. Fulbright Scholar alumni are Milton
Friedman, Nobel laureate in economics; James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA
and Nobel laureate in medicine; Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet; and Craig Barrett,
CEO of Intel Corporation.
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130,