Oregon Hazards Lab and the Earth Sciences department

OHaz crew setting up a new tower

An important part of our department, the Oregon Hazards Lab (OHAZ) uses science, technology, and community engagement to understand, monitor, and mitigate multi-hazards within the Pacific Northwest. Our work advances knowledge of natural and human-caused hazards and the environment, it helps to protect the public, and it contributes to community-level resilience.  To see current on-site staff, click here.

OHAZ currently partners in the following efforts: 

  • Pacific Northwest Seismic Network: The West Coast of the United States, and in particular, the Pacific Northwest, has constant seismic activity. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, a collaboration of the University of Washington and the University of Oregon, locates more than 1,400 earthquakes a year greater than magnitude 1.0 in Washington and Oregon. The University of Oregon, through faculty and associated technicians, is responsible for maintaining and monitoring sensors and stations located in Oregon. Data from PNSN contribute to scientific discovery and public safety.
  • ShakeAlert™ is an earthquake early warning (EEW) system that detects significant earthquakes so quickly that alerts can reach many people before shaking arrives. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing the ShakeAlert™ system for the west coast of the United States. In August 2020, The Oregon Legislature awarded OHAZ $7.5M to complete the buildout of Oregon’s ShakeAlert seismic and telemetry network by the year 2023. ShakeAlert will begin delivering alerts to the public in March, 2021.
  • ALERTWildfire is a consortium of three universities — The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), University of California San Diego (UCSD), and the University of Oregon (UO) — providing access to state-of-the-art Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) fire cameras and associated tools to help firefighters and first responders: (1) discover/locate/confirm fire ignition, (2) quickly scale fire resources up or down appropriately, (3) monitor fire behavior through containment, (4) during firestorms, help evacuations through enhanced situational awareness, and (5) ensure contained fires are monitored appropriately through their demise.


See the Oregon Hazards Lab website, or contact OHAZ director, Professor Doug Toomey, for more information (drt@uoregon.edu).