URI to hold panel discussion about disasters in Japan, April 6

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KINGSTON, R.I. – March 31, 2011. — The disasters that began in Japan on March 11 — the earthquake, tsunami and continuing nuclear power crisis — are the topics of a panel discussion at the University of Rhode Island with experts and a URI alumnus who lives near the epicenter of the earthquake.

The discussion will be held Wednesday, April 6, at 7 p.m., in the Ballroom of the Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road, Kingston Campus. The event is free and open to the public and will also be livecast at URI Live! Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online URI Live!

Entitled “GANBARE! URI FOR JAPAN,” the panel discussion was organized by four graduate students and faculty members who are from Japan. The event will offer community members first hand and scientific explanations of what has happened — and what the resulting needs are.

The students are launching a fundraising campaign to help with the Japanese recovery. They chose the name “Ganbare! URI for Japan,” because the term “Ganbare” captures the attitude of the people affected by the devastation. It loosely translates to “go for it,” reflecting the Japanese spirit of perseverance.

The event will feature URI faculty members who have offered their expertise to print, broadcast and online media nationwide. Panelists are:

• Shunsuke Managi, Tohoku University, Japan (Live Phone Interview); Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics ‘02

• Timothy George, Professor, Department of History (Postwar Japanese history and governance, Environmental history)

• Stephan Grilli, Distinguished Professor, Department of Ocean Engineering (wave dynamics, tsunami)

• Bahram Nassersharif, Distinguished Professor, Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering. (Nuclear systems, safety engineering)

• Douglas N. Hales, Associate Professor of operations and supply chain management, College of Business Administration (Industrial economic impact)

• Moderator: Emi Uchida, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.