News Releases

UWI hosts Global Earthquake Model Workshop

For Release Upon Receipt - April 27, 2011

St. Augustine

The UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC) in collaboration with the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation will host a special three-day GEM Workshop from May 2-4, 2011 at the Kapok Hotel, Port of Spain.

The workshop will formally launch the GEM Caribbean Regional Programme. Participants will be introduced to the GEM goals and discussions will be held to establish a strategy for achieving them. Through the interaction, it is hoped that gaps in existing knowledge in the Caribbean regarding earthquake hazard, vulnerability and earthquake risk can be identified and the necessary research prioritized in order to make full use of the GEM software and tools in the Caribbean region.  

Speakers at the GEM Workshop will include: Dr Rui Pinho, Secretary-General of GEM; Dr Marco Pagani, GEM Coordinator for Earthquake Hazard; and Dr Helen Crowley, GEM Coordinator for Earthquake Risk. The GEM Foundation and the UWI SRC officially joined forces in the promotion of Global Earthquake Model vision in the Caribbean in January 2011. 

“The SRC is indeed pleased to be driving this initiative in the Caribbean, the ultimate goal of which is to provide members of the public at all levels with open access to the necessary tools for determining their exposure to earthquake hazard and risk once they have the appropriate data,” said SRC Director Dr. Richard Robertson. 

For further information on the GEM Workshop and initiative, please contact the UWI Seismic Research Centre at 868-662-4659 ext. 23 or visit  

Established in 1952, the UWI Seismic Research Centre operates the largest network of seismographs and other geophysical instruments in the Caribbean region.  The SRC monitors earthquakes and volcanoes for most of the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean, manages a dynamic education and outreach programme and it is involved in a regional effort to establish a tsunami warning system for the Caribbean.


About the Global Earthquake Model

The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) was launched with assistance from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at the beginning of 2009 and is a global collaborative effort that brings together state-of-the-art science, national, regional and international organisations and individuals aimed at the establishment of uniform and open standards for calculating and communicating earthquake risk worldwide. The development of Regional Programmes (RPs) is the main mechanism by which the GEM tools will be transferred with a view to creating a uniform globally used standard. The RPs will involve local experts using GEM software and tools, who generate local data and validate the data and standards that are being created on the global level. RPs have already been established in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences. 



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