Extreme events engineering is an experience-driven field. Immediately following the occurrence of an extreme event (e.g., earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, landslide, or flood), perishable data that can be used to advance our understanding should be systemically collected. The importance of detailed mapping and surveying of damaged areas relative to general damage surveys cannot be overemphasized, as they provide the hard data of the well-documented case histories that drive the development of many of the empirical procedures used in geoengineering practice.
The GEER Association is working to develop a systematic approach to conducting National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored reconnaissance efforts of the the geotechnical effects of extreme events. The project is formalizing the manner in which extreme events reconnaissance efforts are organized by the GeoPrograms of NSF.
The Objectives and Purposes of GEER are:
1. Document geotechnical engineering and related effects of important earthquakes and other disasters to advance research and practice.
2. Advance the capabilities of individuals performing post-event reconnaissance.
3. Employ innovative technologies for post-event reconnaissance.
4. Facilitate access to equipment required for sensing and data collection.
5. Train individuals to perform effective post-event reconnaissance.
6. Disseminate timely and accurate post-event web-based reports and data.
7. Develop a coordinated response for geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists, and earth scientists, who have previously self-assembled, to form effective post-event reconnaissance teams.
8. Promote the standardization of measurement and reporting in reconnaissance efforts.