Prof David Johnston, IRDR Scientific Committee Chair, Gives Lecture at the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) in Beijing, China
14 June 2013 14:29

johnston_david(Beijing, China, 14 June 2013) — Prof David Johnston, Chair of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Scientific Committee (SC), gave a lecture on the “Canterbury Earthquake Sequence and its Impacts” today to an avid audience of scientists, other staff members and students from the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), the IRDR International Programme Office’s (IPO) host institution. The IPO’s staff members were also present in support of the Chair’s lecture.

Prof Johnston is in Beijing from 12-19 June 2013, to visit the IPO and the host institution, RADI. In addition to today’s lecture, Dr Johnston had a meeting with Prof Huadong Guo, RADI’s Director General, on Thursday, 13 June, and will have further meetings with other key RADI personnel, including IRDR China.

During his hour-long presentation, Prof Johnston provided a description of the devastating infrastructural, economic and social effects of the magnitudes 6.2 and 6.0 earthquakes on the city of Wellington, which occurred on 22 February and 13 June 2011 respectively. Both earthquakes were aftershocks of the September 2010, magnitude 7.1 Darfield earthquake. He also provided the audience with an overview of the lessons learnt from these events, and the move towards making Wellington a resilient city in the wake of these experiences. The international support in the aftermath of the earthquakes was also highlighted, and Dr Johnston especially thanked China for sending search and rescue personnel to assist in these operations.

Prof Johnston addresses the audience during his lecture (Photo credit: RADI International Programme Office)
Prof Johnston addresses the audience during his lecture. Photo credit: RADI International Programme Office.

Before the start of his lecture, Mr Bing Zhang, RADI’s Deputy Director General, on behalf of RADI and Prof Guo, who was unable to attend due to being on overseas travel, bestowed on Prof Johnston his Letter of Appointment to RADI’s International Expert Committee.

IRDR_Chair_Letter of Appt
Prof Johnston aaccepts his Letter of Appointment to RADI’s International Expert Committee. Photo credit: RADI International Programme Office.

Prof Johnston is a Senior Scientist at GNS Science (New Zealand’s Geological Survey) and Director of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research in the School of Psychology at Massey University, Wellington. He assumed the role of Chair of the IRDR SC on 1 January 2013, a body on which he has served since 2008.

Click here to view Dr Johnston’s presentation.

For more information about this or other IRDR activities contact the IRDR IPO at



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