March 2, 2007
At the time of the 2004 tsunami Dr. Meadows was a coral reef ecologist at the National Marine Fisheries Service's Pacific Islands Fishery Science Center in Hawaii. After a three day SCUBA trip, he stayed in Khao Lak, which was to become the worst hit part of Thailand where 80% of the 10,000 deaths occurred. At the time of the tsunami he was in a bungalow 50 feet from the ocean and was washed 1 mile by the tsunami. He used his paramedic training to lead the first aid efforts for a group of 1000 survivors who were cut off from assistance for over one day. This presentation is the story of the lessons learned from his experience those first days. Dr. Meadows will then discuss recovery efforts the past two years using his scientific experience with marine debris removal and coral reef restoration underwater. In addition, he will highlight work he is currently involved in using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to assess the risk of tsunami damage to life and property in Hawaii. Finally, he will introduce OpenCARE -- the Open Exchange for Collaborative Activities in Response to Emergencies -- which is an open-source information exchange to collaborate relief efforts around the world.
Dwayne Meadows has bachelor's and doctorate degrees in marine ecology from the University of California at Berkeley and Oregon State University, respectively. He has worked in marine biology research, conservation and education as a college professor and Director of Research for the Pacific Whale Foundation. He currently works in conservation of marine animals for the U. S. National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources. Dr. Meadows is a member of the Tsunami Technical Review Committee for the State of Hawaii Civil Defense program, an advisor to the U.S. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, and a Board member of 4Kali.org, a non-profit organization working with the people in Thailand whose lives were directly and indirectly impacted by the Tsunami to "help them help themselves." Dr. Meadows has been invited to lecture widely about tsunami and natural disaster preparedness and environmental restoration to groups including the Asia-Pacific Homeland Security Summit, National Defense Transportation Association, Hawaii State Civil Defense, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hanauma Bay Marine Reserve, and numerous school and community groups. He has published 21 scientific papers and 16 popular articles.